Interesting Bites & Cool, Fresh Brews in Toronto’s Riverside Neighborhood!
Waking into the shiny new Eastbound Brewing Company, it doesn’t take long to feel the energy buzzing in this hip brew pub. These guys aren’t just brewing fresh craft beer. Their kitchen is churning out tasty, creative dishes that pair perfectly with their brews.
Chef Tara Lee and her kitchen crew supply savory pub favorites like homemade beer nuts, warm buttered pretzels, and fries with herb mayo. While the pub grub will give beer drinkers plenty to keep them thirsty, there’s so much more on the menu to keep food lovers happy. Dishes like their lamb meatball grinder, beer steamed mussel bowl, and pork belly sandwich give customers hearty, belly-filling meals. While innovative dishes like the octopus tostada, duck liver mouse, and strawberry scallop ceviche will keep foodies coming back for more.
When we visited, Eastbound was serving pints from their very first batch of beer. The inaugural lineup at Eastbound featured five brews: Basecamp Saison, Fresh Start Summit American Pale Ale, Hidden Lake Hefeweizen, Let’s Go Exploring IPA, and Skipping Through the Dark Porter. It’s a solid lineup of solid styles and the proof is in the product. Head Brewer Dave Lee (and husband to chef Tara) has executed 5 extremely drinkable brews right out of the gate.
So let’s get to the good stuff and review the brews at Eastbound Brewing Company.
East Bound Brewing Company’s Line up:
Hidden Lake Hefeweizen ABV-5.7%
This hef skews toward a traditional German Style instead of the citrus squeeze Hefs we’re used to in the North America. Some very nice banana and clove notes balance each other nicely to create a subtle, smooth taste. Light in body and mouth feel, it’s a perfect beer for warm weather day drinking. It’s similarity to light Belgian Style ales made me a big fan of this beer.
Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.5 – This was my favorite of Eastbound’s Brews.
Let’s Go Exploring IPA ABV – 6.1%
Just a very solid beer. With a big juicy nose of tropical fruit, it balances out the sweet with bitter notes once on the tongue . I liked it because of the restraint in hop flavoring. The hop hint is subtle making it a a great pairing with just about anything on Eastbound’s menu.
Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 4.0
Fresh Start Summit APA ABV-5%
This is the brew for the hop purist. This American Pale will always be brewed with a single hop variety. This first batch featured Summit Hops. Even though hops are the focus in this beer, it’s a well balanced brew that will please both hop heads and the casual hop lover.
Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 3.75
Skipping Through the Dark Porter ABV – 4.6%
I found this porter very on par in flavor with lots of other porters out there. This dark brew is big on coffee and caramel but light in body. Nothing added to this brew but water, hops, malts and yeast. It’s a very drinkable dark beer in Toronto’s hot humid summers, and is going to be sought after in their bone chilling winters.
Bobby’s Brew Review Score – 3.5
Basecamp Saison ABV – 6%
This puppy was the first to sell out on tap and in the retail shop, which kept us from tasting the fan favorite. However, we were able to get a sip from the second batch straight out of the fermenter. It still needed some time to mature so, it’s hard to give this one a score. If you want to taste this one, be sure you follow them on Instagram and Facebook so you know when it hits the taps. When you taste it, let me know what you think.
Bobby’s Eastbound Brewing Company Wrap Up
In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a connection to Eastbound. My brother Adam is a founding member of Eastbound Brewing Company and handles all their branding and messaging. I assure you that my brother has no harsher critic than me. That’s why I’m happy to say he and his team have something special going at Eastbound.
A project 2 years in the making, It’s awesome to see it come to life. The modern venue is gorgeous, featuring a long bar and open kitchen concept. You can also get a view straight into the brew operation if you perch yourself along the back bar. The 2 times we dined there (once for dinner and once for Sunday Brunch!!!!), the food was delicious and the restaurant was packed.
If you don’t have time to stop in for a meal, Eastbound’s retail shop is open at 11 am until closing everyday. You can get your beer fix with a six pack or fresh filled 32oz crowlers of your favorite Eastbound beer. Also, check out their array of sweet swag.
Eastbound Brewing Company is the new kid on the block in Toronto’s East End. But they aren’t wasting any time making friends, with their delicious bites and solid brews on offer.
Check out the video of our time at Eastbound Brewing Company. If you’re not thirsty after watching it, I’m not sure I can help you. Cheers!