Some tried-and-true (and readily available) brews that are worth reaching for when temperatures rise
Between hyper-limited releases and precious batches seemingly made to elicit FOMO on Instagram, sometimes scoring craft beer can feel like a full-time job. But rarity doesn’t always equal quality. Behold, some tried-and-true (and readily available) Toronto-brewed standards.
Why mess with janky green Gatorade when there’s gose? Pronounced go-suh, this wheat-driven brew originally made with the saline waters of Germany’s Gose River might not be packed with electrolytes and blue dyes, but it tastes delightful and will replenish your sodium store faster than you can sweat it out.
Halo’s Crosstalk tastes like hand-squeezed – better yet, artisanal – Meyer lemonade sipped while lolling on a crisply mown lawn in silk and sweatpants.
Price: $6.50/500 ml
Availability: At the Halo bottle shop (247 Wallace, 416-606-7778, halobrewery.com)
A solid session ale is the key to successful day drinking, especially in the summertime when the thirst is real and it’s dangerously easy to OD on sunshine and end up nursing sunburnt skin alongside an early onset hangover well before dinnertime is even a whisper.
At 3.8 per cent ABV, Rainhard’s Daywalker lays down the aromatic niceties of an IPA – citrus, wet grass, tropical fruit – with a fraction of the alcohol content. But let’s not overcomplicate things – if you’re not swilling it out of the bottle, you’re kind of doing it wrong.
Price: $5.95/500 ml
Availability: At the Rainhard bottle shop (100 Symes, 416-763-2337, rainhardbrewing.com)
If nary a bottle of Jelly King gets cracked, what summer did you live? Bellwoods dropped the first iteration of its now Toronto-famous dry-hopped kettle sour two years ago, and a surge of flavours – from blood orange to raspberry to a medley of guava, mango and passion fruit – followed suit.
Some are tastier than others, and few except the flagship un-fruited brew linger at the shop for long. Good thing we were born ready for an OG Jelly.
Availability: Often at the Bellwoods bottle shops (124 Ossington or 20 Hafis, bellwoodsbrewery.com)
Crack Three in the park – ahem, by which we mean your backyard – and then close your eyes for a hot minute. Now imagine yourself floating down a sky river on a fleecy cloud while the patron Care Bear of beer (Care Beer?) pours Oria and Tuesday simultaneously into your upturned holiday face. Catch our drift?
If not, maybe this is more relatable: despite our glowy advocation of short cans, we admit that even small habits can become hella expensive.
Price: $4/355 ml or $15/four-pack of cans
Availability: At the Burdock bottle shop (1184 Bloor West, 416-546-4033, burdockto.com)
Hate it or love it, the New England IPA isn’t going anywhere but into more kettles, taps and gullets (especially now that it’s a recognized style in the Beer Judge Certification Program, to the chagrin of a few diehard beer bros).
Left Field’s Greenwood NEIPA, first fermented into this world over a year ago, never lets us down. Just contemplating its cloudy golden goodness, dolloped with heaps of hops (Citra, Centennial, Simcoe and, yes, Summer), makes us thirsty.
Bursting on your tongue with the force of one hundred fluffy fruits, it proceeds to smack you squarely with a gratifyingly dry finish. Intellectualize it if you must, but it’s best thrown back with frivolous abandon.
Price: $3.75/355 ml (or $12.75 for a four-pack)
Availability: At the Left Field bottle shop (36 Wagstaff, 647-346-5001, leftfieldbrewery.ca)
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