PRESS RELEASE: Henderson Brewing Company Grand Opening

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Yet another brewery opening up in the Junction. This time is it Henderson Brewing Company. They will be cutting the ribbon this Saturday (June 4th) 11:00 at 128A Sterling Rd. Henderson founded in 2014, is looking to celebrate the stories and culture of Toronto through the beers they will be brewing in their shiny new brewery. The Tap Room and Bottle Shop are now open 7 days a week from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

Full press release below regarding the brewery and the grand opening.


MEDIA RELEASE
June 1st, 2016

Henderson Brewing Company is calling all Hendersons to join them in
cutting the ribbon at their Grand Opening

Grand Opening events will take place on June 4th from 11:00am to 10:00pm at
128a Sterling Rd.

Toronto, ON – On Saturday June 4th, Henderson Brewing Company is opening its doors to the people of Toronto and is calling all Hendersons to come out and help them celebrate.

The newly open Henderson Brewing Company is located at 128A Sterling Rd. in the heart of the Junction Triangle. Named after the earliest known Toronto brewer, Robert Henderson, the brewery would like to honour its namesake and invite all beer-loving Hendersons to share in cutting the ribbon at their shiny new brewery. Every Henderson who participates in the ribbon cutting ceremony will receive a commemorative t-shirt and will be in the Opening Day photo. Hendersons are requested to arrive at the brewery by 10:45am on Saturday June 4th to get set up.

You don’t need to be a Henderson to come and join the party. Opening Day celebrations will be open to everyone from 11:00am to 9:00pm on June 4th at 128A Sterling Rd. Come down to catch some live entertainment from Mark Thackway Acoustic Band, The Sudden Valley Boys and DJ ShakeDown Street. There will be fun for the kids, free brewery tours, food by Feed the Six Food Truck and Henderson beer specials all day long.

About Henderson Brewing Company: Henderson Brewing Company is an award winning, independent, neighbourhood brewery in downtown Toronto. Founded in 2014, Henderson is all about celebrating the stories and culture of Toronto through the beers they brew. The Tap Room and Bottle Shop are now open 7 days a week from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

For more information on the Grand Opening, please visit:
www.HendersonBrewing.com
www.facebook.com/HendersonBrewing
@HendersonBeerCo

2016 Edition of the Craft Beer Passport

Press-KitWho doesn’t like a good pub crawl from time to time? Well this years edition of the Toronto Craft Beer Passport makes a crawl even easier. In previous years the passport could consist of bars in
both the West and East ends of the city. Making a crawl tough, but this year there will be two passports with 20 destinations each. Using the passport will give the holder one $2 craft beer (12oz) from a list of three, at the participating bar between June 1st to November 30th.\
This change will allow from a greater concentration of bar and breweries giving the user affordable craft beer minutes away from each other. The passport allows the user to explore Toronto while supporting local bars and breweries.

Currently the passports are available online (www.craftbeerpassport.ca) and at select bars starting June 1 for $20 each or $30 for both.

The official launch party for the passport will take place tomorrow night (June 1st) at Revival Bar and will include samples from Rainhard, Great Lakes, Beau’s, Henderson, Collective Arts, Nickel Brook and Side Launch. Find all the details from the party on their official Facebook page.

5 Things I Wish All Beer Nerds Would Start Doing

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4 Beer Nerds in the wild drinking from their local watering hole. The Festival-branded 5oz glassware is native to their geographic area.

In the craft beer world, we like to brand ourselves as a welcoming and friendly industry that is filled with people and companies that are more like friends than competitors. Yet, there’s still so many people too intimidated by condescending beer nerds to get into craft beer, people that back away hesitantly from their local breweries clinging to their wine glasses with white knuckles.  Humour me here, let’s pack away all of our certifications and beer biases for a hot minute and get back to why craft beer is so great- community. Too far up your own butt to know how to do that? Don’t worry, I got you covered- in a fancy listicle format because who doesn’t love listicles??  HERE’S HOW:

  1. Stop bashing people’s beer choices.

If you think you’re going to switch somebody off of a corn-based macro brew to your barrel aged saison by berating and belittling their beer choices- you’re going about it the wrong way. I know, we all get a bit caught up in the excitement and wonder that is locally made, quality driven, and naturally created beer. It’s easy to become blinded by passion for quality and complexity in your beer and let it take over your better judgement. That’s why I’m here. So don’t. Okay? It’s mean and it’s not cool, especially when you know that person paid money for that beer.

2. Remind yourself that craft beer is for everyone- not just you and your super rad friends.

Remember when men used to think women couldn’t drink beer? That was pretty terrible and no fun at all. Can we please just let everyone enjoy beer now? Don’t overlook a person or rule them out because of the group of people they associate with. Don’t assume Brad in the Leafs Jersey only enjoys crushing Budweiser in the locker room, he is just as capable of enjoying and respecting craft beer as you are.

3. Be confident in your own preferences and tastes, and let that be enough.

Be confident enough that you don’t have to try to validate yourself by bullying someone else into agreeing with you about what specific orchard fruit is on the nose of that Belgian ale you cracked open. Shoving beliefs of any kind down a persons throat is generally a terrible idea, but it can be pretty discouraging to a person just starting out their foray into craft beer. I’ve said it before, but beer is totally science, so take a hint from scientists and encourage people to prove you wrong and give you different results from the particular beer experiment in your hand. Any time I’ve spoken with Brewers about their beers, they’re intrigued and open to hearing about what flavours and feelings you get from their brew, so don’t take it upon yourself to decide that there can only be one correct way to experience any given beer. Science, bitch.

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Bar Hop Peter St.- Natural habitat of the wild Torontonian Beer Nerd. Photo by Mike Burton.

4. Understand that craft beer is not the be all and end all of beverages.

The Craft Beer world is amazing, but there are many different worlds our there that are amazing to a lot of people. Let’s talk about Brad again. Maybe he’s crushing a Budweiser. What you may not know is that maybe he’s hesitantly enjoying that Budweiser because last night he dipped into his private scotch collection that he’s been grooming for years and got a little too crazy and just wants something different today. Brad is a genius when it comes to scotch and knows a whole lot more than you, and places a lot of value in scotch rather than beer- but you didn’t know that when you interrupted him and trashed his beer choice. Respect that, appreciate it, and give that Brad some props for having a beer at all. Because he’s a whole lot closer to being persuaded to drink craft beer than a full-on beer hater. Feel me? It is okay for people to not enjoy beer.

5. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

I’ve met a lot of people who have been in the beer industry for longer than I’ve been alive, and they are the first ones to reach over and shake hands and make friends and buy rounds, and most of the time they aren’t the ones bashing anyone else. Remember that beer has been around for a pretty long time, and just because you developed a passion for it when it started to become trendy, does not make you an expert. Be forgiving and allow yourself to enjoy a beer without scrutinizing it too carefully, or attend a party without trying to convert someone to craft beer. It’s just beer after all, we’re all going to carry on living our lives after we finish our pints. And don’t get me wrong, if you love craft beer, please indulge in all of the resources and literature and certification programs there are in this world and soak up every piece of information you can. Learning is seriously the best. Just remember why you liked beer in the first place, and allow yourself to take it easy every now and then.

Thats all for now. Feel free to disagree with me, or if you’d like, add to this list. I’m open to discussing with anyone who has an open mind. Let’s try a bit harder to live up to the reputation of the inclusive community that we started out as and are known as, and appreciate the different places and backgrounds that all beer drinkers come from.

*exhale*

Left Field Brewery Celebrates 3rd Anniversary with Two New Beers

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Happy Anniversary to Toronto’s favourite baseball-themed brewery – Left Field celebrates three years of beer-making this month.

Hard to believe, really – My beer-drinking experimentation started around the same time as when Left Field started putting out beer, so they really hold a special spot for me as the little idea that could.  Now, with amazing branding, a killer tap-room (Toronto’s best IMO), and a rotating roster of beers that never disappoint, Left Field has more than established itself as a desirable, quality brewery with a keen eye for community support and creation of a welcoming atmosphere.  Unreasonable neighbours or not, this is one of Toronto’s most celebrated breweries, and with good reason.

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Mandie and Mark Murphy, the power marketing/brewer couple behind this awesome spot, gave The Bottomless Pint a preview of one of the all-new beers to be released on Thursday at 12PM,   Anniversary No.3 Saison, which is dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin (a fruity hop from New Zealand).  Anyone who reads us already knows i’m partial to the farmhand beers, and this is absolutely exemplary in both dedication to the Saison style, as well as an absolutely finely balanced hop-up by the addition of dry hops.  Fruity with the classic spicy Belgian esters up front, dominant flavours include honeydew melon, apricot and nectarine, with a depth of sweetness and aromatics of both grass and faint yet crisp cucumber rind – this is a spring beverage.  Gorgeous and opaque in off-orange colour with some sediment and a rocky, white head.  It kicks your ass ever so slightly at 7.6% ABV, which is a little hefty for a Saison; however, after having Sunlight Park Saison last summer (please bring it back this year), I knew Left Field could do it right, and again, they hit a Jose-esque home run with this.

Check out the press release below – say hi to a couple of our writers that you may find chillin’ in the Left Field tap room this Thursday afternoon, grabbing some bottles and chatting with the team!  Be sure to go grab some, i’m certain they won’t last long!

 

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Today, February 5, 2016, marks 1 year to the day since we brewed our first batch of beer – Lead Off Single – right here in our very own brewery. Most breweries would celebrate this as their first anniversary but for us it isn’t that straightforward. Our story involves making a not-so-common leap from contract brewery to bricks and mortar brewery and because of this, our anniversary date is a bit of a moving target. You see, our first ever batch of beer, Eephus, was brewed under contract at Grand River brewery on February 14, 2013. On top of all that, we gained access to and started construction at 36 Wagstaff Drive on February 1, 2014. Because of all this, we tend to look at the entire month of February as our anniversary month.

Naturally, such an important month in our history deserves a special beer to mark the occasion. With that in mind, we decided to brew not one, but two celebratory anniversary beers for release this month.

Anniversary No. 3 is a strong Saison brewed with a French Saison Ale Yeast and dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand. A warm fermentation gives layers of tropical fruit and delicate spice, and this unique and audacious hop variety lends complimentary flavours of white wine and gooseberry. Expect this beer to be aromatic, dry, and filled with character.
7.6% ABV / 45 IBU

First & Third is our interpretation of the Berliner Weisse style of sour ale. We kettle-soured a mash made from 50% wheat with our house strain of lactobacillus. We made use of a blend of Belgian and American ale yeasts to produce a beer with light body, nuances of stone fruit, very low bitterness and clean, gentle tartness reminiscent of lemonade. In Berlin these beers are traditionally enjoyed with a sweet fruit or herbal syrup – we look forward to re-imagining this experience on our home turf.
4.0% ABV / 8 IBU

Anniversary No. 3 and First & Third will both be available in our Bottle Shop and Tap Room starting at noon on Thursday February 25th.

I Say Kombucha, You Say Ketchup – Why Beer is Subjective and You Should Drink Whatever You Want

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Beer is pretty. Photo taken by Mathew Renda at Folly Brewpub

Picture yourself in a crowded and dimly-lit bar with your best pal, trying out a fancy new kombucha flavoured beer. You’re sipping it, you’re well on your way to reaching pinnacle Adventurous Beer Drinker status, and the Untappd badges are just rolling in. Tastes like glory. But then, in a cruel twist of fate, the girl next to you looks at you and says, “I don’t know, it kind of tastes like ketchup.” You take another sip, convincing yourself that there’s no way that this super awesome beer could taste like a processed red condiment… oh wait, there it is. It’s all you can taste now. (This story is based on true events, sorry to publish your pain, Melissa).

Even though that’s a tragic tale that ended in a dumped pint- there is an important lesson to be learned here. Beer is completely and exclusively subjective, and the way you taste a beer can be affected by a whole lot of different factors. The kombucha story wasn’t enough to convince you??

Take for example a story from my coworker: she was guiding a tasting of 7 different beers at Your Friendly Neighbourhood Brewery, and bravely led people through flavour profiles of one of her favourite Scotch Ales, only to realize afterwards that she actually poured them a very bitter American brown ale (okay, okay, it was totally me, I am ashamed). But the weird part is, as she (ahem, I… cowers in embarrassment) was describing the sweet flavours of honey, caramel, bold notes of coffee and espresso etc. to the group, absolutely NOBODY stopped her and said “I don’t know, I taste pine needles and a grassy bitterness.” Could this have come from lack of experience on behalf of the tastees? Quite possibly. But it brings up an important point: you probably shouldn’t believe all of the things people tell you about flavour.

On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve had someone taste the same APA as me and tell me that they taste dill. Like the pickle. To that person, I say bravo. Congrats on not letting anyone tell you how to enjoy your beer, and I applaud this person’s ability to dig deep and find complex flavours out of their beers. This method is referred to as The Drinking Whatever You Want, and Not Giving A Shit Method, and I wish for all beer enthusiasts to embrace it.

Basically, the purpose of this article is to tell you to trust in your own abilities and tastes. People will always be eager to tell you what you SHOULD be tasting, and sometimes that can be really helpful. But the best way, in my opinion, to truly taste a beer is to draw your own conclusions rather than adopting the views of others. This requires a certain degree of attention to context (see more about being present in Mike’s article here) because there are way too many things that can affect the way you taste your beer. Whether it is what you ate earlier that day, what the room smells like, what order you tried beers in, or what the label says- there are tons of ninja deception tools that can trick your tongue into tasting specific things. It can get pretty confusing, but it will inevitably always lead to you tasting a beer differently than someone else. It also takes a degree of confidence- it can be hard to offer up your take on a beer to a bunch of seasoned beer snobs.

Ultimately you have to learn how to come up with these tasting notes yourself, and discover new aromas and flavours that are personal to you. It starts with being able to distinguish flavour profiles that you like and don’t like, and then from there, trying out more and more different styles of beers until you can decipher what it is that you are tasting in a brew. Trust your own palate, and understand that your opinion about a beer is the only one that matters. When it comes to Yours Truly, I’m recently discovering that I am not a huge fan of Galaxy hops- or at least that’s what my beer sleuth skills have been leading me to believe. I could be wrong, but hey, that’s my take on it. Yours can be completely different.

Me and three other beer nerds, drinking whatever we want.
Me and three other beer nerds, drinking whatever we want.

P.S. Yes I work at a brewery, no they don’t pay me to say anything, yes I can still have neutral views on issues in the beer industry. Drops mic

 

Best Beers of the Year: Round 4 – Mathew Renda

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope each and everyone of you has an amazing Christmas with your friends & family (and some amazing craft beers)! I wanted to thank everyone for their support this year and building Bottomless Pint to where it is today.  We don’t exist without the support of our readers, Ontario craft brewers, and fans. Keep your eyes peeled for us in 2016, as we have a ton of new things planned!

I have been thinking about what my top 3 beers of the year have been, and it was significantly harder than I thought it was going to be. 2015 was a big year for craft beer in Ontario. Brewers have been more experimental; using new, exciting ingredients that discerning drinkers have been looking for. We have seen so many new breweries open in Toronto (we’re up to 300 in the province now) and the surge of the ever growing Ottawa market. Being from the Durham area, it was great to see new breweries opening and current breweries expanding. The stage seems to be set for an exciting 2016 in the Craft Beer community in Ontario. Now, down to the brass tacks, my top 3 beers of 2015:

  1. Double Trouble French Press Vanilla Stout – Vanilla and Coffee Infused Stout

This is a stout you can always find in my fridge during the winter season. At this time of year there are a ton of coffee stouts and porters on the shelves at the LCBO and your local breweries, but being a lover of the coffee bean, this beer seems to combine two of my favorite things. It is a delicious blend of Vanilla and Espresso in each sip. I seem to enjoy it with a nice sweet dessert or with a full-bodied cigar. (Shhh, I have had this beer with my breakfast from time to time, but don’t tell anyone.) If you love stout and you love coffee, be sure to pick a couple of these cans up at your local LCBO, because you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

2.  Oast House Farm Funk – Saison with Brett

Oast House was a brewery I didn’t really get to explore much in 2015. I did happen to make a trip out to the Niagara on the Lake area in March and was able to swing by Oast House. The brewery known for their Farmhouse ales definitely did not disappoint with Farm Funk. This beer was a Saison brewed with the ever popular Brettanomyces, a strain of wild yeast. This beer was aged for about a year before being put on the shelves.  This 6.4% Saison was a nice sour, spicy blend that had your taste buds going on a roller coaster ride. It was definitely a very enjoyable beer, and if you like saisons, get on top of this. I promise you, it is a very unique creation from a very unique brewery. I wish that I could access to their beers on a regular basis, because it seems like whatever I do get my hands on from Oast I thoroughly enjoy. If you are in the Niagara area be sure to stop into the brewery and see what they have. I can’t wait to make another trip there in the new year.

 

3. Great Lakes Brewery Karma Citra – Single Hop IPA

It is very hard not to have an IPA in my top 3 beers of 2015 and it’s even harder not to look at Great Lakes Brewery  for a top contender in that category. 2015 was the year of single hop IPA’s. The biggest and newest hop to hit the brewing world by storm was citra. Karma Citra was GLB make on the Toronto Citra world, and they nailed it. This well rounded single hop IPA instantly had the community talking.  Lines started to form outside the brewery and the beer was being sold out faster than a new iPhone hitting the market. The popularity continued as the beer hit the LCBO shelves. At 65 IBU and 6.5% ABV you could easily enjoy this flavor bomb on a nice sunny day on the patio. I had a never ending supply of this in my fridge during the summer months. Great Lakes knows how to do a IPA right with Thrust, Karma Citra and their newest Lake Effect. Make the trip to Etobicoke and be sure to stock up because everything the brewery produces (rightly) sells out fast.

BONUS ROUND
This end this Christmas Day Edition of the Best Beers of 2015 with my favorite event of all time, Cask Days. I look forward to this fall classic every year. The perfect setting with easily my favorite style of beer. With seems to be a endless number of casks from all over the world, there is going to be something for everyone there. Cask Days is that one event that you will find people in our beer community obsessing over, from the baller passes being sold to the excel documents of must try beers, the event brings out beer lovers of all kinds. Word of advice: get your tickets early as they are bound to be sold out fast.

From all of us at Bottomless Pint, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.

– Matt

Beer In Context (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Drink In The Moment)

 

The Only Bar, on the even of Sawdust City's Tap Takeover. Not pictured: Sean Norris' insane handlebar 'stache.
The Only Bar, on the eve of Sawdust City’s Tap Takeover. Not pictured: Sean Norris’ insane handlebar ‘stache.

I’m sitting at the Only having a pint. Tonight is the Sawdust City tap takeover – an event even I couldn’t wangle an excuse to not attend. I really like the vibe of the Only, in that it doesn’t know what it is. Is it a Betty’s clone crossed with Starbucks before Starbucks was cool? To me, it is a man cave-esque bar (where the philosophy of your design aesthetic is to visit Value Village to find shit to throw on your walls) leads into an equally eclectic, cozy, warmly-lit coffee bar, fully equipped with a community table and mismatched furniture. I fucking love this place.

The community table at the Only is a popular spot.
The community table at the Only is a popular spot.

 

I’ve touched briefly before on my opinion on the context of beer drinking. In fact, it’s one of the big reasons why the writers on this blog are charged with writing something, anything, as long as it’s about beer and it’s not a review. We’ve done them before (when the blog was one guy starved for ideas), but the more we tried to figure out what we were about and where our place was in the well-saturated Ontario Craft Beer blog scene, the more we realized how subjective and meaningless (to us) reviews were. It became obvious with some speed that we loved beer, we loved the community, we loved the exploration – but most of all, we loved opening people’s minds to the inclusivity and depth that is the Ontario beer scene.

 

So, off we set to launch a medium with which to find the balance between informational and fun to read. We want to include everyone, of all interest and knowledge levels, in the beer scene we love so much. There was born one of our favourite abbreviations: BIC, or Beer In Context. This, we decided, is how we’re going to speak to both the uninitiated yet curious beer fan, as well as the discerning Cicerone, and everyone in between.

 

Beer In Context is the idea that one’s enjoyment (inclusive of memory of nerdy things like aroma and flavor) of any given beer or beers is both related to and more memorable if recalled in the context in which it was consumed. It’s not hard to grasp; the 5 W’s of a beer simply mean an environmental recollection of an entire evening or situation.

 

I first went over the idea of BIC with myself when I went to Bar Hop – alone. I had a dinner to attend in a couple of hours, and with time to kill, I wanted to see what summery stuff was available at my favourite bar.   As it is on summer evenings, BH was crammed with people; the Jays game on the telly, and a lone seat at the bar awaited me. I had no book, no newspaper, no laptop – I decided to just enjoy the atmosphere, Twitter, and the 7 Weeks Of Staying Up All Night by Sawdust City that I tried for the first time that day.

 

For someone like me with a chronically poor memory, I sure remember those two hours really, really well. I remember the date. The Jays’ opponent. The name of the two ladies to the left me at the bar who asked me what to have. The smell of the sandwich in the hands of the guy to my right (who was jotting down notes of some kind in a notebook feverishly with his other hand for over an hour). Most of all, I remember being floored by the beer. Every ester note, every sip, every new discovery I made through my analysis of this saison. Weird, right? That a beer could stand out so much, and with such detail, that it makes one’s evening more memorable? To me, they are hand in hand, one not remembered without the other.

 

To you, the beer fan, I say this: try to keep the context of one’s beer in mind. Compare it to the next time you have it. Consider what you ate with it, where you were, who you were with. I dare say that you’ll never be bored of a beer again – I promise.

 

– Mike

Toronto Beer Week is back

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It’s that time of year again, when all Toronto Craft Beer lovers rejoice!

Toronto Beer Week is back, and in it’s 5th year, starting September 18th and going all the way through the 26th.

“What is Toronto Beer Week?” you ask? It is 9 days packed with amazing events throughout the city. There is truly something for everyone, including:

  • The Danforth Pub Crawl on Saturday, Sept 19th (which easily attracts 100+ people and hits quite a number of bars along and just off of Danforth Ave.)
  • Great Lakes Brewery 1st Annual Pig and Corn Roast, featuring a variety of Tank Ten beers, including casks, as well as live music
  • Craft Your Change, an event that taps into people’s talents by connecting them with non-profit organizations/social causes that are looking for volunteers
  • For the full list of events head over to Toronto Beer Week’s website as well as follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on all the news and updates during the week!

Victoria, Mike and myself will be attending a few events around the city during the week including The Official Launch Party at Berkeley Church, and The Golden Tap Awards at Beer Bistro.

Be sure to follow us on our social media accounts to keep up with all the action of the week to come, and let us know what events you’re attending!

Matt

Twitter: @bottomless_pint

Instagram: @bottomless_pint

Mike

Twitter: @beermostly

Instagram: @beermostly

Victoria

Twitter: @Love_Victoriaa

Instagram: @victoria_r

 

Tap into the Art of Beer

A short educational documentary explaining the history of beer, how it’s brewed, fermented, packaged and best enjoyed by Cool Brewing co. This 25-minute documentary, produced by Freeman McLarty and filmed by Francois Aubry, taps into the history of beer, how it’s brewed (ales vs. lagers), fermented, packaged and best enjoyed! We’ve also focused on trends in the Canadian beer industry.