C’est What? (Toronto)

Part 3 of my trip log for our 2010 Visit to Canada:

It was Saturday, September 11, and our first full day in Toronto. After a quick breakfast at Tim Hortons, which is Canada’s version of Dunkin’ Donuts, we walked two blocks from the Royal York to the Hockey Hall of Fame. We are huge Caps fans, so we were rocking the red and having a great time – the best part was seeing Lord Stanley’s Cup! (See below for the pics from our morning visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame and our afternoon harbor cruise on The Oriole.)

Time for lunch, and a visit to another brewpub. C’est What? was a short walk away from the Hockey Hall of Fame, on Front Street in the cellar of a historic building in the St. Lawrence Market area. My first visit to C’est What was in 1998, and I go back every time I’m in Toronto. I love the casual, relaxed atmosphere, the not-your-typical-pub-food menu, and of course, the beer. As I wrote after my last visit here in 2009, C’est What is one of my favorite brewpubs because not only do they have an excellent selection of high-quality house beers, but they also have a wide selection of guest microbrews. The many taps are full of delicious Canadian hand-crafted brews — too many to try, since they don’t offer a sampler rack.

I’ll get to my beer list in a moment, but first I wanted to share “C’est What’s Craft Beer Manifesto” which states:

C’est What will only serve beer that meets these criteria:

  • Un-diluted, single batch brewing. Each brewing batch makes one beer and is not diluted after fermentation.
  • All natural ingredients. The ingredients used should be easily recognized as natural and, if processed, must retain their essential character. An ingredient list must be disclosed.
  • Fresh. Beer tastes best fresh. Pasteurized beer will not be served at C’est What.
  • Our beer list is Canadian made only.

We actually stopped at C’est What twice during our four night stay in Toronto – Saturday for lunch and Sunday for dinner. Over the two visits, I was able to try six beers:

  • Homegrown Hemp Ale, brewed by C’est What?, Toronto, Ontario. A cream ale-style brew made with toasted hemp seeds.
  • Hop Addict, brewed by Durham Brewing, Pickering Ontario. A crisp hoppy IPA checking in at 90 IBU and 5.1%.
  • Hopping Mad, brewed by Granite Brewery, Toronto, Ontario. “Left coast hop levels meet an English pale ale and make beautiful tongue music.”
  • Orange Peel Ale, brewed by Great Lakes Breweries, Toronto, Ontario. Brewed with orange peel and a touch of honey.
  • St . Ambroise Pale Ale, brewed by McAuslan Brewing, Montréal, Quebec. A well-balanced Pale Ale.
  • IPA #9, brewed by Duggan’s Brewery, Toronto, Ontario. A malt-forward IPA.

With their long beer list of local Canadian brews poured in a cozy, comfortable setting, C’est What may be the perfect brewpub.

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