This guide is not meant to be an exhaustive guide to beer in Ontario, but rather meant to help you find the "good" beer options in Toronto. The breweries and venues below offer craft brewed beer,artisanal or microbrewed beer. There are a number of other great pubs in Toronto.

Brewpubs

The Granite Brewery - Located uptown at the corner of Eglinton and Mt. Pleasant (walk or bus from Eglinton subway) The Granite has a sister brewery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Featuring English inspired beers, some of which are served on cask. A good sized courtyard patio is open during the warmer months.

Mill St. Brewpub - The original location in the Distillery District has expanded to include a restaurant and a patio, while the principle brewing facilities have relocated to Scarborough. Definitely worth a stop while visiting the Distillery District.

Cafe Volo - Not strictly a brewpub but they brew some of their own beers in addition to other offerings. See description below.

Mill Street and Granite both have retail stores with beer available to take home.  


Breweries

Amsterdam - Brewing facilities are visible from their retail store. Call to enquire about tours.

Black Oak Brewing Co. - Tours available, call to confirm.

Cool Beer - Tours TBD, call to confirm.

Great Lakes Brewing - Tours available, call to confirm.

Mill St. - Brewing equipment is visible in their brewpub location.

Steamwhistle - Located in the Roundhouse directly across from The Rogers Centre*, and the CN Tower, Steamwhistle is perhaps the most centrally located of the breweries in Toronto. Frequent tours, stop by before a game, or take a tour of the recently opened Railway Heritage Museum. * (It remains and always will be SkyDome to the locals!!!)


A bit farther afield from the downtown core you can also find Cameron's, Durham Brewing, Magnotta, and Trafalgar in the Greater Toronto Area. For more information on beer and brewers from outside of the GTA visit www.ontariocraftbrewers.com

Where to Buy Beer


Bottles and Cans
Aside from licensed establishments such as bars and restaurents you are essentially limited to three options for buying alcohol in Ontario; The Beer Store (owned by the big breweries, but not limited to their products), the government run LCBO stores (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) or directly from the brewery/winery. You can use the Beer Store and LCBO websites to search for the stores nearest to you, or to check availability of specific products. Some breweries and brewpubs have refillable growlers available at their retail stores. There are also some other wine stores scattered throughout the province that are owned by the wineries.


Summerhill LCBO (10 SCRIVENER SQUARE, SUMMERHILL SUBWAY)
Converted from an old train station this large location has a wide selection of beer and other beverages. It typically gets most of the seasonal special releases that come in, but may sell out quickly since it is a popular spot with easy access from the subway.

Queens Quay LCBO (2 COOPER STREET)
Another of the larger LCBO stores with a wide selection, it is easiest to reach by car but is reachable by TTC with a bit of a walk.


Good Beer Bars

There is an increasing number of bars in Toronto that carry at least a few of the breweries mentioned above. Those listed below offer some of the best beer selections in town.

beer bistro

Arguably the best combination of good food and good beer in Toronto, the menu is crafted with beer as ingredients and with beer pairings in mind. Chef Brian Morin has published a book of beer related recipes. The pulled pork sandwich is a favorite, along with their Belgian Frites paired with house made ketchup and mayo.  The Cheese and Lager Fondue is divine. The tap list has a variety of both Ontario and international offerings, while their extensive bottle list is the only place in Ontario to find certain rarities. Patio open in the warmer months.

C'est What

This basement pub-restaurant is the Granddaddy of the Toronto beer scene, supporting the Ontario brewing scene for over a decade. The tap list boasts perhaps the most craft beer taps in town, primarily from Ontario breweries. Their twice annual Festival of Small Breweries is an excellent chance to try a wide variety of Ontario brews and find your favorites. The menu is eclectic, ranging from traditional pub grub to more ethnic offerings.

The Victory Cafe

A bit further out from downtown, around the corner from Honest Ed's. The Victory seems to be a favorite haunt amongst graduate students and locals. The tap list is primarily Ontario craft beer, while the menu offers home cooked versions of your typical pub fare, with the option to add their delicious Mac and Cheese as a side dish.  Beer prices tend to be slightly cheaper than comparable places downtown.   

Cafe Volo

The food menu has been pared down in recent years but still offers excellent pizza and pasta options in addition to their meat and cheese boards. The funghi et polo is richly delicious. A solid wine list chosen by sommellier/owner Ralph Morana complements rotating taps and a selection of bottles imported from out of province. They have also recently started brewing their own House Ales beers. The frequently rotating tap list can be found on their website (http://barvolo.com/).

The Esplanade Bier Markt

Particularly popular before Toronto Maple Leafs games, or for their live music The Bier Markt focuses mainly on imports, with a lengthy tap and bottle list. If you are interested in a more club like atmosphere with dancing and music some nights, or a downtown patio check it out. On the pricier side for certain things

Online Resources

In addition to the great reviews on Trip Advisor the listings and forums at Ratebeer.com and Bartowel.com can offer insights into events and other beer goings on in Toronto.

Slainte!