Avling Brewery in Toronto is getting ready for its grand reveal
It looks like Toronto's newest watering hole Avling Brewery will be opening a few months later than expected, but when it does, we can expect Baltic porters, a menu of Canadian comfort food and a future rooftop garden full of herbs and veggies.
The anticipated brewery at 1042 Queen Street East – initially set to open in August – has pushed its soft launch to October, says Avling's founder Max Meighen.
Right now the brewery's team is still in the middle of transforming what used to be an A&P grocery store built in the 1950s into a 5,000 square-foot business with a restaurant in the front and brewery in the back.
So far they have some sweet equipment from the BC-based company Newlands Systems, and Meighen says they'll be getting the rest of their equipment (like tanks from yet another Canadian company, DME from P.E.I.) within the next two months.
Prior to Avling, the building was also home to an Asian food distribution centre that grew its own bean sprouts, leaving behind a modified building with increased water capacity that's ideal for breweries.
Design-wise, the building's vision will come to life via the Toronto-based architecture duo LAMAS, which recently Instagrammed a garden-inspired pergola roof that looks very enticing.
The menu – which hasn't been finalized – will be seasonal and shareable: think a wood-fired oven, grilled veggies and secondary cuts of meat, likely influenced by Meighen cooking background in French and Italian restaurants.
As for the much-talked about rooftop garden, that won't be ready until summer of 2019. Even then, it'll be "fairly limited operations", according to Meighen.
It won't be a few years until the farm becomes the community space it was envisioned to be, but when it does, it hopes to host workshops and grow ingredients that can be incorporated into the brewing process: there's talk of rabina, rosemary, thyme, and even some hot peppers.
"What we’re trying to do with this brewery is bring that seasonality and locality over to the brewing world," he says.
Avling will be producing four core beers: expect an ever-popular IPA and lager, a saison, and a Baltic porter that'll be less intoxicating than others of its kind, with an alcohol content of under 6.5 percent.
In the meantime, there's no shortage of breweries on Queen East to hold you down until then.
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