The Craft Brasserie and Grill will open its doors this week in bustling Liberty Village. Kitty-corner to a few other beer-based bistros (Local Public Eatery, Brazen Head, Williams Landing), The Craft is set to throw down the gauntlet with an astounding 120 different beers on tap – and not one of them by Molson’s.
Beer baron Matt Sieradzki, who teaches in the beer program at Humber, had everything to do with that. He painstakingly hand-picked every single tap featured at the Craft – with no bottles or cans in sight – to complete his extensive draught list.
Some interesting and hard-to-find options include beers from Old Flame Brewing Co. in Port Perry, Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. in Kenora and Boshkung Brewing Co. in Minden Hills, just to scratch the surface. Ontario beers will dominate the taps here, something Sieradzki is dedicated to educating customers on.
While beers will certainly be the main event here, five red and five white wines will keep non-beer drinkers quenched, and expect a few cocktails to keep the party going as well.
With so much beer-based competition nearby, The Craft wisely decided to pair their massive beer menu with snacks and suppers to complement the hoppy varieties. In many cases, they cook with them, too.
Chef Adrian Andaya (previously of Milestone’s) brings a cohesive menu that features more than just your usual pub grub. Poutine here takes an Eastern edge on the standard dish – with their Madras Poutine ($12) swapping fries for potato pakoras, topped with a spicy tomato-based madras “gravy,” fontina cheese and a barely fried egg.
Making good use of his Southern Pride Smoker (the SG 400 model, for those taking notes), Chef Adrian smokes his Beer Glazed Ribs ($15) low and slow before tossing them in Red Racer Beer. He then pairs the meaty portion with a side of zippy jicama slaw.
Wings ($12) take a trip through the smoker as well. Here, the marginally healthier version isn’t deep-fried, but instead marinated in a brown sugar/soya/garlic blend, smoked and finally grilled, paired with a sesame aioli for dipping.
Owners Dean Tzembelicos and Christopher Pagonis have tricked the huge restaurant (more than 260 seats) to resemble a high-end, modernized version of Cheers, with rows of barstools, exposed beams, rich brick walls, Edison bulbs and USB ports for on-the-fly power ups. A patio is stuck in permit purgatory, but expect it to make a splash this summer and add even more seating to the historical building.
The Craft Brasserie and Grill officially opens on May 14, 2015. Follow their latest on Twitter at @TheCraftLiberty.
What dishes are you most excited to indulge in at The Craft? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.