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Brew your own beer places near Toronto

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Hi everyone. As a Christmas gift for a few folks, I've been thinking of buying a gift certificate for us all to go do the brew-your-own-beer thing. I'm wondering what people think are the best places for doing this around Toronto? First most important criterion would be reliability (i.e. confidence that the beer will be potable when completed). After that would be ability to customize and level of involvement (more involvement = better).

In case you're going to tell me that it will be cheaper, more delicious, and more fulfilling to just buy the equipment and brew at home, consider the following: we generally each live in 600 square feet (I barely have room for my hockey bag!) and it would be fun for us to do it all together.

Thanks everyone!

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  1. I think Fermentations on the Danforth has a pretty good reputation.

    You might want to ask on the homebrewing section of bartowel.com (local beer forum) to get some real expert opinion though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: detritus

      I used to make beer at Fermentations when they were on Pape and had mash kettles where the grain and extract would be boiled. With the move to Danforth location they got rid of that system and only use malt extracts. There is very little involvement now. I'd suggest you look for a place that actually has the kettles if you are looking to have some fun together as otherwise, there is nothing much to do except go there to bottle it. But if you want beer that is drinklable, it's still a good choice.

    2. Brewtime in Hamilton does full mash as I recall.

      1. I can happily and unreservedly recommend Fermentations. Your beer will not only be potable, it will be good, and likely better than a lot of what you find in stores.

        I've been going there for years, and they definitely can customize quite a bit. I also went before, when they still were doing full mash, and, honestly, I like their beer better now.

        They can make pretty much whatever you want, but what I'd suggest, if this is strikes your fancy, is the lagered Bavarian Bock. (The regular Bavarian Bock is good too, but the one they make during the winter in their cold room is particularly nice.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: trombasteve

          Dundas Brew, excellent selection of beers, plus the best do it yourself wines in the city. Limited editons available about now. Still have one last bottle of 1995 Nebbiolo D'Alba, it will put to shame any offerings from Vintages in LCBO, equivalent worth at least $ 100.00, plus.The kicker is it cost about $ 7.00 to make a bottle. Lacated on Wharton Way, Dundas west of 427 area.