For 20 years, The Brew Kettle has let beer, wine, and cider aficionados bask in the pride of making their own beverages without the hassle of using their own equipment. The process begins as libation experts help customers browse the more than 200 beverage kits to choose their favourite style, whether it's a murky stout, a refreshing riesling, or a blend of several flavours. Once they've made their choice, customers mix the ingredients with yeast, then hand off their developing creation to staff members so they can monitor it for proper fermentation and a passable Belgian accent over the following weeks. Once it's ready, the experts filter the newly born beverage and help the customer bottle it, label it, and ferry it home to enjoy.
Many visitors to The Lobster Trap Restaurant find their dinner waiting for them just inside the door. A tank of live lobsters sits by the front desk, ready for selection by head chef Sathiya, who steams or broils them for grandiose dinners served with garlic bread. His fondness for the crustaceans is evident not only in the venue's name, but in a brief glance at the menu. There, you'll find lobster bisque, lobster rolls, lobster thermidor, and Caribbean lobster tail all arranged amid other seafood delicacies. Whole lobsters are priced according to their weight, and while most measure between one and four pounds, 13-pounders are available by request for birthday parties.
Lobster-less dishes, on the other hand, range from tender New York strip steaks to oysters on the half shell. The oysters—exclusively purchased from Rodney's Oyster House—are shucked onsite. Other dishes traverse continental boundaries, such as the Alaskan king crab legs and the New Zealand rack of lamb. The dining room's décor isn't married to a particular ocean, though. Its walls boast hanging nets and mounted ship steering wheels, an homage to all of the seas and cranky ship captains that supply its meals.
Sheppard Wine Works puts the winemaking process in the hands of its customers. With a wide variety of RJ Spagnol juices and concentrates to choose from, visitors can create their favourite types of vino, whether it's a Californian cabernet or a Seville orange sangria. Once the varietal has been chosen, Sheppard Wine Works’ staff takes care of the nitty-gritty, fermenting concoctions for up to six weeks before bottling them, corking them, and teaching them to speak French. Clients may also customize the look of their resulting batch of bottles by choosing little details such as the foil colour and label image. For more experienced vintners, the shop also offers a selection of winemaking kits to use at home.
The winemakers at Vin Bon, using juices from international harvests, invite customers into the winemaking process, helping them craft their own vintages without the time-consuming steps of squeezing, straining, and background-checking their own grapes. After helping guests select their juice, the winemakers monitor and blend ingredients in each batch on its journey through fermentation and filtration. In additional to their winemaking services and kits, Vin Bon sources premium juices and grapes, such as cabernet sauvignon and riesling.
Markham Heritage Wines began its evolution in 1965 as Wine-Art, a company that supplied the materials for customers to ferment wine in their own homes. In 1987, it rolled out its first four-week wine kit, a compact collection of everything needed to produce wine within a single month. Eventually, technology changed and so did the business owners, so they sold Wine-Art and founded Markham Heritage Wines as an all-purpose supplier and educational venue for aspiring bottlers who just can’t bring themselves to forgo buying a rocket car in favour of buying a vineyard.
On Markham Heritage Wines’ premises, wine experts guide neophytes through the process of mixing wines from simple grape juices, flavouring them with oak chips and other additives, and bottling the newly created vintages. Each batch of wine needs to be looked after for four to six weeks, during which time the experts rack, stabilize, clear, and filter the liquid before singing it to sleep each night. Clients then return to bottle their wine using automated equipment, label the bottles, and apply decorative shrink tops.
Yonge Street Winery offers custom-crafted artisan wines, quality crystal stemware, and stylish storing solutions for both the fervent wine enthusiast and the casual dabbler in the drinkable grape. The winery's custom winemaking experience offers guests the chance to compose their own flavourful libation over the course of about a month and a half. The process begins with customers meeting with Yonge Street Winery's consultants to choose one varietal from the extensive list of varietals imported from vineyards around the world. After the initial consultation, which lasts approximately 10 minutes, clients will turn over the red-and-white reins to the winery's grape wranglers, and they’ll bring the blend to flavourful fruition over the course of approximately a month and a half. At the end of the process, clients will return to package and take home all 23 litres of the libation (about 30 750ml bottles), leaving the winery with the smug smile seen only in victorious vintners. Included in this deal are labels, foils, tax, corks, and corkage fees. Bottles are not included in this deal; you may bring your own, or purchase some from the winery for $1.25 each.