According to the Ontario Beer Network, a whopping fifteen new Toronto breweries have either opened or launched contract brews in the past two years. Full disclosure: I live in the West end of the city. I’m definitely biased when it comes to breweries in my own backyard, and I’m really pleased to see that the majority of breweries that opened in 2015 are west of Ossington Ave. If you haven’t heard of the breweries below, hit them up for a drink sometime soon.
This microbrewery has generated a lot of buzz in the last few months, and everything you’ve heard is true. Having visited a number of times, I can honestly say I’ve never had anything to drink there that I didn’t like. Not only can you enjoy a local-focused meal with your craft brew, but the space also includes a music venue where you can see live artists and DJs. I almost don’t want to talk about Burdock too much, because right now it’s the best kept secret on Bloor West, and I want it to stay that way. You know what? Forget I said anything. Don’t go there, ever.
Currently on offer: Bloor Lite, West Coast Pilsner, American Pale Ale.
Blood Brothers Brewing
Located in an industrial-looking warehouse building at Geary and Westmoreland, this brewery is definitely worth seeking out. Just follow the signs that say BEER. Blood Brothers rolled up to Cask Days this year with a white chocolate stout, a collaboration between Sam James Coffee and Soma Chocolate. You can find their brews being poured at places like Tequila Bookworm and Bar Volo, or you can get them right from the source at 344 Westmoreland.
Currently on offer: The Inner IPA, Hail Saison, and Murican IPA.
Remember Habits Gastropub? They’ve grown from a pub with in-house brewing to a full-blown microbrewery. Their idea was to brew beer that isn’t brewed much in Ontario, so you’ll find lots of Belgian beer, saisons and farmhouse ales on their rotating taps list. The other cool thing about Folly is their Community Supported Beer program. In order to finance the opening of a bottleshop, Folly is selling annual subscriptions. You can support the growth of a brewery in your community and receive a share of beer every month? You’d be foolish not to consider it.
Currently on offer: "Impostor Syndrome" Farmhouse IPA, "Flemish Cap" Old World Saison, "Inkhorn" Farmhouse Dubbel + others.
(Photo: Agatha Podgorski)