Bandit Brewery

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napoleon
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Bandit Brewery

Postby napoleon » Sun May 01, 2016 4:35 pm

Bandit Brewery has just opened their doors for a soft launch this week.
http://www.banditbrewery.ca/
They're on Dundas between the bridge over the railway tracks and where Dundas hits Roncesvalles.

Really nice space they've put together. Yes, yes, it's lots of Edison bulbs, but it makes for a very pleasant and large interior. Looks like they're prepping for a massive patio as well. I popped in yesterday and was surprised how many people there were for a place that hasn't really opened yet even. Lots of staff running around...struggling a bit with their POS system, but that's to be expected. Staff were very friendly though.

Tried a couple beers and a little underwhelmed:
I really, really struggled with their "Cone Ranger" which is billed as "An aromatic American IPA, dry-hopped with Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops." Something was clearly wrong with this beer. Instead of the lovely floral or juicy aromas and tastes one gets, I got almost all malt upfront. I would have never guessed this beer was an IPA from the taste/smell alone as the hops weren't really detectable at first. What I did get though was serious palate fatigue. I eventually figured out it reminded me of the way your palate responds to tasting a hop pellet. I'm wondering if they woefully overdid it in the dry-hopping? Maybe those of you that homebrew can explain it. In the end I couldn't even finish my pint.

The "Farmed and Dangerous" is described by them as an "Easy-drinking farmhouse style wheat ale infused with coriander and orange peel. A little too easy to drink." It was definitely better than the cone ranger. Little too much coriander/orange peel. No saison funkiness. Not bad for a hot summer's day though, although nowhere near the complexity of what one might find with Amsterdam, Folly, or Indie.

I'd love to hear what others think. For the soft opening, pints (16oz) are $1 off and half-pints ( 8 oz) are $0.50 off. They're flights are not a good value proposition, as it's 4, 3-ounce pours for $10.
atomeyes
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby atomeyes » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:16 pm

i went tonight. I didn't want the tap list or the Toronto Star review to jade me too much.
It would be cruel — and probably inaccurate — to call the beer at Bandit Brewery boring.

The word inoffensive is probably a little closer to the mark.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with the six or seven brews on tap on any given night. It’s just that there’s nothing particular compelling, either.

That, according to Bandit’s head brewer Ben Morris, is mostly by design, and partly by technical necessity.

“We didn’t really know what people would want to drink, so we didn’t want to start out doing double IPAs,” says Morris, referring to the amped-up big brother of the India Pale Ale style.


ugg.

the space: it's a beautiful space. huge patio. Looks like something out of Portland. Branding's great. Glassware's great.
you walk through a weird little atrium which is their bottle shop. feels a bit out of place, with a half-empty fridge and an employee just staring quietly at you as you kind of wonder what to do.
it was a beautiful night out tonight. the inside is cold. about 20 C. the entire north wall of the building are pull-up doors. they're open all the way. so mid-20s outside, AC blasting inside. Hydro bill and hole in the ozone layer are growing rapidly like it's 1992 and we don't know any better.

staff: they seem understaffed, but they really aren't. they're just kind of confused. think i saw some beer mix-ups brought back to the bar. our server pretty much undressed my friend for ordering at the bar and then made him wait 10 min before taking his order (sorry, ma'am, if you are reading this). she asked my friend's name for the tab. "Zach," he says. "Ok, Zachary," she replies, which is an asshole thing to do on top of giving him some attitude before that. but, hey, she did it with an enthusiastic smile.
we were there with a large party. my wife paid at the bar - with our server - since we had to leave early. we get home and get a phone call from our friend. "Apparently you guys didn't pay your bill," he says. My wife talks to him, says, no, we paid our server, please put her on the phone. she comes on the phone, my wife reminders her where and when she paid. "uuhhhhhhhh...." is the reply and then my wife hears the phone being given back to our friend. "She just walked away," he said. OK then....

so the service can use some help.

Beer: the menu has 6 beer. we order the sampler and leave out the two wheat beer. the saison: all sorts of wrong. i thought some of Ontario's saisons from last summer were way too sweet. this probably finished at 1.012-1.018, which, in beer speak, is "totally shitty for a saison." it also is clear that a wit or trappist yeast is used and not a saison yeast. cloves and banana and all those non-saison esters jammed into this sweet beer. the warmer it got, the more sweet it got. the IIPA: way too malty, way too sweet. my friend thought it was a centennial party but in a bad way. tastes like it was barrel aged, when it wasn't. Smoked porter: was the best of the beer we had. good smoke to it (which porters should have). something about it really hurt my throat. no clue what/why. the last beer was an IPA or APA or amber. no idea. had "wild turkey" in the description. didn't taste it. smelled like green apples. that's not a good thing.

i'd give the place a 5.5/10. beer are sippable/drinkable at times, but not good whatsoever. our server was lost. space is great but Al Gore won't be drinking there any time soon (nor will I).
i give Josh Rubin's review a 9/10. didn't exactly undress them for not being good, but you read between the lines and you can see that he wasn't impressed. nor was i or my friend. but the 150 or so people there? didn't seem to have a care in the world.
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El Pinguino
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby El Pinguino » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:57 pm

I haven't been to Bandit yet, but the people who told me they liked/loved it are people who don't really care much about what beer they drink. They go out to socialize and have fun...and if they are drinking Budweiser or off-tasting weird saisons doesn't matter, as they don't go to places for the beer (Bandit just happens to be a "cool" spot for some of my Roncy friends these days).

To obad about the service though...even with mediocre beer ,you can partly make up for that with solid service.
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Blasphomet
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby Blasphomet » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:42 pm

How are people feeling about these guys these days? I have yet to check them out but am considering checking out some of the breweries around the city I have yet to try. I've read lukewarm things.

Opinions would be nice!
CoolB
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby CoolB » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:59 am

I did a tour of the facility and assisted with an interview with the brewers done by the Albino Rhino about a month ago.

I tasted everything they had and most of it was pretty good with Smoke on the Porter being a standout.

I'd go back, especially knowing how good the location is with surprisingly lots of seating indoors and outdoors. Not to mention how damn good it smells in there if they are dry hopping during your visit.
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TheSevenDuffs
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby TheSevenDuffs » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:41 am

Blasphomet wrote:How are people feeling about these guys these days? I have yet to check them out but am considering checking out some of the breweries around the city I have yet to try. I've read lukewarm things.

Opinions would be nice!

I've visited once and tried a couple of bottles at home. The quality of each beer I had ranged from well below average to average (on the high end). The space is nice (albeit a bit oddly laid out). My impression is that Bandit is not focused enough on the beer in lieu of striving to be a cool, trendy local hang out spot, targeting new and casual craft drinkers. I won't be returning any time soon.
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Blasphomet
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby Blasphomet » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:48 pm

TheSevenDuffs wrote:
Blasphomet wrote:How are people feeling about these guys these days? I have yet to check them out but am considering checking out some of the breweries around the city I have yet to try. I've read lukewarm things.

Opinions would be nice!

I've visited once and tried a couple of bottles at home. The quality of each beer I had ranged from well below average to average (on the high end). The space is nice (albeit a bit oddly laid out). My impression is that Bandit is not focused enough on the beer in lieu of striving to be a cool, trendy local hang out spot, targeting new and casual craft drinkers. I won't be returning any time soon.


Sort of what I figured from what I've gathered.
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El Pinguino
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby El Pinguino » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:29 pm

Just checked their website, and their food menu seems very limited...from going by it seems like a big space, I just thought they'd have a decent kitchen or at least numerous food options.
Ah well...I guess best to east somewhere in Roncy first then samples at Bandit.
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cratez
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby cratez » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:57 am

TheSevenDuffs wrote: I've visited once and tried a couple of bottles at home. The quality of each beer I had ranged from well below average to average (on the high end). My impression is that Bandit is not focused enough on the beer...targeting new and casual craft drinkers.

Having tried the APA, IPA, DIPA, and Gose, I would agree with this assessment. They've had four chances to impress me and have failed with each one. The beer isn't terrible, but it's not great either, and there's too much good beer being brewed in Toronto and the rest of the province for me to bother with them. I'll be ignoring these guys until I hear/read that they've made something worth checking out.
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lister
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby lister » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:07 pm

Having previously been twice and not being terribly impressed, I've gone back one more time recently within the last month to try their hibiscus beer. A friend wants a clone. Suffice to say I hated that beer but I don't like hibiscus so that wasn't unexpected. I did try their other beers again and I'll say they've reached fine. Perfectly fine. Not interesting enough to haul ass half way across the city but now I'll try any of their new stuff when it appears in places closer to home.
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roland
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby roland » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:16 pm

Anyone taste/price info on Mamba Barrel Aged Imperial Stout?
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BartOwl
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby BartOwl » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:08 pm

Went to Bandit last night. I ordered a DIPA and an east coast IPA. I'd describe both as if someone had taken a well-made example of the style and added water to it. They weren't bad, but they weren't amazing either. I am guessing there is some improvement since previous posters visited, but there is still some room to grow. Also, I had a taste of their black raspberry milkshake IPA. It lacked the hop bite I expect for an IPA, but was otherwise quite enjoyable. The Farmed and Dangerous I had a small taste of too. It was the best of the four I tasted. The Brett was more at the level of a fresh Orval than a Bellwoods, which I appreciated. Oh, and the food we had was terrible. Maybe, some of their other food offerings were good. Who knows?
Coronaeus
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby Coronaeus » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:38 pm

Does anyone know if Bandit sells branded glassware and other merchandise. A contact in the States wants some -for whatever reason - and I’ve never bothered going to the brewery before, but said I’d grab some for him if available. Thanks.
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Napalm Frog
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby Napalm Frog » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:18 am

Coronaeus wrote:Does anyone know if Bandit sells branded glassware and other merchandise. A contact in the States wants some -for whatever reason - and I’ve never bothered going to the brewery before, but said I’d grab some for him if available. Thanks.


They definitely did in the past, but I haven't been since last summer.
Coronaeus
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Re: Bandit Brewery

Postby Coronaeus » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:37 am

Napalm Frog wrote:
Coronaeus wrote:Does anyone know if Bandit sells branded glassware and other merchandise. A contact in the States wants some -for whatever reason - and I’ve never bothered going to the brewery before, but said I’d grab some for him if available. Thanks.


They definitely did in the past, but I haven't been since last summer.

Thanks.

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