The Indie Alehouse

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The Indie Alehouse

Postby saints_gambit » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:28 pm

Just in case anyone is wondering, The Indie Alehouse is now open for business in the junction. Go give it a shot.

http://saintjohnswort.ca/the-indie-alehouse/
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:27 pm

I'm going to pass by there around noonish tomorrow, if others come please say hi.

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Postby TwoPint » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:25 pm

I've been there twice already. Sunday brunch was near capacity but no line-up (give it time). Staff wonderful. Beers good. The cheese plate was OK but shy of Volo standards. The brisket was fatty and far from tender. Nonetheless, we'll be going back.
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:52 pm

Well, I stopped by after a 90 minute walk. I like that area because I don't know it well, it reminds me variously of parts of London (England) and older American cities. The curved high street, rail culverts, old auto shops, small restaurants and anonymous towers testify to this, as do a pre-WW 1 smokestack peering through the brick here and there, or water tower.

You almost feel as if you are in a different city unless again you know the Junction well.

The Indie Ale House is well-laid out, with a nice combination of newness and an older aesthetic. It is easy to navigate and the bar is a natural for the solo visitor as you walk in.

I didn't notice any (BT) bretheren, so got down to business by studying the draft list. Most of the offerings (11) didn't hit my particular wish list in that about half were wheat beers and the rest APAs (one a double IPA), a flavoured porter, and a couple of Belgian styles: an abbey with pumpkin and a raspberry sour style, a collaboration with Amsterdam.

I tend to like English-style pale ale or ESB, unflavoured porter or stout, and blonde or dark lager, but that's fine, what is important is a creative approach to the range. I am sure it will vary over time, too.

I went for Instigator IPA which was a solid interpretation of the APA style, well-brewed and everything it should be. When the glass was 60% full I ordered the Belgian-style raspberry sour, called Spadina Monkey. I found this undrinkable, frankly, but as always that is a personal thing and I'm sure many will enjoy it. I couldn't detect much of the advertised fruit and the lactic edge, or that type, dominated with a funky thing in the background.

I added 1 part of it to 4 in the glass of the Instigator to make an 1800's vatted-type ale, and wow did it work, one of the best blends I made in a long time. The sour beer cut the richness and brambly hoppiness of the Instigator, making it drier, less hoppy and more complex, but not acid in any way. In an odd way it made it more English, or so it struck me.

These were the only two I had and I'm sure some of the others would please - I was tempted in particular by the dark wheat on cask, a collab with House Ales, but I will be back, and soon.

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Postby cratez » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:09 pm

I went with my girlfriend on Friday and we had a great time.

The layout is clean, modern, and simple with plenty of seating throughout, and I like how there's multiple chalkboards so that you always have a clear view of what's on tap.

The severs are very friendly and attentive - we never had to wait more than a few seconds to order another round.

The beers are fantastic and lean towards robust American and Belgian styles, with the Instigator and Breakfast being the standouts IMO.

Our late night appetizers were just okay but the dinner entrees looked delicious, so next time we'll come earlier. Pint prices are good bordering on cheap as most are in the $6-6.50 range (and I believe they're 20 ounces).

The crowd seemed alright but like many Toronto bars you had some hipsters staring about and judging everyone instead of conversing among themselves (nothing going on in their lives to talk about I guess?). But it certainly won't keep us from coming back.

Overall I think this place has a bright future ahead of it, and in several ways it reminds me of the better-known brewpubs in Chicago (Revolution, Piece, etc). Well worth a crawl.
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Postby lister » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:22 pm

We went on Saturday afternoon through the evening. Sat at the bar. Nice space, the brewery smell was noticeable and quite nice. We noticed a familiar face working there, Jeremy who worked at Smokeless Joe a while back. The bartender was pleasant and mostly on top of our beers until the place started to get busy. For a while he was the only one filling beer orders for both the bar and the floor. So at a few points our glasses were empty for a while. Eventually a waitress came in to help and then Jeremy jumped in.

We tried all the beers other than the Cockpuncher and the Belgian RyePA. The blue chalk on the chalkboards was hard to read and I ordered the Pumpkin Abbey first (9.5%), oops! It was tasty but not how I wanted to start drinking. Ah well. The Street Wheat was a surprise as we were expecting a (416)-like beer but it had a light raspberry flavour to it. Quite tasty. The raspberry sour was nice, not too sour, I could actually drink it. The Breakfast Porter, Dark Wheat and Instigator IPA were all nice too. I only had a sip of the Broken Hipster wit, ugh, hate wits, but the girlfriend liked it.

The food overall was good. We ordered the fried mozzarella, chilli cheese fries, smoked wings (maple sauce) and the pork mac & cheese. The girlfriend really liked the wings. Really, really, really, really, really, really, really. The pork mac & cheese was good but small. I`d do away with the arugula salad and have a larger mac & cheese portion and I`d layer an extra squirt of the BBQ sauce in the middle. The chilli cheese fries were a letdown. The chilli itself was good, spicy, beanless (yay!) but the fries looked, tasted and had the texture of only being blanched. I think the fry guy lost track of which fries were done because the couple next to us had side orders of fries and they looked okay. Due to the small portion sizes I later order the shrimp po` boy which came with fries. The sandwich was a little on the small side. The fries were better but could have stayed in the fryer a bit longer.

It was interesting to see the non-craft beer people sitting around us at various times. Of course for whatever bizarre reason they feel the need to talk to me, ugh. My girlfriend is the friendly chatty one not me. I also have a hard time hearing people when there`s a lot of background noise. *sigh*

One guy, when asked by the bartender what he wanted, said ``The coldest and lightest thing you got.`` *facepalm* I think he was given the wit based off glass selection. He left after that glass, he may not have even finished it.

A pair of young guys were talking to this other couple who were recommending various places like Volo. I couldn`t quite hear all the places. We recommended Bar Hop, Cèst What and was asked about eastern Queen spots so suggested Celi Cottage and Castro`s. I put in a plug for Cask Days. They seemed to quite like the couple of beers they had.

One guy came up to my right squeezing in while standing trying to get the bartender`s attention. He reeked of cigarettes, gross and may have had a few drinks before that. He was rather exuberant asking us what to have. I asked what he likes and he said everything. Great, way to narrow it down for me! :roll: He yakked some more, eventually got his beers, introduced his friend, offered to buy our beers but they were on the bill already and left for a table.

Last group, had this guy who I yakked with a bit about beers, wine and whiskeys. Hard to hear him. There also was this Indian (I presume) couple from England. She had wine since she doesn`t like beer but tried the sour and thought it was good. He mentioned his favourite beers and in the same sentence, I kid you not, said he quite liked Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion, Kronenberg and Sapporo. Kronenberg apparently tastes very different over in Europe. Okay... Years ago my girlfriend`s cousin`s ex-boyfriend, who is German, came for a visit and we did Korean BBQ. I wanted a beer and the selection was terrible but I decided on a Kronenberg since I never had it on tap before. He asked me if I liked it. ``No!``He said it`s pretty much garbage whether here or in Europe likening it to our macro stuff. Anyways, I questioned the Indian fellow on Sapporo a bit but they left for a table with their group.

If we lived in the area we`d be fucking ecstatic with the opening of Indie Alehouse and would be there frequently. My girlfriend used to live in the area so we know what a hole the place is for good beer. We`d likely return if we happen to be in the area.
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Postby Cass » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:40 pm

A great addition to the city. Jason's been working on this for a long time and it's fantastic to see it come to fruition.

Personally I'm thrilled as the location is just a couple of minute walk from the end of the St Clair W streetcar line. For those who live anywhere nearby, the streetcar flies out there and it makes the Junction area and its emerging bar scene a quick and easy destination.

Congrats Jay and I will be seeing you there frequently!
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Postby andrewrg » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:32 am

Went last night, had the Instigator IPA and Breakfast Porter.

Porter was light, thin, but very well-flavoured. Coffee, chocolate, mildly sweet, solid porter. Would have liked a bit more thickness to it.

Instigator IPA was also good: bitter with enough fruity hop smell and flavour to be drinkable and not cause extreme pinemouth.

I'll be going back to try the food at some point.
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Postby Garthicus » Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:48 pm

lister wrote:We went on Saturday afternoon through the evening. Sat at the bar. Nice space, the brewery smell was noticeable and quite nice. We noticed a familiar face working there, Jeremy who worked at Smokeless Joe a while back. The bartender was pleasant and mostly on top of our beers until the place started to get busy. For a while he was the only one filling beer orders for both the bar and the floor. So at a few points our glasses were empty for a while. Eventually a waitress came in to help and then Jeremy jumped in.

We tried all the beers other than the Cockpuncher and the Belgian RyePA. The blue chalk on the chalkboards was hard to read and I ordered the Pumpkin Abbey first (9.5%), oops! It was tasty but not how I wanted to start drinking. Ah well. The Street Wheat was a surprise as we were expecting a (416)-like beer but it had a light raspberry flavour to it. Quite tasty. The raspberry sour was nice, not too sour, I could actually drink it. The Breakfast Porter, Dark Wheat and Instigator IPA were all nice too. I only had a sip of the Broken Hipster wit, ugh, hate wits, but the girlfriend liked it.

The food overall was good. We ordered the fried mozzarella, chilli cheese fries, smoked wings (maple sauce) and the pork mac & cheese. The girlfriend really liked the wings. Really, really, really, really, really, really, really. The pork mac & cheese was good but small. I`d do away with the arugula salad and have a larger mac & cheese portion and I`d layer an extra squirt of the BBQ sauce in the middle. The chilli cheese fries were a letdown. The chilli itself was good, spicy, beanless (yay!) but the fries looked, tasted and had the texture of only being blanched. I think the fry guy lost track of which fries were done because the couple next to us had side orders of fries and they looked okay. Due to the small portion sizes I later order the shrimp po` boy which came with fries. The sandwich was a little on the small side. The fries were better but could have stayed in the fryer a bit longer.

It was interesting to see the non-craft beer people sitting around us at various times. Of course for whatever bizarre reason they feel the need to talk to me, ugh. My girlfriend is the friendly chatty one not me. I also have a hard time hearing people when there`s a lot of background noise. *sigh*

One guy, when asked by the bartender what he wanted, said ``The coldest and lightest thing you got.`` *facepalm* I think he was given the wit based off glass selection. He left after that glass, he may not have even finished it.

A pair of young guys were talking to this other couple who were recommending various places like Volo. I couldn`t quite hear all the places. We recommended Bar Hop, Cèst What and was asked about eastern Queen spots so suggested Celi Cottage and Castro`s. I put in a plug for Cask Days. They seemed to quite like the couple of beers they had.

One guy came up to my right squeezing in while standing trying to get the bartender`s attention. He reeked of cigarettes, gross and may have had a few drinks before that. He was rather exuberant asking us what to have. I asked what he likes and he said everything. Great, way to narrow it down for me! :roll: He yakked some more, eventually got his beers, introduced his friend, offered to buy our beers but they were on the bill already and left for a table.

Last group, had this guy who I yakked with a bit about beers, wine and whiskeys. Hard to hear him. There also was this Indian (I presume) couple from England. She had wine since she doesn`t like beer but tried the sour and thought it was good. He mentioned his favourite beers and in the same sentence, I kid you not, said he quite liked Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion, Kronenberg and Sapporo. Kronenberg apparently tastes very different over in Europe. Okay... Years ago my girlfriend`s cousin`s ex-boyfriend, who is German, came for a visit and we did Korean BBQ. I wanted a beer and the selection was terrible but I decided on a Kronenberg since I never had it on tap before. He asked me if I liked it. ``No!``He said it`s pretty much garbage whether here or in Europe likening it to our macro stuff. Anyways, I questioned the Indian fellow on Sapporo a bit but they left for a table with their group.

If we lived in the area we`d be fucking ecstatic with the opening of Indie Alehouse and would be there frequently. My girlfriend used to live in the area so we know what a hole the place is for good beer. We`d likely return if we happen to be in the area.



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Postby Mike-KBCo » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:21 am

Stopped in for a pint that turned into a few. Almost universally good beer. Was impressed by the street wheat and the Cockpuncher, but the Pumpkin Abby was really great. Phenomenal, actually.

Had the smoked wings, pizza and chili cheese fries, all of which were good. Service was good but a little disorganized. Staff are obviously still feeling the place out and growing as a team. Nothing more than the usual growing pains you expect from a brand new establishment.

If it wasn't so damn far away this would be a regular haunt for me. Congrats Jason!
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Postby JeffPorter » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:13 pm

Garthicus wrote:
"I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time..."


:lol:
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Postby lister » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:14 pm

Garthicus wrote:"I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time..."


Meh.
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Postby Belgian » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:43 pm

lister wrote:
Garthicus wrote:"I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time..."

Meh.

"Ah, there's an interesting story behind this nickel. In 1957, I remember it was, I got up in the morning and made myself a piece of toast. I set the toaster to three: medium brown..."
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Postby lister » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:49 pm

Belgian wrote:"Ah, there's an interesting story behind this nickel. In 1957, I remember it was, I got up in the morning and made myself a piece of toast. I set the toaster to three: medium brown..."


Yeah I know.

Meh.
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Postby icemachine » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:42 pm

I think lister wants to go to Blocko land
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