Ides 64: Pitstop

Stone Fruit Table Beer 4%

Toronto is a city of parks – over 1,500 of them, in fact – so when the Friends of Christie Pits suggested we collaborate on a beer about the park, their plan made sense to us.

Christie Pits is a 22-acre oasis with a community garden, three baseball diamondsbasketball courts, a soccer/rugby/football field, outdoor pool, splash pad, outdoor ice rink and arguably the best toboggan hill in the city. But, most importantly, it is a key hub for many urban dwellers to get their dose of outdoors.

For this Ides, we involved the community, asking for both a story and a design concept to help with the beer release.

We landed on the name “Pit Stop” after receiving two separate entries suggesting it.

Rob Maxwell said: “The name suggests that the park is a nice place to go and take a timeout with friends and family, or by yourself. It’s a place to play with your kids, toss a frisbee, listen to live music (occasionally), and – someday – have a legal drink. Growing up in Brampton, one of my first memories of Toronto is coming to Christie Pits as a twelve year old to play baseball. Hardly a week goes by now when I don’t at least walk through the park. Many fond recollections of one of the truly great spaces in our city.”

Phinjo Gombu offered a similar perspective: “{it’s a} Pit Stop for so many of us who drop by daily, weekly or occasionally for a myriad of reasons to rejuvenate ourselves and…watch the community and the world go by. Whether you are playing basketball, making pizza, exercising, having a picnic, watching baseball, walking the dog, swimming or just lying on the hillside watching the Toronto skyline and setting sun, Christie Pits is an oasis, a resting place to slow down or speed up – depending on your preference.”

Despite it originally being named Willowvale Park, the community continued to refer to it as Christie Pits, the name of the sand pits that were there until the early 1900s.  It was officially named Christie Pits in 1983.

The finished artwork for this label came from Jenine Paul who was inspired by the pollinators’ garden with native plants. Said Jenine: “The pollinators garden is a ‘pit stop’ for all the fun pollinators that are attracted to the park, stopping in to enjoy the sweet nectar.”

For this Ides, our head brewer, Brian, has created a spectacularly refreshing beer that includes, as a nod to the park, two fruits with “pits”: cherries and peaches.

OG: 10
IBU: 25
SRM: 9
Carbonation: 2.70 Volumes (High)
Malts: Pale 2 Row, Pilsner, Flaked Oats, Flaked Wheat
Hops: Magnum, Sabro
Yeast: Ardennes Ale
Other: Peach Juice, Tart Cherry Juice
Appearance: Brilliant pinkish copper, think pale pink head
Aroma: Pepper yeast notes, fruity esters, mild cherry with a peach skin note
Taste: Tart fruity notes, earthy spice, pepper, ripe peach flesh, cherry pie
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a spritzy carbonation, dry finish
Overall impression: A tart, fruity ale with spicy Belgian yeast notes and a refreshing, dry finish

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