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Eat & Drink

Junction Craft Brewing readies for its opening

Posted by Ben Johnson / October 2, 2012

Junction Craft BrewingJunction Craft Brewing recently announced that it has moved into new premises for the brewing, sale, and distribution of its popular craft beers. And, while the transformation of the new space on Cawthra Avenue is still in the very early stages, the development is a promising one for residents of the Junction, and for craft beer fans in general.

The new site for the brewery, whose flagship beer is Conductor's Craft Ale, is appropriately located close to the former site of the West Toronto CPR station and will feature a three-hectolitre brewhouse, tasting room, and retail outlet.

Junction Craft BrewingTom Paterson, President of Junction Craft Brewing, has been extremely pleased with the response they've received since moving into the neighbourhood. "We'd probably be fine if no one else knew about us outside of the Junction. There's a group of 50 engineers around the corner, and they're dying to come here. Then there's National Lumber nearby, and a handful of these automotive guys. The response from people who live nearby has been great, but I get the feeling we're going to be get slammed at 5 o'clock," he jokes, adding "There's also a few beer geeks in the Junction waiting for us to open."

Junction Craft BrewingThe new brewhouse is still very much under construction so there's no beer being made there yet, but Doug Pengelly, Junction's brewmaster, hopes to start making beer on-site as early as the next two weeks. And once he does, it's clear he's got some lofty ambitions.

"Not only can I do seven or eight brews a day," he tells me, "but they can all be different beers." Meaning the focus at the Junction's namesake brewery is clearly going to be variety. Pengelly designed and built Junction's brewing set-up himself and its unique design lets him make fairly small batches at a very fast rate. It's something like a pilot system on steroids that will, hypothetically, allow him to make a new brew every hour, making the possibility for experimentation with styles virtually limitless.

Junction Craft BrewingPaterson and Pengelly will continue to brew Conductor's Craft Ale out of the Wellington Brewery in Guelph, as they have been since the company's inception, but their own brewery will allow them to add a handful of different styles to their lineup, all of which will be available for sale in 500mL bottles and 1.9L growlers directly from the brewery.

Pengelly, who is also a teacher at Niagara College's Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, looks forward to an opportunity to broaden Toronto's growing beer tastes even more. "We want to educate the general public," he says. "We want to offer them variety and selection they can't get anywhere else."

Junction Craft BrewingThey hope their focus on beer variety and education will not only satisfy craft beer fans but also get new fans on board with Junction Craft Brewery and Toronto's craft beer scene in general. "Once you learn a little bit about this," Pengelly says, "there's no going back."

Paterson and Pengelly still want to brew Conductor's Craft Ale for the masses and are looking at the possibility of an LCBO release in March 2013, but for now the focus is on getting their brewery up and running and bringing some unique beer styles to the neighbourhood they opted to name their company after.

Junction Craft Brewing
Junction Craft BrewingJunction Craft BrewingJunction Craft BrewingJunction Craft BrewingPhotographs by Paul Aihoshi.



AV / October 2, 2012 at 11:39 am
Its a race to see who opens first in the hood... Indie Ale House or Junction Craft
yay / October 2, 2012 at 11:40 am
Great addition to a great neighbourhood.. can't wait!
Rick / October 2, 2012 at 11:46 am
Great pictures. Love the gramophone clutter one.
nicole replying to a comment from AV / October 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm
Junction Craft isn't in the Junction.
AV / October 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm
Oh please, don't start about the boundaries of the Junction. They're on the other side of the tracks on Cawthra ave. and will be considered members of the Junction community by all of us who live there.
Bob McKenzie / October 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm
Nice article and photos ... can't wait to swing by for a Junction brew !
Beer Geek / October 2, 2012 at 01:04 pm
Nicole is right, they are not in the Junction and most of their beer is made in Guelph by another brewery. Only reason it is an issue is they market themselves as all "Junctiony".

Stock Yards brewing co would be cool no?

I hear the Indie Alehouse folks and them get along just fine like most craft brewers, so it's just an issue for the geeks I guess. Either way the hood is getting good and these are two very different operations.

Eight brews a day is also ridiculous. Maybe he was misquoted, maybe per week? As far as I know it's 5 or 6 hours minimum per batch, hard to see how it could be more than 2 or 3 a day even with a small and efficient system.
burgs / October 2, 2012 at 01:16 pm
I hope the retail store is open late like Amsterdam
wtfskies / October 2, 2012 at 01:20 pm
i'm convinced that indie ale house is never going to open.
Ben replying to a comment from Beer Geek / October 2, 2012 at 01:47 pm
Doug was not misquoted. The water-efficient system he designed and built could hypothetically allow him to brew that many small batches in a day. Obviously he won't brew that much every day; but he could.

If you want to see some pictures of the brewhouse coming together, including Doug's original sketches, check out Junction Craft's website.
the lemur replying to a comment from Beer Geek / October 2, 2012 at 02:00 pm
They're closer to the Junction (as in closer to the actual rail junction that gives the area its name) than they are to the Stockyards.
The CJM / October 2, 2012 at 02:23 pm
What's the actual address? Can't find it here or on their site.
The CJM replying to a comment from The CJM / October 2, 2012 at 02:24 pm
Nevermind - I just had to dig.

Unit #101 – 90 Cawthra
Toronto, Ontario
M6N 3C2
JunctionJim / October 2, 2012 at 05:43 pm
I am so excited by this, the building is right behind my house!!

A Cheese store and Beer within 150 feet away YAY!
chris / October 3, 2012 at 09:27 am
How does St Andre (which I beleive is still brewed at Cool) fit into this?
Hef / October 3, 2012 at 11:17 am
St. Andre is one of Doug Pengelly's brews now made at Cool beer. I live on the West side of the tracks.the Brewery is on the west side of the tracks - that's the Junction. I live on the east side right where all the tracks intersect- don't tell me I don't live in the Junction; I live on the Junction.
J / October 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm
Never thought I'd see a bigger group of neighbourhood ninnies arguing about petty things such as boundaries. In fact, the boundaries of the former town of West Toronto Junction in which the neighbourhood derives its name from, does indeed include the area by the train tracks - not that any of this semantic geographic jibber-jabber is really relevant. I do believe I've fallen in a internet troll hole...

Well, my parents live over those parts of town and am glad to see foot traffic will be migrating north to have a pint of Conductor's. Two breweries a-brewing in my part of town, how lucky am I? I wish you guys the best!
Peter / October 4, 2012 at 10:02 am
Excellent! Will you be doing brewery yours?
Peter replying to a comment from Peter / October 4, 2012 at 10:03 am
Sorry meant brewery tours
JT / October 7, 2012 at 06:15 pm
AV - guess we know who won the race. Indie Alehouse is open and amazing!

Also think 8 brews a day, hypothetical or not, is a crazy exaggeration.

And finally, in the Junction or not (and they are not), how the beer tastes is far more important right?. Just make great beer and leave the marketing BS out of it all.

My .02
SousedBergin replying to a comment from nicole / October 12, 2012 at 11:42 am
Great Lakes Brewery is in fact not located in the lakes?
Flying Dogfish Brewery beers not in fact crafted by a Flying DogFish? Scandalous!

Conductors Ale is the best Canadian beer now and forever.
nicole replying to a comment from AV / October 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm
My bad. I thought it was on Cawthra Road, which is clearly outside of the Junction (i.e. Mississauga). Funny I've never noticed the name Cawthra Ave., as I used to drive through that little pocket quite a bit to avoid the mess on St. Clair when Junction Road was still open via Davenport. Anyway, I wasn't trying to be a smartass so no need to get prickly. And in my defense, the Cawthra Road misnomer got stuck in my head when I attended a Brewer's Backyard event at Wychwood Barns last year which featured beers from Junction Craft. Someone I was chatting to who was working the event innocently mixed up the Road/Avenue thing, and so the seed was planted. Anyway, I had some great beers that day and am excited to learn they're close to home!
nicole replying to a comment from SousedBergin / October 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm
Please read my response to AV.
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