GLB Brewpub at Toronto's East Bayfront is Great Lakes', Ontario's oldest craft brewery, newest location that offers 20 beers on tap and gourmet pub food.
Owner and president Peter Bulut started running the family business at 20 years old when his father, Peter Bulut Sr., passed the brewery operations to him.
Founded in 1987, Bulut Sr. purchased the original brewery in 1991.
Initially, Great Lakes Brewery operated out of Brampton. Bulut Sr. moved the brand to a bigger facility in Etobicoke where they've been in operation since.
In 2000, the brewery opened its brick-and-mortar store in Etobicoke, retailing its beers for the first time to the public.
Since then, Great Lakes Brewery has become a widely-known brand that's sold at restaurants, bars, and, of course, the LCBO.
Peter Bulut tells me that it's been a lifelong dream to open up a second location.
The 6,000-square f00t space features the main bar and restaurant area, plus a small-scale retail store that sells over 35 different beers from the brand.
There's seating for 120 inside the brewpub. Outside, two patios frame the building's right side and seats an additional 50.
GLB Brewpub also has its own microbrewery in the back where they make small batch beers that are served on-site.
Unlike the rustic, dark wooden, industrial look of many breweries turned bars I've encountered, the dining room is bright and open with thoughtful details such as a giant pendant lamp shade that's made from the lid of a brewing tank from the original brewery.
Splashed across the room are murals depicting the enlarged versions of art found on Great Lakes' beer cans.
On to the beers themselves. I ordered a flight of three beers. Priced at $8.00, it's the preferred way to sample the menu or try something new.
I choose to try some of Great Lakes' popular picks.
The Great Lakes Lager (5% ABV) is one of the original brews that predates the Bulut family's ownership. I can see why it's a go-to. Not only does it have a light, crisp taste, but it's also easy to drink.
The hops don't overpower the hay, honey, and hints of citrus found in this lager. It's $7.00 for a pint.
The Octopus Wants to Fight IPA (6.2% ABV) has a slightly darker golden hue compared to the lager and tastes substantially more bitter.
It's a classic American IPA with notes of herbs and pine. I first get a bit of hoppiness, but I then taste more fruit on the tongue post-sip. It's $8.50 for a pint.
The Pompous Ass (4.2% ABV) has a stunning amber colour. I like how the colour contrasts with the white of the beer head.
Packed with flavour, there's a hint of sweetness from the malt added into the recipe, plus underlying notes of caramel, raisins, and tea. A pint can be ordered for $7.00.
Although beer is the main attraction at GLB Brewpub, the food is worth your time because it pairs well with the variety of beers available.
The Smashburger ($17.00) stuffs a sesame bun with two 2.5-ounce beef patties that are topped with American cheese.
Instead of using dill pickles, there are sweet bread and butter pickles which I found gave the savoury burger balance. The whole thing is finished with shaved white onions, iceberg lettuce, and house-made chipotle aioli.
Yes, you can order a pepperoni pizza, but I'd suggest exploring the inventive pies here, like the Greek Potato ($26.00).
In contrast to many other pizza spots in the city that focus on Brooklyn-style slices, GLB Brewpub serves Detroit-style pizzas.
The pizza's thick crust has a delicious crunch to it, while the toppings keep the remainder of the pie chewy and soft.
I like the contrast of the crust's crispy mozzarella cheese against the dollops of unbaked tangy feta, slices of lemon potatoes, Castelvetrano olives, and fresh oregano that finish the pie.
Just under a decade ago, GLB Brewpub's location in the South Core boomed with a nightlife scene. These days, the brewpub has the crowd-drawing combination of being in the Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts building and a sweet location next to the waterfront.
We're having a 2 day party to celebrate Pride!
Join us on Saturday, June 10th from 12pm - 8pm for a Pridefest Party in the yard including booths from some of our local brewery friends with awesome beers to try, a pig roast, food vendors, Tiffany Boxx performing from 4pm, a DJ, and more! Entry is free!
On Sunday, June 11th from 11am - 1:30pm we will be having our Drag Brunch with performan...
Join us Sunday, June 11th for our monthly Drag Brunch & Beer extravaganza! Our host is the incomparable Tiffany Boxx, host & producer of PlayDate, Toronto’s largest outdoor Drag Brunch. Featuring death-dropping performances by the bearded beauty Beardra Bidness & the former Miss El Convento Rico Naomi Leone.
Doors open at 10.30 am for pre-drinks, the show starts at 11:30 am and ends at 1:30 ...