Left Field Brewery Launches

I mentioned in my Saturday post, but Ontario has hit 100 Craft brewers who are operating, or have at least applied to by licensed to produce beer in Ontario.  Possibly, Left Field was the brewery that broke through the triple-digit barrier.  My friend Mark Murphy and his wife Mandie have decided to join the craft brewer scene, and have started Left Field.  Mark is an experienced brewer, having been part of Niagara College’s inaugural brewing program.  He was immediately employed by Molson-Coors, and has worked there since.  Mandie brings years of experience in the sales and marketing end of alcohol sales in Ontario, working with a variety of brands of wines and spirits.  They are both beer lovers and baseball fans, so the concept behind Left Field was an easy call for them.

Left Field Brewery Logo

They are currently brewing on contract at Grand River Brewing in Cambridge, with an eye to start their own brewery in the GTA down to road.  I think what impresses me most about this, is that they are actually ready to produce.  Unlike other brewers, they are only going public with their launch, now that they have a launch date on the books.  By the way, it’s Friday, April 5th, and information on where it will be will be released on their Facebook page, and of course, I’ll post the details here too (duly posted the coles notes are 3030 in the Junction, 7:07pm all three beers on tap and Jay vs Sox on the big screen).  They are going to focus on draught sales in Toronto, initially.  If you’re not a regular drinking in Toronto bars, fear not: these guys are going places.

Left Field Brewery Tap Handles

Check out these tap handles.

If you’re not excited already, let me keep nudging.  You see, their starting line-up is worthy of the Fall Classic.  The first major brand available on draught will be Eephus, a solid 5.5% Oatmeal Brown Ale.  The name comes from a fairly rare pitch. An Eephus is basically a lob that catches the batter off-gaurd.  While I have never seen one thrown (I’m not a big baseball-watcher), apparently Dave Steib used to throw them.  They also have a double IPA, the 6-4-3 (named for the most popular double play in baseball) which clocks-in at 8.4% and 92 IBU, and Maris*, a single-hop American Pale Ale made with generous amounts of Maris Otter malt, and named for one of baseball’s unsung heroes, Roger Maris.

Joe Carter Celebrates

I’m this excited for Mark and Mandie

Cheers guys. And congratulations.  Can’t wait for the launch party!

4 Comments

  1. Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Just a picky question. What constitutes “100 Craft brewers”? Does that include brewpubs, or just breweries?

    Thanks!

  2. chris
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Doug,
    It’s a good question, considering common perception is that there are around 35-40 craft brewers in the Province.

    So, Mom n Hops’ number of 100 is all brewers, both operational or in planning (this might sound strange, but The Brewer’s Association in the US counts this way too). I believe to do counted as “in planning” the brewer needs to have submitted license applications to the AGCO.

    So yes, this includes big brewers (like Mill St and Steam Whistle), Brewpubs (like The Granite and Bellwoods), Nano breweries/brewpubs (like Volo and Get Well), and contract breweries (like Radical Road and Left Field). Interestingly, they include breweries that the Brewer’s Association wouldn’t count as “craft”, like Creemore, who are owned by a non-craft company. I tend to lean in favour of MnH’s inclusion of Creemore, though others would argue it, and have a decent position.

    It’s definitely a number that needs some qualification, though I would say the same of the 35 that the OCB touts (which are brewers who are paid members of their organization).

    At risk of making this comment into a mini-post of itself, it’s an interesting question, how to decide when a brewery is a brewery.

    Having legally sold beer in the province? That means Left Field still doesn’t count, even though they’re licensed and have actually made beer (just not sold it yet). They’re clearly an operational brewery. Possessing a license to brew in the province? Well, it’s a good marker, but you could in theory have the license, but not actually have made any beer. That hardly means you’re a brewer. How about this: Having pitched yeast into your first licensed batch of beer. It is the addition of yeast to start fermentation that is what actually requires the license. But really, who cares? I like thinking that there are 100 brewers in this province who think they can make a good run at it. I know a lot of these people and they’re passionate and make great beer. Sure, maybe not every one of those 100 will be operational in 5 years. I would be shocked if they all were, and equally shocked if there weren’t others on that list who aren’t there now.

    What were we talking about again? [End Tangent]

  3. Patrick Quinn
    Posted January 19, 2016 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Can we purchase your very cool baseball bat tap handles? I have a tap museum & would love to add this to my baseball collection.
    Thank you

    • chris
      Posted January 22, 2016 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      Patrick, I just run a little blog about beer in Toronto, but if you check out Left Field’s website (http://leftfieldbrewery.com/), you can get in touch with them there, and put the question to them. They do sell a good selection of merchandise, though I’m not sure if tap handles are part of that. Thanks for reading!

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