The Kensington Market has been an iconic, bucket-list site for tourists and locals alike in Toronto for ages and now you’ve got one more reason to visit: The Kensington Brewery Company, where you can buy and drink beer brewed right in the heart of Kensington.
This brewery is five years in the making and has finally found a permanent home at 299 Augusta Ave. The property features a 40 seat bar and a bottle shop that’s open from 11am-11pm every day. Any beers currently on tap can be bought in the bottle shop; “everything we make onsite we sell at the front door”, says VP of Operations Michael Gurr. A 650ml bottle runs between $6-$8 so it’s definitely a steal to pick up a local craft beer here.
Everything is done onsite at the Kensington Brewery Company, from the beginning stages of developing the beers to the final pour and bottling process. The space is obviously industrial and features a unique open concept layout where guests can actually see the brewing equipment that’s cleverly housed beneath the bottle shop and bar.
Kensington Brewery houses five tanks that are capable of producing 260 kegs, or about 30,000 pints. The brewery employs a wide variety of techniques in order to consistently develop unique tasting beers, including strategies like storing beer in red wine barrels and experimenting with “sour beer” flavors.
The brewery rotates its menu regularly featuring eight different beers at a time ranging from beginner beers to more interesting flavors for craft beer connoisseurs. A flight of four 5oz. beers will set you back $9 and give you the option to try out four different beers currently offered on tap.
During my visit to the Kensington Brewery I was able to sample a few of the beers they had on tap, and as someone who’s not a big fan of craft beer personally, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste and quality of everything I tried.
The first beer I had the chance to taste was the Nasch Vienna Lager, a good starting point for guests who aren’t really into beer and a very easy brew to drink. The name comes from the Naschmarkt in Vienna, a comparable market to Kensington. This beer is 5.3%alc/vol and features a nice malt flavor and citrus aroma.
Next, I tried Low Boy, a very bitter tasting 4.3%alc/vol brew that resembled orange juice more than a beer. Low Boy is double dry hopped and fermented with apricot puree. While this is definitely a more “out-there” flavor, I highly recommend giving it a try!
Home Grown was the next brew up on my taste test; this is one of the brews that is aged in Bordeaux barrels. There are a lot of unique flavors intertwined in this brew and each sip brings out a combination of red wine, vanilla, chocolate, and fruit flavors.
Finally, I had a taste of Bonne Fain, a Belgian Tripel boasting a bright rose gold hue thanks to the locally procured hibiscus. This is a very fruity tasting, 8%alc/vol beer that is incredibly refreshing after a long day.