Subtle humour and good beer. Now, that’s a pairing I haven’t seen before.
Dundas and Sons Brewing is a new arrival on the expanding London craft beer scene and a welcome building block in a resurgent neighbourhood suddenly known for its collection of craft breweries – London Brewing, Anderson, and Powerhouse are all within a 20-minute walk.
The humour begins as I step up to the bar to meet big bearded brewer and owner Robert Dundas, who soon explains the copper bar top is a tribute to Dundas and Sons being located across Adelaide Street from the London police station. Ditto with the “and sons” part of the name; his kids are way too young to work at the brewery and now include a baby daughter. Ditto with the cardboard cutout of painting instructor Bob Ross, an inside joke for friends of Dundas, whose middle name is Ross and who attended nearby Beal secondary school.
Humour aside, there’s no joking about this former wind industry logistics manager’s beer-making skills honed by homebrewing and literally growing hops at his North London home.
Dundas and Sons’ small-batch beer selection is in constant rotation and is supplemented with guest taps from Anderson, Forked River, and London Brewing. On my visit, Dundas sets up his kettle sour, Homegrown APA, blonde, and honey amber on a flight tray featuring a white ash live wood edge. I’ve missed Dundas and Sons’ early popularity leader, a black IPA with seven per cent alcohol and 52 IBU, because savvy craft beer drinkers have beaten me to it.
Homegrown APA is a porch-to-pint sweetheart of a beer. Dundas brewed the American pale ale using hops picked from 10 plants at his house. It was wet hopped, meaning the Nugget, Cascade, and Mount Hood hops were never dried, frozen, or pelletized. His 10 plants were only enough for a single batch.
The sour recipe is a nod to one used by 5 Paddles Brewing, a GTA brewery Dundas loves.
The honey amber recipe is German altbier, sessionable, and a great choice for a growler fill. Dundas and Sons blonde fulfils the obligatory spot on the board as a beer for those who don’t yet know if they like craft beer.
Future recipe ideas have worn Dundas’s pencil to its nub, including an IPA with habanero heat from local legend Slim’s Pepper Co. and Partake, a non-alcohol beer.
Among the brewery’s nice touches are outlets underneath the copper bar so patrons can charge their cellphones. Fully charged cellphones are important for posting to Untappd, after all.
Dundas and Sons started pouring beer in late November. Growlers are $15 and up, depending on the beer. Parking is on Marshall Street, Dundas Street, or the city lot at Banting House.
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