Batch from Creemore Springs is a brewpub that's taken over the Victoria Street address formerly home to the Beer Academy .
There's a lot going on inside. Entering from the main doors on Victoria I'm greeted by a refrigerated wall of bottled beers available for purchase. The kettle room helmed by brewmaster Andrew Bartle is on display to the right, and just past you'll find the cafe where an ever-changing selection of soft serve is on the menu.
A quick left from the hostess station leads into the casual and relaxed 130-seat brewhouse designed by Toronto studio, tongtong .
Downstairs boasts room for another 50-plus guests in a food hall (available for private parties) that's outfitted with a dedicated bar and easy access to the ping pong table.
Batch beers are the main focus at the bar and there are six different brews to discover. Flights are the way to go for a thorough sampling, but if you've already found your favourite (hello you delicious Irish pale ale redolent with toffee and caramel notes) then a 16 ounce pour will set you back $6.75.
The list of cocktails delves into the classics like a Michelada ($11) made with the house Weitbier and Walter's Caesar mix, as well as unique offerings like the Hopfashioned ($13) featuring Bulliet bourbon with a house-made IPA simple syrup.
Options include plump PEI oysters with a dill pickle mignonette ($19/6), smoked deviled eggs ($8) garnished with crispy chicken skins that double as a scoop, and a lovely charcuterie board ($17) topped with an array of Ontario-cured meats, manicured carrots, pickled beets and thick slices of grilled bread.
An order of smoked wings ($14) served by the pound prove to be giant, meaty specimens comprising just the flats. The tender poultry comes encased in a crispy deep-fried coating and can be had tossed in a choice of house-made hot sauce or roasted garlic and honey.
The classic wedge salad ($12) is a welcome accompaniment for the wings. The halved head of crisp iceberg lettuce arrives to the table dressed in a tangy vinaigrette and topped with sprigs of fresh dill, smoked tomatoes and a sprinkling of candied nuts and crumbly blue cheese.
More substantial offerings include sandwiches and burgers on house-baked buttermilk buns with a choice of salad or chunky fries on the side.
I try the lamb burger ($16) topped with feta, charred red onions and curried lime pickle mayo. The ground lamb patty is top notch; imparted with chargrilled flavours and boasting a deep pink centre.
Aside from the handheld options there are meaty mains like the German bratwurst ($14) over smashed potatoes with sauerkraut, and grilled trout ($19) with creamed kale and bacon, brown butter and grilled lemon.
Vegetarians can get down with mains like the potato pierogi ($15) and rye gnocchi ($14), plus a seasonal selection of grilled flatbreads ($12) like this one topped with smoked tomato, red onions and goat cheese.
Finally for dessert, there's an entire menu of pies ($8). Granny Smith apple pie is baked into a cheddar cheese crust, while cream pies include decadent options like a sweet potato pie with toasted marshmallow and and a coconut cream pie layered with pineapple jam, whipped cream and toasted coconut shavings.
Expect to find the brew house bustling at lunch and dinner served nightly until 11 p.m. And on weekends for brunch.
Photos by Hector Vasquez.