Halo Brewery

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atomeyes
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Halo Brewery

Postby atomeyes » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:33 am

no discussion on them yet. they've been open for a few weeks.
they're releasing a IIPA on Friday. haven't tried it, but would not be shocked if it wasn't a VERY good IIPA.
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El Pinguino
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby El Pinguino » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:51 pm

Have you stopped by or had their beers yet?
Between them, Henderson and Bandit I think it's time to do a little west end beer crawl soon...
atomeyes
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby atomeyes » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:56 pm

El Pinguino wrote:Have you stopped by or had their beers yet?
Between them, Henderson and Bandit I think it's time to do a little west end beer crawl soon...

i've been out of town for a bit. haven't had a chance. will go within the week.

they're two smart guys. no brewery experience. just homebrew experience. but they're obsessive and freaks of paying attention to detail. total students of the game.

if you're a hophead, i'd expect their hoppy beer to be near the top of what's being done in toronto. big words, i know. but the only obstacle i'd see them having is knowing their system. otherwise, as you can see from their website, their beer's currently fruit focused.
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DeMarco
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby DeMarco » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:45 pm

Yeah I feel like they need a minute to get used to their system. Wasn't excited about what I had from them, but I'll give them a 2nd chance down the road.
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby nickw » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:41 pm

atomeyes wrote:no discussion on them yet. they've been open for a few weeks.
they're releasing a IIPA on Friday. haven't tried it, but would not be shocked if it wasn't a VERY good IIPA.


If I've read what you wrote below correctly, I think you might have an extra negative in there? :wink:

I've quite enjoyed the four/fives beers I've had from them, particularly the Ion Cannon with the heat we've had intermittently. I look forward to seeing them refine everything and really get things going.
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jp_jkl
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby jp_jkl » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:21 pm

I live in the neighbourhood and went on their opening day a couple weeks ago. Personally I think Halo is the best new brewery in Toronto I've tried since Left Field opened, and before that Bellwoods.

I'm looking forward to this IIPA tomorrow, I hope it delivers!
napoleon
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby napoleon » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:56 am

atomeyes wrote:if you're a hophead, i'd expect their hoppy beer to be near the top of what's being done in toronto. big words, i know. but the only obstacle i'd see them having is knowing their system. otherwise, as you can see from their website, their beer's currently fruit focused.

Actually, IMO, their hoppy beers were by far their weakest beers. I quite enjoyed their fruity beers, the Ion Cannon (gose with kiwi and strawberry) and Final Straw (wit with strawberries and rosehips). Both of those were refreshing, with a good mix of tart acidity, fruit, and interesting flavours. They went for fairly adventurous and actually did pretty well here.

Their Magic Missile (dry-hopped IPA) was actually unfinishable for almost everyone in our group. It tasted a bit of cooked onion, which google tells me corresponds to DMTS. When talking to the bartender, she mentioned that they had boiled too long and that was why the IBU's were so high. Really something that maybe shouldn't have been served. The Half-Truth was also not my favorite as a session IPA. It seemed out of balance and overly malty relative to the alcohol/hop content.

Of course, they're just getting started, so I'm perfectly willing to give them a chance to learn from their mistakes. I was quite surprised just how popular it was the night we went, but then BlogTO had just covered it. FYI, they have a tasting room license, so last call is at 9 PM. They explained that due to the assinine ontario rules, they'd have to have a separate entrance to sell bottles if they had a normal bar license.
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jeremyg
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby jeremyg » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:58 am

yeah, of the 4 i tried the hop forward beers were the weakest

thought ion cannon was quite good and the rest average at best

i like what they're doing though, and expect them to only get better and better.
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby napoleon » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:46 am

Anyone try the IIPA yet? I'm curious if they've gotten better with their hoppier beers. It's just far enough away, that it's hard to justify a trip.
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby cirriform » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:25 am

napoleon wrote:Anyone try the IIPA yet? I'm curious if they've gotten better with their hoppier beers. It's just far enough away, that it's hard to justify a trip.

So far it is their tart beers that have been very good and interesting. The hoppy beers not so much yet. Hopefully this is just the learning curve of the big system (and access to good hops), and they will get there.

Keep in mind that they have a modestly-sized tasting room and a small fridge for bottle sales. They're doing gangbusters with the neighbourhood already, and seem to have the time to figure things out and scale appropriately to the extent the surrounding spaces become available. Don't expect them to fulfill your destination expectations if you're coming from far away---right now they are a neighbourhood beer counter operated by people with good taste and technical chops.
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby sprague11 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:40 pm

Judging by the impossible geometries I just drank I'll be drinking a lot more Halo this summer. Very solid.
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo
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saints_gambit
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby saints_gambit » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:04 am

It is as people above have said. They're not quite there on system knowledge yet, but I think they will be eventually. Give 'em a couple months and they'll be very solid.

I like it when brewers know what the problems that they have are and are willing to own up to them. In Halo's case, they already had solutions lined up and theories about how to improve. That's what you want from brewers.
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby napoleon » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:18 am

saints_gambit wrote:It is as people above have said. They're not quite there on system knowledge yet, but I think they will be eventually. Give 'em a couple months and they'll be very solid.

I like it when brewers know what the problems that they have are and are willing to own up to them. In Halo's case, they already had solutions lined up and theories about how to improve. That's what you want from brewers.

That's really great to hear. Now someone from Halo should pop over to Bandit...the beers there are in much, much worse shape.
atomeyes
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby atomeyes » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:21 am

napoleon wrote:
saints_gambit wrote:It is as people above have said. They're not quite there on system knowledge yet, but I think they will be eventually. Give 'em a couple months and they'll be very solid.

I like it when brewers know what the problems that they have are and are willing to own up to them. In Halo's case, they already had solutions lined up and theories about how to improve. That's what you want from brewers.

That's really great to hear. Now someone from Halo should pop over to Bandit...the beers there are in much, much worse shape.


not to talk about Bandit on a Halo thread (and someone should start a Bandit thread, please and thanks), but you're getting this reoccuring issue in Ontario where Niagara grads are being hired out of school and really struggling (sometimes, failing miserably. see: Louis Cifer v1.0). obviously, not all Niagara grads are stumbling (badly), but it's looking like a lot are not prepared to brew and run a brewery. also looks like they are really lacking in the recipe creation department. i haven't seen the curriculum at Niagara, but teaching beer recipes in a technical brewing course would be like teaching a medical student how to make a souflee. the skills don't necessary cross over.

owners are also being way, way too ambitious. they're looking at the wrong breweries for inspiration. "Hey, Stone has over a dozen flagship beer. Let's do that right off the bat!" When i worked in Belgium, i appreciated how a lot of breweries focus on their niche. do something, do it well, repeat it. De Dolle's the best example. he's introducing a a small batch of a resurrected recipe, and limiting availability for the time being. otherwise, you have your 5 core beer and that's it. hearing of new breweries having 8 taps right off the get go is nuts. way too ambitious, way too much risk of failure.

i've heard Bandit's a pretty space with pretty bad beer. same with Exchange.
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Re: Halo Brewery

Postby sprague11 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:19 am

atomeyes wrote: also looks like they are really lacking in the recipe creation department.


I'd say that's pretty accurate (not necessarily talking about Halo here).

Back to the Halo, the Impossible Geometries was quite good out of the bottle. Not certain they've turned things around completely yet but this was a solid IIPA that didn't have any of the flaws I detected from some of their earlier hoppy beers.

a pretty space with pretty bad beer


Had to come back to this, I had a discussion recently with another brewer and BT lurker about this very thing - seems to be the pattern for those with big pockets and bigger ideas "looking to get in on this whole craft beer trend". Priorities seem to be as follows:

Gorgeous space, preferrably in a hip neighbourhood
12 or so Taps. Gotta cater to everybody, right?
Logo and merchandising
Find a brewer who can do a whackload of styles. Worry about if they are any good later.

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"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo

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