'If there’s one thing Toronto always seems to enjoy, it’s the opening of a new brew pub.'
It had been a long time coming, but Liberty Commons, the new Liberty Village spot inside Big Rock Brewery is open for business and, as it turns out, is doing quite well for itself.
The name of Big Rock Brewery is hardly new for folks. The Calgary-based brewery has been operating since 1985, producing a number of beers, the most recognizable to Toronto residents being the Grasshopper Ale Kristalweizen. They’re especially notable by being one of Canada’s foundation breweries strong enough to persist, with their growth throughout the 80s and 90s placing them as one of the biggest independent breweries in Canada. Expansion of their beer beyond Alberta, however, was always met with some difficulty. Even now, only a few beers from their large catalogue are available in the LCBO.
Over the past few years, however, Big Rock has come out with constant seasonals, an expanded portfolio, and a more aggressive push to other provinces. This push became more evident in the past two years, when the brewery opened facilities in Vancouver and Etobicoke. Heading up the brewing of the Ontario facility is Connor Kraft Patrick, a former CFL player whose career-ending injury resulted in joining up with Big Rock over ten years ago. The Etobicoke brewery makes a number of beers from Big Rock’s catalogue, including their signatures as well as a number of seasonals and one-offs, available for sampling in their taproom and retail space.
Liberty Commons is impressive. The massive 74,000 square foot brewpub and retail space certainly makes this a great place for events. Televisions play anything from the local game to a video of Nick Offerman drinking scotch for five straight hours.
For the food, a partnership was struck with Toronto-based Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants to feature modern takes on pub classics like scotch eggs, rarebit, and wings.
As for the beers, you’ll find a healthy selection of the Big Rock staples in addition to some special offerings, available both in pints and in flights. If you’re feeling like you want to get them all in, flights are offered for $10 each for curated selections called, The Classic, The Contemporary, or The Adventurous. Or you can always build your own.
If there’s one thing Toronto always seems to enjoy, it’s the opening of a new brew pub. And while the build-up towards one opening is always met with cautious optimism, it’s safe to say that Liberty Commons qualifies as one of the welcome additions to the Toronto beer scene.
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