Rorschach Brewing - Brew Pub Review

Rorschach Brewing
1001 Eastern Avenue, Toronto

I was looking for a brew pub in the east end to visit with some friends who live out there, and Rorschach's menu contained four stouts as opposed to Radical Road's, well, currently none. And I'm a fan of stouts, so the decision was made.

The location is great: a big lovely house on the edge of a city park, with picnic tables out front and a really great patio running the length of the second floor. I was a little miffed to find they had burned three of the four stouts (which I note remain listed on the website 24 hours later). I don't think they offer flights per se, but they do offer four oz. samples for $3. So I tried the "Systematic Desensitization," a fairly drinkable "Peach Cobbler Dessert Lager," then a decent IPA, and finally their only remaining stout, "Jelly Donut." Which was outstanding. Their description: "(11% ABV), brewed with oats and a plethora of roasted specialty malts, and conditioned for many weeks. Notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel and dark fruits, with a full body and some residual sweetness. Re-fermented with maple and fresh raspberry puree and conditioned on vanilla beans." It gets a lot of complexity from that treatment. The strongest notes are raspberry and chocolate. It's probably sweeter than some people would like, but I enjoy my stouts a little on the sweet side and I could drink this one again and again.

The food menu is a bit odd: it seems more of an appetizer menu than a full dinner menu. My friends had the fish tacos, which were good, and I had the pork belly bao, which was very good. I didn't see a burger go by, but they have them on the menu and you'd hope they'd be a bit more ... dinner-sized. Not that I needed a dinner at the time so I was satisfied - it just seemed a bit odd.

We found the place very busy at 7PM, but by the time we left around 9PM it was getting fairly quiet (on Saturday!). The waitress said this was a fairly common pattern for them!

They have a bottle shop up front, but sadly no Jelly Donut.

I wish they weren't so far out in the Beaches: that's a good place.

2018-09-17 Update: They ran out of Jelly Donut a couple days ago, and it probably won't be brewed again until November (they're out of stouts completely at this point). Apparently the website list of brews is infrequently updated: the staff say to check Instagram, which is better maintained.

photo: The auto shop on the right isn't beautiful, but on the other side is a city park

picnic tables in front of a narrow old (for Toronto) house with a big Rorschach sign

photo: the beer list on 2018-08-18

Chock board with the (extensive) August 18th 2018 list of beers available

photo: Brew pubs often have the prettiest taps ...

16 beer taps on an arc of copper plating

photo: (ADDED 2018-09-17) the lovely colour on their blackberry beer (also tastes good)

two sample-sized beers, one of which is a spectacular purple