Craft Beer Ontario
To some, craft beer may seem like a new(ish) trend led by bearded dudes (and beardless gals) in flannel shirts and Blundstone boots. However, the craft beer revolution has been going on since the 1990s. World roaming beer fans have brought their fermented discoveries back home, kickstarting the modern craft beer movement that we get to enjoy today.
Our own LCBO — at the behest of curious beer drinks — began importing unique finds from around the world, and now local brewers are stepping up and creating delicious globally inspired brews on Canadian soil.
Craft Beer Ontario
As of 2018, there were 250 breweries creating craft beer in Ontario — with another 100 craft breweries in the works.
Toronto offers some great places to find Ontario craft beer. The city boasts many unique craft breweries as well as a variety of restaurants and pubs serving local craft beer
With so many options, knowing where to start can be a challenge. We’ve narrowed down our favourite places to get Ontario craft beer in Toronto so that you can spend more time doing what you love to do — drinking beer!
Opened in 2012 as a small brewery and pub, Bellwoods Brewery has expanded to two locations in Toronto. The brewmasters at Bellwoods are brewing an ever-evolving variety of beers including imperial stouts, farmhouse ales, pale ales and more. The Bellwood brewers have also mastered the art of barrel-aged beers and often have limited-edition releases from this collection.
The brewery has been awarded a plethora of awards, most recently the Golden Tap Awards (Ontario) 2018 Most Innovative Brewery. Both brewery locations offer a bottle shop and tasting room. The Ossington Avenue location also serves a great menu of locally inspired seasonal dishes from bar snacks to dinner entrees.
Henderson Brewing Co. strives to honour the traditional beer brewing ways with their collection of beers. The “Always Brewing” collection features a blonde ale, UPA and their flagship beer, the Henderson’s Best amber ale. As part of the monthly Ides collection, the brewers develop creative recipes to bring the history of Toronto to life. January’s beer was dedicated to the Canadian hockey card company O-Pee-Chee and was a take on a clean, crisp, adjunct lager. The brewery features a tasting room and a shop for bottle and growler purchases.
Opening just last year, Northern Maverick Brewing Co. is one of the newest breweries on the scene. The brewery features an 11,000 sq. ft. facility, 400-seat restaurant, bar and retail store. Currently, there are nine beers on tap ranging from a Vienna-inspired lager to an oatmeal stout.
Not only does Northern Maverick serve excellent beer, but the restaurant also features an outstanding menu serving locally sourced food and delicious housemade charcuterie.
The venue features weekly specials and a daily “Hoppy Hour” from 4-6:30 pm Monday to Friday. (Northern Maverick is often a stop on our downtown and King West tours.)
Located on the lakefront, this 14,000 sq. ft. restaurant and brewery is just steps away from major downtown attractions like the CN Tower and Rogers Centre. With four patio spaces, this brewhouse is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon sipping on one of the nine beers brewed on-site. The restaurant menu not only complements the beers, it also features ingredients from the brewing process such as spent grains and reductions made from the wort. The venue also features a store for bottle purchases and growler refills.
Established in 2013, Left Field Brewery was born from a passion for craft beer and baseball. The brewmasters at Left Field Brewery craft an extensive list of unique baseball-inspired beers including the Greenwood IPA and Bricks and Mortar Coffee Porter. The brewery is located in the Leslieville neighbourhood and features a family and dog-friendly tasting room and bottle shop. Visit the brewery for tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm.
Pubs and Restaurants
Part of the Donnelly Group from Vancouver, the Walrus Pub & Beerhall is a modern space located in the Financial District. The pub serves an extensive draught list of global and local beers including a collaboration white IPA by Henderson Brewing Co. and the Donnelly Group.
In addition to the great beer menu, the pub serves a tasty lunch and dinner menu featuring small bites, salads, sandwiches, pizzas and entrees. The venue also serves a well-curated wine and cocktail menu and offers The Ivory Room, a martini bar.
Boasting Canada’s largest selection of draught beer, CRAFT Beer Market is beer heaven! Originally opening in Calgary, CRAFT has expanded to several major Canadian cities. With over 100 beers on tap, there’s a craft beer for everyone at this great spot.
Beer lovers are encouraged to join the CRAFT Club to keep track of the different beers they’ve tasted through the app — once members have tried 100 beers, their name is emblazoned on the Alumni Wall. The venue also serves a delicious menu featuring fresh and local ingredients.
Wvurst is a modern beer hall, great for socializing and casual dining. Originally opening in King West, Wvurst recently expanded to include a second location at Union Station. The menu features a great list of rotating craft beer and ciders as well as housemade artisan sausages — over 25 varieties!
Although technically a sports bar, you don’t have to enjoy sports to appreciate the great food and craft beer selection at The Dock Ellis. The draught beer menu features a compact selection of Ontario craft beers and is complemented by an awesome food menu. Find fun games such as darts, shuffleboard and ping pong in the lower level.
Founded in 2012 on King West, Bar Hop has expanded to include three locations. The beer menu features a heavy emphasis on Ontario craft beers, but also offers craft beers from across Canada and the globe. Bar Hop serves 36 beers on tap including limited-edition brews, seasonal selections and collaborations and almost 100 different kinds of bottled beer including rare and special-order beers. Each location serves a delicious food menu that includes small snack items to large entrees. Bar Hop has been listed on Ratebeer.com among the “Top Places in the World to Get a Beer.”
With a wide variety of breweries, pubs and restaurants, Toronto offers some great spots for beer lovers to enjoy a range of craft beer Ontario, Canadian and internationally-made. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a pint at a pub or fill a growler right from the source, Toronto has it all.
Looking to find your new favourite bar in Toronto? Join us on one of our tours for your guided experience of the best food and drink in the city. Our tours are for thirsty adventurers who crave something original, unconventional… and maybe even a little bit exotic.