We know about the farm-to-table movement, but Leslieville’s Avling Brewery takes it even further with rooftop-to-table and a grain-to-glass approach to craft beer. “Every single process is super thought out and it really shows,” says brewer Taylor MacKenzie. In just two short years, Avling has become an innovative leader when it comes to sustainability, local food and turning their creative pastel-hued brewpub into a more circular, less wasteful economy.

“Besides the brewery, we have an in-house butcher who uses meat sourced locally from a sustainable farm. The restaurant uses produce that we grow on the roof. In the brewery, we only use additives like fruit that we can source locally — peaches from Niagara, or second-hand grapefruit from a juicery. I get to see every day how much we care about the community we’re in and I love that about the leadership here [at Avling],” says MacKenzie.

I get to see every day how much we care about the community we’re in

Owner and operator Max Meighen had a vision of creating a place where people could enjoy local, thoughtfully prepared food alongside beer brewed with that same care. And while Avling may be young, they have already succeeded in so many ways. “Avling definitely represents the change that I would love to see in this industry,” says MacKenzie. “In brewing school, I was the only girl in my class, I just knew that was going to be a thing. Certain things were hard and I was like ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ but I’m still here, so I did it. I feel really lucky because I know that not everybody has that type of space.”

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Avling Brewery: 99 Series

“In this series of beer, 99 per cent of the ingredients are sourced locally in Ontario, so that’s the malt, hops and any other additions we put in. The remaining one per cent is made up of small quantities of different brewing minerals.”

Avling Brewery: Sustainability 

“Max is very passionate about sustainability. He’s working on a project right now to take brewery wastewater, which is full of nutrients, and treat it so we can use it in the garden to water the plants.”

Avling Brewery: Inclusivity

“There are those few instances where a man will be shocked to see me open the door when there’s a delivery. I’m doing something that people think women can’t do. It’s been really great to see some change happening in craft beer.”

1042 Queen St. E., avling.ca