Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet Tashi Sundup: Bryden's - Toronto, ON

Tashi Sundip - Bryden's (and fan of the Habs)
Meet Tashi Sundup, owner of Bryden's on Bloor Street (at Jane). Better known as Tash, Sundup has transformed his establishment over the last couple of years into a place where beer enthusiasts feel welcome. Gone are the Alexander Keith's and Coors Light taps, in are the craft beers like King Pilsner, Denison Weissbier, Great Lakes Devil's Pale ale and more, and most recently, cask conditioned ale.

I first paid a visit to Bryden's back in June of 2009 shortly after Tash decided it was time for a change and I've been back numerous times since. You'll find that Bryden's has great pub food to go along with your pint, and you can spend hours sitting on the large couches near the entrance with a book while supping your beer. During Toronto Beer Week Tash stepped up and hosted the Tower of Power events that featured Ontario Double IPA's, proving to be one of the most attended events in the city.

How long have you operated your establishment
Since the turn of the century!! Managed it for "Bryden" till about 2005 then gave him his walking papers and became The Grand Phooba myself.

How did you get into the hospitality industry?
Grew up around it. My father was a chef by trade and we had a restaurant in the family as I grew up. I always worked in the industry while I was a student, but it really wasn't a dream of mine to have my own pub; it just kind of happened. I was actually trying not to be in this field, I wanted to be the captain of the Montreal know them Troy...they knocked out your Pens in the playoff last year

What is the best part of operating a pub?
Easiest question of the day - the people. You come across so many interesting and really cool people. I've met so many great people within the beer industry. Great staff, they're like family, the best of the best & also any other cliches I missed. I really mean it though, they're awesome, and we easily have some of the best customers you could ask for. Bryden's is really about the people, it's the person across the bar from you and the person next to the bar from you.

What is the worst?
Probably the business side of it. Taking care of people and having fun is awesome but sometimes you have to focus on the not so fun part of it. Not so much fun spending a night in front of the computer doing paper work.

How do you go about selecting the beer for your establishment?
We generally stick to Ontario craft beer options. Pretty much try anything in that world. It is easy for us as we continually rotate many of our taps. Other than that we try to keep a good mix as we try to have examples from many different styles & seasons.

Where did the name of your establishment come from?
There was actually an original owner with the name Bryden. Maybe not the most creative name for him to come up with but I liked it and we kept it; perhaps we were too lazy to change it too.

What has been the biggest change in the beer industry since you started your business?
Definitely the growth and movement to better/craft beer options. Outside of major chains I rarely see new bars that open without a strong craft influence.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
I'm sure this will be echoed by everyone throughout the industry, but I can't think of a something else I would rather see changed than all the handcuffing that is done by the government in our industry. So many regulations and policies are just not well thought-out and are simply put, silly.

What do you get up to when your not at your establishment?
I play hockey. We actually have our own league through the bar. It's a good way to work off all the beer drinking. Unfortunately I'm terrible though. Oh yeah and I also like dogs!

If you're not drinking at your own bar, where do you head to for a beer?
I love checking out other pubs, bars & restaurants. There are so many great beer destinations throughout Toronto, all worth visiting. I really like when new spots open, so if you open a place email me and I'll come by soon.

Name the last beer you consumed?
I like Hefeweizens (Denison's & Muskoka) & really hoppy IPAs, but this time of the year I really get into drinking cask. Currently we have Lackey's Caskey on the hand pump & that is what I'm having right now.

2455 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON

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