Toronto Adventures: Following the Call of Humber River Pilsner

You never know what will send you on an adventure! This week it’s beer! Well, beer and Father’s Day. Since Dad was traveling in Scotland on the actual day, we had plans to celebrate this weekend. It seemed like divine timing when I came across the launch of a new microbrewery beer named for the Humber River, one of my dad’s childhood haunts. He often uses the river’s clean-up as an example of how the world can, indeed, become a better place. Perfect.

Finding the Junction Craft Brewing

So on Saturday Justin and I went on an adventure out to Junction Craft Brewing. It’s on the other side of the city but this was an opportunity not to be missed. Admittedly we were a bit skeptical as we got off the bus and walked towards what we hoped was the location behind this big and unwelcoming wall.  The sign ‘beer’ gave us hope but it turned out to be a different brewery.

Junction Craft Brewing Getting Closer

As we walked a little further, we passed by these big logs and caught sight of an interesting old building. According to the brewery, they have made their home in what was originally a City of Toronto incinerator called “The Destructor.”

 Junction Craft Brewing Old Building

Junction Craft Brewing Incinerator

Yep, we were in the right place. Clearly it’s a lot more welcoming these days!

Junction Craft Brewing Building

We walked in and immediately enjoyed the ambiance of the location. Reclaimed old buildings are such treasures and this one is no exception. The high ceilings, the brick walls, the good wood, the still-industrial feel, all of it makes for a cool place to hang out.

Junction Craft Brewing Enter

We arrived just as the launch event was beginning.

 Junction Craft Brewing Enter Event

The feeling that this was just the right thing for my dad continued as we saw this…

My dad worked for Esso for many years. In fact, it was his first big job out of university. Clearly we were in the right place to find something special and meaningful for him.

Junction Craft Brewing Justin & Jamie
Of course we had to sample the wares and found the Humber River Pilsner to be a wonderfully clean, crisp beer that felt just right for summer. Even better was knowing that  the brewery had collaborated with Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a charity which focuses on keeping our water clean enough for swimming, fishing and drinking. My dad certainly approves of those activities! The only disappointment was discovering that someone had misspoken when they said the beer was actually made from Humber River water.  Untrue. Perhaps the label art by Matt James, would make up for it. It does a beautiful job capturing the wonderfully Torontonian mix of the water, trees, fish and the subway passing by on the bridge.

At the event I was blown away by the having the opportunity to hear a performance by Juno-nominated artist Dayna Manning. Years and years ago I went to one of her concerts in a tiny twinkie-light lit venue upstairs at the Big Bop (as it was called then). It was intimate and beautiful and she stole our hearts.  On Saturday I was absolutely captivated even before I realized who this rare and beautiful voice belonged to. What a gift!

Junction Craft Brewing Beers

We decided to keep the adventure going and sampled the brewery’s regular fare. I rather enjoyed the Raspberry Sour and Justin tried out the Stationmaster’s Stout.

Arepa Pabellon

For the event, food was provided by The Arepa Republic, a Venezuelan food truck. Justin and I both tried out the Pabellon – shredded flank steak, black beans, fried sweet plantain and white cheese. Delicious!! The plantain in particular added so much to the life of this meal.  Memorable!

For years Justin and I have loved going on Saturday adventures. Heading out to Junction Craft Brewing  for the launch of the Humber River Pilsner gave us the perfect motivation to have a wonderful outing ourselves while bringing home something really special for my dad.

photo by Suzie Ridler

I can tell you that both the beer and the stories were a hit!

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