Home of the happy hipster.
I have a love-hate relationship with NOW Magazine‘s annual Bar/Pub/Beer Guide. Some picks are great and sometimes they miss the mark completely. As a result, I am skeptical about their glowing endorsements (I am suspect due to Stout‘s good standing) and was prepared to be disappointed with the Indie Ale House, one of NOW‘s top picks, and also given a good friend’s less-than-enthusiastic review of the place ([L]oud, pretentious, full of their own hype. And [she] hated the cider. They also told [her] companion that the tonic water they delivered was in fact the soda water he ordered.). However, I was pleasantly surprised with the Indie Ale House, although I was the eldest and least fashionable person in the establishment and thus felt rather out of place. This is the home of the happy hipster and there were more beards, plaid tops, colourful trousers, and iPads visible than at a National’s concert or at an IKEA sale.
The Indie Ale House looks a bit like a cafeteria with too many tables (which means you can hear your neighbours’ conversations) and it sounds a bit like one too. There was wood everywhere, except for the exposed brick wall and tin ceiling, and from where I was sitting I could see the beer vats. The Indie Ale House only takes reservations for large groups (and they go on and on about this on their website) and they also only present one bill for said group. They were getting their knickers in a twist (the page with this rant is now only available as a now unavailable cached version) about their name, the pub is called Indie Ale House with three words, but their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts all say the Indie Alehouse. If the establishment itself can’t be consistent, then they shouldn’t grumble when others aren’t.
Number of visits by yours truly: my first, on a weekday afternoon in July 2014, but not my last
TTC information: take the Dundas West (Junction) bus north from Dundas West Station (seven-minute journey)
Booze selection: 11 craft beers that night, which change often, the cider they had then was Spirit Tree (I write that as I expect they change it often). No Pimm’s
Food selection: limited menu, but large servings
Service staff: not bad, but it seems that we might have been lucky
Prices: good for portions
Wheelchair accessible: appears to be
Televisions: two tiny screens, not on
Live music: nope
Piped-in music: Indie 88.1 (of course)
Rating: four and a half pints (out of five)