“This dish has everything!”

Jhal Muri and Pickled Cauliflower

Jhal Muri and Pickled Cauliflower

“This dish has everything!”

This appetizer is the perfect way to kick off your Veggielicious experience. Read More »

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Farewell to a Legend

We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of James Gray on Monday August 5th at the age of 52. Over the years, James performed regularly at Castro’s Lounge playing keyboard and accordian, most recently with The Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation and The Gypsy Rebels. His talent, enthusiasm and good nature made him one of the most adored musician to ever perform at Castro’s. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, loved ones and colleagues. James, you will be sadly missed.

James Gray playing at Castro's Lounge.

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Dominus Vobiscum Triple — Microbrasserie Charlevoix

Deep golden yellow, with a massive white head, Dominus Vobiscum Triple smells pretty near to perfection.  Sweet, malty, aromas of toast, cloves, banana and tree fruits.  Tastes is rich and complex, with more fruity goodness and lovely spices.  Peppery with a warm alcohol dry finish.  Just incredible.  And in case you’re wondering, “Dominus Vobiscum” is Latin for “The LORD be with you”.  And also you, Microbrasserie Charlevoix.

ABV: 9%
Style: Tripel
Price: $13.27
Presentation: 500ml bottle

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Noire de Chambly — Unibroue (Sleeman-Sapporo)

Noire de Chambly pours a deep mahogany brown, with a light tan head of stiff bubbles.  Aroma is rich roasted malts, with some spicy notes that could be from the yeast or wheat in the grain-bill (or both). Taste is also well balanced, with sweet caramel malts, spiciness that is probably from the wheat at this point, and a nicely lingering warm finish.

ABV: 6.2%
Style: Belgian Dark Ale
Price: $6.64
Presentation: 341ml bottle

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Dead Guy Ale — Rogue Ales

A fairly unusual style here in North America, Maibock or Helles Bock are lighter colour cousins of standard Bocks (“Helles” is German for “pale”).  These beers are often brewed for consumption in spring (“Mai” being “May” in German; it’s like a language lesson all up in here today. “Rolltreppenbenutzungshinweise” translates to “Tips for using the escalator”), as they’re lighter in body and profile than winter Bocks, making them perfect for those first mild days of spring, when you don’t quite need a refreshing thirst-quenching lager.  Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale is classic, with big sweet malts, nearly candied, with little pops of tropical fruits, and some earthy noble hops.  A very under-rated beer, do try one.

ABV: 6.5%
Style: Maibock
Price:$6.42
Presentation: 355ml bottle

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Anchor Steam Beer — Anchor Brewing Co.

The beer that birthed the craft brewing revolution in North America, Anchor Steam — aside from being a piece of history — is also an awesome beer.  Anchor is the only remaining gold-rush era brewery in San Francisco.  Started in 1874, it survived through the 1906 earthquake (okay, it was actually destroyed, but they rebuilt), prohibition, and a variety of ownership changes, yet in 1965, it was nearly bankrupt.  Taking an interest in local brewing, Fritz Maytag (heir of the Maytag appliance company) bought the brewery, and revitalized it.  They own the trademark on the name “Steam Beer” (a contentious issue among some craft brewers), which is one of the few truly American beer styles.  They still produce a variety of beers, including Steam, and their epic Liberty Ale.

Anchor Steam pours a golden yellow with a generous head.  Aroma is malty, but with a clear presence of Northern Brewer hops.  Herbal and just a little spicy.  Taste is more hop-forward, though it’s not a hop-bomb.  Hops show flavours of parsley and mint. Very clean astringent finish.  While they own the trademark on the name, many brewers make “California Common”, the un-trademarked name for the style.  And while many are excellent, none quite capture the essence of this classic.

ABV: 4.9%
Style: Steam Beer/California Common
Price: $6.86
Presentation: “Fatty” bottle, 355ml

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Estrella Damm — Damm S.A.

A Spanish take on a continental pils, Estrella pours a light yellow, with a bit of fuzzy white head.  Light cereal grains show some sweetness, and there is a touch of grassy hops.  It is light bodied, with a bright effervescent carbonation.  Finish is clean with a touch of lingering grainy malts.

ABV: 5.2%
Style: Pils
Price: $5.75
Serving: 500ml Tallboy can

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Dark Lager — King Brewery

A style not many Canadians are familiar with, Dunkel Lager, or dark lagers bear aroma and flavour similarities to porters and stouts, but are brewed with lager yeast and aged, which give them clean crisp finishes. King’s version is a huge award winner, taking silver in it’s category in the World Cup of Beer.  This is no throw-away award, the WCB is the biggest yearly brewing contest, with entrants from over 90 countries.  The beer is rich and malty, with aromas and tastes of chocolate, coffee, caramel and just a touch of smoke.  As it warms, molasses and a hint of rum come out.  The finish is very clean, with just a tough of earthy hop bitterness.  Phenomenal.

ABV: 4.8%
Style: Dunkel/Dark Lager
Price: $4.87

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Dernière Volonté — Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

While Dieu du Ciel! is often cited as the producers of the epic Peche Mortel, it is important to remember they produce a veritable stack of incredible beers.  Dernière Volonté is an incredible Belgian IPA, and for many people, was their first example of the style.  Cloudy and heady, with a big nose of fruity hops and classic spiciness from the Belgian yeast.  Taste is the same, big hops, fruity and citrusy, hitting on lemons.  Spices ranging from white pepper to coriander.  Hugely refreshing with a creamy mouthfeel and bright carbonation.  A magnificent beer.

ABV: 7%
Style: Belgian IPA
Price: $7.74

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2XIPA — Southern Tier Brewing Co.

2XIPA is a great entry into the world of Imperial (or Double) IPAs. Big juicy citrusy hops explode out of this golden brew with it’s generous foamy white head.  In addition to citrus peel, there are big tropical notes, touching on pineapple.  Plenty of biscuity malts are present too, to balance things out.  And here is the key to a great Imperial IPA, balance.  These beers clock in at the top of the scale for IBUs (International Bittering Units; the measure of how bitter a beer is).  Without a lot of malty sweetness, they would be essentially undrinkable.  So while 2XIPA is jammed with hops, it is also thick with malts.  On the palate, big juicy and bitter hops are clearly present, but again, warm toasted biscuity malts give good balance to the aggressive hops.  Finish is very hoppy dry, nearly resinous, with just a touch of the lingering malts.

ABV: 8.2%
Style: Imperial IPA
Price: $6.64

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  • current draught beers

    Muddy York Gaslight Helles (Ontario)
    Side-Launch Weisse (Ontario)
    Pommies Farmhouse Cider (Ontario)
    Nickel Brook Headstock IPA (Ontario)
    Collingwood Fireside ESB (Ontario)
    Amsterdam Cruiser Pale Ale (Ontario)
    St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout (Quebec)
    Rotational Tap (where ever)