The North Shore now boasts 10 breweries with the latest to open being North Point Brewing in the Shipyards Brewery District. The district which now has Streetcar Brewing, House of Funk Brewing Co. and Beere Brewing as well and is fast becoming one of the places to visit for local beer enthusiasts.
As someone who lives on the North Shore and at the top of Lonsdale Avenue, I can easily do my own brewery tour of sorts by simply taking the bus down Lonsdale.
Yesterday i managed to hit all four breweries and I will be writing a series of posts on my visit to each of them.
What I like is that all of these places have their own unique style, setting and vibe to them and enough different beers on the menu to make you want to visit each one individually and spend a few hours there.
House of Funk Brewing (HOF)
I actually had to lookup and find out what the word brettanomyces means and it is as follows. Known for its barnyard, fecal, horsey, metallic or Band-Aid flavors, Brettanomyces continues to be unwelcome in many breweries and most wineries. However, Brettanomyces also produces high levels of fruity esters that are desirable in some styles like saison, lambic, and American sour beers.
If you are left scratching your head perhaps this will make a bit more sense when it comes to beer. According to All About Beer Magazine Instead, brewers pitch Brett in place of Saccharomyces for primary fermentation. When used this way, it behaves more like regular ale yeast and will ferment a beer out in about the same amount of time.
Ok got it now? On with the tasting I did.
This Porter was a tasty one and you’ll often find me searching out a good porter to whatever brewery or liquor store I go to. It’s different than the usual porter’s I drink. When looking at the menu what struck me was that Incalescent was conditioned with 10lb of barrel-aged, light roasted Brazil-origin beans for 48 hours before packaging.
HOF does coffee as well in small batch roasting and with an espresso bar to boot.
Syncopation Pilsner – Czech
HOF website tells us that this is their “version of an old world beauty – the Czech pilsner. Hopped with 100% Saaz, fermented with a classic Pilsen yeast and then conditioned in our oak foeders as they did in the Germanic caves of old.
This was the first HOF beer I tried in 2019. It’s hard to go wrong with a classic Pilsner using Saaz hops and Pilsen yeast. If the funkier stuff leaves you uneasy then this is a great place to start. I also love it for warm weather when you want a cool refreshing beer without a lot of heavy duty flavour or strangeness.
Bootsy Farmhouse IPA
Named after the legendary bass player who played with James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic, I found this beer not to my liking. I wasn’t crazy about it being dryhopped with Mosaic and Simcoe hops either.
Daucus – Carrot Saison
This too was another beer that I found strange and funky. I guess it was keeping with the theme HOF has established. On Untappd they’ve included some information about it adding “that chopped young ginger and blanched mandarin oranges, along with a small amount of mosaic hops have been added. They also fermented it with 100L of juiced carrots from our friends at Chaser Juice.”
Ceres was a little more to my liking and Ceres is a wheat beer fermented with wild yeast strains. Brewed with only wheat malt and buckwheat, Ceres was fermented for 45 days on Sacch Trois and a house brettanomyces blend, and delicately dryhopped with Ella.
Brewed with a variety of kilned and roasted specialty malts, Vespertine was fermented with a delicate belgian yeast strain and a souring mixed culture, isolated from one of our foeders. Vespertine was then conditioned on cherry, black currant, and blackberry puree for 1 month. Vespertine is tart and complex, with underlying notes of dark fruit.