true history brewing

True History Brewing

True History Brewing is a beer bar with on-site brewing facilities that specifically focus on making European-style lagers.  

The brewery takes over the second location of Big Slice, the iconic late-night pizza joint that operated for over 20 years at Yonge and Gerrard. 

true history brewing Matt Thompkins and Adam Shier, owners of True History Brewing, were shown the St. Clair West and Dufferin space through their real estate agent back in the summer of 2019. 

Before this, the high school buddies rented tank space at Junction Craft Brewery to brew their dry-hopped pilsner that was being sold in the LCBO at the time. 

true history brewing Removing their beers from the mass retail market, they wanted to concentrate all their efforts on building an all-in-one brewery, tap room, retail shop, and restaurant that was slated to open in July 2020. 

true history brewing They encountered some obstacles. The first was the low ceiling which couldn't accommodate the huge brewing tanks they were bringing in. 

true history brewing Taking out the ceiling during construction, the owners were surprised to find an extra 20 feet of space. The lofty area was a remnant of the building's past life as a theatre during the 1920s.

true history brewing Opening for service in July 2022, the open room gives off a farmhouse feel with natural light pouring in from all sides of the dining area.

Wood is everywhere. It lines the floors, the bar top, and the custom-built communal tables. That latter creates a beer hall vibe which was designed to encourage guest interaction with neighbours.

Bar shelves lined with old collectible tchotchke and the kitchen's retro-looking wallpaper give the room a mid-century modern feel. 

true history brewing A sliding doorway separates the beer bar from the industrial brewery where 10- and 20-barrel tanks stand. The brewery will pump out anywhere between 1,150 to 2,300 litres of beer each month.

 For example, lagers take between six to eight weeks to brew and pack.

true history brewing Unlike the sour and fruit flavour beers that many local breweries have adopted, True History Brewing makes easy-to-drink, low alcohol by volume (ABV) beers. Every beer contains less than five per cent ABV.

The beer menu features lagers, including a rotating lager, pale ales and pilsners. 

true history brewing I tried the Vermont Honk ($8.50 per pint) which is a New England pale ale.

Made using five different kinds of hops, it's full-bodied and has a pretty strong aroma that has tropical notes that straddles between juicy pineapple and melon.  

true history brewing The Long Lunch ($8.50 for a pint) is a West Coast pale ale with citrus flavours, namely orange, lemon and grapefruit peel. There's also a note of pine. 

true history brewing The Same Old Me ($8.50 for a pint) is a single hop ale, that uses only Ella hops. The other beers on the menu contain three to five different hops. 

Super light with floral aromas and hints of spice, the beer contains only 4.2 per cent ABV.

True History Brewing serves a variety of snacks that are a mix of meat, cheese, and carb-focused dishes. 

true history brewing As an ode to the traditional beer hall bite, I tried a Pretzel ($10) that's made in-house and topped with Maldon sea salt.

true history brewing The pretzel is accompanied by a spicy cheese sauce and grainy mustard. 

true history brewing The Piri Piri Chicken ($16) was tender, sliding off the bone when I tried to cut it with my knife. Here, the chicken thighs are marinated in pimentao (a Portuguese red pepper sauce), sous vide cooked, and seared to finish. 

true history brewing The chicken is served on top of a pool of Piri-Piri sauce with pickled vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil. 

true history brewing Before exiting True History, you'll find a small retail store where cans of their beers are available for purchase. 

Photos by

Fareen Karim

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