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Amsterdam Brewery announces relocation—and a massive new waterfront brewpub

Renderings of the huge new space (Image: Amsterdam)

Following months of rumours in Toronto’s craft beer scene, Amsterdam Brewery finally announced that it’s leaving its Bathurst Street location to set up a new, larger (and retail-friendly) brewery in Leaside. The brewing area at the new space will be featured behind a massive 40-foot-by-10-foot glass wall, and there’ll be a 2,000-square-foot room for casking events, corporate gigs and seminars. The big surprise, however, was Amsterdam’s announcement that it will return to its brewpub roots in grand and ambitious fashion, with a 900-seat hangar-sized restaurant (300 of the seats will be on a waterside patio) at 245 Queens Quay West, near Harbourfront Centre, the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Steam Whistle Brewery.

The brewpub’s focus will be on small-run specialty brews, like Amsterdam’s IPA/Chardonnay hybrid, and a “beer-inspired menu” to accompany them (Amsterdam is mum on details at the moment). The ambitious move will play out against Toronto’s sometimes fickle relationship with the brewpub concept. Mill Street’s Distillery District operation has been a staple for 10 years, and the relatively new Bellwoods Brewery is already a standout on the competitive Ossington strip, but the much-hyped Duggan’s closed its doors after little over a year (and Denison’s didn’t have much luck in the same space before that—the building is now the don’t-call-it-a-brewpub Beer Academy). Hopefully, between the tourist-perfect waterfront location, the patio and Toronto’s burgeoning love of craft beer, Amsterdam’s return to the brewpub scene will be triumphant and not transitory. Projected opening date: May 2013.

  • Phil

    Uh, Denison’s lasted for some time there. It’s a huge space. Duggan’s didn’t last long at all. Get your facts straight.

  • moi

    Awesome. Get rid of that ‘pier restaurant’ and its terrible owner. Good to have a NEW place coming!:)

  • Mary

    meet you at the Amsterdam Brew Pub next summer,for sure!
    Gotta love a waterfront venue – there are so few.

  • marina

    I have been going to Pier 4 / Wallymagoos for over 10 years, and I know people who have been loyally returning for 20 years.
    It is THE gem on the Toronto waterfront.
    Its a shame that they are ripping out all the last remaining character of Toronto’s waterfront and replacing it with a sterile modern attraction.
    Wally’s was essentially a nautical museum, with great food and friendly staff.. one of those places where you show up and they know you by name.
    A huge loss for Toronto, and another example of unelected people making horrible decisions for the whole City.

  • D Rock

    Ever get tired of Kelsey’s, Montana’s, Jack Astor’s, etc? Yeah, me too. I’ve travelled all around North America, and would like to say Wally’s/ Pier 4 is a treasure! Great food, service, and friendly staff. I’ve been there countless times over the past 12 years. Have you ever experienced a nautical-themed restaurant with what seems like 1000′s of interesting artifacts everywhere? That’s what Pier 4 is. What is going to be interesting about a brew pub? In reply to moi above,what EXACTLY don’t you like about Walter? Harbourfront Centre management are goofballs.

  • Brewson

    Denison’s lasted for over 13 years in the Victoria Street location and Duggan’s couldn’t last more than 1 year. Denison’s had great success for a long time and to group them in with Duggan’s is wrong. Anyone that knew both brewpubs would agree.

  • Torontonian

    In response to D-Rock and Marina, it was Walter’s decision not to renovate his relic of a restaurant and therefore, refused to re-new his lease. The restaurant was on its last legs and having worked there I can confidently say that they were in no way interested in keeping the restaurant afloat. Walter is a crook, back from his days owning Whalers Wharf, and I am glad that his tourist trap of a restaurant is gone from our waterfront.