Places We Love: Bellwoods Brewery

On Saturday, after an afternoon of wandering West Queen West, J and I headed to Bellwoods Brewery. Housed in a former garage, Bellwoods is a microbrewery/bar/restaurant that really needs no introduction. Since opening, it has topped countless "Best Of" lists (like this one, and this one, and even this one).

Upon entering, the first thing I always notice is how bright the space is. The whitewashed space is filled with rustic hardwood accents, mason jar floral arrangements, and candle light. It’s charming and inviting without trying to be so. A large portion of the main level is occupied by brewery equipment, housed behind large glass windows perfect for viewing the beer making process. During our visit, I noticed more than a few people stirring the beer currently fermenting in the giant tanks. The seating area is intimate, split over two levels – the main floor and an upstairs mezzanine that overlooks it – meaning that seating is somewhat limited. Despite this, Bellwoods exudes a comfortable, friendly atmosphere, making it the perfect place for an after work pint, or a date. 

When J and I arrived, we grabbed two seats up at the bar and started perusing the brews currently on tap – the menu changes as casks finish. The impressive list, all brewed on site, uses an interesting mix of ingredients to create a variety of beers. We started with the Monogamy (Nelson Sauvin). Made with hops grown in Nelson New Zealand, this American Pale Ale had a distinct flavour of citrus. It was cloudy, but was refreshing in taste and not at all bitter. Once we finished we decided to try something different, and settled on the White Picket Fence. This Belgian Ale was lighter than the Monogamy (only 4.8% alcohol versus the 6.4% in the Monogamy), and had a natural nose of fruit and spice. It had a clean finish, and went down smoothly.

To go along with the delicious beers, we both ordered the dinner special - a Porchetta sandwich - on the recommendation of the bartender. The moist pork was served on fresh bread from Woodlot and accompanied by a side of roasted potatoes. The sandwich was savoury and satisfying, and worked well with the beers.

Apart from being a great place to spend a winter evening, Bellwoods Brewery operates a lovely patio during the summer months that offers a great spot for people watching on Ossington. There’s also a newly opened retail store next door, which means you can bring Bellwoods beer home.

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