107 James Street North
Pickles, sausages, fries and craft beer. Have I died and gone to heaven? Nope. That’s MERIT Brewing, the newest addition to Hamilton’s craft beer scene.
I was lucky enough to get invited to a preview of their space (and their food!) on Sunday, and I have a feeling this place is going to be packed once it’s open. Their opening date just so happens to be this Thursday May 11th at 5pm – get ready #HamOnt!
Brain-child of Tej Sandhu, Aaron Spinney, and Jesse Vallins, MERIT has the trifecta of awesomeness that you want to see in a new place; a great social media presence, creative (but approachable) food, and interesting brews that go down easy.
I tried everything, so you don’t have to. 😉 Just kidding, you probably should. The food is DELISH and I’m going to be sending everyone there.
At the free media tasting, we tried:
SNACKS AND SIDES
Bread: De la Terre Sourdough with Lindsay Clothbound Cheddar and Honey
This would be ideal if you just need to pair something small with your craft beer!
Fried Pepperoni with Sweet Mustard
These were interesting! I had never had Fried Pepperoni before, but I can tell you right now… this won’t be my last time eating them.
Fries with Dawson’s Spicy Mayo
Everything about these, yes yes yes. Basically everyone at the media tasting was raving about these fries, since they were perfectly crispy. And you can’t go wrong with Dawson’s, of course.
Baked Beans with Brisket, Onion and Beer
Was not disappointed by these – especially for $6, it’s good meaty value.
Coleslaw du Jour
Changing everyday, but the one we tried was a tangy vinaigrette style with whole mustard seeds.
Gem Lettuce Salad
Uuumm…I didn’t get a picture of this one because I don’t make friends with salad. BUT I was a fan of the pickled onions that were in this classic green salad.
Crazy Garlic Pickles
These were still crunchy and beautiful and I could eat an entire 10 jars to myself. Honestly, fellow pickle fans, you’re going to love these.
Mixed Seasonal Pickles
YES! These were so creative and awesome. I discovered that Sue from MERIT even foraged the ramps and fiddleheads for this dish, which made them taste even more delicious, imo. This is going to be my go-to and quite possibly could have been my favourite dish of the evening.
Fennel & Chili with Tomato Jam, Garlic Aioli and Fresh Oregano
My fave sausage. Loved the balance of the wet tomato-y toppings, without too much spice.
Banger with Pickled Onions and Hot English Mustard
Can’t go wrong with the pickled onions!
Pork Heart Chorizo with Hot Peppers and Green Olive Salsa Verde
I was a pretty big fan of the Green Olive Salsa Verde, and actually ended up just scooping the toppings into my mouth. The Pork Heart Chorizo was a little bit on the fatty side (which could be expected), but had some really good flavour!
Butter Chicken with Mango and Apple Chutney, Black Pepper Lime Yogurt and Naan
Second favourite sausage. This one was completely different from the others (especially being a chicken sausage), and I loved that they served it on a naan. They recommended trying this one while sipping on the Chanan. Try it out! See what you think
Cheddar Smokie with Shaved Onion and Beer Mustard
This Smokie had a whole different texture altogether, but one that I could get behind. It was thick, hearty and filling.
BBQ Hot Link with Wort BBQ Sauce and Shredded Iceberg
I’d say this is the most classic of the sausages!
Chicago Style Falafel Dog (v)
Hey veggie people – There’s something for you too! 🙂
24oz BBQ Hot Link with Slaw, Pickles, Shaved Onion, Sweet Mustard and White Bread
When you want to share with your group, or just eat a whole helluva lot on your own, they have their large format dishes!
Warm Bread Pudding with Wort Toffee Sauce and Chocolate Malt
I’m not even a huge dessert person, but I could eat this for every meal. (I know, I probably shouldn’t.)
S.V.P – French Table Beer – 3ABV
Super light, this one goes down really easy.
Between Us – Gose – 4.3ABV
My personal favourite of the flight!
Chanan – Dry Hopped Saison – 5.3ABV
Young Rival – IPA – 6ABV
Chanan and Young Rival are MERIT staples – Tej had let us know that these two would always be available in the bottle shop. (Yes, there’s a bottle shop)
Tomorrows – Earl Grey Tripel – 9ABV
Infused with Earl Grey tea from Monarch Tea Co. – A bolder brew with the underlying flavour of earl grey and smooth cornflowers.
My Only – Brett Hibiscus Saison – 6.4ABV
Beautiful pink colour and a delicious fruity flavour. I’ll be ordering this one again, especially to enjoy on the patio.
For more on the beers VISIT http://hoppily-ever-after.com (post going up Thursday!)
An iconic design that you’ll see all over the space, their lightbulb logo is a winner. And did you expect any different from designer Jamie Lawson? I’m a fan. I feel like you’ll be seeing photos of that florescent bulb all over social media.
Warehouse-esque with a modern flair. Intimate, but open concept. You can’t help falling in love with their large-windowed space (with a full view of the brewing area), filled with dark wood communal harvest tables and neon signage of their beautiful logo. It’s a place you’ll want to hang out, night (under the string lights) or by the light of day.
Follow them online at:
Twitter: @meritbrewing https://twitter.com/MERITBrewing
Instagram: @meritbrewing https://www.instagram.com/meritbrewing/
Facebook: MERIT Brewing Company https://www.facebook.com/MERITBrewing/
*Special thanks to MERIT brewing for the preview! I can’t wait to visit once you officially open!*
What craft beer are you most excited to try at MERIT? What food are you most excited to try at MERIT? Share it with me in the comments below!