When you’re visiting a city like Toronto, why not act like a beer snob? Home to numerous local breweries, hip after work hangouts and upscale pubs with enviable craft beer lists, Toronto, Canada is like heaven for suds lovers. Whether you want to pair some rare and fabulous cask ales with a late-night gourmet snack, or sip a frosty mug of hometown brew while enjoying the best live music around, the following bars are known for their impressive local, national and imported beer lists and lively atmospheres.
After 87 years in business, there’s a reason that The Monarch Tavern is still a favorite of new and returning customers alike. Established in 1927, The Monarch Tavern has more recently begun highlighting Ontario brewers with most of the 16 specialty draught beers coming from Great Lakes, Side Launch, Left Field and other local purveyors. If a hefty beer selection isn’t enough to get your excited, visitors can also order Baju BBQ by the pound. Pair a pint of Great Lakes Citradiction with a half-pound serving of juicy pulled pork dripping in Baju spicy BBQ sauce, crispy mac n’ cheese bites and cornbread. This is the new Hungry Man – no microwave necessary.
With eight cask ales to choose from at any given time, C’est What? is a must-visit for those who seek an elusive brew. This charming St. Lawrence Market area haunt also features 42 craft beers on tap, a unique menu of scratch-made comfort food and live music or comedy most nights of the week. Whether you reside in one of Toronto’s many luxury buildings or you’re a student with a few bucks to spare until pay day, C’est What delivers on all fronts.
If it’s an award-winning beer you want, you’ve come to the right place. Granite's Hopping Mad has come out on top in the cask-conditioned ale category at the Ontario Golden Tap Awards for four years running. Pair their handmade arriabiata pizza with a Granite Mild dark ale, or enjoy the Gin Lane Ale barley wine as a nightcap, which is sure to pack a punch at 9.0% alcohol content. Be sure to swing by the on-site beer store to pick up some growlers to go, or reserve a keg for your next party.
With the 2013 addition of the new beer hall comes a wider array of seasonal offerings and daring craft varieties at the German-inspired Mill St. Brew Pub. Celebrate the cooler season with hearty brews like the E.S.B. which boasts a malty body with undertones of chocolate and black currants or Mill Street’s own Winter’s Ale which blends German noble hops with traditional Christmas baking spices and locally sourced honey for a rich taste that’s all nice. If it’s naughty that you want, order a shot of their housemade bierschnapps, a German spirit distilled from different beers in their micro-brewery.