It’s no question that craft beer is booming. And though there are hotspots for breweries and those who love them all across the country, we think Ontario really has something to boast about when it comes to handcrafted brews.
From big city beers, to small town sips, here are some of Ontario’s favourite places to sample the best of the brew.
Left Field Brewery
This baseball-themed brewery is the perfect place to throw back a cold one while watching major league baseball team the Toronto Blue Jays play. Not a baseball fan? Don’t worry, their beer will surely win you over, much like it did the judges at the Canadian Brewing Awards in 2016 where Left Field took home the gold for their North American Style Pale Ale.
Old Flame Brewing Co.
In the Historic District of Port Perry, you’ll find Old Flame Brewing Co. Home to 6 classic taps and brewery tours, this local favourite breathes new life into the 1884 building it calls home. After you’ve sampled the tried-and-true favourites, be sure to sample one of their “Brewer’s Discretion” beers — an ever-changing rotation of seasonal choices.
Sure this isn't an actual brewery, but it will lead you to a few. Brew Donkey is a craft beer tour service that will lead you around the city’s bustling brewery scene (check out their tours here).
Beyond the Pale Brewery
Hard work and good ingredients go into the beers at Beyond the Pale in Ottawa. Started as a small neighbourhood brewery, Beyond the Pale has now made a name for itself all around the city — including in over 30 stores and restaurants. Their fun and tasty brews (like Pink Fuzz, a grapefruit Wheat, and The Darkness, an oatmeal stout) are super popular, so be prepared for a busy space and a good time.
Toboggan Brewing Co.
Head to London and find Toboggan Brewing Co., fondly named after the toboggan clubs of the 1800s in the area. Now, instead of a cozy place to warm up after a day of slope side fun, you’ll find a tasting room and kitchen, as well as a huge patio serving up some of the best brews in the area. Their small-batch craft beer is always changing, so you’ll have to visit at least twice while you’re in the area.
Niagara-on-the-Lake is known for its wines, but Silversmith Brewing is certainly shaking up the scene by introducing locals and travellers to the delights of beer. Housed in a beautiful old building, this spot has been serving up 4 regular taps since 2011. Whether you’re visiting for an event, like local live music, or stopping by for a taste of a special edition beer, Silversmith’s space and service will make you feel right at home.
Stone City Ales
Of course a university town is home to an awesome brewery. Part brewhouse, taproom, and bottle shop, Stone City Ales is the place to spend an afternoon, evening, or even morning (we don’t judge). Enjoy one of their many events (like Taco Tuesday, or their special release nights), classic favourites, and guests taps that allow you to experience other tasty Ontario beers.
Black Swan Brewing
Three steady styles are served up at Black Swan Brewing in Stratford. Whether you choose an English pale ale, a porter, or an IPA, this brewery is the perfect place to stop by after a theatre performance. Enjoy the small town feel and big city flavor of this local favourtite.
Muskoka isn’t just for sitting on docks. It’s for sitting on docks and drinking beer. Sidle up to the bar at Muskoka Brewery and sip on one of the beers they’ve been perfecting since 1996. Looking for a specific recommendation? Try some of the “Mad Tom,” an India pale ale that won the 2016 World Beer Championship award for the best IPA. Bottoms up.
Sleeping Giant Brewing
Paying homage to one of Ontario’s most majestic provincial parks, Sleeping Giant Brewing focuses on locally made ales and stouts. On the shores of Lake Superior, you’ll be treated to fresh beer and even fresher views. Try their year-round favourites and seasonal taps on location or stop by one of the many spots in Thunder Bay that serve up the brews hand-crafted by this local favourite.
Keen to try out the care and craftsmanship of other brewers around Ontario? Check out the Ontario Craft Brewers, who represent over 60 breweries as members. They’re a great guide to the beers of the area.
Plus, there are a ton of beer-themed events and festivals in the province — from the Ottawa Craft Beer Festival in the country’s capital, to Yoga on Tap around the province. Beer lovers — we’ve found the place for you.
Add to your "must drink" list by visiting Travel Ontario for more information.