Address: 299 Augusta Avenue, Toronto, ON M5T 2M2
On the second day of our trip to Canada we hit up this lovely little part of town that seemed to be foodie central!
And of course when there’s food, there has to be beer! So we checked out this cute little brewery called Kensington Brewing Company.
Now what was cool about this place was that it looked like a legit house! Due to permitting and not wanting to change the neighborhood too much, the owners of Kensington had to put a lot of money into keeping the aesthetics of the existing house (that actually was previously burnt to a crisp) and rebuild it from the ground up. This is similar to the “Historical Preservation Act” that is enforced on Miami where any building that is 50 years or older cannot have the existing face of the building changed or reconstructed. You can completely gut and remodel the interior, but the exterior needs to stay the same. Sorry, engineering nerd popped out for a second.
What was also really cool about this place, is that they are extremely local! From the ingredients they use to brew their beer to all the art and decorations and you see inside the brewery, it all comes from the Kensington part of town.
Yeah, they might be able to have gotten everything a lot cheaper, but because they want to show that they are home grown, local company, they buy everything local.
Another interesting aspect of the brewery is that while talking with the managers, while they didn’t own the brewery, the backers who helped them start it up give them free reign within the brewery. The backers know that while they can provide money for the day to day operations, they don’t know too much about beer, so they leave it to the brewers! I thought that was pretty cool.
Here are the explanations from the brewery:
Fruitstand Watermelon Wheat (4.5% Alc/ 14 IBU): (From Website) A light and crisp wheat beer brewed with fresh watermelon juice. Influenced by the fruit vendors that line our neighbourhood, this refreshing beer pairs wonderfully with a lobster roll, feta cheese or light summer salad. (From Brewery) This light and refreshing wheat beer is brewed with fresh watermelon juice. Pouring pale gold with a slight haze, refreshing aromas of melon, apple and cereal grains jump out. The finish is slightly sweet with a delicate touch of watermelon rind.
Nasch Vienna Lager (5.3% Alc/ 21 IBU): (From Website) carries the name of the Kensington Market of Vienna, the Naschmarkt. It’s an approachable lager with bready malt flavour and a citrus aroma. (From Brewery) Bready malt tones, biscuit, toast, faint citrus aroma. Pours light copper and has a clean finish with a moderate bitterness. Accessible but not boring, a great gateway if you’re not too sure about the rest of our options. Dive in!
Qullqa Gose (4% Alc/ 13 IBU): (From Brewery) w/ lemon verbena, cantaloupe juice & pink Himalayan salt.
Gamelle Grisette (4.6% Alc/ 15 IBU): (From Website) named for workers’ lunchpails, is our easiest drinking option with notes of lemon and citrus peel. Low bitterness and crisp finishing make this a summer patio/dock favourite! (From Brewery) A Belgian table beer, straw yellow with a little haze. Notes of lemon peel and citrus rind. Crisp finish and light bodied with low bitterness that lingers. Soft and refreshing with a pillowy white head. Solid session beer.
Wagon Jobber Hoppy Wheat (5.4% Alc/ 21 IBU): (From Website) is a suprisingly tropical Wheat IPA with hints of pineapple and grapefruit through the crisp hop bite. A wagon jobber is a mobile wholesaler selling (usually produce) from trucks, a familiar sight on Augusta Ave. (From Brewery) A light and hoppy offering reminiscent of an IPA but brightened by a generous portion of malted and flaked wheat. Stone fruit and herbal hop aromas jump from the glass with citrus rind and orange following through. Moderate bitterness with a creamy mouthfeel and dry finish.
Low Boy New England Pale Ale (4.3% Alc/ 20 IBU): (From Brewery) Brewed with a heavy-handed addition of apricot puree and then double dry-hopped, this fruit-forward and hazy brew is a low ABV cousin to the New England IPA. Appearance is opaque orange with heavy cloudiness and minimal head. The aroma is intense apricot, guava and mango juice. A slight tartness rolls over the palette while tropical and stone fruit flavours take hold. A moderate pithy, bitterness leaves a memorable bite on the finish.
In The Weeds Pale Ale (5.9% Alc/ 30 IBU): (From Website) is named for all the hurdles we encountered in opening our new home. It’s a Pale Ale with biscuity lead followed by grassy and pine notes. The creamy feel gives way to a moderate bitterness. (From Brewery) Upfront biscuit-cookie malt character. Grassy and herbal hop notes develop along with a pithy and pine resin character, orange rind and light marmalade tones follow. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and fuller bodied, but it finishes dry with a moderate bitterness and solid lacing along the glass. Carbonation is moderately softened and pours an aged honey hue.
Baldwin St. FishEye P.A. (6.5% IPA/ 65 IBU): (From Website) An unfiltered and dry hopped India Pale Ale with notes of tangerine, grapefruit and a sweet caramel finish. Influenced by the fishmongers who supply Toronto with fresh seafood to this day, it pairs best with jerk fish tacos and spicy chimichangas. (From Brewery)Pours a honey-amber colour with a classic West coast hop profile of dank pine and sweet caramel malt. This is an old classic that has been tweaked to dial back malt flavour while intensifying hop character. Waimea, Citra and Amarillo hops produce a piney tangerine-pith character that is an excellent partner to charred BBQ.
Here’s what I thought:
Fruitstand Watermelon Wheat: Crisp. Light. Refreshing with a hint of watermelon at the end.
Nasch Vienna Lager: Soft, malty tones. Tastes like a true lager. Enjoyed this one.
Qullqa Gose: Lemon/citrusy, but not overbearing. You can taste the Himalayan salt because of the soft salty notes in the aftertaste. Enjoyed this one as well.
Gamelle Grisette: This is truly a light Beligan. Wheaty aftertaste. Good, but not my favorite of the day.
Wagon Jobber Hoppy Wheat: This had a light, wheaty, citrusy, aftertaste.
Low Boy New England Pale Ale: This one was hoppy, light & crisp with a bit of an orange peel aftertaste.
In The Weeds Pale Ale: Extremely light. Crisp. Smooth. Enjoyed this one.
Baldwin St. FishEye P.A.: Good, crisp, light IPA. Hoppy, but not overbearing.
So all in all with the ambiance of the brewery and the beers we were served I would give Kensington Brewing Company 4 out of 5 piggys!
Website: Kensington Brewing Company
Facebook: Kensington Brewing Company