This evening we’re joining forces with our pals at Great Lakes Brewery (last night’s Golden Tap winner for Best Beer Of The Fest and Best Brewery For Cask Conditioned Ale) at BarHop (last night’s Golden Tap winner for Ontario’s Best Beer Bar!) and taking over all of their taps in celebration of Toronto Beer Week. The line up is looking, well, terrifying:
GLB x Bellwoods
Brettalica (All Brett APA) 5%
Mosaic IPA, 6.2%
Omnipotence (Double Mash Imp. Stout), 13.5%
Saison du Gilligan, 6.2%
Deliverance on Brett (American Farmhouse), 6.2%
Fangboner (India Brett Ale), 6.2%
Belgian Black Milk IPA, 7.2%
Lazarus (Breakfast Stout on Nitro), 5.5%
Cryptic Cherry (Sour, Barrel-Aged Dubbel), 8.9%.
Farmageddon (Barrel Aged Brett Saison), 6.7%
Brettal Head (All Brett White APA), 6.6%
3 Minutes to Midnight (Cog. Barrel-Aged Sour Cherry/Cocoa RIS), 10%
Sails of Charon (Dunkel Weizenbock), 7.3%
Tommy Likey (Indie Alehouse Collab DIPA), 9.5%
Berliner Weisse, 3.8%
Roman Candle (IPA), 6.8%
Witchshark (DIPA), 9%
Grizzly Beer (Am. Brown), 6.2%
If you read the whole list, you’ve probably realized by now that it’s a good idea to seriously carb-load beforehand. A 2000 calorie burger would probably suffice. We’ll also be busting out a special all brett APA collaboration brew with GLB called Bretallica. It really…rocks.
So limber up, steady your gullets, and don’t forget your strategy caps muchachos. The event kicks off at 5pm. We’ve already got the Brett sweats.
Toronto Beer Week is in full swing and delectable craft beers are flowing throughout the city! Of course they are not literally flowing through out the city — but rather from taps — which is great, although let’s be honest, the former does sound rather heavenly. Events are so plentiful it seems hard to choose which ones to attend, and between brewing (it’s our award winning Blitzen today) and bottling (Roman Candle is rolling off the line this morning!) we’re gearing up with excitement for the week ahead.
So take out your cellular telephones, hold on to your coffees, and get ready to furiously type some notes about the upcoming week (that will surely be autocorrected to resemble something vaguely sexual and embarrassing). Below are our suggestions (Autocorrected: Nellie ate poor suggestions).
-Wednesday will be busy. The Golden Tap Awards are being hosted at Beer Bistro, beginning at 5pm. Admission is free, and the taps will be featuring lots of amazing brews from all over Ontario. The awards ceremony begins at 8pm.
-But if that doesn’t float your boat (Autocorrected: Bit off that fiend flat tour cost), and you are more interested in a wild west-esque showdown, head to Wvrst for the 2nd Annual Craft Invitational where Bellwoods will compete against other breweries…and sausages (that’s actually not even the autocorrect speaking…) to create the ultimate pairing! The event starts at 6pm and admission is $25 in advance (includes 6 samples of beer and 6 samples of sausage).
When you wake up on Thursday feeling alive and ready to take on the world, of course go for your morning run, do an ab workout or something, and then head to Bar Hop for 5pm. We expect things to be busy (so arrive early!) because along with Great Lakes Brewery, we’re hosting a partnered tap takeover! From Bellwoods they’ll be pouring some old and new favourites (Autocorrected: Purring sole ills and brew favourites), including the Berliner Weisse, Farmageddon (barrel-aged Saison), 3 Minutes to Midnight (Hellwoods aged in cognac barrels with cherries and cocoa nibs), Sails of Charon (our new Weizenbock, named after our favourite Scorpions song) and more! And as the cherry on top of this whole deal, our first collaboration beer with GLB, Brettalica (all Brett APA with Galaxy and Mosaic hops), will make its debut!
Just some inspiration for the inaugural Burning Pallet Man we will construct and then (aptly) burn to the the ground. What else to do with all those pesky pallets at the brewery?
If you still have energy by the weekend we would first like to congratulate you, and then strongly advise you to pick up any bottles you might need from our retail shop, because we’ll be CLOSING FOR THE ENTIRETY OF MONDAY AND TUESDAY AFTERNOON (the bar and retail shop will reopen at 5pm on Tuesday). The collective staff will be heading to our annual, highly anticipated, extremely exclusive, late summer Druids of Darkness party (aka, Brewing Man). I really can’t say much, only that what happens under the veil of the druid cloak, stays under the veil of the druid cloak.
Once more for those of you who were scrolling through Instagram pictures of peripheral friends picknicking at Trinity Bellwoods park (why aren’t you at work on a Tuesday???) — BELLWOODS, CLOSED, ALL DAY MONDAY SEPTEMBER 23RD, UNTIL 5PM TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 24TH.
Autocorrected: Have a super fun week, Muchachos.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of the bad news sandwich — the strategy of sandwiching bad news between two pieces of freshly baked good news, but over here at Bellwoods this weekend, we’ve got something of an open faced bad/good news sandwich for you.
Feeling both confused and hungry? Well let me be frank (if I was talking to my mother, she would promptly reply, “Nice to meet you Frank, the name’s Gail…”), all this late summer demand for our delicious craft brews has got our stores quite low. And by low I mean, we’ll probably run out of bottled beer sometime this evening. Huge bummer, we know!
Though this has happened once before (the long weekends really deplete things!) we want to quickly say that: 1. This isn’t often a problem, 2. We are very sorry, and 3. Ultimately we’re really glad that craft beer is so important to you lovely Torontonians! On one hand, the fact that we’re a small craft operation allows us to be creative and brew a diverse range of flavourful beers, but on the other (more logistical) hand, sometimes demand just surpasses supply.
And now for the good news portion of this sandwich! Though bottles won’t be available this weekend, we have some really exciting beers coming out very soon — ones we’ve been working on for a while.
First up, an exciting collaborative project with Indie Ale House. A couple months back we brainstormed with Jeff and Jason about doing a double IPA, but wanted to change up the usual collaboration format. We both decided to brew identical recipes, with one slight variation — each brewery used a different yeast! At Indie Jeff pitched a Belgian yeast into his wort, and over here at Bellwoods we used a more neutral American ale yeast. Dry hopped twice with Ahtanum, Chinook, and Simcoe , these brews are pungently hoppy and weigh in at a whopping 9.5%! Inspired by the cinematic masterpiece that is Tommy Boy, we named our IIPA Tommy Likey! These will be available…TODAY, on draft in the brew pub. (For a limited time only we will also have a keg of Indie’s IIPA, so that you can try both).
As of Monday next week bottles of our hoppy brown ale Grizzly Beer will finally grace shelves again. The perfect marriage of malty and hoppy flavours, you can finally hold this old favourite in your arms once again!
A little further down the horizon is Three Minutes to Midnight, our Imperial Stout with cherries that we’ve been aging in barrels for over 4 months and is finally going to come out in bottles and on draft! This stout is rich and decadent, with a beautiful tartness from the cherries. Expect to see it in the beginning of October.
And if you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling because your favourite bottle shop is closed this weekend, please refer to this simple list of suggestions to get it back:
1. Go to our bar. Drink beer on draft.
2. Watch a couple episodes of vintage Martha Stewart. Make a wicker basket or some country scones.
3. Refer back to #1 when the scones make you thirsty.
We’ll see you on Monday, until then, hold tight my weary travellers!
A couple of quick announcements to clarify the Sunsplash event:
Bar Volo has just released some additional info about the tap takeover on the 24th! Due to the nature of our beers (they have such a huge range of alcohol content) Volo has decided to separate them into two categories: a regular category (that includes most IPAs and sessionable styles) and a specialty category (that includes the high ABV, barrel-aged, and sour beers). The prices originally quoted for the event only reflect that of the specialty category.
One mistake to correct is that the price of admission includes 5 drink tokens, not 1 as previously stated.
Tokens are valued at $2.50 (tax in) and 10oz half pints are valued at $5-7.50 (tax in) depending on the category.
Matthew Duffy and Aiden Galligan of Cafe Boulud will be cooking up Carribean food to compliment the beers!
See you there!
Over the last little while, we’ve been quietly, methodically and diabolically building a keg mountain in the most secret corner of our walk in fridge. This mysterious collection of individual ales is marked only with a simple note that says: RESERVED FOR VOLO. Do not touch!
A tap takeover at Volo has been in the cards for sometime, the question was only a matter of when — when would we finally have 26 unique beers to fill their extensive tap collection? It definitely took a bit of time and planning, but we’re excited to announce that the whole question of when has finally been answered. We’re ready!
Not only will we be pouring crowd pleasers like Wizard Wolf and Roman Candle, but also old favourites like the Smoked Rhubarb Mashpipe, Lost River Baltic Porter, Cuvee De Grandma’s Boy, and Omertá.
Get your pencils sharpened, because here are the details:
A Day of Soul, Reggae, and Bellwoods Beer @ Volo, August 24th
Session 1 — 12pm-4pm (Tickets)
Session 2 — 5pm-9pm (Tickets)
Session 3 — 9pm-2am (No Tickets/$5 Entrance)
Tickets are on sale now (here), and the $25 price includes admission, a beer booklet, and one drink ticket.
A few more specific details: Only Bellwoods beers will be served on this day. BarVolo will not be open for regular business. Event is CASH ONLY, an ATM is available downstairs (19+). Like previous Volo takeover events beers will be available by the 1/4 pint (1 token) and 1/2 pint (2 tokens). Tokens can be purchased at the door (1 token is $4.00, includes tax)
In addition to the 26 beers on draft, we’ll also be tapping 6 casks, and popping a selection of reserve bottles. This is definitely the most extensive single line up of our beers to date, and we couldn’t be more excited to showcase them all at one time. With a total of at least 32 different beers to sample, we send you forth with only one piece of advice: choose wisely!
So if we don’t see you at some point on the 24th, the assumption will naturally be that you are either: A) in labour, B) in orbit, C) doing your hair that day, or D) all of the above. Of course, “D” is the most respected excuse.
Buy a compass, avoid heavy lifting the week before, and carb-load at breakfast, ‘cause this is going to be a marathon. Through some Darwinian chain of events, you are practically ensuring that your children will become successful brewers by attending this event. It’s science. Don’t mess with it.
Having just spent the last five glorious minutes inside our keg fridge pretending to work but really just basking in the arctic tundra paradise — I come to you renewed and ready to tell you about what’s going on in the brewery this week.
First of all, let me take this chance to clear up some rumours floating around:
1. Some people have been noticing that beer selection in the retail store and brewpub is looking a little limited. Your eyes do not deceive you! Demand right now is greater than it’s ever been, and while we’re literally working around the clock to brew old favourites and new releases, this is our first summer with an increased capacity, so please bear with us. We’re working out the kinks, planning our brew schedule for 2014, and taking full advantage of our barrels now so that stock won’t be so lean in the near future.
However, this has given us a great opportunity to utilize our guest taps and bring in some beers to the restaurant that we love (but don’t make ourselves). The draft list is constantly changing, and we’re having fun featuring great local beers from Nickelbrook, Great Lakes, and Dieu Du Ciel (a bit further out). We’ve even been lucky enough to bring in some favourites from outside Canada like Rodenbach, Houblon Chouffe, and Ommegang Hennepin. In addition, our bottle list is certainly nothing to shake a stick at! We still have lots of great stuff from Cantillon, Trou Du Diable, and Hopfenstark to name a few. Looking to finally check off Westy 12 from your bucket list? We’ve got you covered.
2. We’ve got some amazing limited releases on the horizon. Also true. Up first you can expect the long awaited sour stout collaboration with Evil Twin Brewing (Denmark & Brooklyn, NY), aptly named No Sleep Till Brooklyn. This big sour stout is really something extraordinary, balancing roasty complex malt flavours, with a tart sourness that works in a strangely perfect harmony. Bottles will be released on Friday, July 26 at 11AM. BUT! It’ll be released on draft TODAY!
Our next Berliner release (and the second to last Berliner of 2013) was brewed with zesty ginger and apricot. Fresh and fruity without the cloying sweetness of conventional ginger beers, this light brew is delicious gingerale for grown ups.
The ever popular Fruit Helmet series is back! The mango/apricot version sold fast, and this time we’re changing things up a bit — our next release will be brewed with nectarine, pineapple and goji berry. Now when you head to Bellwoods you can tell your friends/boss/parents that you’re not merely going out for a pint, you’re getting a good daily dose of antioxidants too.
As for our main squeezes, Witchshark returned to the brewpub and retail store two days ago, and Wizard Wolf isn’t far behind it. Expect bottles in the retail store today, and kegs on Thursday. Roman Candle by the end of the week.
Tomorrow is the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere, also known as The Longest Day Of The Year, also also known as A Day To Store In Your Memory Castle For Those Times In The Dead Of Winter When You Feel That Civilization Along With Any And Every Positive Thought Has Been Swallowed Up By One Giant Black Hole. Most people call it by the former, I suppose for both the sake of brevity and ease — but moving on!
In an effort to establish some good wholesome family traditions, here at Bellwoods we’ve decided to mark this joyous solstice occasion (this year and each year going forward) by releasing a different version of our popular Fruit Helmet beer — originally brewed in collaboration with Jeppe from Evil Twin Brewing. This year we’re kicking off the series by recreating the successful brew that started it all: An Apricot/Mango Pale Ale!
Aaaand because we bask in the delight of seeing our staff wearing embarrassing head adornments, we also celebrated this beer release with a friendly (more like cut throat if you ask me) competition. The challenge? To create Fruit Helmets, literally, that showcased artistic prowess, architectural savvy, and structural integrity. Also, points were awarded simply for looking cool.
The staff divided into groups of 3 or 4 and set to work for several hours crafting helmets, hats, and in John’s case (below), some sort of glorified wig that looked like it was straight out of our compost bin. I have to admit that we were incredibly impressed with the level of skill showcased in the final products, but as is the case with any arduous battle in life, only one team can emerge victorious.
And this is where we need your help folks. We have narrowed down the pack to two finalists, but are asking for your votes to make the final decision. Because we don’t want to make this too crazy of a process, we’re keeping things simple. On our instagram account (@bellwoodsbeer) we have a picture of the two helmets. Simply say which one you like best (the one on the right, or the one on the left) and we will tally up the votes at the end of Friday. The winner will be announced Saturday morning on our website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
As for the prize in question, our lucky team of winners will receive a brand new
car, Muskoka getaway, lawnmower, high five! Ha, the jokes keep on rolling. Really now, they will receive a fancy dinner at Bar Isabel where they’re welcome to order some delicious Bellwoods beer on tap (I’ll stop at some point…).
If you’re wondering where the hell the prize is for all of you lovely people, I will keep you waiting no longer. This Saturday, June 22nd we will be releasing the summer 2012 version of Fruit Helmet, freshly re-brewed for 2013. In addition we’ll have some other fruity offerings, a collaboration beer (Raspberry Saison) we recently did with the fantastic fellows at Le Trou Du Diable (Quebec), and our smoked rhubarb Berliner Weisse “Mash Pipe”. Last but not least, our Chef Fab will be making burgers (first time in Bellwoods history), so on Saturday fire up your gullets and come down to celebrate the season with some kick ass fruit beers and tasty burgers!
I don’t know if anyone in Toronto has noticed but it’s skin melting hot. Stupidly hot. Quit-your-job-and-move-to-Antarctica hot. Everyone’s hitting up Home Hardware and Walmart looking for fans and AC units, and though we manufacture neither of those beautiful products, we can still help you.
In addition to that cold refreshing beer we brew, we now have a bunch of t-shirts, because who the hell wants to do laundry? There are lots of colours and sizes, for both men and women, showcasing our awesome Doublenaut designed beer labels.
We’ve got Hellwoods, Monogamy, Grizzly Beer, Motley Cru, Wizard Wolf, and a re-stock of Bellwoods Bells and Witchsharks. So come on down to the ol’ tank farm and get suited up!
It would be obvious to say that Canada Day long weekend was busy here at the brewery. What may not be obvious, though, is just what a small operation we are. With the long days and warm weather, it makes sense that demand is higher than ever — but without wanting to rush any beers, the truth remains that we can only produce so much beer, in so much time.
What I need to tell you all, is that unfortunately this weekend we’ll have to close the retail shop (very temporarily) because we have run out of bottled beer!
So, no you cannot get Bellwoods bottles this Saturday or Sunday, but I do have some good news:
We still have lots of beer flowing on draft, so come on down! The convenience of grabbing your beer to go is momentarily gone, but I can think of way worse things than sitting on our sunny patio and enjoying a pint. (Laundry and working out come to mind).
There are bottles of Frambizzle available right now! We estimate that these will sell out by the end of tonight, but if you can make your way to Ossington at some point this afternoon, you have a fantastic collaboration beer waiting for you. This Raspberry Saison that we crafted with our friends at Trou Du Diable is light, refreshing, with lots of tart raspberry flavour.
The retail store will reopen on Monday afternoon with Monogamy Summit. Fear not young pupils, nothing beats a bad case of the Mondays like a beer you waited two days to get. Feel free to set up camp as though you were waiting for Bieber tickets or something. Wizard Wolf and the Hoppy Hefe will make their appearances by the end of the week.
We apologize for the hiccup and want to remind you that if you still show up to the retail store and feel like this:
…remember that the bar is only next door.
In my humblest of opinions, it’s a perfect day for our Mash Pipe (Smoked Rhubarb Berliner Weisse). Draft only, limited quantity, don’t snooze and looze!