longslice brewery

Longslice Brewery brings its tall cans to Toronto bars

What happens when a former pre-school teacher, bartender and web developer follow their joint passion for craft beer? They create an award-winning British-style IPA and sell it at bars across Toronto's west end.

Brothers John and Jimmy Peat and their longtime friend Sebastian Lesch make up the team behind Longslice Brewery. The three are also roommates and they currently offer their IPA Hopsta La Vista, an original brew by longtime bartender Jimmy, in tall cans as well as 30 and 50 L kegs.

Since delivering their first keg to Monarch Tavern back in May 2014, the Longslice team has expanded their presence, reaching bars and restaurants near their Dundas and Lansdowne home, including spots such as Get Well, The Smiling Buddha and the Gladstone Hotel. They also won a gold medal in the British IPA category at this year's Ontario Brewing Awards.

The newbie brewery recently appeared at the Burlington Beer Festival and the Junction Night Market. It'll make its debut at Toronto's Festival of Beer in the new brews tent this weekend.

Currently, Longslice operates out of Cool Beer Brewing. "The reason we contract brew is because we want to get in the industry," says John Peat, who used to teach pre-school is South Korea. "And, if you don't have $5 million lying around to build a brewery, this is the path you take," he continues.

Ward 19 councillor Mike Layton--as well as councillor Gord Perks--wants to establish Toronto as the craft beer capital of the world. The Longslice team joined the city's beer industry focused working group along with other local breweries. "Toronto is lagging behind really far," says John, "so they're trying to find the root of the problem, which is: it's really hard to build a brewery in Toronto."

Longslice also established The Ontario Brewer's League (TOBL), an organization that aims to help the province's small brewers garner tangible benefits, such as affordable health and dental plans and pooled deliveries.

"When you start in this industry, you realize how tough it is," says John. Twenty-one breweries have already joined and John hope TOBL will hold its first meeting in August.

Before the end of the summer, Longslice wants to get another beer of the market. John will brew this one and he'll call it Loose at the Lips Lager. For now though, savour Hopsta La Vista when you find it on a tap at a west end bar.

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