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After a long wait, Woodbridge, ON-based Bevi Birra, a combination bottle shop/sandwich shop, specializing in small batch craft beer and large foccacia sandwiches, has opened its first Toronto outpost in the Junction.
Describing itself as “Ontario’s best craft beer desination,” Bevi Birra was founded by two high school pals, Paul Liberti and Sam Puntillo, who felt that the average Ontarian beer drinker was missing out on quaffing the most unique and unusual homegrown artisanal beers. Although there are some 250 small craft breweries scattered across the province, the vast majority of their lagers, stouts, pilsners and IPAs are tragically unavailable on the shelves of your local LCBO or Beer Store.
Before deciding to open a bottle shop, Liberti and Puntillo had toyed with starting a restaurant specializing in focaccia. Instead of swapping one inspired idea for another, the pair decided to merge them; serving homemade focaccia sandwiches as well as beer. If the combination is not immediately obvious, store manager Dan Dimonte explained the synergtic logic in a recent interview, “We feel that the artisanal component involved with using a sourdough starter as the base of our focaccia recipe very much complements the nature in which these small batch beers are brewed.”
In addition to its brick-and-mortar shop in Woodbridge, Bevi Birra operates an online store that offers, via Small Batch Dispatch, delivery of beers, many of them limited edition batches, to various towns and cities throughout southern Ontario as well as Toronto. However, until recently, Torontonians who wanted the full-on, in-the-moment experience of leisurely sipping their ale while savouring a freshly-made focaccia sandwich, had to travel out to Vaughan.
Happily, since the end of November, that indelible experience can be had much closer to home. Located on Dundas West, Bevi Birra’s new Junction outpost offers beer in bottles and on tap. Along with focaccia faves such as the Filomena (mortadella, provolone, muffuletta, pepperoncino piccante and honey) and the Italia (prosciutto, fior di latte, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and olive tapenade), the menu includes Italian-inspired specials such as chicken and eggplant parm and tiramisu.
In addition to locally-sourced bottles and cans of beer, wine, cider and spirits, Bevi Birra carries a selection of both made-in-Ontario and made-in-Italy snacks. To upgrade your home bar, finely crafted beer glasses and other drink-related merchandise are available for purchase.
Bevi Birra is located at 3072 Dundas Street West and is open Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.