Avling is an unabashedly Canadian seasonal and experimental brewery and kitchen, creating a perpetually-changing menu of beer and food using hyper-local ingredients.
The space is segmented into an interconnected bottle shop, restaurant/bar section, brewing area and rooftop garden where ingredients are farmed.
Our meal starts off with a bang with a Savoury Turnip Cake ($14) that’s a bit of a take-off on Toronto’s dim sum culture.
Personally speaking, it’s a dish that goes great with beer, this version a dense cake of roasted garlic, shiitakes and caramelized onion. It’s topped with a creamy, tangy buttermilk ranch, finely chopped chives, and edible flowers from the roof, and ringed with subtle house smoked paprika and turmeric oils.
The Butcher’s Burger ($14) shows off the fact that there’s actually a butcher on staff here. Avling sources whole pigs and cows from local farms through their animal procurement program and breaks them down here.
Beef is ground in house at least every other day for the patty, made from brisket, chuck, and other scraps that would otherwise be wasted. With a very loose grind, default medium cook, and a soft but toasted custom Brodflour sourdough sesame bun, it’s easy to sink your teeth into.
It’s all topped off with Ontario cucumber pickles, two-year aged Armstong cheddar, a delicious fancy sauce of roasted garlic and black pepper, and the standard lettuce, tomato and onion, plus bacon they cure, roast and slice in house.
Sides include Salt and Vinegar Spuds by the half pound ($4.50) or pound ($9). Ontario mini red and white potatoes are boiled in salt and vinegar, deep fried and smashed so they’re tender inside and crispy outside.
A malted aioli on the side is made with marmite that’s actually created using yeast left over from brewing a batch of beer.
A Masala Fish Fry ($24) sees a five-ounce filet of First Fish turbot coated in a turmeric and dehydrated curry leaf batter, plated over a pile of these spuds and a base of cooling raita, a sweet and spicy carrot relish on the side.
A Pilsner washes everything down crisply at 4.9%, a tall glass funnelling fruit and spice notes.
A core IPA will likely always be on the menu, packing a punch at 6% and delivering on a full-bodied flavour with notes of honey and biscuit.
Short cans in the bottle shop go for a simple $3, or $15 for a six-pack.
Salad greens, radishes, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, hot peppers and more are grown seasonally on the roof.
Design by local agency LAMAS creates an industrial feel softened by large grey sheets of felt, pastel tones.
Graphic design on the labels and other places is by Concrete.