This story is sponsored by Mascot Brewery.
The world of craft beer can be pretty intimidating, to say the least.
Craft beers come in many varieties – from pale ales, dark ales, Belgian styles and pilsners to porters, wheat beers, sours and IPAs. Niche words like hoppy, malty, biscuity, yeasty and even fruity are commonly used to describe flavour profiles.
The team at Mascot Brewery understands that long beer menus and nonsensical jargon can discourage someone from giving craft beer a chance. The Toronto-based brewery and eatery is focused on providing friendly and approachable craft beer experiences to guests, one sip at a time.
“Our goal is to brew unique and delicious beers but present them in an approachable way” says Mascot Brewer founder Aaron Prothro. “There can be a certain level of pretention and an elitist attitude toward craft beer so we engage with our customers in a more humble and helpful manner. We’ve created two inclusive, comfortable spaces where people can embrace togetherness and enjoy our high-quality craft beer.”
Beer enthusiasts can find Mascot Brewery’s craft creations at either of its Toronto locations.
At Mascot King, located at 220 King West, guests will find a tap room with 21 freshly brewed beers and cocktails on tap, a beer garden and bottle shop. Once it’s safe to do so, the beer garden will become the perfect place to reconnect with friends in the sunshine over a tasting flight of craft beer.
The tap room and beer garden are currently closed due to the pandemic. But upon reopening, staff will be wearing masks and following thorough cleaning protocols to ensure the safety of valuable guests. In the meantime, those who are desperately seeking to satiate their Mascot craft beer cravings now can visit the King West bottle shop.
Mascot Brewery’s production facility is at 37 Advance in Etobicoke, a short 15-minute drive from downtown Toronto. Mascot Etobicoke will be expanding and will feature a tap room and beer garden with food by Fidel Gastro. The beer garden and tap room will open to the public when restaurants are permitted to operate. In the meantime, you can stock up on tall cans of Mascot’s Tropic Storm Sour, Mambo Italiano Lager and Fool’s Gold SIPA (Sour IPA) at the now open Etobicoke bottle shop.
“There’s a common misconception that all craft beer tastes bitter but in reality, there are so many different styles and flavours,” says Prothro. “People often jump to the conclusion that they don’t like it after taking a sip of someone else’s pint but craft beer is subjective and a personal experience.”
If you’re struggling to find a craft beer that you enjoy, the passionate and knowledgeable team at any of the Mascot locations will gladly offer some suggestions.
For example, fruited sours are a great stepping stone for folks who typically drink ciders or wines with fruit-forward profiles as they are light and tart. Sour beers come in many different variations but cherry, mango, passionfruit and pineapple flavours are very popular. “Even people who don’t like beer love sours,” says Prothro.
Beer lovers who usually reach for a six-pack of Corona or Dos Equis at the liquor store will likely enjoy craft lagers like Mascot’s Rice Lager. These are crisp and light in hops, which are the female flowers used to give beer a bitter taste.
Then there are India Pale Ales. When people think about craft beer, IPAs quickly come to mind. Many consider them an acquired taste but they have evolved through brewers’ manipulation of hops. IPAs can range from a bitter-forward West Coast style to a bold East Coast juice bomb.
“We really want to create products while breaking down social and cultural barriers so people can enjoy great beer,” he says. “Nobody should ever feel left out or scared off by the elitist ideas and language surrounding a product that is meant to bring them together.”