Rusty Wrench Brewing Co.
9 Front St. Strathroy, Ontario
Whenever I hear anyone make the slightest mention of Strathroy Ontario, I saddle up and ride right into that conversation and with a tip of my hat I say “Have you been to Rusty Wrench?” One benefit of having your own blog is highlighting your happy places that maybe some of those city folk don’t know about.
Since starting this blog, we have visited Rusty Wrench on many occasions. This post isn’t about one single experience but a culmination of many. I have yet to have a visit to Rusty Wrench that wasn’t just as good as the last.
Our first visit for the blog was in September, we brought along another craft beer loving couple for an afternoon of patio beers. As we sat down, a burly bearded man greeted us with “You’ve got the big guy today, use me, abuse me”...how’s that for customer service! This is Chris, owner and brewer, an incredibly genuine and positive person that’s never too busy to sit and talk with customers. That afternoon I got the opportunity to chat with him about the blog, and although in its infancy he shared his excitement for what was to come.
Rusty Wrench along with neighbouring restaurant Tia’s place breathe some energy into downtown Strathroy and help create a dining and drinking destination. The brew pub can be a bit hard to spot, look for the hanging open sign with the red wrench. During the holidays the entry is decorated and cloaked in red drapes. When the weather is warmer there is a front patio and an overhead door that opens the brewery up the street. Hopefully live music and other events will return shortly to the brewery. The inside is rustic and homey with warm wall colours and wood top tables and benches. The bar is made from reclaimed materials and even rusty wrenches as tap handles which have been known to turn a few heads.
Chris, a Strathroy native and former diesel mechanic (the brewery theme makes sense now!) started home brewing in the kitchen. But when his wife Kirby found out he could potentially ruin the stovetop it was out to the garage with him and his brew pot. Can’t blame her, those stovetops are impossible to keep clean. With his wife’s encouragement, some old wrenches and a kick ass beard Chris worked to make his dream come true. In December 2017, a downtown building and store front was transformed into Rusty Wrench Brewing Co. Cheers to all the significant others out there who selflessly encourage us to follow our dreams. What could be better in life than doing what you love and sharing it with the community you live in.
Besides great beer, this family friendly brewpub has a full menu of house made appetizers, soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches including pulled pork and brisket. There's even a kids menu (full menu in gallery). Rusty Wrench Brewing is a low key and comfortable spot. Come as you are and enjoy great beer and food with friends and community.
Rusty Wrench has four core beers and an ever changing line up of seasonal releases and one-offs. Their beer menu covers all the basis, easy drinking like their Big Hef’n hammer and Oxidation Amber Ale all the way more adventurous brews like their exceptional Left Hander Spanner IPA and Torque Wrench Mango Jalapeno pale ale. Beyond beer they also have feature cocktails, slushies and kombucha.
Oxidation Amber Ale (5% abv) – Bready toffee aromas with a nice light caramel flavour and balanced bitterness throughout, just a hint of smoke.
Left Handed Spanner IPA (6.1%) – This is beautifully balanced West Coast Style IPA has aromas of toffee and grapefruit citrus. Tastes of caramel, apricot, mango with a nice grapefruit and pine bitterness. One of my all-time favourites.
Torque Wrench Mango Jalapeno Pale Ale (5% abv) – Light bodied and crisp. Cracker like malts, dry jalapeno matched with light mango sweetness and just a bit of residual heat. My wife’s favourite and always a crowd pleaser once they give it a try.
Big Hef’n Hammer Hefeweizen (4.5% abv) – Citrus aromas with a fluffy mouthfeel and classic bubblegum, orange citrus and clove flavours. An always delicious true to style Hefeweizen.
Crappy Tire Stout (7.1% abv) – Aromas of sweetened dark roast coffee with dark roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavours. A rich and robust stout that is exceptionally smooth and easy drinking. About 60 years ago this location was a Canadian Tire!
I’ve long been searching for a brewery that I could feel comfortable in whether alone or with a group of friends. The sort of place where everyone knows your name and you are just as welcomed for a quick pint as you are for a meal and a couple rounds. A brewery you feel connected to and anticipate the next beer release as a valid excuse to get out of the house. I feel like I have found that in Rusty Wrench and maybe you will too.
Stay positive and drink good beer