What's the vibe?
The two-level heritage space at East Liberty and Atlantic houses the Big Rock beer and bottle shop on one side and the new brewpub on the other for the ultimate all in one collab between the Big Rock brewers and the Oliver & Bonacini group. Our favourite part of the space is a large illuminated fridge with curing meats and in-house bottled pickles and sauces that greets you into the main dining room and bar area. Expect plenty of screens streaming your favourite sports games and a casual and lively atmosphere which will no doubt pick up once TFC season kicks off due to its proximity to the field. A large private dining room sits in the back as well as a (currently) covered 100 seat patio that will open up when the temperatures cooperate.
What to drink?
Beer, duh. But seriously, you're absolutely spoiled for selection here – although we would have been disappointed if that weren't the case. In the dining room, a total of 10 taps are comprised of eight Big Rock brews along with two rotating in-house specials and experimental blends. If you're not ready to commit to just one, there are flight options that let you sample four in one go ($10 for four 4oz pours). Once you've discovered your favourite, the bottle shop and tap room comes in handy to grab a six pack or growler to go. You'll also find a selection of local cans and bottles along with a small cocktail list including their Uncommon Sangria: a mix of Rock Creek pear cider, calvados (apple brandy) white cranberry juice and ginger that we have a feeling will pair perfectly with their patio.
What to eat?
An O&B dream team of Anthony Walsh (Leña), John Horne and Ryan Lister (Canoe) collaborate to bring a menu of fancy pub grub with German and British influences. The menu has a solid mix of light bites to snack on while sampling beers to full blown mains and family-style options to really tuck into. Before we're even settled at our seats, a freshly baked pretzel stick arrives at the table alongside a selection of in-house made mustards served exactly how you'd see it in a German beer hall. Also to start are sausage rolls, Scotch eggs and a Yorkie Pudding Nacho app to satisfy your British comfort food cravings along with mains like beef brisket and Moby Dick fish and chips complete with mushy peas. Throughout the menu, beer is a common ingredient used in the mustards, sauces and even the soup. But perhaps the brews are most notable in their 'Coq on a Can': a whole chicken served with fries, coleslaw and their Big Rock Traditional Ale BBQ sauce. It's a feast meant for sharing.
Dinner and drinks for two: around $100
42 Liberty Street, 416-304-9403, libertycommons.ca