Lost Breweries of Toronto Paperback – Nov 1 2014
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…a delightful look through this city’s brewing history, focusing on the breweries that dotted the town during the 19thcentury… It’s filled with plenty of old sepia-tone photos, and lots of anecdotes about the brewers, the owners and the beer. (Toronto Star)
St. John shows a knack for unearthing anecdotes that are both entertaining and insightful. (Torontoist.com (Toronto, ON))
Grab a bottle of your favourite beer and raise a toast to both of these interesting books. (Canada's History Magazine)
About the Author
Jordan St. John is Canada's only nationally syndicated beer columnist. He is the author, with Mark Murphy, of How to Make Your Own Brewskis: The Go-To Guide for Craft Brew Enthusiasts. He holds the rank of Certified Cicerone and periodically brews beer with breweries around Ontario. His family has been in Ontario since 1817 and has its own cemetery in Uxbridge. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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There are 17 chapters covering breweries here in Toronto from 1800 to the 1960s that are no longer around ... like the Spadina Brewery (hard to believe it failed because Kensington Market was so far out of the downtown core!), O'Keefe Brewery and Joseph Bloore's Brewery.
There is a chapter about John Farr's Brewery (1820 - 88), which used to be on Queen Street (in our 'hood). Gord and I had gone on an interesting Heritage Toronto walk in June 2012 called "Between the Bridge and the Brewery: Trinity Bellwoods Neighbourhood" and we learned a bit about Farr's brewery (his house, which was built in 1847, still stands ... the brewery next door had burnt down and there's a condo on the space now).
The majority of the earliest brewers in the city were typically from England, middle class and literate. Many of the breweries in those days needed to be rebuilt because of fire.
It was an interesting book. Along with the information, there were also some pictures and drawings of the breweries and pictures of the labels that were on the bottles. It would have been nice, though, to have included a map of Toronto today with the locations of where the breweries once were.
Blog review post: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2015/03/book-lost-breweries-of-toronto-2014.html