Liberty Village Brewing Company

The Liberty Village Brewing Co. joins the local beer fray

The latest entrant on Toronto's fast-growing neighbourhood brewery scene is the Liberty Village Brewing Company. Joining other neighbourhood outfits like Junction Craft Brewing, Kensington Brewing Company and Bellwoods Brewery (to name a few), the new venture is still in the early stages, looking to autumn for its first tasting. We caught up with Cassandra Campbell, one of the founders of the brewery, to ask about the start-up process, why neighbourhood beer has become so popular, and where she sees the LVBC fitting into to what is now a crowded scene.

Do you have a location yet in Liberty Village? If yes, what is the address?

We plan to open a storefront in Liberty Village as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are brewing in our homes and at a brew on premise, and will move to contract brewing in the new year.

How do you account for this recent trend of neighbourhood specific craft breweries in Toronto (e.g. Junction Conductors Craft, Augusta Ale and the long rumoured Parkdale Beer Co.)?

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. The city has a big focus on community and we really take a sense of pride in where we live. When a business engages its neighbourhood and gets their support, they're in a much better position to share their craft beyond its borders. There is also a big fous on supporting local products and businesses in Ontario right now. Community-based breweries signify a local connection to not only their neighbourhood, but also Toronto at large.

When and where will the public first be able to try your beer? I see a tasting session mentioned on Twitter. When and where will that be?

Our first tasting sessions will happen this fall somewhere in Liberty Village. We will be sending details and invitations to our mailing list in the near future. Anyone may sign up for the mailing list at http://libertyvillagebeer.com .

What experience does your team have in the industry? What specific beer companies (if any) have you worked for previously?

As a team, we have a range of experience in home brewing, brew on premises operations, and food and beverage management. What we're most proud of is our combined 45 years of experience in the beer drinking industry. We have been tasting every type of beer imaginable - from the big conglomerate breweries, to craft and micro breweries all over the
world. Our brewmaster, Eric, has more than 400 beer reviews under his belt!

What's your favourite local craft beer at the moment? Aside from the Liberty Village branding, what offering(s) is currently missing in the market right now that you feel compels you guys to start your brewery?

Currently, favourites of the group include include Bar Volo's House Ales, Bellwoods' Muggleweisse, Kensington's Augusta Ale, Muskoka's Mad Tom IPA, and Amsterdam's Boneshaker IPA. We have even started blending the last two, depending on what mood we're in!

We are not looking to fill a specific gap in the market. What we are concerned with is offering more selection to the consumer. A lot of great craft beers from the US and abroad are not available in Canada, but there is no reason why Toronto can't have a great selection of local craft beer to choose from!

There are a lot of amazing craft breweries (Bellwoods, Beer Academy, Flying Monkeys, Great Lakes, Black Oak, etc.) experimenting with exciting creations that cover all the beer bases. Our inspiration to join the craft is largely the opportunity to include as many people as possible in the process of developing the business. We want to develop craft beers that we are proud of and bring them to a wider audience as a team.


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