FARM-TO-TABLE COOKING & CRAFT BEER
Honouring the history and hustle of the city, Liberty Commons is a modern-day Canadian brewpub. Oliver & Bonacini and Big Rock Brewery have teamed up to celebrate the union of good food and good beer—all in good company.
From tasty bar snacks to proper pub grub, Chef Ryan Lister and his team are serving up comfort food at its finest. Scotch eggs, chicken wings and cottage pie are mainstays for meat lovers, while vegetarians can dig into 12-vegetable chili, mushroom mac and cheese, and a colourful array of seasonal salads chock-full of local produce. For those looking to get sauced, LC’s smoker is rolling out super tender Penokean Hills brisket, racks of baby back ribs, housemade sausages and more.
Our thirst for innovation and collaboration has resulted in a frothy lineup of signature, seasonal and experimental Big Rock Brewery beers, brewed using top-quality ingredients and craft techniques. Whether you fancy a crisp, lightly hopped kolsch or a rustic, spicy saison, we encourage you to tell us what you like (or don’t like) and we will find that dream brew for you.
MEET THE CREW
Chef de Cuisine
Born and raised in the small seaside town of Weymouth, England, Ryan Lister grew up watching his dad brew beer out in the shed, often daydreaming about opening a pub with his wife. Now, Chef Ryan is enthusiastically living out that dream, leading the kitchen brigade at Liberty Commons at Big Rock Brewery.
Chef Ryan arrives to Liberty Commons with experience cooking in celebrated restaurants across the U.K., including four-star hotel The Swan at Streatley, the award-winning Chez Roux at Greywalls Hotel, and The Bingham under Michelin-starred chef Shay Cooper. In 2013, Chef Ryan made the leap to Toronto, landing a Sous Chef position at Canoe Restaurant & Bar under Executive Chef John Horne. He quickly fell in love with his new home and Chef John’s contemporary Canadian cuisine.
Despite his extensive fine dining background, Chef Ryan loves nothing more than good old fashioned pub food and a pint. Inspired by his own childhood favourites, British classics, and elevated comfort food, Chef Ryan’s menu at Liberty Commons is centered on being familiar, imaginative and, most of all, fun.
Corporate Executive Chef
One of Canada’s most highly revered and respected chefs, Anthony Walsh is the Corporate Executive Chef of Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality. In this role, Chef Anthony oversees the culinary direction of all properties in the diverse O&B portfolio, including the restaurants, the event spaces and the catering arm.
Prior to his appointment to O&B’s Corporate Executive Chef, Chef Anthony served as Executive Chef for the iconic Canadian restaurant Canoe. There, his leadership, unrivaled culinary craftsmanship and visionary sense for haute Canadian cuisine played a vital role in the restaurant’s meteoric ascent on the country’s fine dining scene.
Over the course of his career, Chef Anthony has won critical acclaim by national and international media and has received numerous awards, including gold medals from Taste of Canada, Black Box, Salon Culinaire and the Ontario Hostelry Institute. Deemed a ‘culinary titan’ by Chef Michael Bonacini, Chef Anthony continues to inspire and influence media, foodies, and the culinary world alike.
District Executive Chef
In his role as Executive District Chef, John Horne oversees the culinary direction at Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Jump, and Liberty Commons, where he incorporates his passion for refined flavours, seasonal ingredients and explosive presentation.
With experience at Michelin-starred restaurants such as L’Escargot, The Square and the Orrery under his belt, John honed his classic French techniques for seven years as the Senior Sous Chef of Auberge du Pommier, one of Toronto’s most celebrated French restaurants. With his love of learning always in gear, Chef John returned to Europe to work at Crillon le Brave.
Respected for his dedication to Canadian cuisine, he has collaborated with those who share his philosophy – Martin Picard (Au Pied de Cochon), Jeremy Charles (Raymonds) and Société-Orignal (foraging specialist). In 2011, John was named the Nine of Dine winner at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo. In 2012, he was the only chef from outside of Montréal asked to participate in the international Omnivore World Tour to represent Canadian “Young Cuisine” for the first event held in Canada.
Chef John proved his culinary prowess, taking home the gold award at the 2014 Gold Medal Plates competition after going head-to-head with nine of Toronto’s finest culinary masters at the prestigious culinary event.
Dan is an innovative and collaborative brewer who wholeheartedly believes that brewing is the perfect job for him. The combination of being a scientist and an artist when making beer is what drives the passion for what he does.
Dan left the world of account management behind to join Big Rock as a brewer in 2016. He was the recent recipient of the Big Rock Best in Craft Award because, in the last year alone, he has created over 60 unique and innovative beers. Dan is always looking for the next idea, the next ingredient to try. He has also worked with numerous partners to collaborate on one of a kind brews. He says the best thing about being a brewer is being able to work with his hands and create something that brings people together for enjoyment.
Dan has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences and started out studying the effects of supplements on the body. These studies led him to discover, and fall in love with, home brewing.
He believes that there are so many great beer styles that he could never pick just one as his favorite to brew or drink. However, Dan believes that it is hard to beat the aromas that come from a huge charge of fruity hops hitting the whirlpool!