Common Good Beer Company - Brew Pub Review

Common Good Beer Company
475 Ellesmere Road
... we’re constantly brewing up a rotating cast of Common Good originals.
But beer’s a social thing. It’s about community. So we also contract brew a
lot of your local favourites, all of which are available in our Craft Brew

The above is from their website, and is important to understanding who and what they are. They're located in a massive industrial space in a strip mall on the northern border between Toronto and Scarborough. The space is occupied 90% by stainless steel brewing tanks, but on the street side of the building by the huge floor-to-ceiling glass, they've installed four or five rough-hewn picnic tables for those who want to test the currently available brews. But that doesn't seem to be their primary business: that would be the contract brewing. Second is the in-house bottle shop. Third and last is people drinking beer on the premises: my friend and I were the only people in there when we arrived at 1800 on Saturday. A couple came in for a short time later, and then the sole employee turned off the "Open" sign a bit before 1900 and started scrubbing the floor in among the vats. The only thing that isn't beer that's for sale is some bags of chips and some t-shirts - no other drinks or food.

I got a flight of four from the six beers on tap: "Hazy" New England IPA, an Imperial IPA, a Doppelbock, and a stout. A couple of these were contract beers (the IPAs?) and a couple were Common Good's own (the Doppelbock and the stout?). I was interested to notice that not only did they not provide IBU ratings, they didn't even provide alcohol content ratings. This turned out to be surprisingly important with this flight, as three out of four of them were probably at or above 10% alcohol and I felt the effects. The Hazy IPA was very good, the Imperial IPA was good with a more complex flavour. The Doppelbock is a style I'm not very familiar with: Wikipedia says a bock "... taste is rich and toasty, sometimes with a bit of caramel ... hop presence is low to undetectable, providing just enough bitterness so that the sweetness is not cloying and the aftertaste is muted." This beer certainly conformed to that description, but a doppelbock has a higher alcohol content and is sweeter. Not bad, but the flavour was too rich for me. The stout was also good.

While their primary role seems to be contract brewer to small local beer companies, they do have drinking on the premises. Check their hours before you go, as they're VERY short (more like a store than a bar). I'd really like to see what's available in their bottle shop listed on their website - as a bottle shop, that would make a lot of sense. But instead you have to take your chances every time you show up - or call in first. Good beers, but not a place that's really meant for drinking.