halo brewery

Open-source craft brewery to open in Toronto

Two homebrewers are taking their passion for unique craft beers public to open Halo Brewery in the Junction Triangle this spring. The new space, located at 247 Wallace Avenue, will also function as a bottle shop and taproom - it'll also be one of Canada's first open-source breweries.

"We're going to provide full details of all our recipes including ingredients, quantities and process, along with any changes we make to them batch-to-batch," says co-founder Eric Portelance via email.

"We'll be providing this freely for anyone to use and learn from (brewers, homebrewers, etc.), and we only ask that they share any tweaks or changes publicly as well." He notes that few breweries provide customers with detailed ingredient lists.

Since April 14, Portelance has been writing a series called "Starting a Brewery" on the blogging platform Medium. After leaving a career in product strategy and design, he joined Callum Hay, a former software engineer, to start Halo -- Hay had already been working on his brewery plans part-time before Portelance jumped on board.

Through his online posts, Portelance chronicles his experience finding investors, a suitable location and unsurprisingly, city hall -- opening a brewery in Toronto isn't exactly user friendly. However, a group called the "Cask Force," led by councillor Mike Layton, is trying to make it easier to grow our city's craft beer scene.

Both Hay and Portelance were inspired by the craft beer culture in the United States, which Portelance describes as much more robust than ours.

He and Hay hope to give Torontonians access to beers that are currently hard to find here. Already, they say we can expect delicious-sounding brews such as a Belgian-style tripel with wildflower honey and chamomile, an elderberry and elderflower malt cider and a lemon apricot tart saison.

All three sound perfect for a spring opening.


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