Northwinds Brewery: So how’s the beer?


A week ago, I profiled up and coming Collingwood-based brewery Northwinds for blogTO. At that time, details about where to get the beer as well as information about what the heck it would actually taste like were not yet available to me. Well, now they are! Here’s a brief review of their first beer, Corduroy Rye IPA, and some details about where to get yours ASAP.

The beer I tried was from a bottle that I’m told was slightly less carbonated than the version that’s ended up getting kegged, which is likely a good thing since this beer poured a nice, cloudy, chestnut amber colour but had a decidedly thin white head–a far cry from the frothy image I stole from their website for my blogTO post. 

The beer had fairly faint aromas, perhaps again owing to the fact that I had a less-than-carbonated sample bottle, but I didn’t get much of the summit and Wakatu hop aromas that are just sort of hiding there below the surface.  The smell was mainly an appetizing malty sweetness and the taste is a subtly sweet, slightly spicy rye malt that becomes more apparent with each sip, with an underlying and pleasant bitterness that becomes less pronounced as you finish the beer.

This is a perfectly respectable beer which I’d gladly order again, but I’d like to see how it pours on tap before I make any final judgments. Thankfully, as of tomorrow, Friday September 13th, that will be possible here in the GTA at the following list of bars (handily listed alphabetically with their addresses in case you’re not in the know): 

  • Bar Hop, 391 King St West, Toronto
  • Bar Volo, 587 Yonge Street, Toronto;
  • Buster Rhino’s, 28 King Street East, Oshawa
  • C’est What, 67 Front Street East, Toronto
  • Get Well, 1181 Dundas Street West, Toronto
  • Indie Ale House, 2876 Dundas West, Toronto
  • Port Restaurant, 1289 Wharf Street, Pickering
  • The Only Café, 972 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
  • Stack Restaurant, 3265 Yonge Street, Toronto
  • Victory Café, 581 Markham Street, Toronto

If you make the rounds for Toronto Beer Week, you might actually meet the folks from Northwinds who I’m sure will be happy to chat about their new brewery. Brewery founder Geoff Conway tells me that on Friday the Northwinds team will be at Victory Café, Bar Hop, and Bar Volo, on Saturday night they’ll be pouring pints on the patio at The Only Café, and on Sunday, they’ll be part of a Cask Days preview  at Indie Ale House. Finally, they’ll also be part of the tap line-up at the Golden Tap Awards, hosted by Beer Bistro.

This is the part of the post where I’d try to close by making a joke about how they are looking to take Toronto by storm and I’d try to make a north winds-related storm pun, but it’s early and I was up late sampling beer so I’ll spare you.

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