Monday, October 17, 2011

Planes, Trains, and Pilsners

After years of living in the city centre, and being in the brewery many times, I finally went on the Steam Whistle brewery tour!

So much Ontario green.  So much in fact that they get a large percentage of their bottles back to recycle; bottles that are made of 30% more glass than regular beer bottles, making them stronger and more re-usable. They give their used barley husks to local farmers.  They also use three types of hops.  Two Bavarian and one Czech.

Did you know that the guys who started Steam Whistle originally called it Three Fired Guys?  Cam Heaps, Greg Cromwell, and Greg Taylor worked for Upper Canada Brewery until Sleeman bought the company. Being out of work, they decided to open their own brewery, and chose Toronto's Roundhouse as their site.

Why? Because when they checked out the space for the first time they found a bottle of Upper Canada Lager and took it as a sign.

I've been on a few brewery tours in my day, and this one did not disappoint.  Our tour guide, Brandon, (well, I'm pretty sure his name was Brandon but he did give us a few free samples on the tour..) was informative and jovial, and made fun of the fact that I was portraying a stereotypical Canadian image, being at a brewery, and wearing a hockey jersey.  To my defence, I was going to the Toronto Maple Leafs game right after the brewery tour.  We won 3-2 over the Calgary Flames after being down 0-2 in the 1st, by the way :)

Now I'm clearly more of an ale gal, but this pilsner never fails to impress.

Last fun fact: If you fly Porter airlines, they give you as many free Steam Whistle's as you can drink during the flight.  My record: 3 on my last flight back from Chicago.  There, that's the plane reference in this post's title.

OK one more: The retractable suitcase handle on the 12-pack box came in as the 22nd of the CBC's 50 Greatest Canadian Inventions in 2007. ...A beer case handle.  Go Canada, and nice work Steam Whistle.


  1. I love Steam Whistle... Great beer! Although I had to give it some time before I learned to appreciate it.

    Did you know that Steam Whistle is the #1 attraction on TripAdvisor for Toronto now??

    I love this blog by the way. Keep em coming!

  2. my record on porter is 9 from toronto to halifax

    you should mention the three guys were a part of upper canada/sleeman but left to start their own brewery, and still hold true to the bavarian purity act, which most brewers in north america dont follow...

    they also use no preservatives in their beer and use organic hops too.

  3. I had forgotten the back-story about them being part of the Upper Canada brewery - I'll definitely add it in to round out the story - Thanks!

    9 from Toronto to Halifax? I think you'd have me beat. That's a 2.5h flight? I could probably do 5.

    Steam Whistle's the number one attraction? It beat the Hockey Hall of Fame and the CN Tower? Hilarious!


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