Showing posts with label Grand Opening event. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grand Opening event. Show all posts

Craft beer lovers, Northern Maverick Brewing Co. is Now Opened!

In Ontario’s carefully controlled liquor industry, it’s hard to imagine how one can actually be a maverick and fully become a free-spirited company. One way to inch free of the chains is to open a brewery, where there are still rules and taxes, but creations can be freely shared without the threat of being hidden in the back or requiring expensive listing fees, since the Beer Store is actually owned by three large global beer manufacturers (and not our government).

Hence, it’s no surprise that with the rise in popularity of craft beer, there has also been an increase in craft breweries. The newest entrant is Northern Maverick Brewing Co. a sprawling 11,000 sq. ft. establishment that includes a restaurant (complete with huge patio), beer store, beer school, and of course brewery.

Their menu focuses on Canadian sourced casual eats. With the gleaming red slicer, their house made charcuterie arrives paper thin, making you want just one more slice. Everything is cured perfectly so it’s not too dry nor overly salty. Although truth be told, the savoury spices didn’t go well with the Vienna lager as it brought out so much of the beer’s bitterness. Sticking with one of their wines may be a better choice.

You could really create a nibbling feast for your party by adding a cheeseboard as well. With seven different cheeses available (sourced across Quebec and Ontario), there everything from a gooey brie to a harder cheddar, these go much better with the bubbly beers.

In a heartbeat I’d return for another Jamaican oxtail patty ($6), the flaky pastry is filled with tender braised oxtail incorporating habanero heat to have you reaching for a cold drink after finishing it.

Five seasonal beers are offered on tap; during the opening there was a dry hopped sour, Vienna lager, American pale ale, Indian pale ale, and a hefeweizen. What Northern Maverick strives for is to create aromatic brews that focus on flavour and smell, but is still balanced and delicious.

Having sampled a few of the craft beers, my favourite was the Heart of Tartness ($8.50) that contains strong refreshing notes of citrus and fruit – after something heavy, it’s a great way to cleanse the palette. The Gosezilla ($8.50) is also interesting having a lighter tartness but ending with a savoury element thanks to the hint of coriander.

Northern Maverick makes a mean cocktail as well – taking a traditional concoction and giving it a twist. The Travellers Mojito starts with the typical rum, mint, and lime juice, but then adds rose water, cardamom, and honeydew to give it an exotic tropical spin. Meanwhile, the Dry Hopped Daiquiri contains plenty of Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, but is mellowed with orange blossom water and a slightly bitter hops syrup.

Reading the blog write-up posted by Northern Maverick’s founder Jason Kaptyn, you can feel the passion and the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get them to the opening. I can’t wait until their beer school opens and I can learn more about beer and food pairings – for those who are especially gung ho they’ll even teach you how to create something at home. In the end, Jason just wants to share his love of craft beers with everyone else. As he sums up, “In short, we will do our best to provide the learning experience that, once upon a time, captured our hearts and led to our brewery in the first place.”

Disclaimer: The above drinks and food were sampled on a complimentary basis at their grand opening event. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 115 Bathurst Street

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Fresh Burger Grand Opening Event (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 542 Church Street

Fresh Burger recently opened their second location downtown and to mark the occasion not only threw a media party, but also gave out free burgers to anyone else! I'll admit, I felt guilty sneaking past the long line wound around their building ... but then the promise of warmth and comfort food got the best of me.

They have a simple menu with two sizes of burgers - a "fresh" (4 oz) and a "prime" (6 oz). If that isn't enough meat, patrons can also order double patties as well. Each are dressed with lettuce, tomato, cheese and their special sauce. You're also welcomed to add onions and pickles (free of charge) or caramelized onions, bacon, sautéed jalapeño, mushrooms or other cheeses for an extra $1. 

For my first experience I decided to keep it simple and have their Freshburger combo - a 4oz patty with the classic fixings. Admittedly, it's a little plain, I'd suggest at least adding the pickle and onion to it. The combo normally comes with fries but the smell of their poutine was intoxicating so I had to make one upgrade. 

The patty was tender and beefy thanks to the lean Canadian AAA sirloin they use. The fresh version was a decent amount of meat, but for the bun I think the prime version would be more suitable. I personally enjoyed that they didn't add too much spice mixture on the meat so that its natural flavour was pronounced. The bun was soft and fluffy, unfortunately its delicateness makes it look manhandled after I took it out of the wrapper.

I thoroughly enjoyed the poutine. Piping hot fresh fries, copious amounts of gooey cheese curds and layered gravy so there was plenty on the top and bottom of the container. It's well worth it to add the extra $2.99 to upgrade the fries. Like their burger, the portion size is huge and can easily be shared amongst two. 

Indeed, you can tell their fries are freshly cut in house. If you can't tell from the potato taste, the skid of potatoes by the cash register surely will help.

Although it wasn't available during launch night, Fresh Burger also has a secret menu consisting of an Aloha burger, bacon mushroom melt and California fries. The sound of the fries continue to intrigue me, so I'll have to go back one day to try them! Likely when the weather warms up so I can enjoy their spacious patio out front. 

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