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Toronto-born beer brand Mascot Brewery is set to start serving customers at their brand new location in Etobicoke on June 12.
The soon-to-be open spot is over 9,000 square feet in total––about 5,000 of which is reserved for production. The remainder will be utilized as an event space, two patios––one of which seats 60 people and another with a capacity of 150––a skate park located inside the building and a restaurant, forged in partnership with Fidel Gastro owner Matt Basile, whose catering facility next door will supply "elevated comfort food" alongside specially-paired Mascot beers. The goal is for the entire place to feel like a "community hang out," explained Aaron Prothro, founder and CEO of the Mascot brand.
Though Prothro is looking forward to expanding outside of the downtown core, where he hopes to reach a demographic of newly suburban millennials with an appetite for locally-brewed beer, he was a little sceptical about Etobicoke at first. He admitted to being pleasantly surprised by the warm reception he received from "young professionals and working creatives" who have moved out of the city to areas where going out options haven't yet matched the pace or variety of downtown.
Prothro is aiming to build a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere, where customers will be able to sit down with a drink and some food whilst those with kids feel safe in the knowledge that their little ones are happy and occupied at the skate park.
"I've always felt beer was inherently social," said Prothro. "It can bring people together, rather than create divides... so I saw that as an opportunity to create Mascot, which is all about facilitating a unique craft beer experience, but presenting it in an approachable manner... in a laid back environment."
Prothro is conscious of what's required in order to appeal to both casual beer drinkers after something tasty and digestible, and to members of the niche market, looking for a less mainstream brew. Though the Etobicoke spot will primarily focus on the former, Mascot also brews a lot of sours for their enthusiast consumers, who can purchase said items at Mascot's brick and mortar locations.
That being said, their focus for the new brewery is on the lager at a commercial level. Along with beer, the Mascot brand also offers a wide variety of ciders and cocktails available at their various locations across Toronto.
When asked about the new production space and accessibility to the public, Prothro said that it will not be open for tours just yet, but that he plans to let people take a look around in the not-too distant future. Prothro mentions you can see the brewery in space, and feels that exposing the behind the scenes process promotes a cohesive and localized experience. It is an added touch that will significantly enhance the customer experience.
Mascot Brewery opens to the public on today, June 12, at 37 Advance Road in Etobicoke. At the moment, they are only serving beverages, but food is coming soon. The opening comes just in time as the province begins to reopen, but if Etobicoke is a little bit of a trek for you, you can visit their patio at 220 King Street West as well.