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Dec 13, 2009 01:21 PM

Duggan's Brewery

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:

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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?


    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


        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?


                  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 -

                    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. The original comment has been removed
                  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:

                    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!