The Gran­ite Brew­ery

Richmond Hill Post - - Food - Ron Keefe Owner

Long be­fore the Toronto craft beer craze en­veloped this great city, the Gran­ite Brew­ery has be­ing do­ing it since its hum­ble be­gin­nings back in Hal­i­fax, N.S., in 1985. A unique con­cept at the time (a pub that brewed its own beer), they took their home­town suc­cess story and brought it to the big city long be­fore it was pop­u­lar, open­ing their sec­ond lo­ca­tion at Mt. Pleas­ant & Eglin­ton in 1991. The beer busi­ness was mostly dom­i­nated by the large com­mer­cial brew­eries at the time, which made it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to get peo­ple to sam­ple truly unique craft beers. In the face of this, pro­pri­etor Ron Keefe still brought his pas­sion and com­mit­ment for craft­ing unique, English ales to a mar­ket where craft beers sim­ply didn't ex­ist. Over the next ten years, as con­sumers’ tastes ex­panded and the craft beer boom took off, the Gran­ite Brew­ery has main­tained its po­si­tion of pro­vid­ing qual­ity, tra­di­tional English ales and con­tem­po­rary styles to an ever grow­ing base of ad­ven­tur­ous beer drinkers. Uti­liz­ing a unique brew­ing style called “open fer­men­ta­tion” and the Ring­wood style brew process, used only by a small hand­ful of other brew­eries in the coun­try, has slowly helped them in at­tain­ing their very loyal fol­low­ing. This process helps con­vert the sugar to al­co­hol and gives the beer a par­tic­u­larly fruity taste. The brew­pub has since be­come a neigh­bour­hood favourite, at­tract­ing both fam­i­lies and young pro­fes­sion­als to gather with friends over food and drink in their cozy in­te­rior or on one of their 2 fab­u­lous out­door pa­tios. With the help of Ron’s daugh­ter, Mary Beth Keefe, tak­ing over as brew­mas­ter, they have grown their ros­ter of ales from seven to over six­teen ro­tat­ing drafts and a spe­cialty in cask-con­di­tioned ales, en­sur­ing there is a flavour that will please any palate. A re­tail beer store is also at the brew­ery, sell­ing their craft beers in both growler and tall can for­mats, and is open ev­ery day un­til 11 p.m. The suc­cess of the Gran­ite Brew­ery is in large part due to its loyal em­ploy­ees. In an in­dus­try with a typ­i­cally high em­ployee turnover rate, you can al­ways count on a fa­mil­iar face when vis­it­ing. A large por­tion of the staff has been there for many years, and sev­eral have even been em­ployed since the Gran­ite first opened its doors. Dur­ing that first week the Gran­ite opened, a cus­tomer bet Ron $1 that the busi­ness would not last six months. He took the bet, and now that $1 bill hangs proudly in the brew­pub — a tes­ta­ment to the pi­o­neer­ing past this brew­pub has ex­pe­ri­enced.

245 Eglin­ton Ave. East 416-322-0723 gran­ite­brew­

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