Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

Lake Wilcox Brewing

Lake Wilcox Brewing is an independent brewer making award-winning craft beer. They originally started out as a canning company, a “you brew” spot where though customers made their own beer, they were able to package it on almost a professional level.

It’s named after a small lake in Ontario, and owned and run by Ray Nicolini and David De Ciantis as well as brewmaster Karen Belfry, and it’s a true community effort with Nicolini’s son pitching in to help.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

Nicolini also has an architectural design background, and it shows in the high-ceilinged, echo-y space.

Lake Wilcox Brewing TorontoDespite its grandeur they’re putting in personal touches, like a wheel from De Ciantis’s cottage that they pulled up from the ground serving as a chandelier.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

The brewery is 6000 square feet, and though the seating area is huge the back brewing space is too.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

This is where the team creates beers that have taken home Ontario Brewing Awards in the Amber Lager, Dark IPA and Dunkelweizen categories.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

The Amber Lager is their “Mad Quacker,” a refreshing but still malty beer, unsurprising seeing as it combines seven lightly toasted malts. At 5%, this Vienna style lager is perfect for cracking open with food or enjoying on its own day or night.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

Flights ($8) allow for a taste of four samples of beer, and you can go for their four flagship brews or else try one of the small batch limited release options they’ve always got a couple of on tap, like a Galaxy hopped lager, Belgian Blonde or strong Solstice IPA.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

Flagship beers are identifiable by colourful taps: the slightly sweet, easy drinking Lake House lager, the golden and mildly fruity Bandit APA, the bitter but smooth Black Hops IPA and of course, the Mad Quacker.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

The Lake House and Bandit are almost indistinguishable from one another other than Bandit’s citrusy touches, but each beer has a distinct connection to the Lake Wilcox region. Bikers, the modern bandits, often hang around the lake, and apparently ducks quacking early in the morning drive locals nuts.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

There are brewery tours every Saturday and Sunday, but check one out on a Saturday and you’ll be able to score some freshly shucked oysters from Cannon Oyster Company between the hours of noon and four.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

During our visit we’re served sweet, ultra-fresh Malpec premiums accompanied by a cocktail sauce and a lovely homemade mignonette with large chunks of onion and a hint of cabernet sauvignon.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

Take-home cans run around $3.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

They also do bottles and growlers ($13). Even kegs are available.

Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

There’s a ton of industrial seating: lots of high stools and long surfaces. 

Lake Wilcox Brewing TorontoEach table comes cleverly equipped with a Jenga set, AKA the best drinking game ever.Lake Wilcox Brewing Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Lake Wilcox Brewing

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