One thing any urban adventurer needs when trekking through the city is a good drink!

Fortunately for you intrepid travelers, the Old East Village BIA has curated another awesome self-guided tour: the Libation District! From a morning cuppa to a weekday wind down, the Old East Village is full of delicious craft beverages to enjoy. We checked out a few of the stops to find out what’s on tap.

Read on to quench your thirst for local knowledge!

Asmara Coffee House

Asmara Coffee House, formerly known as Asmara Caffee, has been a beloved staple of the London, Ontario cafe scene since 2012. Owner Misgna Menameno has a clear passion for quality coffee, and his coffee house offers Ethiopian coffee freshly roasted on-site. Home brewers can also buy bags of beans to go!

A mug of coffee sits on a wooden table. Next to the mug is a plate with a chocolate brownie sitting on it.
Coffee and a treat from Asmara Coffee House. Photo by Carrie Freele.

One interesting feature of Asmara Coffee House is that there is no wi-fi, encouraging customers to disconnect, if just for a few moments. If you’re stopping in for a while (COVID aside), bring a book, a friend, or plan for a nice, contemplative gaze out the window.

Wisdom Cafe

Shelves and shelves of beautiful teaware for sale greet you in the bright hallway of the Wisdom Cafe, Tea Shop, and Japanese Creperie. That’s right, not only can you find a dazzling selection of teas, but you can enjoy a crepe with savoury or sweet fillings. Try one of the cafe’s tea-infused caramel sauces drizzled on top! The cafe also offers weekly features of house-made ice creams and other frozen desserts.

A mug is sitting on a wooden table.
A classic cup of Earl Grey from Wisdom. Photo by Carrie Freele.

While you sip a tea or tea latte, pick out a new mug or matcha bowl for someone special (including yourself!) and make choices from 175 varieties of tea.

Powerhouse Brewing

Located in the 100 Kellogg Lane complex, Powerhouse Brewing is one of London’s newest craft breweries. Powerhouse is home to a spacious taproom, and an extensive patio which saw lots of action in the summer months. Powerhouse offers a wide selection of in-house brews, from the Dundas Street Dry Hopped Pilsner to the Deep Cycle Porter. Alongside the brew menu, Powerhouse also offers an impressive list of hearty pub fare, including burgers, nachos, jumbo pretzels, and more!

A glass full of ale from Powerhouse Brewing Company.
The Farmhouse Ale from Powerhouse Brewing Company. Photo by Carrie Freele.

If you love what Powerhouse has to offer, you can sign up for the Powerpack. It’s a monthly subscription service that includes discount cards, swag, and of course, beer!

Union Ten

Union Ten Distilling Co. is a necessary stop for lovers of craft cocktails. This shop for handcrafted spirits includes the lines Angry Goose Vodka, Gray Jay Gin, Northern Cream cream liqueur, and more. You can give these a try when you stop into the beautifully restored distillery for a barrel-aged cocktail and a pizza or flatbread.

A mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream on top is sitting on a table.
A spiked hot chocolate from Union Ten. Photo by Carrie Freele.

With a huge selection of locally made spirits and mixes to choose from, the distillery is a great place to stop and shop for aspiring mixologists. Union Ten also offers a variety of beautiful gift boxes for creating old fashioneds, G&Ts, and spiked hot chocolates in the comfort of your own home!

London Brewing

Tucked away on Burbrook Place is London Brewing, a worker-owned brewing cooperative that has been in operation since 2014. There’s always something new to try at London Brewing, with each season bringing a wave of new brews, from collections of holiday-themed stouts, to collaborations celebrating local musicians.

A tall beer can of London Brewing Sunset Oatmeal Stout sits on a wooden table next to a round glass filled with a dark beer.
The Sunset Oatmeal Stout from London Brewing. Photo by Carrie Freele.

London Brewing is a hotspot for not only local craft beer, but also fantastic events! While COVID has slowed the schedule for now, London Brewing has hosted many live music nights and comedy shows. Once the pandemic has settled down, keep an eye on the London Brewing events calendar for lots of opportunities to enjoy local talent

Forest City Botanicals

Also located in the London Brewing space is Forest City Botanicals! This recent collaboration between On the Move Organics and London Brewing creates “functional beverages,” focused on harnessing the power of plants to create drinks that are both tasty and healthy. Forest City Botanicals first and currently only flavour is the Organic Raspberry Nettle Tonic.

A tall can of Raspberry Nettle Tonic sits on a wooden table next to a round glass full of raspberry tonic.
A plant-powered punch from Forest City Botanicals. Photo by Carrie Freele.

Along with the title ingredients, this tonic also includes ashwagandha, rosehip, dried apple, hibiscus petals, lemon peel, strawberry leaves, chamomile, and cornflowers to create a plant-powered punch! We’re excited to see what creations come next from this awesome local collaboration.

Whether you’re a fiend for coffee, a craft beer connoisseur, or a fervent tea drinker, there are lots of options for whetting your whistle in the Old East Village! We just scratched the surface here, because you can also find Fire Roasted Coffee, Anderson Craft Ales, Paradigm Spirits and more as you tour the village. If you’ve got some Core Area Construction Dollars (valid until Dec. 31, 2021) kicking around in your purses and jacket pockets, be sure to treat yourself this holiday season!

You can find all of the stops on the OEV BIA’s Libation District page. Cheers!

The logo for Only in OEV.This post has been powered by the Old East Village Business Improvement Area. The OEV BIA’s mandate is to create a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable commercial corridor, at the heart of an inclusive community, where more people live, work, shop, play and produce.


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