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Eat & Drink

Rainhard Brewing Company coming to The Stockyards

Posted by Ben Johnson / August 26, 2014

Rainhard Brewing TorontoIf you live in the area around St.Clair West and Keele and were less than enthused about the news that your neighbourhood would be getting a sprawling retail centre, I have some actually exciting news for you: the Stockyards will soon be getting its very own brewery.

Slated to open at 100 Symes Road, a building that was used through the 1950s as a meat packing facility and stands directly adjacent to the historical Toronto incinerator, Rainhard Brewing Company should be brewing beer by the end of this year.

Founder Jordan Rainhard tells me that, while arduous, the permit process is underway and he's optimistic the space can be open by December. "We had the zoning already so we didn't have to apply for any variances, and it's now a matter of getting approval for the permits we have in place right now," he says.

Rainhard is a homebrewer whose hobby turned into his passion, and now he's hoping to turn that passion into his career. Along with a slew of homebrewing awards, he's brewed with a handful of local brewers previously including Whitby's 5 Paddles Brewing Co. And while there seems to be a lot of new brewers hoping to market their beer as "handmade," it would seem Rainhard has a pretty legitimate claim to that word.

"I'll be using a very manual process," he tells me of his seven barrel (roughly 11 hectolitre) brewhouse. "Nothing is automated. I'll be hand mashing in, doing manual temperature corrections, and eventually using a bottle filler that I made myself."

20140826 - Rainhard Brewing Logo.jpgAs for what kind of beer he'll be brewing, Rainhard appears to be a man after my own heart (and that of most craft beer fans in Toronto). "I brew what I love to drink myself and that's really hoppy styles," he says. "I started with IPAs then moved on to double IPAs so I'm going to have those as staples," he says, "But I'll get into some session [low alcohol] beers too which are popping up everywhere these days. I find myself drinking [Great Lakes Brewery's 3.2%] Limp Puppet a lot these days. I tend toward those styles."

As for his market, Rainhard is going to keep things local. "I want to promote the community," he says. So while he'll aim for roughly 15-20 draught accounts throughout the city, the main focus will be bottle sales. "We're going to have a retail shop on site from day one. We've already got the conditional license from the AGCO pending building inspection."

The retail shop will sell 650ml "bombers" and while nothing is finalized yet, will likely be open from 11am to 9pm every day.

As for the current trend in Toronto toward brewpubs, Rainhard is unequivocal that he's not interested in going that route. "No," he says, "I grew up working in that industry and starting your own restaurant at the same time is another beast."

Instead he'll have 3200sq ft event space and a tasting room where you can sit right in the brewhouse to enjoy 5oz and 12oz samples sizes and see how the beer is made, all with the idea of taking a few bottles home with you when you leave.

Which means that, come December, if you do have to go to Target or Old Navy, at least you can grab some local beer as part of your shopping trip.

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. You really should vote for him as your favourite beer writer in The Golden Tap Awards.



Deric / August 26, 2014 at 10:34 am
This announcement, along with the slightly bigger one of Bellwoods expanding into 950 Dupont make this an exciting time for beer lovers in that area. Here's to more Toronto craft beer!
Martin / August 26, 2014 at 10:44 am
"I'll be using a very manual process," Will this equate to higher prices because the volume will be lower and more labour intensive?
maltman / August 26, 2014 at 10:45 am
Oh god, another brewery with a focus on hop heavy beers.

Stockyards already smell bad enough, now with all the farting it's going to be worse.

Remember kids: hops make you gassy.

The CJM / August 26, 2014 at 10:46 am
Keele/St Clair already has a brewery, and a really great one at that - Junction Craft Brewery is on Cawthra Ave. Between Junction Craft, Indie Ale House, Toronto Distillery Co, and now these guys The Junction and Stockyards are becoming THE place to get local booze!
i guess / August 26, 2014 at 11:06 am
Im not sure what the worst trend is these days..

"Indie" coffee shops, "craft" breweries or "vintage" clothing stores.

soused / August 26, 2014 at 11:15 am
That's only a mile away from Junction Craft and Toronto Distillery which is less than a kilometer away from Indie Ale House, the Golden Triangle of Toronto booze.
Ummm replying to a comment from i guess / August 26, 2014 at 11:53 am
And what exactly is wrong with "craft" breweries? Why is "craft" a dirty word? I hope the trend continues and my advice to you is stop worrying about trends... it's boring.

Taco lover
chrisjemery replying to a comment from The CJM / August 26, 2014 at 01:17 pm
Agreed! Junction Craft and Indie Ale are both great places. It is especially interesting that all these craft brewers are popping up in the Junction considering the Junction was apparently the last dry neighbourhood in the city. Would love to read more about that history!
i guess replying to a comment from Ummm / August 26, 2014 at 01:41 pm
Because its time for something new.

We've reached maximum saturation with all these things.

Steven / August 26, 2014 at 03:35 pm
It's time to turf the bloated corporations. Buy local!
AV replying to a comment from chrisjemery / August 26, 2014 at 07:45 pm
I wouldn't recommend going for any other reason (drinks, food) however the backside of the menu at "Shox" restaurant in the Junction has a nice summary of the history of the area being dry / the local Temperance Society.
History of booze in the Junction - blogto / August 27, 2014 at 06:50 am
Bruce Mandrak / August 27, 2014 at 08:56 am
Sophia replying to a comment from i guess / August 27, 2014 at 09:49 am
- Sounds like you prefer the "big names" like Tim Horton's, Labatts and Walmart.
Entrepreneurship is what makes a city vibrant!
1 / August 27, 2014 at 10:13 am
No wonder there is a dearth of decent craft breweries in the city, saturated?

Portland 600,000 over seventy breweries
Toronto 2.5 million a couple decent ones, none on the same level as the best.
i guess replying to a comment from Sophia / August 27, 2014 at 10:59 am
Im a believer in fresh ideas.

We've ran the gamut of these breweries and cafes.

Entrepreneurship needs to be innovative.

All this is doing is beating a dead horse.
1 replying to a comment from i guess / August 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm
You have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to beer. Ran the gamut? There is so much more and so much that could be done better when it comes to beer here.
i guess replying to a comment from 1 / August 27, 2014 at 01:05 pm
Has nothing to do with beer or what can be "done" with beer.

Has to do with the fact all anyone wants to do in this city is open a cafe or brewery or vintage clothing shop.

No one is willing to try anything different.
Sophia / September 3, 2014 at 04:03 pm
What is your "different" idea ????????????????????????
Sophia / September 3, 2014 at 04:04 pm
What's your "different" idea ??????????????????? / September 13, 2014 at 10:02 pm
pill review
The Craft Beer King / December 2, 2014 at 11:56 am
For all believing craft beer is a trend. You could not be further from the truth.

Craft beer may seem like a trend but it's more of a renaissance. The public distaste for German style lagers has been growing since the 1970's. Watery beers with little to no flavor are becoming boring to the average consumer. This goes hand in hand with the public obsession with higher quality food consumption. Fine food grocery stores (Whole Foods) are seeing more consumers much more frequently (look it up). Also, look at the amount of specialty restaurants popping up all over the place. Good food is here and so is good beer. Craft beer is absolutely taking off with no signs of slowing down in at least the next decade.

Before prohibition people were enjoying big beers! What I mean by that, is beers with flavor and character. There were so many choices from porters, stouts, ipas, table beers, sours, belgians, saisons (farmhouse beers), etc. After prohibition a lot of brewers and their recipes were lost for good. Big business came along and started advertising lagers and pilsners at a low cost, tying them into major sporting event. Big brands like A-busch, Molson and Labatts took over the public palate and new beer culture was born.

We're finally getting back to our beer roots everyone. Be proud, be happy and drink good beer.

My takeaway point is that craft beer is not a trend or something new. It's the way beer is supposed to be brewed, with love, passion, care and attention to the finest details. What's great about craft beer is the amount of variation it allows. Don't throw down a small brewery cause you don't like one of their beers... Maybe hops aren't your bag, so try a stout, porter, saison, sour, english ale, scottish ale, maybe even a lager... Lagers are a style of beer and I don't bash them cause they're great, go down smooth, tastes light and refreshing. There are literally hundreds of types of beer, not to mention interpretations of them. It's good to have lots of variety when it comes to selecting your beer.

If you think Toronto has a saturated market for craft beer then think again, sir. Craft beer is just getting started in Ontario and it's nowhere near its capacity.

San Diego County has over 700 breweries in just the county. Toronto has maybe a dozen, and half aren't even that good, IMO.

If you think brewing beer isn't innovative... Why not dabble with a nice peanut butter porter... Or an IPA brewed with scorpion peppers on cask...Maybe a 14 month old brett barrel aged IPA... Brewing beer is art and in order for it to progress it must be innovative...

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