Following in quick succession after the opening of both MERIT and Fairweather breweries, which opened earlier this spring, as of Tuesday, October 17th Grain&Grit Small Batch Beer will be the third microbrewery to open this year in the city (and not the last, Clifford Brewering Co. is set to open later this fall in the east end of town).
Grain&Grit brewery is in the west end in a budding new brewing area on a tiny industrial stretch in the Ainsley Wood neighbourhood.
In May, Fairweather Brewery opened up shop (on the same street – a literal stone’s throw away from Grain&Grit) making this corner of the west end a bit of a new beer destination; especially with Shawn & Ed Brewing Company (another microbrewery) just a short jaunt down the road in Dundas.
Grain&Grit Beer is a delectable little spot with a great aesthetic design. Soft pastel accents, white walls, dotted with potted palms that all make for a combination of unlimited potential for many Instagram worthy vignettes (and the beer is really good too). But seriously, the beer is REALLY good.
I sampled a mini flight of the Breakfast Milk Stout, Citrus Saison, and Pineapple Rye Pale Ale. The Breakfast Stout gave me some new found love for stouts. It had a really lovely smooth coffee flavour. As I sampled my flight at the bar co-founder Lindsey Mrav told me that I was sipping on a porter that was infused with 55 pounds of Dundas’ grupetto (cycling shop, coffee house & roasters) custom coffee blend made just for Grain&Grit. The Citrus Saison was my favourite out of the three. I enjoyed its fruity notes and some spiced hints of clove and coriander. The Pineapple Rye Pale Ale came in at a close second fav with its subtle and light tangy and bitter sweet finish. I took home from the bottle shop a collection of tall cans to round out my sampling to include all six of G&G’s current brews. I can’t wait to try the Galaxy (Prohibition Series), which I gathered (from the crowd that was there for the G&G members only pre-opening sampling that happened this weekend) that it was a proclaimed crowd favourite.
I got a sneak peek of the brewery over the weekend during G&G’s founding members only open house (and it was ram-packed). Back in June G&G sold Founding Memberships as a way to raise some funds for their tap room renovation and to build and create a community of craft beer-lovers. Founding Members receive 12 growler fills throughout the year, 10 % off any brewery purchases, their name on their fermenters, a free t-shirt, and access to their pilot batches, plus invites to exclusive events! The Founding Memberships are all sold-out, but there’s word that there’ll be more opportunities like the aforementioned gem of an investment to come in the future.
Grain&Grit is co-owned by Joe (craft beer and home brewer enthusiast) and Lindsey Mrav (graphic designer and the person behind G&G’s branding and interior design work), who moved to Dundas six years ago. When I asked Lindsey why they chose Hamilton as a place to open their business she said that they pretty much fell in love with the city right away “we could feel the amazing energy around every corner and we knew we wanted to be a part of that somehow. We also want to serve the community in which we live. We want to build a business that we’re proud of in a city we’re proud to live in”.
Lindsey describes the whole project from beginning to end as being a two year process. With nothing short of 1.5 years of planning and eight months of renovations (check their insta feed for the before pictures – man these guys work hard).
Joe and Lindsey work in partnership with Alex Sporn their Head Brewer, who came to join their team eight months ago in a way that Lindsey describes as serendipitous “We were closing on our building and our lawyer mentioned that his daughter and son-in-law were moving back from Germany, and that he was a winemaker there and he was looking to get into brewing”. She says that choosing to work with Alex was one of their best decisions to date “he’s been an integral part of our journey — and he makes damn good beer” (this is true).
They’ve currently got six beers on tap, but will typically have six to eight brews to offer at any given time. They will be selling their beers to a limited number of bars and restaurants in the area. However, their primary focus is to serve the community from the tap room and retail space.
So far there are no staple brews that are set in stone yet. The plan is for G&G to focus on the beers that customers enjoy drinking, coming out with at least one new beer every month.
12 oz glass $5
1L Growler Fill $8
2L Growler Fill $14
473 mL Can $3.75
(Growler 1L $5, 2L $6)
Tap room & retail shop hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.