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Apr 24, 2012 04:27 PM

Bellwoods Brewery - good beer and snacks

On Friday night, my sweetie and I strolled over to Ossington to check out Bellwoods Brewery and are glad we did.

When we arrived around 6PM or 6:30, it was already pretty full. We were able to nab a tiny table upstairs. Although the place was full of hipsters, both staff and customers, we were made to feel quite welcome though we are middle-aged, un-tattooed, and were not in our most fashionable gear.

My sweetie had the Common (pale ale) and I had the Farmhouse Saison and the Witchshark IIPA. All were interesting and tasty introductions to the BB's wares. Our server was knowledgeable and helpful in explaining the different beers.

For snacks, with our first beer we shared 2 sticks (skewers) - Jerusalem artichokes with horseradish (yum) and chicken hearts (perfectly cooked, very tasty, the best I've had since I was a kid). Very impressive! My sweetie was apprehensive about the hearts, I don't think he'd eaten chicken hearts before, and he also liked them very much. Disappointing for me, since I had to share....

When we decided to stay for a second beer, we ordered a dish of chili peanuts that was also very tasty. It was a gentle chili which was good - I love heat and spice but it was good that the chili didn't overwhelm or take away from the beer.

The prices all seemed quite reasonable - $3 or $4 each for the snacks and the beer prices seemed just a smidge more than you'd pay for your basic mass brewed beers at a regular pub so it was all very good value.

All in all, very tasty and enjoyable. I guess we should have ordered more from the Bellwoods Brewery menu instead of heading out to Ossington and to Fishbar, which I've covered in another post.

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  1. We went Saturday and I think we sat at the same table - are also married and unhip but felt quite comfortable:)
    All the beers we tried were good but highlight for me was the Berliner Weisse beer served with seasonal fruit syrup you add to taste, which happened to be rhubarb, a favourite of mine. As a lightweight I also enjoyed having the option of having a lower-alcohol beer (3.2%). The rhubarb & yogurt dessert was also good, I really liked the dehydrated yogurt (but we did end up getting dessert elsewhere later because it was not very sweet or rich at all - but for $4, more than satisfying in its way). Other food was all fine to good but nothing amazing. Lamb tongue with raisins was great. Turns out we don't much like duck hearts, but nor was the charred jalapeno sauce very flavourful. I'd probably rather have plain raw oysters than their grilled oyster prep and while their pulled pork sandwich is good (no BBQ sauce, purely porky), I wouldn't pay $15 with no sides again for it. But overall we really liked the place, I'd just treat it more as beer-and-snacks rather than dinner out next time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: julesrules

      i actually really quite like the hearts (duck, pork, whatever) because they undercook it and it maintains that awesome texture. i also really enjoyed the charred jalapeno sauce, for me it was plenty flavourful in a very pure way. haven't tried much else besides a few sticks but i'm excited to eat there properly some time. it is still a place that should be considered more for snacks with beer but i could make a meal of hearts.

      my favourite is the cuvee de grandma's boy. i think they do some reasonable ales but after the cuvee the porter and dubbel are plenty fun.

      it's one of my favourite places now.

    2. The beers are exceptional, even better than my previous fave brew-pub, Montreal's Dieu du Ciel (which they have at Bellwooods too). The interior layout is awkward, but it's a great spot for sure.

      4 Replies
      1. re: meanmartin

        That's a big call. Who is the brewer here?

        1. re: BeeRich

          Chris from Amsterdam.

          I think the "better than DdC" is a bit of a stretch. they don't have the portfolio that DdC has. but I also don't think that everything DdC makes is gold.

          Bellwoods has one excellent beer (IPA), one very good beer (saison) and two solid beer (porter and double). the berliner weiss was ok and i have little interest in trying the ale or whatever they have (boring style). once they start to do things like tripels, barrel aging (which they are doing) and brett/sours (think that's in the works) then we'll be talking about them being on the same level as DdC

          1. re: atomeyes

            There's still room for perfection in things like (REAL) IPA. If I am not mistaken, Chris is Heriot-Watt educated (ICBD). I went to the same skool/faculty. I'll have to check it out.

            1. re: atomeyes

              I've been called on hyperbole! Fair enough. DdC is pretty awesome for sure, but a 10 minute walk versus a 6 hour drive from my house counts for something! The food at Bellwoods is better too.

        2. To anyone who's been, I want to bring a 10+ group out to the patio this Friday- am I insane? How busy does it get immediately after work? I'm comfortable assuming that per Ossington regulations, they don't take reservations.

          3 Replies
          1. re: biggreenmatt

            i'm pretty sure you're insane, but you could get very lucky by being early. the picnic benches only really fit 6 per and there's not much room to add seats/tables onto what the layout is. i haven't been by immediately after work hours, but that space is packed and with a line all the time.

            1. re: biggreenmatt


              I know there's an upper level that overlooks the space, but I've not checked it out. Can't tell if there's actual seating or rail-only. Early is the only chance you'll have.

              1. re: jlunar

                The indoor upper level? Very tight. Railing with a few tiny tables. And it's divided into two areas... I don't think either would quite fit 10, that's assuming they're empty when you get there.