Meet Our Head Brewer Brandon Judd

Brandon Judd Portrait.jpg

Tell us a little bit about how your involvement in Avling Restaurant & Brewery came to be?
Brandon: Toronto's craft beer community is very tight-knit, and Max and I met each other years ago through friends at the Indie Alehouse, where we both worked at different times. I have always tried to approach beer from a culinary perspective and was looking for a way to put that into practice. The vision at Avling dovetailed beautifully with this desire.

You'll be playing an important role at Avling. What is your background and experience and how will that help shape Avling? 
B: I started brewing beer as so many do: at home on a stovetop, with only a pinch of knowledge and even less skill. But the spark was there, and I managed to find myself a job brewing at Indie Alehouse in its very early days. I learned an enormous amount from Jeff and Jason before heading to Germany to earn a Brewmaster certification at the VLB in Berlin. I returned to Canada to help open Godspeed Brewery, another place of immense learning for me. And now I'm here, more knowledgeable and skilled, and with a far better understanding of how much is left to learn.
Craft beer is booming across Canada. How can Avling contribute to this growing sector?
B: We hope to build a reputation of quality and care, and carve our niche by focusing on the little things that, when summed, can imbue a bit of magic into beer. At the same time, by putting a focus on the abundance and remarkable character of Ontario ingredients we are striving to tie our products a little closer to the land and agriculture that create them.

Where do you find inspiration?
B: I find a lot of inspiration in the cooking world, especially from chefs whose focus is on the transformative, whether that be through chemical processes like braising or folding, or through fermentation. I think their knowledge of palates, pairings, and their chemistry is inspiring and worthy of imitation. I also find inspiration from fellow brewers and winemakers who follow their passions down the rabbit hole far enough to discover what we take for granted.

What are you most excited about in the lead up to Avling opening its doors?
B: Stepping through the door on the first brew day.
What can we expect from the beer at Avling?
B: A focus on high-quality Ontario ingredients, wherever we can find and use them, and a commitment to dry, structured beers that are bold and self-assured, but speak softly.

What inspires you about the local Leslieville community?
B: I've encountered a lot of people who are true experts at what they do, but retain a warmth and humility that I find deeply inspiring. I hope to emulate that delicate balance as we become part of this vibrant community.