What’s on the menu at True History Brewing, a new craft brewery in St. Clair West Village
Name: True History Brewing
Contact: 1154 St. Clair Ave. W., truehistorybeer.com, @truehistorybrewing
Neighbourhood: St. Clair West Village
Previously: Big Slice
Owners: Matt Tompkins, Adam Shier
Brewer: Adam Shier, Joey Armenio
Chef: Aaron Okada
Accessibility: Fully accessible
This new craft brewery at St. Clair and Dufferin serves up crisp pilsners and pale ales in a cozy taproom. Tompkins and Shier—beer enthusiasts who used to work in film and finance, respectively—wanted True History to be as much about friendly neighbourhood vibes as it is about the pints. And so, the food program is all small plates designed for sharing—with either the friends you came in with or the new friends you’ll make sitting at a communal table.
Chef Aaron Okada—formerly of the Indonesian snack bar Little Sister and southwest American cantina Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!—borrows heavily from Portuguese tavern-style cuisine for a menu of plates with punchy flavours that complement the brews. Crispy-skinned chicken thighs sit in a vivid house piri-piri sauce; crunchy corn chips come with a long-stewed dip of roasted eggplant and hot smoked paprika; and a classic Bavarian pretzel comes with beer cheese sauce or house-made grainy mustard for dipping.
Like many up-and-comers, True History started out as a contract brewery, commissioning its recipes out to a partner facility. With the opening of its first stand-alone location, it now has its own set-up for cranking out the clean, golden German- and Czech-style pilsners and pale ales it’s known for. The tight menu—currently, there are four beers on tap—is set to expand over time but promises to play within True History’s tidy, easy-drinking style. A few options for wine and cider are also on offer.
It’s an airy, spacious room with big windows and a few long communal tables intended to facilitate conversations and connections between patrons. If you want to meet your neighbours, this is as good a place as any. A walnut bar, custom wallpaper and wood panelling give the space a warm, lived-in vibe. Peek in the back for a glimpse at the shiny fermentation tanks housing your new favourite beers. Soon, a side patio will offer space for another 48 beer drinkers.