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Duggan's Brewery

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  • Gary Dec 13, 2009 01:21 PM
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After a long, long wait, Mike Duggan's new brewpub called Duggan's Brewery is finally opening this Tuesday, according to the note I saw on the door today. It's located on Victoria St., just south of Richmond, in the "Strand Hotel" building which was also the location of the long-defunct Dennison's brewpub.

Having only tried his #9 IPA around town (a style of beer that is not usually my favourite, but I enjoy this version a lot) I'm looking forward to trying the rest. And hoping the food is equal to the beer, and the historic location.

Some more details in this NP article from Oct:

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/bl...

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  1. I have never tried that #9 IPA but have heard it mentioned on here and another forum more than once. People also said it was coming to bottles; but I never heard anything back on that.

    Do you know if this is available yet?

    thanks

    7 Replies
    1. re: duckdown

      I heard it was available in bottles at the Cool Brewery (near Islington and The Queensway) and perhaps some other locations, but it's not at LCBO or the beer store. You can order it for home delivery on the Cool Beer website. However, I understand the new brewpub will be selling beers-to-go in growlers, so that will probably be your best bet come Tuesday if you're downtown.

      On tap, I know you can get it at Caplansky's, C'est What and Le Petit Dejeuner on King East.

      1. re: Gary

        cool, thanks gary

        islington & the queensway is actually an area I do pass through, if it's available in bottles i'd definitely go there. much more convenient than downtown, since i actually live in brampton.

        thanks for the tip -- i'll try to find their address and phone number and give them a call

        cheers!

        1. re: duckdown

          Haha @ the cool brewery website

          It says in huge bold letters with techno music "Free home delivery!" which sounds great, so I went into the product thing and picked out a 24 of #9, and a couple 4-packs of their other beers I hadn't tried.. Then I go to checkout and find out for orders under $100 they charge $15 shipping per product it says.. needless to say it was too expensive so i'll just wait till i go there in person

        2. re: Gary

          They are supposed to sell bottles at the new brewery location too.

          1. re: kwjd

            Has anyone been yet? I heard the place opened yesterday.

            1. re: Pebbles

              It didn't open yesterday. Supposed to open up today at 4pm.

              1. re: kwjd

                Yup they are dragging out the anticipation. Very clever folks. Either that or they just weren't ready, but I prefer to believe the first explanation :)

      2. Stopped by tonight w/ a couple of friends for dinner. It's too early for a proper review, but i think they're off to a great start.

        The beer: Fantastic. There are 7 on tap -- #9 IPA of course, plus a stout, porter, pils, weissbier, fest, & asian lager. We tried them all, and they're all great. None of them are particularly "showy", but they're well crafted, and, how do i put this... poised? There's a subtlety and finesse that shows that Duggan really knows what he's doing. Our waiter said that there were plans for a belgian golden triple in the future.

        Food: Decent pub food. We had the curry poutine, steak pie, pulled pork sandwich, & pork hock. The pork hock was enormous -- too much for one person. So big it reminded me of Au Pied de Cochon. Prices are a little on the high-side, ~$20 for mains, ~$12 for sandwiches. Desserts were fine, although the beignets had been sitting around awhile and weren't fresh.

        Ambiance: Fine, nothing special. Careful w/ the tabletops -- they appear to have been stained recently, and the stain comes off if you get them wet.

        Service: Friendly. A few glitches, but pretty smooth considering it was opening night.

        -----
        Duggan's Brewery
        75 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5C, CA

        8 Replies
        1. re: Dr. No

          I had the pork hock last night... I agree with the comparison of portion size to Pied de Cochon. It was enormous! It was quite juicy and I enjoyed it. I had never been that satisfied with a meal at Beer Bistro.

          The #9 IPA is still my favourite Duggan beer, but the new #5 Asian Lager was a stand out to me. I didn't think it was possible to pack that much flavour into a 4% abv rice lager! Not that I think any of the beers were bad, but I also thought the stout, porter and weissbier were really good. I can't wait to try the tripel when that comes out.

          The service was surprisingly excellent for a place that was only on its 2nd night being open.

          1. re: Dr. No

            Nice review, that Asian lager sounds intriguing

            1. re: duckdown

              Let's have a list of the places around town that one can get the fabulous #9.

              1. re: Herne

                The places to get the #9 off the top of my head: Duggan Brewery, C'est What, Caplansky's, Petit Dejeuner, Terroni and sometimes Volo. It wouldn't surprise me of some of the other bars with nice beer lists have it sometimes as well.

                1. re: Herne

                  Well since I doubt theres anywhere serving it where I live in Brampton, I'm interested in where I can actually go to buy BOTTLES of this for taking home.

                  If the COOL factory is the only place, does anyone know the hours of operation?

                  thanks

                  1. re: duckdown

                    Yes, the Cool plant is the only place currently selling bottles of No 9, although they'll be selling bottles out of the Victoria St location early in the new year, and Duggan is looking at LCBO distro as well.

                    Not sure of the hours at the Cool retail store, but there might be something on their website, or a phone number at least - http://www.coolbeer.com/

                    1. re: gregclow

                      Tried the bottled Duggan's and wasn't swept off my feet. It had a distinctive taste for sure but it immediately reminded me of beer I made in the '70's. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

              2. re: Dr. No

                I visited Duggan's last night... the place was quite nice. I never went to the Dennison's brewpub that was there once upon a time. It is still under construction, the basement had quite a few things still left to be installed. But the place was nice and welcoming.

                My girlfriend and I had the curry poutine, pulled pork sandwich and a salad. The portions were too much for us, we didn't expect so much food. We only ate about half of everything. Food was good though, wasn't spectacular but we enjoyed it. The beer though was very good. I'm not a fan of most IPAs, I don't care for the extremely bitter ones. But #9 is a great beer, not terribly bitter, lot's of flavour, leaves a nice creamy taste in your mouth. Yummy. We also had a pint of the Asian lager as recommended here. As strange as it sounds, I thought it tasted like Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly's. Yummy as well.

                I will be returning to try the rest of the beer selection, but likely not just for the food. Next time, I'll go with the poutine and a couple of pints.

                Service was great, no complaints at all. We had everything for $44 (we had too much food for two people though). Beer prices were good, both beers were under $6 a pint.

              3. It took a few weeks but we finally made it to Duggan's. The interior is nice, though not as polished as a lot of other new pubs. But actually it was kind of refreshing to sit in a place that didn't feel like it was constructed from a kit. They were still doing some work on the north part of the main floor and in the basement, though.

                The duck confit poutine was fantastic. It is officially now my favourite pub poutine in the city. Nice balanced flavour, just-salty-enough gravy, firm but soft fries, fresh curds, and generous chunks of delicious tender duck. I will go back for that any day. We also shared a great beef sandwich with horseradish mayo and a side salad, all above average. Food prices were not cheap ($11 for poutine made me pause, even with duck as an ingredient) but I have to say that you definitely get what you pay for in terms of both quality and quality.

                For beers, we tried the stout, the porter, and the Asian lager. The first two were great examples of the styles and highly enjoyable. I think perhaps I was a bit oversold on the Asian lager, though, after reading so many positive things online and in reviews: we were expecting something really sweet like some similar rice-based beers we'd tried (such as Taiwan Beer, which you can't seem to get in Toronto anymore) but in the end it seemed pretty much like any other light domestic beer. Nothing wrong with it, but not very exciting in my opinion.

                Service was professional, though they seemed a bit understaffed. All in all a solid experience, and I'm very pleased it lived up to the hype. Will be returning again, and again.

                1. Duggan's has been really busy the last two times I've gone and it's a very large space. I've updated some of the below posts with comments from subsequent trips, so I guess it's blogpost +more.

                  “Monstrously huge” is the first thing that came to mind when the pork hock landed on the table. “Tasty” and “good” came after we got over its size and actually tried it. Really lovely pink meat falling off the bone. And sided with tasty beans! It also comes with cider kraut, which I didn’t love when eaten straight, but it made for a good balance to this rich dish along with the chunks of apple as a sweet hit. Theoretically for two (if you’re starving), but good as a shared starter… for 6. We all really enjoyed the pork hock and cleaned it to the bone. Both subsequent orders - still good.

                  Duck confit poutine was also really quite tasty with it’s crisp fries and piles o’ duck chunks. The gravy is not over-salted (my preference), which really showcases the duck flavour and allows for your last bite to be pucker-free. Subsequent orders have been fairly consistent for us.

                  And my last highlight of the night would be the Cornish hen & chips. Crispy skin and juicy pieces of fowl made this a really nice dish. Nicely salted and I didn’t need the gravy. However, on a second visit, this was less good.

                  Also ordered but not mentioned were the fish and chips (not my preference) and the ribs (sauce was too sweet). The lamb recently ordered was lovely. Came with mash too, so some bonus points there.

                  We really like Duggan's. A decent beer and decent food. Good stuff.

                  --
                  full review/photos: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2010/01/12/du...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jlunar

                    I went there on Saturday afternoon for a quick bite and really enjoyed it. The space is beautiful, with high ceilings and spare, clean decor. My wife and I shared the duck confit poutine and the Cornish hen (with salad subbed for fries). The poutine was very tasty, although I would have liked to see a bit of nice salty crispy duck skin in the dish. Curds didn't squeak but that's no huge shock at this point. The Cornish hen was very good, super moist - my main complaint was the gravy, which was not really gravy at all but sort of a tangy BBQ sauce. Definitely would have preferred to see a jus or stock-based gravy instead. But it's served in a little pot on the side, and the bird is just fine without it. We ordered the Asian lager to drink which was terrific.

                    I'm going again on Thursday with a bunch of guys, and we'll probably be demolishing most of the beer and food menu, so I'll report back. But this place seems like a winner to me, and I certainly prefer the atmosphere to Beerbistro which I find kind of claustrophobic when it's packed.

                    1. re: childofthestorm

                      For beer, I liked the Porter - and I'm a non-beer drinker!

                  2. Is this place kid-friendly at all? For reference I wouldn't bring my kids to beer bistro, but we do casual neighbourhood pubs at slower times of day. Or should we stick to the Queen and Beaver, which expressly welcomes kids?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: julesrules

                      I was only there once, on a Saturday night, but from what I remember, I would say it's pretty kid friendly, even on a Saturday night.

                      1. re: julesrules

                        hmnn... I wouldn't rule it out, but maybe call ahead? I think this is closer to a Beer Bistro, after-work crowd... I can't see kids in there so much...

                        -----
                        Beer Bistro
                        18 King St. E, Toronto, ON M5C 1C4, CA

                        1. re: jlunar

                          I agree.

                          1. re: JamieK

                            Thanks all, I think we will stick to the Q&B this time and get a babysitter for Duggan's.

                      2. Food sounds good , but very meat heavy. Anything for a vegetarian? Anyone know if the curry poutine is veggie? I'll try it out for the beers but would like to eat too. Even if there are an assortment of sides, I'm fine with putting those together to make a meal.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fluffysouffle

                          It is fairly meat-heavy but there are a few meat-free pizzas as well as salads. There's mussels, oysters and some fish entrees if you eat seafood. There's also a vegetarian curry.
                          http://www.duggansbrewery.com/Menu.html

                          1. re: fluffysouffle

                            It's probably not a full meal for most, but I have to say that the beet salad I had there once was really delicious. Surprisingly so, considering the rest of the meat/deep fryer centred menu.

                          2. Is this #9 IPA available for take-home anywhere yet? Hear so much about this beer yet have not got to try it. Something available in Peel would be ideal

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: duckdown

                              Not quite yet, but it should be in the LCBO system in the next couple of weeks.

                              1. re: gregclow

                                Excellent! That is what I wanted to hear

                                Thanks !

                                hopefully drinkvine will show it under new releases once its available

                            2. you can buy #9 at duggans
                              i bought a 24 for about 39.50
                              they also have 6 packs...about 10.00
                              their bottles are small but the beer is really good
                              good luck parking

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: jlevitt

                                Hmm, how small are the bottles? No parking, eh? Brutal :(

                                hopefully gregclow was right that it will soon be available at the LCBO. Been hearing about this stuff for over a year now and I'm a beer fanatic... So I really want to check it out

                                1. re: duckdown

                                  I've had it a few times, very nice hoppy beer. Hopefully they bring it to the LCBO soon! Last one I had was at Sweatty Betty's on Ossington.

                                  1. re: duckdown

                                    Duggan's #9 bottles are 275 ml.

                                    Previously, they were selling 4-packs of standard 341 ml bottles for $8.75, for a unit price of 0.64 cents per ml.

                                    Haven't been in recently to confirm the price on the newer 6-packs of the 275 ml bottles, but if they are indeed around $10 as someone noted above, then the beer is actually a bit cheaper now, at 0.61 cents per ml.

                                    And that's almost identical to the unit price of a 6-pack of Mill St Tankhouse (to use a similar beer as an example) at the LCBO - $12.55 per 6-pack of 341 ml bottles.

                                    1. re: gregclow

                                      Why are the bottles so small? What is the logic here? Sounds like more waste and work for recycling.. seems ridiculous. Why not just do 500ml bottles then?

                                      1. re: duckdown

                                        I don't really know the reasoning behind the smaller bottle, aside from marketing.

                                        I like smaller bottles (even as small as 187 ml "nips") for very strong beers - Rogue in Oregon has used them for their Imperial Stout, Barley Wine, etc. - but for beers of average strength, I don't really get it.

                                        1. re: gregclow

                                          When I spoke to the owner at The Rebel House (on Yonge), he noted that #9 was on tap but people wouldn't buy pints because of the higher alcohol content. He found that the smaller bottles did better, as people could still have "one beer" and drive home without any concerns. Makes sense....

                                          -----
                                          Rebel House
                                          1068 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W2L4, CA

                                  2. re: jlevitt

                                    there is green P parking about a stone's-throw north of Duggans' at Victoria and Richmond.

                                    1. re: JamieK

                                      You could park at that Green P, grab your case of #9, go to Milo's and try his shawarma, get a Chipotle burrito for the road, etc. Worth the $3 an hour or whatever!

                                      1. re: childofthestorm

                                        DD is a suburbanite tried and true. Downtown would have to be ultra-convenient, and super safe!

                                        1. re: jayt90

                                          lmao its true. i hate going downtown!

                                      2. re: JamieK

                                        Walking distance from two subway stops! Throw caution to the wind and take the TTC, it ain't bad outside of rush hour. And then you can have as many pints as you want... driving to a brewpub sounds like a masochistic endeavor to me, like waiting until you have the stomach flu to dine at Per Se. No. 9 is great (I'm generally not a hophead but this beer strikes the balance right, a nice amount of bitterness without crossing the line) but there are many other great brews there on tap you can't get in bottles. Make the trip worthwhile!

                                    2. I keep forgetting that this place is closed on Sundays. Walked by today after some Doors Open things and saw it was closed :( Hope to hit it up one day but that is the second time I have tried to go on a Sunday.....

                                      Curious thing, they don't have any signage out front stating their hours of operation.

                                      1. I don't think they are selling it at Cool anymore, their website makes no mention of it :( Their brewery is so much more convenient than Duggan's.. at least it's in an area I venture to often for food

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: duckdown

                                          I was on the website yesterday, you can order Duggan #9. http://www.coolbeer.com/homedelivery....

                                          1. re: madhatt

                                            Weird, somehow I didn't see that. Was clicking "our products" off the main menu, not in the home delivery section I guess.

                                            I love how they say "FREE HOME DELIVERY" in huge letters all over the place, but then when you follow all the prompts and try to place your order, theres some kind of terrible minimum order policy that they conveniently don't mention until you get there.

                                            I'm going to call them and see if they have some kind of storefront at the COOL location where they sell it. Victoria street is just too far for me, even for a good beer

                                            thanks for the tip!

                                        2. I went to Duggan's last week with three friends and we were all very disappointed.

                                          Curry poutine had no gravy at all, and hardly any cheese. They were more like mediocre fries with a curry rub, not poutine-like at all. My house-made corned beef was dry as a bone, almost inedible. The fish and chips were huge, but blah. A $13 wing plate was worth about half that.

                                          Beer was alright. I had the kolsch, friends had the Asian lager and the stout. No one thought any of them were worth getting excited about.

                                          Plus, the music was so awful and so loud. We asked the staff in the near-empty room to tone it down, but they were busy socializing with each other. So when they left 2.5 beers off our bill, we didn't tell them, since all our other requests were such a bother.

                                          This makes me sound old. Note: I'm not.

                                          1. Stopped by Duggan's last Thursday for a couple post-work pints. I had the Stout and Porter. The stout seemed to be of the dry, light Irish style. The porter was more complex, and I preferred that style. Both very decent, though not in the ranks of Dieu du Ciel or St. Ambroise. Beers were around $5/pint, which is a great price for the area and quality of product.

                                            Also, took home a 6 pack of 275ml #9 IPA bottles for a little under $10.

                                            Keep it up, we need more brewpubs like this in Toronto!

                                            1. I visited Duggan's for the first time in ~10 months, and came home really disappointed. I had enjoyed both the food and beer on several earlier visits. There seem to be an increasing number of negative reviews on other sites, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyways since my previous experiences were positive.

                                              The evening wasn't disastrous, but it really felt like I overpaid for a meal at a local Firkin pub. To start, we waited at the entrance for 10 minutes watching servers scurry past us, oblivious. Eventually, the bartender noticed people milling around, and came over to direct us to our reservation. The room was really noisy, so it was difficult to talk. The next kick in the shins was realizing that the menu differs from what is posted on the website - there are a few changes, and everything is 10-25% more expensive. The beer menus are still minimal. Two of my guests arrived earlier than me, and got stuck with poor beer choices. The waiter was friendly, but uninformative. It being their first visit to Duggans, they didn't know to ask about beer specials (which weren't posted, and weren't mentioned). I ordered a Porter off the specials list, and it was great, but I really don't think you should have to be "in the know" to get a beer that you'll enjoy. Even a little help from the server would have saved my guests from their bitter Pilsners.

                                              The bigger letdown was the food, highlights being $19 for watery fish and chips with a chlorinated aftertaste and cold fries; soggy, monotonous and underseasoned curry poutine for $13, etc. - the food was so overpriced I was embarrassed, especially since we could have gotten similar quality at half the price at any local dive. At least everyone was full.

                                              I think if I were to come back, I'd stick with pints and a split a pizza. I don't want to scare people off (not completely), but it's probably a good idea to reset expectations.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: Underdog Rally

                                                I've heard similar reports from previous fans of the place.

                                                1. re: Underdog Rally

                                                  Agreed. I was a fan of Duggan's when it opened, but the beer's gotten worse and the food's too expensive.

                                                  1. re: Underdog Rally

                                                    Thanks for the review. I enjoyed my meal there when I went a while back but at the time I thought it was pricey.... so, additional increases would definitely make me want to avoid this place. Sounds like food has gone downhill too... Shame...

                                                    1. re: Underdog Rally

                                                      Strictly drinking place for me, duggan's #9 is great, their other beers range from decent to poor.

                                                      I went once and tried to order food at 7:30, and was informed the kitchen was already closed for the main menu. I could only order off the late night menu.

                                                      Then I asked the server honestly if he was happy about the situation that places him and his co-workers in, obviously not.

                                                      1. re: Underdog Rally

                                                        I've only been by to get beer to take home, but unfortunately found the selection was always very limited. Of 6 varieties listed on the chalkboard they generally had No. 9 in 6 packs of 250ml and maybe one other variety in growler size.

                                                        1. re: julesrules

                                                          I end up there every few months for beers with a friend. For some reason, they almost *never* have the Weiss in stock, which is probably my favourite of theirs (the No. 9 is also good but sometimes I'm just not in the mood for the hoppiness of an IPA). Every time they give us a variation on the same line about how it's all made in-house and subject to supply chains, etc., but seriously, Duggan's has been open for well over a year now and everything still seems very ad hoc. I also agree that the food has gone downhill. It's strictly a beer place for me now (which is actually very affordable compared to typical downtown pint prices).

                                                          1. re: Gary

                                                            "which is actually very affordable compared to typical downtown pint prices" except there not pints. A pint is 20 oz but I believe theirs are like 14 or 16oz. So really, there not as cheap as it seems.

                                                            I'm sad to read all these reviews on how its gone down hill. I used to go there often after work for beers and food and it was really good at the time for a pub (late last summer was the last Ive been) Not sure I want to go back after reading the recent news. .. ..

                                                            Boooo.

                                                        2. re: Underdog Rally

                                                          ditto.... I really liked it when I first went about two years ago or so... not so much any more... and it does get too noisy for me the later it gets.

                                                        3. I'd like to add my voice as a detractor of this place. The food (I tried) was not only bad, but expensive. The beer - mediocre. The decor a joke. There are other options.

                                                          1. Rumour has it on a different board that this place is closed, that there is a bailiff's notice on the door. Can anyone confirm?

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: Frids

                                                              http://www.canadianbeernews.com/2011/...

                                                              Looks very fishy to me. I'd guess that a cheque or 2 bounced.

                                                              Anyways, it was good in concept, good in poutine but crappy with pretty much everything else.

                                                              1. re: atomeyes

                                                                saw a twitter that it is all a misunderstanding... things are getting worked out and should reopen soon.

                                                                edit:
                                                                this is the most straightforward closest to from the horses's mouth piece of info i can find about it
                                                                http://twitter.com/#!/starbeer/status...

                                                                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                                                  Appears that it wasn't a misunderstanding after all, and Duggan's ain't coming back:

                                                                  http://www.canadianbeernews.com/2011/...

                                                                  1. re: gregclow

                                                                    A sad end to a place that never quite lived up to its potential. The food was good early on, then slipped, and remained very inconsistent. They were out of the beers I like more often than not. The service was not always great and the space never really felt finished or that comfortable. Glad to hear the No. 9 is going to continue to be brewed, hopefully Duggan can find another venue one of these days for his other beers, too.

                                                            2. I used to really like Duggan's when it first opened...the beer was great (especially the #9), the food was good (not stellar, but much better than typical pub food), and while somewhat expensive it wasn't crazy.

                                                              I went back recently with a group of friends and it seems that they've decided to fairly significantly raise prices while not really increasing quality (it might even have gone downhill...the jerk wings were really not very good at all). Most mains there now are in the upper teens/lower 20s range...even sandwiches (I got the steakwich which was good but pricey at $19 I believe). And really, an extra $4 to add more shredded mozzarella to your pizza? Really? I should also note that the menu on their website is hopelessly out of date both with respect to the items listed on it and the prices. It's also annoying how you can never count on them having any particular typs of beer available (other than the #9).

                                                              I just don't know about Duggans anymore. It used to be a solid choice for good food and generally great beer, but it seems that they're trying to go too upscale (price-wise) without having the food quality to back it up. If they knock the prices back to where they used to be I'll be a regular customer again.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: Strongbad789

                                                                I guess you didn't read the recent updates.... Doesn't look like you will get a chance to be a regular as they are closed down for good.

                                                                I had an okay experience a while back but found the prices too high too... I wonder who will move in next

                                                                1. re: ylsf

                                                                  That location may be the kiss of death. I don't know if it's been the same landlords for the past decade or so, but Growlers etc left because of landlord disputes. The building sat fallow for awhile, and during that period, the landlord tore up the lovely little patio to allow the adjoining parking lot to expand. Then a mysterious bar sort of opened, along with a mysterious coffee shop that also sort of opened. Then it sat empty until Duggan's came along. Since I work in the area, I was really looking forward to it, but like others, I found the place haphazard - never a full beer selection, and food that became more expensive as it became increasingly mediocre. The last time i went I couldn't have the beer that I wanted because they were out, and the decidedly average grilled cheese sandwich was just under $20.00. Although I would love to have a good bar close to the office, something tells me that the place is just too large to be manageable and the landlord is just too impatient to raise the rents. As well, Victoria Street is a ripped up warzone right now, so you'd be a fool to open a new business until the mountains of stones and dirt that block the sidewalk are cleared up.

                                                                  1. re: badrockandroll

                                                                    I agree.. that location has worked out well