Located in one of the few remaining mercantile buildings to survive the Great St.John’s Fire of 1892, YellowBelly Brewery is serving up delicious food and local brew.
I was lucky to use this historic and character-rich location for a recent photo-shoot for work (but, lets not put any spoilers in here)!
The building itself is comprised of 5 cozy and ambient levels, each with their own function. The Underbelly is a cavernous hide-away in the basement featuring dark wooden ceiling beams scrolled with drink menus, tables tucked away into dark brick walls with candlelight flickering to light the room. Here, there are frequent events such as speakeasy’s and the much-loved “Whiskey Wednesday”. This is my favourite level at Yellowbelly!
Next, the main floor is slightly less ambient, but perfect for gathering with a few friends for lunch or taking a seat at the bar to start off your night downtown. The third floor is similar in feel with added leather bench seating and tall windows to let in the view.
The fourth floor is The Public House, which is where we had our photo-shoot. This open concept area with large windows, atmospheric and rustic antique brick is perfect for events and weddings. The fifth floor encircles the fourth creating the ultimate viewing platform for whatever stunning events are taking place – or just a great hideaway to get to know someone over a drink.
Speaking of drinks – the only downfall of spending my work day at Yellowbelly was the inability to indulge in some of their well-known in-house brewed beers. Now, I’m not much of a beer drinker but these, I would certainly try. Yellowbelly’s Brewmaster, Liam McKenna, trained as a microbiologist at the University of Guelph, originates from Scotland, has more than 20 years as an experienced brewmaster and with multiple awards to his name, he is considered one of the best brewmasters in Canada. According to Yellowbelly’s website, McKenna was conjuring up such good brew during his time in Dublin, Ireland that the infamous Guinness was paying pub-owners to not stock his product. That says something.
There are four beers constantly in production at Yellowbelly which are: Wexford Wheat, YellowBelly Pale Ale, Fighting Irish Red Ale, and St. John’s Stout. Although on this trip, I had to skip on the beverages, I did get to try some of the delicious food they were serving up on our break.
It was certainly a hard decision with a menu full of mouth-watering dishes, but with a few recommendations in mind (people always tell me “you have to try the pizza!”), I went for the wood fired Fig Prosciutto Arugula Pizza. It was amazing. A crisp, thin crust lent itself to the smooth texture of the cheese and salty-sweet combination of the fig and prosciutto toppings. Piled high in the middle was arugula lightly drizzled with rosemary oil and parmesan.
Since the decision was so hard to make, my co-worker and I ended up going halves on both of our dishes. Which was definitely for the best! Thanks to friends who like to share, I also got to try the lunch special of a Chicken Club on Kaiser with Sweet Potato Fries and Sundried Tomato Aioli. A perfect twist on a classic.
Another co-worker tried what looked to be an amazing and fresh taste on the classic hawaiian pizza – the wood fired Costa Rican Pizza. Going with classic ingredients such as fresh pineapple, smoked ham and a three cheese blend, this pizza kept it simple and close to home. However, the folks at Yellowbelly uped-the-ante by adding to this classic: coconut and banana peppers. I think this will be my next must-try (along with the beer)!
You can read more of their menu here. Our photo-shoot was a success, thank you for allowing us Yellowbelly, and thank you for the amazing lunch that I just had to blog about afterwards! If you haven’t checked out this awesome spot yet, I recommend two ways to check it out: First, a family lunch – the atmosphere is fun, yet intimate and is perfect for having a good chat and catching up. Second, gather a couple of your close friends and head to The Underbelly for a few drinks and appetizers – you won’t want to go anywhere else.