Friday, July 15, 2011

Visit to barVolo Birreria Dal 1985 - Home of House Ales

I was in Toronto on Monday and instead of the usual visit to The Distillery District or some of the other places I enjoy, I decided that I would mix it up a bit and go to the infamous barVolo. Located at 587 Yonge Street, this beer mecca has a cozy interior and a nice covered patio on which to enjoy yourself.

barVolo is perhaps the best beer pub in Ontario, with a wide selection of incredible bottles, cask conditioned beer and draught taps, there is something that any lover of beer would enjoy. Not too mention rare goodies to explore! This, and a warm and cozy atmosphere highlighted with brass and dark wood make this authentic looking pub even more charming.
When we arrived, we started with a pint from Toronto's newest brewery, Spearhead. This was the second time I enjoyed their Hawaiian Style IPA and was delighted with the tropical fruit and pineapple notes of this west coast styled IPA.

Next thing to try was Muskoka Cottage Brewery's Mad Tom IPA which they had on cask! Again I was not disappointed. Pleanty of tropical fruit notes, grapefruit and a nice pine / earthiness to it. On cask it is slightly less carbonated than the bottled version, but equally delicious!

After a couple of pints, we decided to peruse the menu and enjoy a little bite to eat with our beverages. I was very happy to see that much like their beer menu, their food menu is well crafted. A decent assortment of homemade, fresh, local, organic where possible menu items. It was nice to see a pub that takes their food as seriously as their beer. I enjoyed a juicy chicken breast sandwich with double smoked bacon, Boston lettuce, tomato, smoked cheddar and a caesar mayo. On the side was a garden salad with a light but delicious vinaigrette and some amazing sliced, herb infused, baby roast potatoes. We also enjoyed a cured meat platter that was equally tasty. Washing it all down with Black Oak's 10 Bitter Years seemed to work well with the fats in the cured meats and sweetness to the vinaigrette.

To cap off the experience we decided to try a huge imperial stout. We ended up with Driftwood Brewery's Singularity Russian Imperial Stout and were blown away. Rich, complex notes of espresso, dark and milk chocolate and some dark fruits highlight this jet black stout. At 13.8% ABV is was a delightful way to cap the meal.

The staff here all know their stuff and are more than happy to help suggest something that will suit your palette. Friendly, courteous and great service along with amazing beers and fantastic food, make barVolo a place not to miss while you are in Toronto.

Oh, and they also have their own line of ales, House Ales, that are available on cask and soon for retail sale. But perhaps more on that in a future review...

Dinner menu here
Bottle menu here
Taps and Casks here


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