Change is a Brewin’ in Riverside

Riverside is proud to have two independent breweries in the neighbourhood – Eastbound Brewing Co. and Saulter Street Brewery – and Toronto’s first cidery- Brickworks Ciderhouse. While all are relatively new in Riverside – all having opened within the last few years – each has a rich and locally-rooted story to tell and have cemented their place in Riverside as local favourites.

Eastbound Brewing Co.

The space at 700 Queen Street East has seen many changes over the years – as a former furniture store space, and long, long ago a former theatre called the Teck Theatre, to name just a couple – and most recently transformed into a brewpub. serving up freshly brewed beer, elevated pub food and good times. Founded by names experienced in the food and beverage industry – owners Dave Watson, David Lee, Adam Stiles, and Peter Moscone, along with head Chef Tara Lee came together to launch in 2017 the Eastbound Brewing Company.

Eastbound Brewing Co. aims to be a completely transparent operation, from the open kitchen to the bar stool lined brewing operation in the beautiful 3200 square foot storefront. Their menu features unique beer-complimenting dishes like their famous Beer Can Chicken. As husband and wife, Brewer & Chef team, Dave and Tara Lee are all about thoughtful flavour ideas that start from scratch. They encourage you to get curious about what’s on your table and see how great food and beer can pair so well together.

During COVID-19, their operations pivoted to their Eastbound Online Store with a variety of takeout and delivery options for beer and food, and a growing retail shop in store with grocery and prepped meal offerings made from scratch in their kitchen.

Eastbound is always connected to the pulse of the community and very involved. Owner Dave Watson has been active on the Riverside BIA Board and Marketing Committee since before Eastbound opened up.

“We looked at several neighbourhoods when searching for a space to open our doors, and Riverside was a clear winner. We wanted somewhere we could grow our roots as a young business – somewhere with diversity, character, community, and also somewhere we could live. My wife and I used to live in the west end of the city, but ended up moving just a few blocks away from Eastbound and haven’t looked back. We love it here and love being a part of our community,” said Dave.

Caption: CafeTO program launched with Mayor Tory and Councillor Fletcher at Eastbound Brewing Co on July 1, 2020

Saulter Street Brewery

Riverside is home to a hidden gem at the end of Saulter Street. This brewery named after the very street it lies on, was founded by John Sterling and brewer Peter Kufeldt in 2017. Saulter Street Brewery offers small batch experimental beers only available in their onsite taproom (and during COVID-19 for takeout and delivery). A Czech-style Pilsner is their flagship brew called the Riverside Copper Pilsner.

John was first drawn to the ‘small town in the big city’ vibe of Riverside- an escape from the city, a place where time slows down. He always aimed to build a sense of community in the space and inspire people to live in the moment. The logo for the brewery features a clock, a motif featured in many local art pieces including the Time and A Clock piece by Eldon Garnet. The taproom is meant to feel relaxed and homey with tables made out of barrels, repurposed wood, and exposed equipment adding to the local charm.

Since closing their taproom to the public due to COVID-19, the Saulter Street Bottle Shop has been popular for online orders and pickup.

Brickworks Ciderhouse

Riverside’s Brickworks Ciderhouse is the perfect example of turning your dreams and passions into a reality as the ultimate form of success. The owners Adam Gerrits and Chris Noll went to Western University in London, Ontario to pursue their post-secondary education. It was there where they began brewing their own wine, beer, and cider for their friends. They had dreams of pursuing brewing ciders as their full-time gig but ended up going on to develop successful careers in other industries. Later, the emerging craft beer and cider industry reeled Adam and Chris into the business and to follow their dreams.

Brickworks Ciderhouse opened up in Riverside in 2018 and their dreams became reality. They were Toronto’s first cidery since 1920s prohibition and located in a bright and airy two-story space at the iconic corner of Queen and Broadview, kitty corner to the then newly revitalized and reopened Broadview Hotel. Taking inspiration from the city, Toronto is deeply embedded in their creations.  Each cider has a story behind their inception. One of their ciders, Batch: 1904, as written on Taps Magazine is reflective of some Toronto history, “a catastrophic fire that consumed the downtown core in 1904. The cider industry was winding down at that time as well, so the brew celebrates the subsequent rebirth of the city and the rebirth of the cider industry, The company’s trademark name “Brickworks” harkens back to rebuilding the city with bricks made from the crimson red clay in the Don Valley.” They also still offer their original ‘Queen Street 501’ cider which is a favourite.

After closing their taps and dining/events spaces to the public due to COVID-19, they pivoted to include a special menu of cider and food offerings available for pick up through their takeout window.

With Toronto now in Stage 2 of opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out new offerings from these amazing local establishments such asCafeTO on-street patio spaces!

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The ‘Riverside BIA 40 Years, 40 Stories’ Series is part of how we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of this incredible neighbourhood of community-builders.