Toronto’s Craft Beer Brewery: Bellwoods Brewery

Bellwoods bottle

Stop messing around with Anheuser-Busch or Molson, and start imbibing something that does right by your taste buds. The beer is beautiful at Bellwoods Brewery, the new craft brewery located at 124 Ossington at Argyle. Since recently opening in early April, Bellwoods has been serving up well crafted suds to local patrons who are starved for a brew that, well, tastes interesting.

Bellwoods Brewery interior

Meeting at Amsterdam Brewery, owners Mike Clarke and Luke Pestl had a shared vision of what would make a great brewery, including combining academics with creativity and passion. This formula seems to be working since they just won gold for Strong Porter (Baltic) at this year’s Canadian Brewing Awards for goodness sake.

Inside the breweryImage via Bellwoods Brewery

Currently there are 8 beers on tap, sometimes including a guest tap rotation. If you want to start off with something refreshing try their newest tap, the wine-barrel aged Biere de Garde ($7.50), likely to soothe your thirstiness . Move on to the award winning Lost River Baltic Porter ($8.50); this beer at 7.7% has a deep roasted caramel flavour that pairs well with a red meat or sweet dessert. Try a glass of the Lost River with an order of duck hearts or something off the BBQ. Finish the evening off with the Witchshark ($8.50), a double IPA that tastes like fresh pine and citrus fruits. This beer is pretty hoppy with a solid bitter finish and at 9%, it’s a big beer with lots of flavour. If you’re like me, completely unable to make any decision, 4oz glasses are available at $3 each – try’em all!

bellwoods patio

Torontonians will be happy to know that Bellwoods’ white picket fence patio is now open for the hot city nights. The patio is offset from the sidewalk which lends itself to a sense of intimacy while still allowing for prime people watching. Having once been home to an old autoshop, the front of Bellwoods is a garage door that opens to reveal the bar, a cozy seating area, and a mezzanine level that overlooks the actual brewery.

Brewing takes place during the day, but the entire infrastructure is in full view from the main floor behind glass walls or from above in the mezzanine.

tap at bellwoods brewery

While a prime spot for adult-type thirst quenching, don’t expect to eat big dinner-sized portions of food. The menu is not representative of the average pub food, but Bellwoods isn’t striving to be average. Mostly snack-sized and delicious, the food has been the creative work of Chef Guy Rawlings. However, as of June 18, Rob Julen (formerly Brockton General and Marron Bistro) has taken over creative control. Guests chefs will be appearing every now and then for special events including one in late July.

Expect to wait in a short line. Bellwoods doesn’t take reservations and don’t expect to be able to order shots of Jager:the brewery sticks to beers (yes, that means no wine either) and in my opinion that’s a good thing. For hours and location:

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Photo credit John Gallagher/Deirdre D unless noted otherwise

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