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Want to pick up some fresh cans? Here are five excellent spots that opened during or slightly before the pandemic
Even if you can’t currently pull up a stool next to a pal at a bar, it’s still a great time to be a beer drinker. Toronto breweries were already some of the best (and only) non-LCBO/Beer Store options to take home beer before the pandemic, but now they’ve all poured focus into their bottle shops and delivery services. If you want to grab some fresh cans straight from the source, there are plenty of options.
We already gave you the experts’ picks of the best beer available in the city, Now, here are five great new(ish) options to try, all opened during or slightly before the pandemic.
The Hamilton brewery opened a Toronto outpost at Dundas and Bathurst this past October, and it’s become a treasure trove. You can get the beers you love from the LCBO, complete with their one-off labels from local artists, and also all the little small-batch experiments they’re constantly cycling: sours, lagers, IPAs, porters, goses, what have you. There are also gin, cocktails, sparkling hard teas and natural wines. And there are some Toronto-exclusive beers they make in house.
777 Dundas West, collectiveartsbrewing.com
Eataly was accidentally ready for the new pandemic world, already an all-in-one restaurant/takeout/grocery store/bakery/brewery before every bar started shifting into bodega mode. Included in that is Indie Alehouse’s Birroteca, where you can grab custom beers that the Junction brewery makes right at Eataly. That includes, of course, an Italian (Eatalian?) pilsner.
Red Tape’s thing is bespoke brewing: one-off beers created just for your occasion and to your specifications. But Sean and Sarabeth Holden also have a nice bottle shop available for pickup and delivery. There are currently nine beers to choose from, all adorably personalized to the two owners and their friends: Sara’s Power Sour, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Pale Ale, Celebration Saison and more.
159 Main, redtapebrewery.com
Before the pandemic, you could count on Bar Hop for one of the best beer selections in the city. That’s still the case now that their three locations are also bottle shops, but more and more the bars are now also canning up their homebrews for takeout and delivery. That’s new for the pandemic – you used to have to sit in for those. There are currently eight Bar Hop cans available, from Lazarus Pit stout to Miracle Cure saison, Recovery Process hefeweizen and more.
391 King West, 681 Danforth and 137 Peter, barhopbar.com
Mascot’s King West pub was only open for about eight months before the world changed forever, but it works nicely as an open-every-day bottle shop. Go there to grab some of their rice lager, the very Toronto-appropriate Screwface IPA, their Italian Pilsner and more. This week they’re opening a second shop at their Etobicoke production facility. Expect all the beer, plus charcuterie and cheese from Alex Farms, sandwiches from Fidel Gastro and, eventually, a 100-seat beer garden.
220 King West and 37 Advance, mascotbrewery.com