The Brewman Takes His Talents to Canada – Bellwoods Brewery Review
When I think of Canada the first thing that pops into my mind is NOT Craft beer. The first things that DO pop into my mind is strip clubs, Hockey, snow and cold weather, bears, even wine, but not Craft Beer. I was proved wrong very quickly.
The original plan was to head up to Toronto with my wife Lisa and our friends, Jeremy and Molly, to catch an afternoon Toronto Blue Jays game, go out for a few drinks, grab some food, and hang out for the day. Being from Buffalo we’re only about a 90 minute drive (on a good traffic day) from the city.
That all changed with one text message that read “you have to go to Bellwoods Brewery, no questions asked.” So of course, we did. I didn’t really research breweries before we went thinking that there probably weren’t many. Come to find out Toronto has a TON!
We took the 2 mile walk from the Rogers Centre to Bellwoods Brewery and when we arrived the first thing we saw was a nice little patio with people drinking beer, and a long line to get in. We walked that far so we decided we had to wait.
After about a half hour of standing in line and eyeing up the variety of beers as they passed by on their way to customers inside, we grabbed a seat at one of the picnic tables on the patio. It didn’t take us long to start checking out the draft list and debate which beers would be first. Bellwoods offered a hand full of their own beers on tap, a reserve bottle list, and some beers from other breweries. Couldn’t ask for more!
At that point it had already been a long day, so I decided to start with the Witchshark Imperial India Pale Ale. What better way to get the party started than with a 9% IIPA! This beer poured a hazy deep amber color, almost a dark orange. The smell has a ton of citrus. Grapefruit, oranges, and tropical fruits dominate. Flavor is loaded with mango, grapefruit, orange rinds, and backed up by a wonderful pine like resinous flavor, and a nice solid bitter. Not much malt at all. Great way to start the day.
This next beer absolutely blew me away. The Jutsu American Pale Ale. It’s pours not quite an amber color, but a really nice ultra hazy orange color. Best way to describe it is pouring almost like the color of a mimosa. The nose on this beer consisted of loads of oranges and oranges rinds, some grapefruit and tropical fruits, a little bit of bubble gum, and some yeast aromatics almost like a wheat beer. The Citra hops really shined through to me. The taste has little to no malt character at all. The flavor has a very well balanced light and smooth bitter with flavors consisting of cantaloupe, oranges, and a little grapefruit. It’s honestly one of the most juicy, fresh, and refreshing beers I’ve ever tried. Ever.
It’s alway’s nice to travel somewhere and be completely surprised by the selection of local beers and breweries. With the way the craft beer industry is growing, people shouldn’t be so surprised to find good beer everywhere, especially a big city like Toronto. But like I said, I never would have guessed Toronto would have so many, but now I know! And so do all of you! So if you find yourself in Toronto, Canada, whether it be for vacation or travel, get on over to Bellwoods Brewery!