TORONTO, ON – In the 24 years that it’s been open on Front Street in Toronto, casual restaurant and bar The Loose Moose has never been considered a serious destination for those looking for beer beyond the mainstream brands. But that has changed with a recent renovation and relaunch that has not only given the bar the most draught beer lines in downtown Toronto, but also one of the largest selections of craft beer in the city.
Spearheaded by general manager Damon Kestle, a British ex-pat with a taste for good beer, the changes started last year when the Moose hosted a small craft beer festival and gave over several tap lines to a couple of Unibroue brands and a few smaller local beers. And now in the wake of the renos that have upped the number of taps to 54, close to half of the brands on draught come from small and medium sized breweries.
Larger craft breweries like Unibroue, Steam Whistle and Mill Street are represented in the permanent line-up alongside a selection of imports and a few mainstream brands. A further 20+ “swing taps” feature a frequently changing rotation of Ontario craft brands, with the current line-up including Nickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard, Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA, Publican House Eight or Better Belgian Strong and Silversmith Black Lager. All draught beers are available in 3 ounce samplers with prices ranging from $1.11 to $1.33, allowing the curious to sample a few before committing to a full pint or pitcher.
Craft beer is also well represented on the bottle list, which features some local offerings as well as selections from elsewhere in Canada (McAuslan, Dieu du Ciel!, Paddock Wood, Central City) and a few imports.
Along with the increased and improved beer choices, the Moose has a new food menu featuring beer-friendly comfort food, and the lower level has been converted into a live music venue called The Antler Room, with a shorter but still craft-leaning draught list, as well as a selection of canned beers and a compact food menu.