Coxwell Avenue in Toronto has become more developed recently. An old dollar store at 242 Coxwell has been transformed into Godspeed Brewery a hip brewpub and bottle shop.
This cool, minimalist, well designed and modern 140 seat warehouse style spot, makes for one of the most unique food-beer pairings in the city. The back of the house is a working brewery, the front of the house is a casual restaurant, with an open kitchen where they prepare a small menu of Izakaya style sharing plates, and another bar, where they have about 14 beer choices on tap. You can sit at either bar, on benches or at tables. In good weather, two large garage doors open to a lovely patio and helps bring the outside in. There is also a small beer shop up front where you can grab some cans to go. The floors are terrazzo, they incorporate lots of wood, exposed ducts, bare light bulbs, and Asian art, making it a chic industrial space.
The food is surprisingly good, with a small menu of about twelve items. It is more for grazing than eating a complete meal. It is a craft brewery with a twist, where they offer Japanese comfort food. We started with a warm mushroom salad, where the spicy arugula hides an array of enoki, shiitake, king oyster and shimeji mushrooms. It is delicious, due in large part to the mushrooms being fried in butter and soya sauce. It was topped with shredded nori and crispy wonton strips. The fried chicken nuggets, done in a crispy batter, with super moist chicken, and a side of bamboo shoot slaw, is something you just may want to break your diet for. The taco grilled rice balls, with ground beef, salsa and sour cream, were interesting, but were quite difficult to eat with chopsticks. The beef tataki, was seared rare, using AAA flat iron steak, in a spicy ponzu and yuzu kosho. The meat was a touch chewy. There are a few other dishes like braised vegetables, served cold, assorted Japanese pickles, a tofu dish, a pork cutlet and a braised beef stew. There is also a foie gras pâté, served with a baguette and the requisite edamame. For dessert, one choice, a sweet potato pie, with matcha crumble and nutmeg cream, also interesting.
Luc “Bim” Fontaine was the former head brewer at Montreal’s Dieu du Ciel brewery. Together with his Japanese wife, he has brought his 20 years experience and his craft brews to Toronto, where they brew their own beers on site. There are quite a few beers on tap, with a menu that describes each beer in detail. If you are not a beer drinker like me, they offer two wines, a Riesling that pairs well with this cuisine and a red. There are also craft sodas, and I had the lemon and lemongrass flavour.
There is a strong Asian aesthetic to their branding, beer names, interior, and menu. This is a cool place to meet friends for a drink and some light fare. Well done and Godspeed.