Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery
Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery is bringing the brewing power of Big Rock into an urban gastropub environment. It’s a collaboration between Big Rock Brewery, which originated in Alberta, and Oliver & Bonacini restaurants, the same people behind restaurants like Canoe and Bannock.
The space is humongous at 7400 square feet with a capacity for 140 downstairs in the bar/dining room proper.
The underground vibe gives the place a speakeasy feel, with plenty of flat screens, booths, and cool touches like neon to modernize it.
Downstairs is where all the brewing is done, in a much-miniaturized version of their Ontario brewery in Etobicoke.
Flights (four 6-ounce pours for $10) range from “classic” to an “adventurous” one that includes nano and guest taps, or you can just create your own. I really like their light, refreshing Rhine Stone Cowboy kolsch with an ABV of just 4.6%.
They’re also doing cocktails like a Hop Sour ($12) that ties into the brewery atmosphere using hopped Wiser’s, topped with a float made from Big Rock’s Citradelic IPA.
A perfectly soft-cooked scotch egg ($5) is encouraged fare for an upstairs tap room session, served with mustard made with the brewery’s Warthog ale.
Charcoal root salad ($12) intertwines bright, smoky chunks of roasted rutabaga, carrot, celery and onions smoked in their skins with different types of crisp, delicate shaved carrots. A bean sumac hummus serves as an earthy dressing.
The BBQ jerk chicken platter (half $19, whole $37) is also available on their BBQ takeout menu. It’s served with an ale BBQ sauce, a yummy potato salad, red cabbage slaw and a pilsner cheddar scone. The chicken’s also been brined in Big Rock pilsner for twelve hours.
Madras lamb shoulder curry ($18) is another elevated British pub favourite, served with powerful but tasty lime pickle relish.
You have to get the bone marrow upgrade with the cottage pie ($20): the buttery flavour of the marrow greatly enhances this classically comforting dish made with a carrot and spud mash.
Upstairs is a bit more casual, more of a place to try some different brews and maybe have a snack before selecting something from the bottle/gift shop to take home.
Tall cans go for $2.85 and a six pack of bottles is $13.95, and there are refillable growlers ($11 for a new 32-ounce growler, $7 to refill it) and tees ($25) too.