Around Toronto: Amsterdam Beer Tour

By Wednesday, July 17, 2013 , , , , , , , ,

A few weeks ago a friend and I went to the Amsterdam Brewery for one of their free Saturday tours. We learned a lot, got to drink a bunch of beer and it was all for free. 

Not that I know much about beer, but I do like free things and hanging out with my friends.
 The brewery moved last year to its new location in Leaside. The updated brewery also features a great store (open until 11 pm monday - saturday by the way, which is fantastic), a tasting area and saturday tours. As you can see by the group of people, the tour and tasting is quite popular.
 Our tour guide explained the long history of the brewery, that they were established in 1986 as a brewpub down on John st, then moved to then moved to King Street, then Bathurst and now its new home in Leaside. They also explained that last year they bought out the Kawartha Lakes Brewing Co, which makes some pretty fantastic beers...but just in Leaside now.

We got to taste some hops (not sure if it was the best idea actually) and look around at the whole process of beer making.

We saw the four tanks needed to make beer and learned all the steps and the canning/bottling process. It was all very interesting and educational. But then the tasting happened and I got to drink beer for an hour and forgot most of it.
the empty mashing tank
The wort tank, filled with warm wort (yep it is a stage of making beer)
another tank, not sure which one, but it was empty
I do remember that ale takes about 15 days to ferment while lagers take 30- 45, below are the tanks they are stored in.
We also got to freeze along with the beer in a fridge, which was kind of nice in the 30+ degree heat.
 Finally we got some tasting in, which let's be honest, is why I went. I like beer, and like wine know nothing about why I like what I like, and so a tasting I went.
 So there are six flavours being served every Saturday, right now being the summer, their seasonal summer beers are being featured. The Orange Weisse was a particularly interesting one, I liked the spicy clove taste, but apparently others will taste bubble gum. the KLB Nut Brown and Raspberry Wheat were my favourite.
 The store features some neat "Adventure Brews" that are only available in their store. They are limited edition brews that are aged in casks. Right now there is one done in a chardonnay cask, and it is tasty.

They also have Growlers, which are big 2 L bottles of beer. You buy the refillable and fully refundable bottle and it becomes a reusable vessel for their beer. A great eco friendly option.
a growler
So if all that beer drinking wasn't enough, my friend and I (hey it was Mel from Melissa's Musings by the way) decided to check out the new Amsterdam BrewHouse down on the Queens Quay.
 While there we had some more yummy refreshments and some darn tasty bee (served with a wort reduction that I wanted to take home). She had that tasty Chardonnay aged beer (The Mavrick and Goose as they call it ) and I had some more KLB Raspberry Wheat beer. Oh yeah and donuts with Nutella and peanut butter.

Brewery info:

Amsterdam Brewery
45 Esandar Dr, Toronto, ON
Store is open Mon - Sat 11 -11 Sun 11-6
Tasting are Saturdays on the hour 1 - 5
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Amsterdam BrewHouse
245 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON
Web - Twitter - Facebook - Instagram
(not sure about its store hours, but there is a store there)