Steam Whistle Toronto
Steam Whistle Brewing is what I refer to as Toronto’s Willy Wonka’s Factory for adults.
The brewery is set just up from the harbourfront at the historic Roundhouse in Toronto. It’s a preserved locomotive roundhouse, which is also home to Toronto’s Train Museum.
The sun glints off the trains out the front of the Roundhouse, and adults eagerly line up outside waiting for the whistle to go off and for Steam Whistle to open for its daily tours.
There’s something magical about a brewery tour where you get to see beer production behind the scenes, and you get to sample the goodies. And by sample, I mean generously sample the goodies. You more than get your money’s worth on this tour.
And have I mentioned I’ve been on this tour three times? Not only do I love the Roundhouse setting, and their generosity with their samples, I truly love Steam Whistle Pilsner. It’s a great tasting beer, and it’s vegan friendly!
Steam Whistle makes one beer, and only one beer. Which means their German style pilsner is impeccably crafted.
Sanchez from Steam Whistle takes us through their brewing process:
We’re taken past the millroom, where barley is gently crushed, turned into mash, and added to the lauterturn.
The lauterturn presses barley grains and leaves sweet liquid behind. At Steam Whistle, the remains are given to Wellington livestock as a cool way of recycling. And no, the cows don’t get drunk – the remains are not alcoholic!
Hops are then added, which affect the colour, integrity and aroma of the beer. It’s considered to be the most important part of the process.
Next, this liquid goes through a heat exchanger before yeast is added.
Pilsner is a pale style lager, and ferments for around 28 days. In comparison, ale stouts take about 10-12 days. Steam Whistle’s beer is not pasteurised, and has a shelf life of about 90 days for optimum consumption.
Steam Whistle uses a German 15/16 purity ratio, so their brew is as close to the authentic German pilsner as you’re going to get. It’s made of barley from Saskatchewan, water trucked in daily from Canadian springs, German hops and Czech yeast.
If you consider yourself a beer connoseuir (let’s not say snob shall we?), here are the tasting notes for the SW Pilsner:
Steam Whistle Pilsner is characterized by a floral hop aroma, sweet graininess with distinctive grassy notes, and balanced by a clean, crisp finish and pleasant lingering bitterness.
Aside of their delicious beer, there are a couple more things that make Steam Whistle one of the coolest breweries around. They care about the environment and do as much as they can to use green initiatives in their business.
Some of these initriatives include:
- Steam Whistle uses only four, all natural ingredients (pure spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast), all GMO-free.
- Every element from their packaging line is recycled: cardboard cartons, broken glass, old bottle caps and even shrink wrap.
- The “spent grain” from the SW brewhouse is shipped to farmers in Wellington County to be used for animal feed.
- 100% of the electricity used at the brewery comes from renewable sources.
- Steam Whistle Brewing uses bio diesel in our delivery trucks. The SW fleet over the years has included notably efficient vehicles, like Canada’s first SMART Car, energy-awarded Minis and several hybrids.
- Steam Whistle Brewing uses Enwave’s Deep Lake Water Cooling for climate control instead of conventional air conditioners. The icy cold water drawn through intake pipes deep in Lake Ontario moves through the facilities giving off chill.
The other cool Steam Whistle initative is Unsigned – Steam Wistle’s ongoing concert series that showcases Canada’s indie music talent. So far, Unsigned has showcased over 70 independent Canadian acts and raised over $70,000 for local artists. Steam Whistle partners with Pandor Productions, Now Magazine, and Gibson Guitars for these events.
If you’re in town, and interested in heading to Steam Whistle, here’s the tour details:
Location: Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9, Canada
Tour cost and details – taken from the Steam Whistle website:
This includes a tour of our brewery, a sample of our Pilsner and a souvenir tasting glass or retro bottle opener.
6 Pack Tour
This includes a tour of our brewery, a sample of our Pilsner and a 6 pack of Steam Whistle Pilsner.
12 Pack Tour
This includes a tour of our brewery, a sample of our Pilsner and a 12 pack of Steam Whistle Pilsner.
If you can’t make it into our brewery, but are still interested in getting some Steam Whistle merchandise, feel free to visit our online store.
Retail Store Hours
Monday to Thursday
Open: Noon to 6pm
Tour Times: Tours start at 1pm and run every 30 minutes with the last tour at 5pm.
Friday and Saturday
Open: 11am to 6pm
Tour Times: Tours start at 12pm and run every 30 minutes with the last tour at 5pm
Open: 11am to 5pm
Tour Times: Tours start at 12pm and run every 30 minutes with the last tour at 4pm
Tours for Friday, Saturday, Sunday are first-come-first-served, and cannot be booked in advance.
Tours are very busy on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We do recommend arriving as early as possible to ensure a spot on the tour.
Reservations must be made a minimum of 12 hours in advance Monday-Thursday (Reservations are not required for a tour, you can either show up or give us a call to check the availability 416-362-2337 ext 291). If you are a group of 10 or more please email firstname.lastname@example.org for weekend inquiries