This day was preeeetty surreal for me. I have been a big fan of Bandit for a long time now. So, to finally visit their spot and sit down with Stephane and Shehzad and learn a little bit more about what they’re doing and where they’re headed, was a real treat.
I interacted with Juan, who works Communications for Bandit prior to visiting for the episode. So we had been messaging back and forth for a bit and I said that we’d love to come out to the brewery to sit down with them, and he thought that was a great idea and invited us to email him and set something up. I got a really good vibe from Juan from the moment that we had been messaging, so I was already stoked to visit. Then, when we got there, they were even cooler! It was SO MUCH FUN to finally meet Juan, who was super friendly and extremely welcoming, and also to meet Stephane and Shehzad, who could not have been more inviting and open if they tried. Given how much I liked Bandit prior to going there, I didn’t think it was possible to have a better view of the brewery after visiting, but they totally made me a mega fan after this experience.
I think that Stephane and Shehzad have this super cool relationship where you can tell they really feed off each other, and work together to continually create unique and interesting beer. It seems they have this fun dynamic where everything seems light hearted and pretty laid back, which really speaks to the vibe of the brewery, and Bandit as a whole.
When we were there, we toured the brewery and sampled different beers straight from the fermenters AND I was lucky enough to sample a saison with the guys directly from one of their barrels in the back, which was such a fun experience. Honestly, the whole day was fun and super enjoyable. It seemed very chill right from the start, and I can’t get over how welcoming and friendly everyone was there. I felt like I was at home the entire time we were there.
On top of all this, Bandit is constantly serving up Juicy IPAs (my favourite), along with a host of barrel aged sours and stouts, and they have some wildly tasty food coming out of their (relatively) new kitchen. I haven’t even talked about their atmosphere and the beer garden, which is unrivalled in the city in terms of summer patios and hang out spots. Bandit is a must visit if you’re in Toronto, as it’s a clear stand out not only amongst fellow breweries, but also amongst restaurants and bars across the city.
It’s easy to root for the good guys, and it’d be a massive understatement to say the people behind Bandit are just that. I’m forever a fan.
To learn more about Bandit Brewery, visit their site here:
To see our full episode with Bandit Brewery., click here.
Cheers – T.