Ales, lagers, stouts, porters, whites, blondes, and pils – if you’re a craft beer lover in Toronto, it’s not hard to get your fill. Now with brewpubs, restaurants and independently operated retail shops, the Beer Store and LCBO aren’t the only places to purchase the pint-worthy nectar. As accessibility to great locally produced craft beers becomes wider, we figured it was about time we paid homage to some of the best local craft breweries in Toronto.
Note: While there are a myriad of fantastic breweries within pouring distance of Toronto, our focus today is on those in the 416 and 905. Barrie, Muskoka, et al. we’ll get to you later…
In 1986, the Amsterdam Brewery established the first brewpub in Toronto, or so they claim. A major commercial microbrewery at present, they’ve recently added a few more crafty beverages to their lineup.
Bellwoods Brewery (pictured above)
Brewing their stunning suds right in the heart of downtown, you can buy their beer at the Ossington Street restaurant/bar and in their retail store.
Black Oak Brewing Co. (Oakville)
Brewed in small batches with extreme reverence, Black Oak Brewing Co. is perhaps best known for their varied seasonal offerings.
Cameron’s Brewing Company (Oakville)
This westerly-based brewery has won over 100 awards for its craft beers in its 15-year history.
Cheshire Valley Brewing Company
A contract brewery currently operating out of the Black Oak Brewery in Etobicoke, Cheshire Valley produces a variety of seasonally available ales for bars around the GTA.
Family owned and operated since 1991, the Granite Brewery has won numerous awards of distinction and brews 10 different ales on site at their Midtown location.
Great Lakes Brewery
Brewing strong for over 25 years, Great Lakes Brewery is Toronto’s oldest craft brewery.
Sharing the same moniker as the city it reps, Hogtown Brewers is a boss hog in the small-scale brewery scene.
Indie Ale House
Boasting that they brew unconventional beers that are “waaaaay out there for the average beer drinker,” this Dundas West brewery also lets you take out their hoppy ales at their retail shop and restaurant.
Junction Craft Brewing
Another Junction brewery that focuses on using only natural ingredients for their beverages, ’tis an easy train to board when their Conductors Craft Ale is on tap.
Kensington Brewing Company
Coming out of, you guessed it, the eclectic Kensington Market, The KB Co. is all about their roots. Supporting local farming through programs of Community Supported Agriculture, they brew what they call Community Supported Beer.
A bit of a jaunt to the north of the city, King Brewery crafts European style ales that are eminently approachable in flavour and depth.
Liberty Village Brewing Company
Starting from a small homebrew operation, they’ll be kicking off their full scale brewing activity in Liberty Village very soon.
Mill Street Brewery
Though marked as a commercial brewery, and quite a large scale one at that, Mill Street has been evolving their brand to produce smaller batch seasonal ales as of late.
Six Pints Specialty Beer Co.
The partnership of Granville Island Brewing and Creemore Springs Brewing creates this special breed of micro-brewed beverages housed at the Beer Academy in downtown Toronto. Get their brews at the bar or take them home from their retail space.
Brewing their gluten-free beer in minuscule 5-gallon batches, Snowman Brewing is the ultimate Toronto brew co. for all the celiacs in town.
Spearhead Brewing Company
This young Toronto brewery doesn’t adhere to any defined standards, creating a great mix of uniquely crafted beers.
Trafalgar Ales & Meads (Oakville)
One of the few producers of mead (amongst the oldest fermented alcohols) in Ontario, Trafalger Ales & Meads produces an eclectic spread of beers with rotating seasonal options.
Please let us know if we’ve missed any so that we can be sure to let you good folks know about the whole range of Hogtown suds! Cheers!
Image courtesy of Bellwoods Brewery’s Flickr page.