Drink your way through the 6ix with our Vibe Guide to Toronto breweries. Explore and discover new flavours, patios, neighbourhoods and pubs. Vv Magazine’s Ryan Miller gives us the rundown.
Small batch breweries are alive and well in Toronto. Since the early 2000s, the 6ix has witnessed a renaissance of craft beer brewing. The LCBO’s expansion of their craft brewery section coupled with looser regulations has helped aid this recent boom meaning that Ontarians are no longer stuck with just big beer brands. Today, selection is the name of the game.
Below you’ll find our guide to all the local brewers you can find in Toronto. Enjoy!
245 Eglinton Ave E
When you walk into Granite Brewery, you can’t help but feel like you’ve been transported to the English countryside. That’s probably because, after training at Ringwood Brewery in England, owner Kevin Keefe opened his first craft brewery in Halifax. Shortly after, he opened his second location in North Toronto in 1991. Since then, the brewery has become known for their English-style ales and the rest is history. 25 years and they’re still going strong!
928 College St
When Luís Martins & Michelle Genttner opened their doors in 2015, Folly Brewpub instantly became a hit – earning them the title of 2nd best brewery in all of Ontario (Ontario Craft Beer Guide). The Belgian-inspired brewery, located at College and Dovercourt, not only boasts a fine selection of Farmhouse brews (they have the 1st and 4th best Saisons in Ontario) but the largest pouring whisky wall in Toronto. For those who like to pair their brews with food (who doesn’t?), Folly offers a menu full of delicious share plates like whitefish ceviche, pork nachos, wings and more.
245 Queens Quay West
The Amsterdam BrewHouse is perfectly situated along Toronto’s Harbourfront. With a restaurant, bottle store, march store, and brewery tours, Amsterdam BrewHouse has become a tourist hotspot. The venue is perfect for large or small gatherings. The BrewHouse also offers a variety of cocktails for those who may dig the vibe but don’t want to have to drink beer. Amsterdam can also be easily found at the Beer Store, local restaurants, and the LCBO
255 Bremner Blvd
Probably the most well-known brewery in the city, Steam Whistle’s pilsner can pretty much be found in any LCBO or Beer Store. The brewery began with 3 friends and has since grown into one of the largest breweries in the 6ix boasting a home delivery service, daily tours, and special event hosting.
Junction Craft Brewing
90 Cawthra Ave, Unit 101
Junction, Junction what’s your function? Hooking people up with high-quality craft beers of course! These guys know their brew. Offering 5 types of beers, drawing influences from Germany, England, and America, the Junction Craft Brewing is one of the more diverse local breweries. These masters of beer specialize in offering their clientele the widest range of styles and flavour and aim to please each beer drinker’s palette. They also currently have plans to expand their facilities by 2017.
Mill Street Brewery
21 Tank House Lane
Mill Street brewery calls the historic Distillery District home. Best known for their Organic lager, Mill Street now offers 13 different beers. A recent expansion coupled with amazing events has made Mill St. Brewery one of the bigger players in Toronto’s craft brewery scene.
124 Ossington Ave
I can’t think of a brewery that embodies the spirit and culture of the neighbourhood better than Bellwoods Brewery. This Ossington street microbrewery not only serves up tasty brews but it’s also a restaurant and general store. Pick up some sweet merch or enjoy some rustic style cooking at the bar or patio, either way, you’re bound to enjoy yourself!
31 Mercer St
You couldn’t meet a better group of guys than the folks at Mascot Brewery. After opening last summer, the microbrew beer garden has quickly become a financial district staple. The seasonal tapas menu is perfect for groups to share and you can have a keg tapped right beside your table! The outdoor picnic patio vibe is a perfect contrast to the chic boutique hotels and restaurants typically found within the neighbourhood. The beer garden has obvious german influences – the Brewery specializes in Pilsners and a Hefeweizens. With over 200 seats at their patio and a new first-floor eatery, this Mercer street brewery is all it’s cracked up to be.
Left Field Brewery
36 Wagstaff Drive
These guys didn’t come outta left field (pun intended), their hard work and determination since 2012 has seen the baseball themed brewery grow into Leslieville’s craft brewing champion. Their philosophy? To create the best beer. It’s all about great taste and great times.
1184 Bloor St W
Brewery? Check. Restaurant? Check. Music Hall? Check. Burdock has it all when it comes to having a good time. After brewing their first batch in 2015, Burdock now offers their beer at their restaurant, their music hall, and a few local restaurants. Their ingredients are locally sourced from the Golden Horseshoe area of southern Ontario. They’ve also created a sustainable barrel program and will be releasing their barrel aged brews over the course of 2016.
Blood Brothers Brewing
344 Westmoreland Ave N #104c
It’s all about family at Blood Brothers Brewing. The two brothers who started the craft brewery in 2015 want to make the perfect tasting beer with friends and family in mind. If you’re a fan of IPAs, the Blood Brothers are definitely for you. Their beers are a shift from the traditional craft IPA as they use unique ingredients to create their own beautiful creations.
247 Wallace Ave
Like a lot of craft brewery, two home brewers Callum Hay and Eric Portelance joined forces in the search of the “Unicorn” of beer recipes. Their goal has always been to create the best and most unique tasting flavours that you can’t find in Ontario. They are self-described brewing geeks who are always looking at the way to improve the technical side of microbrewing.
1346 Queen St W
These Parkdale brewers are true masters of their craft. Owner and Founder Michael Duggan has been Canada’s highest awarded brewmaster for the last 15 years. The brewery also offers delicious meals cooked by executive chef Rene Chauvin. Hand selected local ingredients, years of experience, occasional live music and a variety of beer offerings puts Duggan’s Brewery at the top of Ontario’s craft breweries.
Henderson Brew Co.
128A Sterling Rd
The local neighbourhood brewing company has stacked up some pretty awesome awards since opening their doors in 2014. Their style draws from early 19th century Toronto ale’s and their “Ides” series is a clever use of some innovative recipes to bring the culture, locations, and characters to life in Toronto.
22 Cranfield Rd
Harkening its name from Toronto’s early days as the small muddy town of York, Muddy York’s brews represent the same era. Located in East York, this local brewery takes a “less is more,” approach to brewing. Simple, fresh ingredients make for a remarkably balanced and crisp beer. Check out their bottle store for product and merch.
Rainhard Brewing Co.
100 Symes Rd
Another brewery fast on the rise, Reinhard brewing Co. won their first award in 2015 for “Best Newcomer to the Beer Scene”. The home brewery turned microbrewery still has a lot to prove before being named king of brews, but founder Jordan Rainhard (great name, btw) is committed to creating the best beers through his own experimentation. The brewery features a tap room as well as an event space.
2125 Dundas St W
One of the new kids on the block, Bandit opened in early 2016. The microbrewery/restaurant is looking to serve more than beer and food. They want to bring people together, to share and enjoy, to serve up some laughter and some love. With plans to create over 60 different flavours of beer, Bandit brewery is well on their way to becoming a Junction staple.
Great Lakes Brewery (GLB)
30 Queen Elizabeth Blvd
GLB has been in the game for almost 30 years, making them one of the oldest craft brewers in Ontario. The fiercely independent brewery is known for their powerfully flavoured beers which are sure to awaken your taste buds. Their Project X tank series specialize in unique seasonal beers that are sure to have you raving to friends. Drop them a line and come by their brewery to try some of these amazing beers.
Lost Craft Beer
Lost craft Beer is a microbrewery/apparel company that specializes in one beer – the Revivale premium lager. They find ingredients all over the world for creating their premium artisanal lager. You’ve also probably seen their “4The6” New Era caps, which can found at GotStyle, Community 54 and Brimz.
Indie Ale House
2876 Dundas St W
Located in the Junction, this no frills Ale House sticks to what they know and do best: good food and brews. Their mad scientists serve up some seriously interesting concoctions and hard to find ales like Belgian Sours, Double IPAs, and English Porters. Sippers can try them all on a flight for just 10-15 bucks. As for the food, well with an extensive menu that includes Crispy Truffled Polenta, not one but three types of popcorn and BBQ Duck Pizza, it’s not your average pub fare. We suggest trying the Southern Fried Chicken – you won’t regret it!
These quirky dudes cook up some wicked hooch. They take turns coming up with their best iterations of English/American style brews with cheeky names like Hopsta La Vista and John’s Loose Lip Lager, which can be found at LCBOs and local bars.
Louis Cifer Brew Works
417 Danforth Ave
This gastropub is the perfect spot to hit up after work if you live in the Danforth Area. Named Now Magazine’s best gastro pub and best micro brew pub of 2016, the accolades are well deserved. Their wide selection of craft beers and tasty food makes for one of the best craft beer drinking experiences you could ask for.
Did we miss any Toronto breweries? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.