I can’t say for sure if it was that magically delicious beer nog that chef created for us last night, or an uncharacteristic spell of holiday cheer, but we’re feeling particularly jolly at Bellwoods this week. And why should you care about our (somewhat arbitrary) jolly dispositions? Well my brethren and sistren, because it has spurred on the decision to release not one, not two, but three beers this Friday.
THAT IS TOMORROW FYI!
Because it brings me disproportionate joy to keep the insufferable Christmas references going, I will tell you gleefully to ready your sleighs and hold onto your sugar plums, because the Bellwoods
brewers elves have been working overtime. On the shelves of the retail store tomorrow, for all your drinking pleasure, we will have:
1. The 2013 edition of our holiday beer Blitzen. This Imperial Saison with lemon and plum is far better than a lump of coal!
2. Our Brett Barrel-Aged Porter Donkey Venom is in bottles for the first time ever! Reliable sources claim it’s tastier than a rotten potato!
3. And back by popular demand, Cat Lady IPA with its fancy new label will be here to delight your hoppy cravings. Eight out of nine reindeers prefer it to Pinot Noir.
As always, our retail store (126 Ossington beside the brewpub) will be open from 11am-11pm. We hope to see you then!
New embroidered patches just hit the retail store! Now you can pimp your ride/dog/jacket/stroller with awesome Bellwoods images.
Right now we have four different styles, at $5 a pop: Wizard Wolf, Witchshark, the green hop leaf, and a grey Bellwoods bell. Sold exclusively in our retail store alongside a delightful assortment of bottles.
And if the pictures aren’t whispering thousands of sweet nothings into your ears, let it be known that Ziggy always looked regal before we sewed a patch on her coat, but now she looks like she’s on her way to an exclusive dog tea party where she’ll be sniffing caviar off other dog’s butts. What can we say, she’s livin’ da lyfe.
With our patches, you too can look this cool!
It’s no secret that weekends can be a drag. You probably don’t have to work, so there’s all that free-time just hanging around, then on top of that you can sleep in, and everyone knows sleeping in is BO-RING. So if you’re looking at the days ahead with more than a little trepidation, rest assured, we’ve got you covered.
First of all, we have lots o’ beer. Second, starting this Sunday and going forward we’ll have Michael Louis Johnson’s awesome band serenading the likes of you lucky folk from 2-5pm in the afternoon with jazz, swing, and jump blues.
So there you have it. Weekend plans. Boom!
[If you’re looking for a bit more info about Michael check out his recent award for best bartender in Toronto’s Now, or this article on the Ossington Village blog about his band Rambunctious].
If you’re a Toronto resident tuning into the Bellwoods show this afternoon, you’ve probably only stumbled upon this blog by accident, arriving from what was probably a hilarious string of Ford related GIFs depicting the ‘mayor’ in a red-faced ‘stupor’. But if, perhaps, you’re from outside the country, or happen to be a cro-magnon man and have just traveled in a time capsule from 43,000 years ago — boy, have we got some news for you!
Bellwoods has a new IPA!!! Yes, true dat. It’s clear we have quite the affinity for hoppy brews, and for the past few weeks we’ve been fermenting an exciting new ale in lucky tank number 9. Our early sips from the fermenter were very promising, and just yesterday we bottled as the muffled rants of Doug and Robbie on CBC could be heard in the background. We quietly released the first kegs and bottles around 5pm last night, and by this morning Twitter was bumpin’. So we owe y’all a run down of this delectable libation.
We love our Roman Candle (and so do all our lovely patrons!), but RoCan requires lots of Citra, and without going into extreme detail about the politics of hop availability (shortages), I will just say that this particular one is more popular than crack and our dealer is all sold out. Because we didn’t want the Witchshark to get lonely, we devised a new recipe that was all about utilizing the pungent citrusy kick of two hops we call favourites here: Summit and Simcoe. The malt body is extremely light, which allows the focus to stay on the hops, both in aroma and bitterness. The resulting brew presents fresh aromatics of resiny hops, orange zest, and late summer peach with a bold bitterness on the palate and delectable spicy finish. We don’t mean to be immodest, but in our very humblest of opinions, this is the best IPA we’ve ever made. We think it will be yours too.
So then, without further adieu, we present to you: Cat Lady IPA. A serious contender for our favourite hoppy beer of the year as we hit the homestretch of 2013.
We see a new love affair in your future.
[Our new and improved website is coming soon so keep an eye out for its launch in the next month! If you’re looking for the retail store availability check here. And our hours of operation are here].
Perhaps you’ve noticed that the great ball of fire in the sky has taken a hike. Moved onto greener pastures. Said “see you never” to us Toronto-folk. I’ve certainly sensed that my morning bike ride down to the brewery is a little more fun, and by ‘fun’ I of course mean the opposite of fun, but today I’m using sarcasm as a coping mechanism.
Here’s the thing though, and I’m gonna give it to you straight — our patio is still toasty and comfortable, thanks to some futuristic NASA level technology we’ve managed to harness. And let’s be honest, our motto in at the brewery has always been, “If it’s good enough for outer space, it’s good enough for Bellwoods”.
So what the hell am I talking about? Infrared heaters that emit safe, clean wavelengths of light that are only absorbed by solid objects, transferring heat directly to a person, table or floor rather than heating the air. How do I know this? Because I copied and pasted it from the manufacturer’s website.
But wait, you exclaim, what does all this mean in plain English?! Well my friends, it means that gone are the days when patio heaters could singe your eyebrows off and heat your pints of beer to a piping hot 462˚C (the temperature of Venus’ atmosphere) while the person next to you freezes, sitting just out of range of that familiar fiery embrace. Simply put, our heaters are fun-loving, peace supporting, egalitarians.
Although we don’t have an infinity pool like the picture above (again, that’s something I stole from the Infratech website) we do have a comfortable patio even in these chilly months, so your penchant for outdoor drinking need not hibernate. Expect this cozy amenity from now on, or until the death grip of global warming eventually sinks its razor sharp teeth into our collective being.
So we’ll see you soon then?!
After suffering the blow that was discovering Santa’s non-existence last year, I now look to Halloween as the only holiday I can enjoy as an adult. Sure, you don’t get a day off from work and nobody wraps you a present — and yet Halloween is the one day of the year that you can dress up as a literal fruit bowl and nobody will ask questions. Maybe you were going for the Chiquita Banana Lady look. Maybe you just like grapes. Maybe, shut up.
Because we would love to share all this mushy sentimentality with all of you, we invite you to come down to the brewpub this October 31st and feast on a special line up of beers! To honour the spooky night we’ll be offering an exclusively dark draft list that includes all of the following:
Grognard (Session Stout) 3.8%
Grizzly Beer (American Brown Ale) 6.2%
Sails of Charon (Dunkel Weizenbock) 7.3%
Toil and Trouble (Belgian Dubbel) 8.2%
Lost River (Baltic Porter) 7.7%
Hellwoods (Russian Imperial Stout) 10%
Bring Out Your Dead (1st Anniversary Cognac Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout) 10%
Three Minutes to Midnight (Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with Cherries) 10%
Donkey Venom (Brett Barrel-Aged Sour Baltic Porter) TBA%
The beers range in colour from chestnut brown to black-as-the-inside-of-a-coffin-at-midnight, and span alcohol content from 3.8% to 10%. Though we’ll still be serving cider and imported bottles, this is a dark beer event so expect bold roasted flavours, strong malt bodies, and tonnes of barrel-aging.
We will also be awarding a $50 Bellwoods gift certificate to the best costume in the room (we’ll announce this around 9:30pm) so start crafting your epic witchsharks, wizard wolfs, and grizzly beers now!
We hope to see all your gory faces next Thursday night
when we perform satanic rituals to enjoy some deliciously dark beers at our second Halloween celebration. And hopefully we’ll also see a whole whack of you out this weekend at Cask Days! We’ll be pouring Brett Barrel-Aged Quad, partial sour mash Imperial Saison with lemon, and Brett Barrel-Aged Sour Baltic Porter to name a few!
There are, of course, the usual things to be thankful for as we approach this fall holiday jam-packed with decorative gourds and exorbitant calories. Off the top of my head I can think of, wifi, our staff coffee maker, and celebrity twitter accounts — though if you were thinking beer or cup holder armrests, I completely agree.
And speaking of beer, which we often do around here, the bottle availability in the retail store right now is seriously caliente. The fact of the matter is that with Fall comes a slightly less chaotic patio scene, which in turn gives us a chance to catch up and replenish the stores. So if you’re looking for the perfect gift to present at your Thanksgiving dinner party, stop by the retail store and grab a selection.
But I have even better news! As of Monday morning when you’re sweating out pumpkin pie, a new seasonal promotion will be in effect. Thirsty minds, I introduce to you, The Witching Hours.
This magical event emits warm fuzzy sunshine rays that feel like teddy bear hugs, but if that doesn’t sum it up for you, the sign says it all:
For the first two hours of service, every day of the week (October - April), the majority of our beer will be sold at $5 - $6 TAXES INCLUDED. For example, a Wizard Wolf will be $5 instead of $6.50, and Witchshark will be $6 instead of $7.50. So put that in your cornucopia and, I don’t know, do whatever it is you do with a cornucopia…
And as the icing on this good news cake, starting October 14th we’ll also be selling some of our nicer bottled beers in the restaurant too — Motley Cru, Blitzen (2012 gold medal winning version), Bring Out Your Dead, and No Sleep Till Brooklyn. If you didn’t have a chance to buy a bottle when they were released (or, perhaps, you already drank the ones you bought) you can enjoy them in the restaurant alongside a giant pork chop!
Many thanks from Bellwoods to all you beer lovers this festive weekend, and we’ll see you on Monday with the beginning of The Witching Hours!
If all this dreary rain in Toronto is signalling the opening ceremonies to the Seasonal Affective Disorder parade in your brain, then we’ve got just the thing for you! Stop watching all those HBO dramas that cause your anxiety to sky rocket and make your way to the brewery because today we release 3 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT!!!
Our celebrated imperial stout barrel-aged with cherries is on sale for the first time (in bottles and on draft) since Cask Days 2012! What originated as an experimental cask has blossomed (much like a cherry tree, no?) into a favourite around these parts. Rich, fruity, and so so smooth, 3 Minutes to Midnight is the perfect night cap on these cooler evenings. Pair it with chocolate [anything] for guests and you’ll have everyone thinking you’re some kind of gourmet magician. It’s like a facelift for food. And we don’t even put MSG in the grain bill!
And if that doesn’t do it for you, we have an awesome variety of bottled beers in the retail store right now. In addition to 3 Minutes, there’s also Wizard Wolf (Dry Hopped Session Ale), White Picket Fence (Bottle Conditioned Belgian Wit), Farmageddon (Barrel-Aged Farmhouse Classic), Witchshark (Imperial IPA), Grizzly Beer (American Brown Ale), and Hellwoods (Russian Imperial Stout).
Now go on and have yourself a weekend!
There comes a day in the life of every employee at Bellwoods, when they must venture into the great unknown (rural Burlington) and stand before the great edifice of a nameless creature (a crudely fashioned, barely anatomically correct ‘man’ built from leftover wooden pallets) and watch as it’s covered in gasoline before being burnt to the ground. Last night was the official pagan ceremony, and all that remained this morning was a smouldering pile of coals with not even the faintest semblance of The Brewing Man.
We plan to make Brewing Man an annual tradition, in part because we’re pyromaniacs, in part because, well, we’ve never been too sure how the hell to deal with all those extra pallets, and also for the that whole “team building” aspect too. Because nothing facilitates harmonious working relationships better than lighting stuff on fire.
For now, we return to civilization, prepare for our Toil and Touble (dubbel) brew tomorrow, and acclimatize poorly to all these situations in which holding lighters to things and yelling “BURN, BABY, BURN!” is deemed inappropriate.
The restaurant and retail store are back open as per usual today at 5pm. The small rendezvous was great, but we’re eager to get back to serving you all sorts of delicious brews. You could even say we’ve got a fire in our hearts…
I can’t really decide if it was the $500 parking ticket, or the discovery of my phone in a puddle under the keg washer yesterday, but I’m looking upon this Friday evening with a certain fondness. For all intents and purposes I will be living off the grid tonight, which I suppose is a somewhat romantic notion, one made infinitely more romantic by the addition of crisp cold beer. And perhaps I’ll also attempt to eat my feelings, tucking into any one of our delicious new dishes gracing the menu this month.
I don’t feel equipped to offer up any official medical advice (I don’t exactly have a degree in medicine), but on more of a witch-doctor/shaman/pagan healer level, I want you to know that this holy brewed beverage we cook up in the Bellwoods tank farms — well, it can really turn a frown upside down. Don’t pour it on a scraped knee or anything, but a pint of our beer can work wonders on the affliction known as “Bad Day Syndrome” (reported to affect a large portion of the people in Toronto on an occasional basis).
As always, we’ve included some great visual references that will keep you interested, ignite a fire in your heart, or make you drool embarrassingly for a while before you realize there’s a puddle in your lap. It’s sort of a ‘choose your own adventure’ kind of thing.
So come down to the brew pub or retail store this weekend to drink a pint, try one of our delicious new dishes, or grab a bottle to take home. And don’t forget that we are closed all day Monday (because we’ll be deep in the country burning stuff), reopening Tuesday at 5pm!
Nunavut Arctic Char with brown rice, ponzu watermelon, fennel and dulse butter.
Pork Chop with fingerling potatoes, brussel sprouts, lobster mushrooms, and apple mostarda.
Heirloom Tomato & Peach salad with basil dressing and guanciale.