Raspberries at Lea­side’s brew house

A fruity beer gets new life in san­gria

Annex Post - - FOOD - By Karolyne El­la­cott


Be­fore craft beer was a ubiq­ui­tous quip rolling off the tongue of ev­ery hope­ful cool kid, Am­s­ter­dam Brew­ery was mak­ing, well, craft beer. Born in 1986 and older than most mil­len­ni­als, the craft brew­ery is re­spon­si­ble for so many of those beers pop­u­lat­ing Toronto’s bars. Ask any­one about Bone­shaker, 3Speed or Big Wheel, and chances are they’ll be able to name-drop Am­s­ter­dam sans prob­lem. Although their brew­ery has called Lea­side home since 2012 (and Bathurst prior), it wasn’t pos­si­ble to sit down in the ’hood and have a night out with food and drink. En­ter: the Bar­rel House.


The Bar­rel House came to be be­cause the team, led by brew­mas­ter Iain McOus­tra, wanted a Lea­side home. A tiny brew­ery marked by a garage door at the back of the build­ing af­fords the brew­ers a play space that caters to any whims and no­tions. Small batches of their beer cre­ations, known as Ad­ven­ture Brews, will end up on tap for the in­quis­i­tive to try. They’ve con­quered ev­ery­thing from sours to stouts, lagers and bar­rel-aged brews, and those brews that find an au­di­ence may even make an en­core ap­pear­ance.


But for those who shy away from con­sum­ing beer (for shame!) the team has come up with a sly way to bridge the gap: san­gria. “The Rasp­berry Wheat Beer is a go-to,” says bar­tender Mar­lee Big­gers. “It’s not too sweet!” The tra­di­tional-style wheat beer — brewed with toasted wheat malts and nugget hops — gets a dash of rasp­berry and is an oh-sos­mooth op­tion for the beer-timid. When paired with pome­gran­ate liqueur, mixed berries and your choice of red or white wine, the re­sult is a sum­mery tip­ple that is fruity with­out be­ing sac­cha­rine. Now all you have to do is wait a few months to en­joy it on the gi­ant, wrap­around pa­tio.

Mar­lee Big­gers whip­ping up the beery san­gria

The san­gria

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