Junction Craft Brewing
Junction Craft Brewing now brews some of Toronto’s favourite craft beer in the Symes Road Destructor, which used to incinerate the city’s garbage.
The combination tap room and bottle shop now brews all Junction Craft’s beer, whereas before brewing had to be contracted out to Wellington to keep up with widespread demand from 150 bars and restaurants.
The 16,000-square-foot space took about 20 months to renovate, design courtesy of Plant.
In the style of most breweries these days the works are totally exposed, two 25 hectalitre kettles in front of the space. Right behind the bar are fermenters, even bigger fermenters in the back.
The goal is to keep expanding with more and more tanks, putting out even more than the 12,000 hectalitres of a beer produced annually upon first moving into this space.
Flights ($10) allow you to sample four different Junction beers. One of their most popular, also available in tall cans here and at the LCBO, is the Engineer’s IPA, an accessible hybrid American English style ale.
There are also options like a malty Austrian-style Vienna Looping Amber Pils, an unexpectedly light Irish-style dry Stationmaster’s Stout, and a Mango IPA brewed in partnership with Caribru.
Thank goodness for these flights because there are a dizzying array of beer choices, thirty taps in the full taproom serving at least twelve to fifteen different styles of beer at a time including guest taps, as well as Tawse wine and kombucha.
If there’s something you discover you really like, twelve-ounce pours start around $5.50, twenty-ounce pours ringing in around $7.75.
On the day of my visit, juicy, succulent and super saucy orders of four messy ribs were being sliced to order and served with pickles.
They also doled out fatty smoked meat sandwiches, piled high and smeared with mustard made using Junction Craft Tracklayer’s Kolsch.
Obligatory beer merch shirts hover around $24 - $37, some made out of organic cotton and some sporting a detailed illustration of the Destructor.
An Imperial Black Ale ($12.95 for a 650 mL bottle) is part of a limited run brewed here dubbed the Destructor Series, more pricey than other bottles available due to its 9% alcohol content and aging process in red wine barrels.
2L growlers are also available for a $10 deposit on the reusable, eccentrically shaped bottle.
The shop also stocks the same beer mustard ($6) used on the smoked meat sandwiches.
The building itself was constructed in the thirties and embraces a funky Art Deco style.