Liberty Commons - Brew Pub Review

Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery
"1A6, 42 East Liberty Street," Toronto

Your first challenge is finding the place: almost any GPS will tell you it's three or four blocks east of its actual location if you punch in "42 East Liberty." I mean, how the hell do you explain "1A6" to a GPS? When you first approach the building, you'll think "what's wrong? It's completely empty." This is because you're looking at the beer store and tasting room, which looks like a rather austere bar and was - at least when we were there early on Thursday evening - completely devoid of people. But the pub and restaurant is downstairs. The very large, very loud pub. It's a very nice space, but I found the abundance of TVs and the noise a bit overwhelming. Our conversation was carried on at a subdued yell.

We each had an appetizer: I had the perogies, which were excellent, my friend had the poutine which he said was good but perhaps a bit small for the price.

I was pleased to find they serve flights, which turn out to be a particular deal because they're four 6 oz samples for $10. And while they have three or four recommended flights, you can also do a pick-your-own. I went with the latter option to avoid the weisse beers and sours. Liberty Commons is a subsidiary of Big Rock Brewery, which is out in Etobicoke: most of their beers are brewed out there, but they also have what are known as "Nano" brews which are brewed in their vats on premises.

The Warthog was an was an unexceptional "mild ale." I was severely underwhelmed by their "Traditional Brown Ale," which resembled a regular Brown Ale about as much as watered down grape juice resembles red wine. But the Citradelic was a decent (if perhaps not brilliant) IPA, and the stout (which may have been one of the Nanos) was outstanding. The more so for being almost as pale as your average lager. It was creamy and smoothly coffee flavoured, and on the way out I went asking for it in their beer store ... where they didn't have it. Disappointing.

They appear to be in possession of a large and rather nice patio: we didn't test it as it's late in the season and no one was out there. And something I wouldn't usually mention, but apparently they had a lot of extra space when they were building, so they made something like ten individual washrooms. Each has its own toilet and sink, and the one I was in was wonderfully clean.

Too loud for me, but there are definitely some worthwhile brews on tap.