In a perfect world, every small neighbourhood would have it’s own brewery (or two or three). Historically, beer could only be physically moved a fairly short distance, between freshness (a lack of refrigeration) and the energy required to move a fairly heavy item, it just didn’t make sense. So brewing was a domestic activity, and “larger” breweries would only service a very small area. I’ve actually been knocking around the idea that big cities like Toronto could do with “nano breweries” as I called them (though that term has been co-opted into meaning “very small capacity brewpub”, a la Volo/House Ales and Get Well Bar). So we would have a brewery here in The Beach, and it would only really serve in bars between about Greenwood and VP, south of Gerrard. If you wanted a Beach brewery bikini mild, you would come east. All this is to say, I got pretty stoked when I heard about Kensington Brewing Co, as it was very much a neighbourhood brewery. Now, it’s true, they actually are served all over the city, and have their Augusta Ale in the LCBO across the province. But still, much of their vibe is community driven. This is their next major release, though I’ve also had their watermelon weisse (?) and it’s going to be a hell of a summer-time brew, if it comes out in full batches.
From a blank sample can (it’s available on draught around Toronto), Fish-eye P. A. pours a deep copper-brown, bright and clear, with a generous head (though the can was dinged, and so the pour wasn’t exactly gentle). Aroma is big American hops, pine and a little citrus, along with sweet caramel malts. Taste is classic, more fruity on the palate, with lemon, lychee and apricot in the hops, the pine becoming more of an afterthought. Malts are still sweet, and clearly hitting on caramel, but they are only supporting roles; Jeff Bennett to the hops’ Latka Gravas. Wonderfully well balanced for a very hop-forward beer. Speaking of the hops (again), while there is a huge dose of pungent hop bite, it’s not an aggressively bitter beer, with the finish being some hop bitterness, with a nicely mineral-dry sensation. It’s not puckering or “squeeky” with resin, just nicely bitter. A really excellent IPA, and one that I’m hoping we’ll see hit the shelves of the LCBO sooner than later.
Cheers Kensington Brewing Co.!
Buy Fish-eye P. A.
On draught at good beer bars around Toronto, particularly Burger Bar. If we hold our tongues just so, it may well get a full-time listing at the LCBO too!
Drink it With
A plate of carnitas from one of the little taco joints in Kensington market. Layer on the hot sauce and pico de gallo, and you’re laughing. For cheese, a nice funky farmhouse cheddar would be just excellent.
About the Brewery
The Kensington Brewing Company is a small, independently owned and operated craft beer company located in the heart of Kensington Market, Toronto. We started brewing at Black Oak in 2011 and have since moved on to Wellington County Brewery, in Guelph Ontario. By the summer of 2013 we plan to move into a new space in the Market where we can brew and distribute our own beer. In the mean time, an application has been made to allow us to brew on premise at The Kensington Burger Bar.
We take pride in being one of the newest and smallest breweries in Ontario, if not Canada. We take transit to work. We ride our bikes to meetings. We use an electric scooter to deliver beer. That’s what I mean when I say “small”. In fact, we only have 2 full time staff members!
We’re looking forward to growing, learning, and brewing some amazing beer right here in the heart of Kensington Market. We would be pleased to have you along for the ride!