You’ll never feel that way at The Craft Brasserie & Grille. With 120 craft beers on tap, 20 of those rotating guest taps, there’s always something new to discover.
First-time owners Chris Pagonis and Dean Tzembelicos have curated a spectacular lineup of craft beer, with close to 100 Canadian varieties. American and European suds make up the small remainder.
“We want to offer as much local as possible,” says Pagonis, who holds Level 3 Beer Sommelier of the Prud’homme Beer Certification program. There are four beer sommeliers on staff, and all employees – including kitchen staff – receive Level 1 training, paid for by Pagonis.
Whatever your mood or preference, there’s a pint with your name on it. Pagonis has made it easy to wade through the vast selection with these categories: Refreshing and Crushable, Fruit, Cider and Sour, Smooth, Roasted and Rich, Complex and Thirst Provoking, and The Big The Bold The Bitter.
And, of course, the guest taps are where you can really go all out. Explore intriguing flavour profiles featuring unexpected ingredients of rhubarb cucumber and watermelon, for example.
Flights are also a great way to explore different styles and flavours. You get four 5 ounce pours for $11 with a variety of collections to choose from. New to beer? Start with “Flight 101.” Love hops? “Hop Heads” is for you. Fan of sour beers? The “Sour Tooth” lineup will have you puckered in no time. There’s also “The Dark Flight,” “Sweet and Fruity,” and a shoutout to 6ix beermakers: “Taste of Toronto.” The “Sommelier” flight features great craft brews that you might not know otherwise (Cowbell Brewing Absent Landlord, St. Mary’s Axe Canadian Best Bitter, Shillow Beer Snob, and Blood Brothers Shumei, a classic IPA [Indian Pale Ale] with notes of citrus).
Other drinks are available too – cocktails, wine and non-alcoholic options include “near beer” (no-alcohol beer) and kombucha.
Not-to-be-missed: The 4 at 4 drink menu, with select drinks available for $4 on Mondays 4 pm until close, and from 4 to 7 pm Tuesdays to Thursdays.
New executive chef Richard Chambers (previously of The Rectory Café) has created a menu of American-influenced fare (with a touch of Spanish and Japanese), featuring many dishes done in the large Southern Pride smoker.
Everything is made in-house (save breads) from brining peameal and curing duck pastrami, to fresh hand-cut fries and made-from-scratch sauerkraut and crème fraiche. Ingredients are as local as possible, with all meat from Ontario.
You’ll find a ton of vegetarian and vegan options on the new menu, including Super Baby Greens Salad ($12), Craft Smoked Tofu Sandwich ($14), and Coconut Chickpea Curry ($15) with stewed chickpeas, green peas, tofu, fingerling potatoes, coconut curry sauce, and served with coconut rice.
Don’t worry, your pub faves are readily available too, so chow down on Poutine ($9), Smoked Chicken Wings ($14), Nachos ($16), Mac and Cheese ($15.50), Brown Sugar Baby Back Ribs ($17), and seven types of Burgers ($14-$16).
Be sure to keep an eye out for features offered throughout the week as well.
Take a seat
With 330 seats over roughly 10,000 square-feet, there’s no chance of feeling crowded. The space accommodates 280 guests inside, with 50 out on the patio.
The partners searched for a suitable location for a year and a half before finding this one. The former office space built in 1905 (the other half was built in 1910) had to be completely demo’d to make room for the 120 kegs.
The bar was hand built by the owners, and the mix of new and old (original brick and wood beams) makes for a comfortable, casual space.
Love beer, BBQ and good times? Head to The Craft Brasserie & Grille (107 Atlantic Ave. – Liberty Village), open for lunch, dinner from 11 to 2 am seven days a week, with brunch on weekends.
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