I recently joined a few friends at King Taps, a new bar in Toronto that opened up in the Financial District that is boasting 50+ local craft beers on tap. While we felt underdressed compared to everyone who came straight from work, the atmosphere was very ambient with the dim lighting, local artwork on the walls, videos showing stills of musicians new and old, and clips of martial arts films. An odd combination of visuals, but I think it worked as it was stimulting conversation amongst friends. We were peckish so we ended up getting some fries and calamari, which were very tasty and not your typical bar.
We were peckish, so we ended up getting some fries and calamari, which were very tasty and not like your typical bar fare. The food is very elaborate too, so when I say they had fries, they had a parmesan topping along with what seemed like lemon zest. It also looks like pizza is their big food seller based on everyone’s tables and all the pizza boxes in the kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, they have an open-concept kitchen (something I really enjoy), located on the second floor where we were seated so we could watch the food being created. I enjoy watching food being made as I see it as an art form and you get to see the artist at work. The music was a good mix of new and old songs that all had an edm remix layer to them, which I enjoyed, but did find the music a little too loud which can hinder the conversations about all the great craft beer being drank.
I now get to the best part of Kings Taps or any bar, the beer. I went on a Wednesday which is $1 off IPA’s and Pale Ales so I decided to treat myself to Rainhard’s Kapow! IPA. It was delicious on tap as I hoped it would after only ever having it in a bottle. The taps spanned the entirety of the upstairs bar all labeled with different local beer and some international beers. I would have liked to see a specific handle that matched each beer as I find it more aesthetically pleasing, but I think they wanted to keep it simple with clean wooden blocks. They provided the correct glass for each beer that would help with delivering the aromas and help with foam retention. I also really liked how they split up the beers on the menu by the style, so when I wanted to have a crisp golden pilsner I knew where to look and the same when I wanted a refreshing, yet complex saison. Draught beer done right just tastes so much better than from a bottle or can so it was great to try all these beers that I have only ever had the privilege of drinking from a container.
I believe this is a big step for craft beer. It, of course, is big in terms of getting local beer out into the public eye, but the bigger picture for me is the location and the locale that will be trying these beers. All of these employees working in the financial district probably live around downtown too, which compared to the west and east ends don’t have many craft breweries to go to after work, which means they aren’t getting to try the locally made beer straight from the source. Like I was saying about draught beer, it is amazing when it is done well, so this bar should open a whole new clientele for the craft breweries. In the past the customers may have tried the craft beer before in bottle or can and may have got an off-flavoured beer or it just wouldn’t have been as good as when it is on draught. I am hoping that other bars in the area will take note after people start requesting more local beer to be on draught which in turn help all the many craft breweries popping up in Toronto!