Mainstream stereotypes might show the average gay boy downing a classy cosmo or crantini, but go into any overcrowded homo hangout and it’s obvious that beer is the go-to drink. While beer ads in North America are still behind in targeting the pink population, Toronto’s Festival of Beer has caught on by creating a special day just for the queer community and its friends. With more than 60 breweries showcasing their suds, from lagers to lambic, Brazilian to Belgian, there’s plenty to satisfy any beer drinker at the second annual Queer Beer Festival. Last year’s success with time-warp wonders Ace of Bass and host Maggie Cassella has encouraged organizers to push it up a notch. The 2012 roster is a dance-pop keg party for your ears.
With underground hits “White Nights” and “Sun of a Gun” and larger-than-life music videos that resemble an intellectual version of a Kylie/ Björk/ Gaga ecstasy trip, the New York–based Danish pop singer Oh Land is one creative dynamo. She made her mark on the American pop landscape last year by wowing audiences on David Letterman
and receiving Logo’s NewNowNext Award for Brink of Fame Artist. She was signed to Sony in 2011, her first show was as the opener for New York Pride, and she regularly plays gigs in the city’s gay clubs. A fantastical show is inevitable.
Brooklyn disco/house/punk band and art/performance collective Men is outrageously fun, and current core members JD Samson and Michael O’Neill are as gay as it gets. Samson — the self-defined “gender outlaw” — does not shy away from the issues; her work with Dykes Can Dance and post-punk trio Le Tigre are living proof. O’Neill is loud and proud, even going by the moniker DJ LGBT when he spins at dance-party gigs. Although Men’s lyrics can be rather serious, the upbeat nature of its songs guarantees tons of energy onstage.
Uh Huh Her
This Los Angeles electropop duo will most definitely bring some hops to the Queer Beer event. Lead vocalist Camila Grey is no stranger to the circuit, having played bass and keyboards for Busta Rhymes, Kelly Osbourne and Adam Lambert. Leisha Hailey was a former member of The Murmur and Gush and also played the popular Alice Pieszecki on The L Word
; the band formed during the show’s final season. Uh Huh Her too hard to pronounce? Just grab your crotch and say UHH!
The Queer Beer Festival
Thurs, July 26 4:30–11pm
Bandshell Park Exhibition Place
$38.50, $48.50 queerbeerfestival.ca