The best places in Toronto to drink beer

Here's where to find the city's best breweries, tastiest pints and biggest selection of beers


For the city’s raddest tap lists: 

Birreria Volo (612 College) & Bar Hop (391 King West, 137 Peter)

On the hunt for the hippest tapped treats? Make Little Italy’s Birreria Volo pit stop uno for brag-worthy pours from Cantillon and Oxbow alongside some of Ontario’s best brews. Bar Hop (and its sister spot, Brewco, which brews its own incredible stuff on-site) has a list that changes faster than you can soak it in, and is basically beer-geek heaven.

For the city’s tiniest batches of beer:

Laylow (1144 College) and People’s Pint (101-90 Cawthra) 

It’s easy to walk by little Laylow, but we don’t recommend you do – the teeniest brewing system in the city pumps out big flavours and overall excellent beer. For more small, experimental batches, check out People’s Pint, a brewing-collective-turned-brew-pub that pours neat collabs from home brewers and pros alike. 

For crushing pints lakeside: 

Amsterdam BrewHouse (245 Queens Quay West) 

Post up on one of Amsterdam’s three patios and let the divine combo of cool beer and lake breezes transform you from urban swamp creature back into civilized city dweller. Go beyond Boneshaker and order whatever’s freshest – small batches are released weekly. 

When you’re playing tourist in your own city: 

Mill Street Beer Hall (21 Tank House Lane)

Strap on your fanny pack and mosey on down to the Distillery District to check out Mill Street’s revamped all-organic core lineup of beers, because sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist in your own town. 

For the best selection of short boys: 

Left Field (36 Wagstaff), Eastbound Brewing Co. (700 Queen East) & Godspeed (242 Coxwell)

One of our favourite packaging trends is the rise of the short boy. So convenient and crushable! No warm garbage juice at the bottom! And at all three of these east-end breweries, the fridges are fully loaded with tiny cans to go in singles or armfuls. 

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For a place (and a beer) in the sun: 

Bellwoods Brewery (124 Ossington) & Bandit Brewery (2125 Dundas West)

Toronto’s patios are a fleeting seasonal rite, so arrive early if you fancy an outdoor perch at the Bellwoods flagship, where special releases and general popularity inspire daily lineups. A few less-developed blocks west, the patio at Bandit Brewery offers more elbow room but comparatively B-grade people watching. 

For kicking it old school with cask ales: 

Granite Brewery (245 Eglinton East)

The Granite, which has been specializing in cask ales for over 30 years, is well worth the trip uptown for its classic brews and courtyard patio.  

For three times the fun (and beer): 

The Ale Yards (150 Symes)

Since the Junction Brewery opened its impressive new digs in a jaw-dropping old art deco incinerator, the Stockyards have been reclaimed as something way better: the Ale Yards. 

Now housing Rainhard, Shacklands and Junction Breweries, this industrial nook comes by its new moniker honestly – where else can you pull off a legit brewery crawl in under an hour?

The new brewery on the block: 

Longslice Brewery at The Aviary (484 Front East)

Longslice Brewery is about to find its forever home. Though the Longslice Brewhouse won’t be fully operational till September, three new beers – Klondike Clark golden ale, Aloha Friday hibiscus PA and a dark wheat beer called Slam Dunkel – will herald the opening of adjacent sister bar The Aviary, which opens at the end of July.

drinks@nowtoronto.com | @S_Parns

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