Bellwoods Brewery to launch later this year with T.O.-grown hops and food by Guy Rawlings
When brewers Mike Clark and Luke Pestl decided to launch the upcoming Bellwoods Brewery on Ossington (at the former Meta Gallery site), they saw a perfect opportunity to combine their love for local food, craft beer and urban gardening: Bellwoods City Hops, a project that takes the concept of a local microbrew quite a bit further than we’ve seen in the past.
The duo—both former brewers at the Amsterdam Brewing Company—have taken to Toronto’s rooftops, backyards and patios, planting four varieties of hops at eight locations across the city, including in the 1200-square-foot roof garden run by Victoria Taylor and Katie Mathieu at Parts and Labour. “City Hops is a pilot project to explore the viability of growing hops in urban spaces,” Clark told The Dish. Rhizomes were planted in late April, and with some plants measuring as high as 20 feet, Clark hopes to have some of the hops ready in time for a limited run of fall-season specialty casks.
But beer isn’t the only thing that will be on hand when Bellwoods opens its doors to the public later this year. Guy Rawlings (of Brockton General fame, and most recently seen working front-of-house at Ortolan) will be involved in establishing a café and tasting room at the brewery, which Clark describes as an intimate “indoor picnic” (he makes a point of mentioning that there will be no deep fryer). Bellwoods won’t be fully functional until later this year, but judging by the surge in interest in craft brewing in Toronto, we think they’ll do all right.
Bellwoods Brewery, 124 Ossington Ave.