Kensington Brewing Company - Review

Kensington Brewing Company
299 Augusta Avenue

Kensington Brewing Company is housed in a long, narrow building in Kensington Market, the next building south of Trinity Commons (a beer bar specialising in local brews(? haven't tried them yet)). I'd seen Kensington Brewing there quite a few months back, but took their sign outside "bottle shop open" to indicate they were ONLY a bottle shop - in large part because the front of the building is so narrow. But today I went in to check it out and found a reasonable-sized bar (seating for 25 to 30) along with custom narrow-and-tall beer vats in a pit across from the bar. So here's the short version:

bottle shop: yes
patio: no
flights: yes (four for $9)
food: no, but bring-your-own is encouraged (and lots of choices in Kensington Market)
full bar license (not a "tasting room" as many brew pubs in the city are)
open late

I had a flight: a cherry sour, a double IPA, a mango pale ale, and a chocolate stout. The cherry sour was okay: only mildly sour (a plus), only mildly cherry (a minus), and slight off notes. The double IPA surprised me: while it's definitely hoppy and high alcohol (8%), it wasn't very bitter at 20 IBU ... and it was pretty good - I'm not usually a fan of double IPAs. Nice thing about this place: they mark the IBU value for all beers on the menu. The mango pale ale looked like mango juice: it had the colour and opacity. Slightly stronger than usual carbonation. It was ... unusual, although I would say in a good way. I tend to assume that anything labelled "chocolate stout" will be at least a little bit sweet, but I've been proven wrong about that a couple times recently, this being another case in point. It's a pretty good stout despite being "dry:" good flavour, a bit bitter for me at 30 IBU (I think that was their most bitter beer).

Nice space and good beers, definitely worth checking out if you're in Kensington Market and want to have a beer.

Photos this time are perhaps a bit worse than usual, but I want to show the space and the menu.

photo: The bar

bartender and patrons, taps and sinks behind the bar

photo: Another crap photo, but I wanted to show the bright orange colour of the mango pale ale

four small beers, one empty, the double IPA nearly empty, one bright orange, and one very dark

photo: The bar and the pit with the tanks

The bar to the left, guard rail and pit with tanks on the right

photo: The menu on the day I visited

8 beers (one guest), 3 ciders (all Ontario guests), four non-alcoholic drinks