London, Ontario and Area

Discuss beer travel and regional information, including the best bars and places to check out around in Canada and around the world.

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ErkLR
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Postby ErkLR » Wed May 02, 2012 9:24 pm

cratez wrote:
ErkLR wrote: I guess I'll go in and see what the selection is like now. I remember when they had 3 kinds of Keith's on.


That was two years ago. Besides the regular IPA (lager), I haven't seen any Keith's on in a very long time. The abandonment of micros wasn't apparent to me last week as they still had ~13 crafters on (and good ones at that), but based on what Matthew has learned, it sounds like The Shire won't be worth visiting anymore. I'm surprised the new manager has chosen to go macro since they could've easily capitalized on the fallout from Gambrinus closing. What a boneheaded move.

ErkLR wrote: That could explain why they had no more Railway City beers when I went last month and it seemed as if they were done with that brewery. :-(


IMHO Railway was one of the weaker micros that they carried. When faced with the choice between RCB stuff and beers from Denison's, F&M Stone Hammer, Spearhead, Grand River, and Great Lakes, I always went with the latter. But they did get some decent seasonals from time to time, like the Sham Bock.


I'll probably be checking it out this Friday, but even then, they may have not run out of their current kegs to start putting on the Keith's.
I agree that there's better stuff out there than Railway City (except I think Dead Elephant is excellent), but the bar guy seemed to imply that they were upset with Railway as if they had a falling out, though he didn't say specifically. I think you're right, with Gambrinus being on hiatus, The Shire could have gone for some of that business. Oddly when I was in there several Fridays (>a month?) ago, around 6:00 the entire clientele was >60 years old. I don't know what that means, could have just been friends of the guy playing guitar.
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MatttthewGeorge
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Postby MatttthewGeorge » Thu May 03, 2012 8:21 am

just to clarify a few things (in case I muddled something), re: the shire

- they have 18 taps (downstairs). 2 are macros. they are going to add about 4-6 macros. that still means, even at 8 macros, they will have 10 micros. still decent considering the London scene right now.
- there was a falling out with Railway. I've heard both sides of the story and won't comment, except to say I know with the change of management, the Shire have reached out to Railway and you may see at least one tap back, but this is speculation on my part, tbh.
- the Grand River rep told me they are no longer at The Shire. I don't know if this is because they are one of the ones being replaced by the macros or because of something else, he just said they're done there. Too bad, I love their beer.
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cratez
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Postby cratez » Fri May 11, 2012 3:29 pm

MatttthewGeorge wrote: Even at 8 macros, they will have 10 micros. Still decent considering the London scene right now.


Brennan's has 12 taps and every single one is craft so I'll be giving them my business until Milos returns in the very near future. I just can't support a bar that actively chooses to drop micro draughts in favour of Molbatts slop. Not my type of place.

MatttthewGeorge wrote: There was a falling out with Railway. I've heard both sides of the story and won't comment, except to say I know with the change of management, The Shire has reached out to Railway and you may see at least one tap back, but this is speculation on my part.


As far as I know the manager who was responsible for turning The Shire into a decent micro hub has been fired and replaced by a guy who used to run a BBQ joint that only serves macros. So if I had to guess I'd say the current ownership and management have been looking for excuses to push out the crafters and bring in the big guys (the owner drinks Stella daily).

MatttthewGeorge wrote: The Grand River rep told me they are no longer at The Shire. I don't know if this is because they are one of the ones being replaced by the macros or because of something else, he just said they're done there. Too bad, I love their beer.


One of the staff told my friend that Hannenberg is being replaced by a Labatts tap. :roll:

On the bright side, none of this stuff will matter in a few weeks time and I forgot to mention that The King Edward's draught selection has improved as well. When I stopped by three weeks ago they had Stone Hammer, MacLeans, Hacker Pschorr, Fullers, Wellington, Railway City, and Innis & Gunn on tap with the County Dark Ale on cask. It's a small but high quality lineup and their worst beers (Guinness, Tennants) are still levels above the crap you see elsewhere. Lastly, The Nite Owl/Early Bird have a fresh keg of Smash Bomb on tap. Cheers!
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MatttthewGeorge
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Postby MatttthewGeorge » Sat May 12, 2012 7:33 pm

cratez wrote:I just can't support a bar that actively chooses to drop micro draughts in favour of Molbatts slop. Not my type of place.


Fair enough, however not supporting the micros that are on tap will only have the effect of more macros being added. They still have 10-12 taps of micro, some of which aren't available anywhere else in London. Seems like that's reason enough to go there.

cratez wrote: As far as I know the manager who was responsible for turning The Shire into a decent micro hub has been fired and replaced by a guy who used to run a BBQ joint that only serves macros. So if I had to guess I'd say the current ownership and management have been looking for excuses to push out the crafters and bring in the big guys (the owner drinks Stella daily).


Just to clear some things up: The manager you speak of, Sonita, was actually part owner, and they bought her share out. They have a new manager, Rachel, whom I'm just getting to know so I can't speak to her marco/micro vision. The BBQ guy is Kyle, who was working as a bar manager under Sonita and now under Rachel.


I'm not trying to be combative here; hell I lost a tap in all this so obviously I'm not happy either, however Morrissey House has marcos, even Gambrinus had Keith's on tap. If a new bar was to open in London tomorrow with 12 micro taps and 6 marocs, most of us would be praising it. Yes it is unfortunate The Shire has cut some of their micros, but it is still one of the better places to find micro beer in London regardless.
Last edited by MatttthewGeorge on Fri May 25, 2012 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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cratez
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Postby cratez » Sun May 13, 2012 12:26 pm

cratez wrote: ...Until Milos returns in the very near future...


Speaking of which: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Milos-Ar ... 9371051475
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Postby MatttthewGeorge » Fri May 25, 2012 9:58 am

Was just in Bungalow yesterday and they replaced Kieth's with Mad Tom!

Their tap list was the following: Mad Tom, Stone Hammer Light, Beau's, Steamwhistle, Tankhouse, Cobblestone, Creemore, Sam Adams, Innis & Gunn, Stegiel, Stegiel Radler, Sapporo, Grasshopper, Richard's Red
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cratez
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Postby cratez » Fri May 25, 2012 12:23 pm

MatttthewGeorge wrote: Was just in Bungalow yesterday and they replaced Keith's with Mad Tom!

Their tap list was the following: Mad Tom, Stone Hammer Light, Beau's, Steamwhistle, Tankhouse, Cobblestone, Creemore, Sam Adams, Innis & Gunn, Stiegl...Grasshopper


Wow, 11 taps that I'd actually drink! Thanks for the update Matt. I've added Bungalow and Windermere's to the official list. Cheers
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Postby NRman » Sat May 26, 2012 8:22 am

MatttthewGeorge wrote:Was just in Bungalow yesterday and they replaced Kieth's with Mad Tom!


Has a great lamb (or bison ? or liger? whatever ) burger there last year the morning after that fabulous Flying Monkeys shit show at Gambrinus. Best part was watching Bearing lecture the waiter that Keiths should not be listed as an IPA.
With Mad Tom on tap we'll go back. Thx
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ErkLR
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Postby ErkLR » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Looks like you'll have to strike APK Live from the list. They're closing down after Sunday. http://apklive.com/featured-home-page/c ... h-us/4077/
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cratez
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Postby cratez » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:49 pm

ErkLR wrote: Looks like you'll have to strike APK Live from the list. They're closing down after Sunday. http://apklive.com/featured-home-page/c ... h-us/4077/


Very unfortunate to see this only two months after they hosted the Beer Fest. Their food and bottles were pretty good, they always had 7-9 solid crafters on tap, and I liked how they brought in the Wellington one-off casks last year. Here's to hoping they find another space soon.
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Postby cratez » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:59 am

Well, the day has finally come. Three local home brewers have announced that London will have its own microbrewery this spring with the opening of Forked River Brewing Company in the far east end (Clarke Road b/w Oxford & Dundas). Details are sparse right now but judging by their Facebook page it looks like their first beer will be an APA/IPA of some sort and, according to one of the owners, they plan to offer tap samples and BTG at their on-site retail store. Not sure whether they'll be selling bottles, growlers, or both at this point, but in any case this is great news for the Forest City.

I'm also happy to report that The APK has taken over Brennan's Beer & Bistro and re-opened at its new location on Clarence & York this past weekend. I haven't been able to check out the beer selection yet but as far as I know the micro focus of both locations will remain in place. I'll share more info when I find out what they're offering. Cheers!
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cratez
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Postby cratez » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:11 am

Here's three articles that provide some more details on Forked River. They're launching with a "hop-forward" Rye Pale Ale and a session-strength Blonde Ale. Seasonals and rotators to follow.

The London Free Press: London will gain first craft brewery in many years, this spring

Metro News: London beer enthusiasts join to form hyper-local Forked River microbrewery

Canadian Beer News: Forked River Brewing Opening This Spring in London
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ForkedRiver
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Postby ForkedRiver » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:07 pm

Hey Guys! Sorry it took so long to get a post up here! Hopefully you have got a decent amount of info from our other bits of media!

Yes we will have a balanced, but late wort hopped Blonde ale which won two gold medals at BJCP events (Beaus Pro-Am, and CABA) last year. It's a sessionable blonde at about 4.7% with a healthy dose of Amarillo at the finish. Its called Capital Blonde Ale (London was supposed to be the Capital of Upper Canada according to Simcoe)

Our other offering is called Riptide Rye Pale Ale. Were not getting into IPA territory with this one (although we have discussed an Extra Riptide). It's solidly in the APA category, although it has a significant percentage of Rye in it to give it a bit more mouthfeel and the spicy/pepper notes. Again late wort hopped for a good aroma (note not dry hopped, that would be for Extra Riptide). Classic C hops in this one too.

Were estimating the first batches coming out in April, were in the final buildout stages of the brewery. We will have the sampling space, and it's an open concept brewery so you will be able to see all the nice stainless tanks. Bottles and Growlers available at the brewery. We also are planning to do some cask ales, and will eventually do some barrel aging work too. We need to source some barrels.

Hope that helps out with what were doing! I'm Dave the Founder. If you have any questions fire away.

Also we are planning some seasonals and rotationals as well. Hammering down details for the first seasonal, but our focus is something that hasn't been seen in Ontario or is very underrepresented. And different than our other beers.

And if you haven't been to FB or Twitter yet, the info is in my sig.

Cheers! Looking forward to brewing some great beer in London!
Forked River Brewing Company
www.forkedriverbrewing.com
www.facebook.com/ForkedRiverBrewing
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groulxsome
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Postby groulxsome » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:10 am

ForkedRiver wrote:a healthy dose of Amarillo at the finish. Its called Capital Blonde Ale (London was supposed to be the Capital of Upper Canada according to Simcoe).


Shouldn't it have a healthy dose of Simcoe then? :p I kid.

Any chance of any casks/kegs ending up in some finer Toronto establishments? If not, I might need to plan a road trip this summer... Both beers sound great!
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ForkedRiver
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Postby ForkedRiver » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:59 pm

groulxsome wrote:
Shouldn't it have a healthy dose of Simcoe then? :p I kid.

Any chance of any casks/kegs ending up in some finer Toronto establishments? If not, I might need to plan a road trip this summer... Both beers sound great!


Thanks we think they are great too, but we are little biased!

As for beer in Toronto, it's not out of the real of possibility, but to start we are really focusing on the London market, developing it and growing from there. But we might let some out from time to time... You never know!

As for Simcoe... I love it, but for some reason our hop supplier gets mad when I bring it up :)
Forked River Brewing Company

www.forkedriverbrewing.com

www.facebook.com/ForkedRiverBrewing

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