Bellwoods began as a small brewery, and pub in downtown Toronto. We officially opened our doors to the public in April 2012, and have spent the last 4 and a half years working towards the rather ambitious goal not to run out of beer. However, sunny weather, long weekends, liquor store closures, and arbitrary festivities sometimes result in us falling short.
In 2013 we opened our bottle shop full-time, further intensifying both our excitement to release new beers, and our tenuous relationship with supply. We can assure you that, for a long time, we only packed lunches that could be eaten with one hand and no cutlery (wraps are great for this) as the brewing, barreling, cleaning, and packaging never seemed to experience a lull. We’ve been extremely grateful for the ‘problem’ of high demand, but also have known for several years that our production schedule was unsustainable within such a small footprint. We pushed our equipment to the limits, brewed from sun up ‘til sun down, and spent more hours than we ever care to calculate feeding bottles on and off our 6 head filler. We took vertical storage space very seriously, and did our best to stave off mental breakdowns with humour. You can think of us as urban survivalists.
Though the planning and bureaucratic hoop jumping began long before, we finally succeeded in firing up a second production facility (with our second brewery retail store coming soon) in August of 2016, just north of the city core on 20 Hafis Road. This relatively small growth spurt felt monumental for us, despite how commonplace brewery expansions have become, as it represented long-awaited alleviations to significant bottlenecks. Certainly the process hasn’t been stress free, and we’re still not entirely acclimatized to two locations yet, but the promise of and potential for less strenuous production weeks, improved consistency, and increased availability was enough to settle the nagging eye-twitches we’d simply grown to accept.
Knowing us, we’ll likely maintain our poor work/life balance and continue to prioritize beer production over sleep, but we can assure you that this works fortuitously in your favour. And no, we’re not naïve to the fact that mo’ tanks can bring mo’ problems, but nothing can dampen our excitement about this next chapter. Our hope is that you’ll come along for the journey, enjoy the incredible diversity of what beer can be, and bask in the veritable fruit bowl of our labour. We tell ourselves this every year, but we’re only getting started…
20 Hafis Rd., Toronto, Ontario Canada M6M 2V6
124 Ossington Ave., Toronto, Ontario Canada M6J 2Z5