Rorschach Brewing Company
Rorschach Brewing Company
Our Rorschach Brewery Visit
Rorschach Brewery. Roar – Shack. One more time: Roar (like a lion) and Shack (like the only thing you tried to avoid when playing MASH with your friends when you were a little Tyke – well, that and being sentenced to marriage with the weird kid who seemed to always be picking their boogers whenever you glanced at them in class).
It’s not that difficult to say once you get the hang of it anddddd if you don’t have Google Maps by now, you truly don’t deserve to find a gem like this in the city. But, Rorschach Brewery embraces the difficulty in both. Tucked in just north of Lakeshore, it’s easy to see why you’d glance over this location – I had driven by a few times before making the point to go there, only to arrive thinking “oh, I’ve been by here before”. Even if you do have some difficulty finding it (but, really? It’s 2019.), it’s worth the search. And if you look a little further, you’ll find that there’s some deeper meaning behind Rorschach and how it relates to drinking and experiencing craft beer.
Rorschach Brewery is settled into what used to be an old home, since converted and expanded to a big piece of real estate – complete with two levels and a roof top/second storey patio. When you walk in through the front door, it feels narrow, but cozy; the bar welcoming you with open arms. Head on through, just past the bar and it opens up (in our case) to a big burst of deliciously inviting scents that tells me they’re brewing up the good stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of that aroma. Beyond what your beak’ll tell ya, the ‘back room’ is open and inviting, with plenty of seating and west facing windows letting in tons of natural light. Additionally, there’s almost no separation between seating and the brewing tanks, giving it an industrial feel that leaves little to the imagination.
Ok, ok – I love a good atmosphere and I love a good location – both of which Rorschach has. But, it’s been way too long since I mentioned beer and considering what this brewery has to offer, it seems unnatural. Matt (co-founder/head brewer) continually spoke about creativity versus technical knowledge during our visit. He mentioned that some people are extremely creative and have all these ideas, but if they can’t deliver, technically, then the beer will likely bust. Similarly, if someone has studied for years and mastered the technical side of brewing, only to have no uniqueness within their drink, then what’s the fun in that?
Before our sit down with Matt, we were already aware of the creativity that Rorschach has expressed in their first two years of operation. It seems like they’ve tried everything and anything from Mexican & Dessert Lagers to Festbiers to Triple Dry Hopped Double IPAs with Lactose Sugar (that’s a mouthful, but figuratively and literally). It seems like they’re always jumping into new territory, working on new styles and making each of them uniquely their own, which to me, is what counts. And once you delve a liiiiiiittle deeper into Matt’s story and how he (and Rorschach) came to be, it’s clear to see that he is doing just fine on the technical side of things as well. If there was ever doubt, that was all put to rest with some of the beers we’ve sampled since.
Paradigm Shift, which we featured while we were there, may just be on my Top 5 list for 2019. It’s creamy body and texture, combined with its ability to stay only mildly bitter as a result of the sweetness balance from the lactose, is second to none. Add to that some tropical flavours of mango and pineapple (those are tropical fruits, right? Ah well – they are in my books) and it is de-f*cking-licious. It’s 8.5% ABV, so maybe be careful, because it does not taste nearly as boozy as it is.
Reminiscence is a straight up G. I don’t know how else to put it. First of all, who else got a Mexican Lager in the city? (Seriously… who else? Cause I want all the options) It’s got these toasty cracker flavours that combine with subtle notes of corn chips and with it’s light body and smooth finish, its made a crushable, enjoyable lager that’s a definite MUST at your next Taco Tuesday (or Wed., Thurs., or Fri. – eat all the Tacos your little heart desires).
I could go on for days – for real, Matt and I almost did a whole other episode while we were there chatting about beer and food (Jeeez – I didn’t even mention those delicious offerings that Rorschach seems to take about as serious as they do beer. Even going as far as creating their own vegetable garden on their rooftop!). But, I think the fact that we had so much to talk about, just speaks to Matt’s passion for his craft and his genuine interest in creating something memorable, something he’s proud of and something that’s uniquely his own. It’s inspiring, to say the least.
I just feel like this place has so much to offer. It’s so diverse and varying in its selections, it seems like there’s something for everyone. Just do yourself a favour and head in there for a bite and some drinks. I’d be shocked if you left feeling anything but satisfied… UNLESS you took a date there, went in for the kiss at the end of the night and they shut you down, horribly and awkwardly. Then, totally understand – that’s got disappointment written all over it.
For more information on Rorschach Brewing Co., visit their site here:
To see our full episode with Rorschach Brewing Co., click here.
Cheers! – T.