Tell us a bit about Left Field Brewery
Left Field Brewery is a small, community-focused and family-run brewery with a mission to create joy through beer – we also happen to love baseball. I started the brewery together with my partner, Mark, back in 2013. Our Brewery is located in Leslieville, in Toronto’s East End and our Tap Room (in normal times) and Bottle Shop is a family-friendly and dog-friendly space where all are welcome. We brew a little bit of everything but tend to brew a lot of full-flavoured ales particularly New England style IPAs, sours and darker styles of beer. While we have some year-round staples, our beer line-up is constantly changing and evolving.
What made you want to join Steam Whistle in the curation of the Craft Beer Crate?
The Good Beer Folks at Steam Whistle have been pals of ours for a long time and have taught us a lot over the years. When I say that we are a community-focused brewery, this is as much about our local community as it is about the beer community. One of our earliest lessons from Steam Whistle through their Roundhouse Craft Beer Festivals is about the benefit and impact of working together as brewers to spread the good word of Craft Beer together. The Craft Beer Crate is a really creative way to do this and we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to participate.
What inspiration did you have while curating the Craft Beer Crate?
Daydreaming a little, I imagined myself attending a festival at the Roundhouse on a hot summer’s day and pictured which booths I’d be stopping by first to chat and try a sample. We tried to include a balanced mix of easy-drinking options, IPAs and hop-forward ales, sours, saisons and dark beers.
I have fond memories of serving many many baseball fans from the Left Field booth at that festival as they poured out of the SkyDome after the game and made their way to the Roundhouse. To replicate the experience, we’ve included a little baseball scorecard and pencil so that you can watch and score the game from home while you enjoy the stellar beer selection. If you’ve never scored the game before – instructions are included. It’s a super fun way to get into the game – take our word for it!
Would you recommend drinking the crate in a specific order?
Not necessarily in a specific order but I would suggest keeping all beer refrigerated until ready to drink. All of these beers are best enjoyed fresh and refrigeration helps minimize oxidation and ensure that every beer will taste the way the brewer intended. While some of the offerings might seem pretty special – please don’t save them for a special occasion! In a single session, I personally love to start with something light and easy drinking and then to finish with a bolder and higher ABV beer. We’ve even thrown in a bonus hard seltzer to try as a mini beer break.
What do you consider when developing a mix pack?
A balanced offering across beer styles was the starting point and the ultimate goal. Beer quality and consistency were top of mind for us as well. But beyond that, we wanted to showcase breweries who are doing great things both inside their breweries and out in their local communities.
Are there any other beers from other local breweries that you would have liked to include in the crate that just couldn’t fit?
So many! With over 400 craft breweries in Ontario, each brewing new beers all the time, there has never been a better time to be a craft beer drinker.
Some of these beers you chose are not available at the Beer Store or LCBO – making the purchase of this crate even more exciting for customers. What beers are only available for purchase at their breweries?
Quite a few, actually. Options from Royal City, Kensington, Indie Alehouse, Sawdust City and our own beloved Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale (our first ever brew that started as one of Mark’s homebrew recipes) are all brewery-only releases.
What are your favourite beer snacks? What other snacks do you enjoy while sipping on some of these awesome Left Field beers?
Pairings can be so intimidating which is why I love to keep it simple. What I’m probably craving most these days is an Ice Cold Beer and a warm Pretzel with mustard while catching the game from the cheap seats.
What Left Field beers would you pair with what snacks?
Unsurprisingly, all of our beers have suggested ballpark pairings. Here they are!
- Ice Cold Beer 100% Ontario Ale – Hot Dogs, Pretzels
- Greenwood IPA – Spicy Italian Sausage, Pepperoni Pizza
- Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale – Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Roasted Peanuts
- Lo Viste Mojito Sour – Tostones, Mojo Pork Bolsitas
- Glorioso Italian Pilsner – Reuben Sandwiches, Calamari
The Biergärten Craft Crate Vol.4 will be available on May 11th at 12pm! Visit our Marketplace here to browse Vol.3 of the Craft Beer Crate and our artisanal Biergärten products.
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