Continuing on a boozy tour of Toronto’s finest brew pub establishments, these two places are centrally so you don’t need to go too out of your way.
The Batch location on 75 Victoria St. in downtown has been several brewing establishments. The current owners are from Creemore Springs Brewery, who’ve classied up the joint. Now, the bright, quasi-Industrial Revolution decor with Scandinavian touches is frequented by business people and creative types looking for some local, upscale pub fare made with inhouse made beers. Downstairs has a ping pong table because that’s what you want to do when you drink beer.
The menu is mostly sandwiches, burgers, meat and cheese plates, salads and small plates with a Sunday brunch options. I skipped the food and went for the beers.
More than anything I like the space — classy and open without being pretentious. The tap system does look like it’s from a cosplayers steampunk wet dream.
The six taps are seasonal, so you can get a flight of 4 but I charmed my way to get all six. Here’s what they have for the fall:
- Cream Ale — this was my favorite beer during my visit. Just the right balance of sweetness and hop bite. I took home a few bottles from the bottle shop in the restaurant.
- Pale Ale
- Wet Hop Harvest Ale
- India Pale Lager
On the opposite end of the craft beer spectrum is Mill St. Brewery, which is a small Canadian chain of six locations. While Batch focuses on small and simple, Mill St. has a dizzying area of styles and varieties for all beer tastes.
The location to check out is in the Distillery District, which is Toronto’s high end shopping and entertainment area. It’s actually a neat area with some good shopping if you’re in the mood for great chocolate (SOMA), pastries (Brick Street Bakery) or food stuffs (Wildly Delicious).
Mill Street has more a TGIFriday/Appleby’s family friendly menu, which is fine by me since I was getting mac n’ cheese on for lunch. There are two dining areas — one that’s more wood and old timey, the other more bright, festive and diner like. In-between are the brew tanks for some of their pilot beers. Most of the locations share the same beer menu.
It’s perfectly serviceable beer that will won’t freak out your non-beer snob friends. Here’s what I had:
- Cobblestone Stout
- Stock Ale (Blonde)
- Belgian Wit
- West Coast Style IPA