Toronto’s east end is having a brewery boom. Here’s where to drink the good stuff
Remember that brewery boom the city’s west end experienced last year? Well, it’s the east end’s turn. Here, nine of the breweries, brewpubs and bottle shops that have opened east of the Don.
242 Coxwell Ave., no phone, @godspeedbeer
Luc “Bim” Lafontaine, the former head brewer at Montreal’s Dieu du Ciel!, has opened a 140-seat brewpub on Coxwell just south of Gerrard, in what was once a Dollarama. The retail shop is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., selling cans of the first three brews from Lafontaine’s Pitch and Pray series: a stout, an IPA and a Dortmunder lager. The taproom serves those three, plus a couple house saisons, some guest brews and a cider.
Drink this: The Dortmunder, an easy-drinking and biscuity golden lager.
Eat this: Some of the kitchen’s Japanese comfort food. Hello, karaage chicken and katsu sandwiches.
Rorschach Brewing Co.
1001 Eastern Ave., 416-901-3233, rorschachbrewing.com
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A trio of friends took over the Le Papillon on the Park space (which was very briefly something called the Wine Swine), turning it into a pretty big brewery and restaurant with a 100-seat rooftop patio and a retail store. The rotating batch of 16 house-brewed beers includes some bold sours and hoppy IPAs.
Drink this: Acquistion, a dry-hopped sour that rings in at only 3.4 per cent ABV, so it’s nice and sessionable for all-day patio sits.
Eat this: An order of cevapi—caseless beef-and-lamb sausages—served with the traditional fixings: flatbread, ajvar (a spicy eggplant spread), kajmak (clotted cream) and raw onions.
Radical Road Brewing Co.
1177 Queen St. E., 647-794-7909, radicalroadbrew.com
The end of a very short era. We're on our last keg of the Cream Ale. This beer has sold faster than any other beer that we've had, and I'm sad to see it go. Being a homebrew classic of my creation, I was very happy to brew it at Radical Road. We'll just have to brew it again some time! #creamale #brewpub #brewerylife #leslieville @radical_road_brewing_co
This one-year-old brewery was a side project of the Black Oak Brewery folks for a few years before finding a permanent home in Leslieville. Their rotating tap list of signature brews is complemented by chef Kyle McClure’s menu of worldly pub grub. Those who don’t have time for a flight and a snack can grab some cans or bottles to go.
Drink this: Sweet and spicy Korean fried wings.
Eat this: The Yuzu pale ale, a hoppy and tropical brew made with Japanese yuzu fruit.
Common Good Beer Co.
475 Ellesemere Rd., 416-639-6579, commongoodbeer.com
A former Amsterdam Brewing brewmaster is behind this massive venture in Scarborough, which also operates as a contract brewery for other Toronto beer makers, including Lost Craft and Sweetgrass. The taproom and retail shop rotate through about a dozen of Common Good’s own brews.
Drink this: The grassy, easy-drinking Sociable pilsner.
Eat this: Nada. But Armenian pizza joint Mamajoun is just down the road, so hit it up before or after.
Eastbound Brewing Co.
700 Queen St. E., 416-901-1299, eastboundbeer.com
More on Eastbound Brewing Co.
Riverside’s new brewery is a co-production between Dave Lee (Mill Street) and his wife, chef Tara Lee (Cowbell, Bar Hop Brewco), in what was once the Teck Theatre at Queen and Broadview. Dave’s first original brews include a range of styles (a porter, a saison, an IPA, a pale ale and a hefeweizen), and he says he’ll fill in the gaps as he goes along, getting creative with seasonal ingredients when possible.
Drink this: The Hidden Lake, a hefeweizen full of banana and clove, and perfect for hot summer days.
Eat this: The cornmeal-crusted cod sandwich with cabbage slaw and a dill pickle tartare. It’s like a grown-up Filet-O-Fish.
Muddy York Brewing Co.
22 Cranfield Rd., 416-619-7819, muddyyorkbrewing.com
Just north of O’Connor and St. Clair East, you’ll find this small-batch brewery. While Muddy York’s beers are available at about 50 bars and restaurants across the city, you can also try them in the taproom or the brand-new beer garden, or grab a few bottles or growlers to go from their on-site retail shop. The current lineup includes a couple of pale ales, a helles lager and a stout.
Drink this: Storm Glass, a hoppy New England–style IPA. But be careful: despite its juicy passion-fruit punch, it comes packing a 7.2 per cent ABV.
Eat this: Another beer. Maybe something a bit lighter this time.
While this east-end brewery doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location, you can find Viaduct IPA, its flagship beer, at more than 40 bars and restaurants from Etobicoke to Scarborough.
Drink this: The Viaduct, obviously: a tribute to the Prince Edward Viaduct in the form of a citrusy and piney West Coast IPA.
Eat this: Whatever dish you fancy, at whatever bar you’re bellied up to.
36 Wagstaff Dr., 647-346-5001, leftfieldbrewery.ca
The baseball-themed brand run by husband and wife Mark and Mandie Murphy first earned a place on the craft beer map during the 2013 Cask Days festival. Their brews are now available at over 100 Toronto bars and restaurants, including La Carnita and the Wren. Their 6,000-square-foot brewery on the edge of Leslieville includes a retail outlet where shoppers can score the label’s core bottles
Drink this: The grapefruity Sunlight Park saison or the highly drinkable Eephus oatmeal brown ale.
Eat this: The communal picnic tables are perfect for BYO-food picnicking.
Louis Cifer Brew Works
417 Danforth Ave., 647-350-5087, louisciferbrewworks.com
One of the oldest of the brewery bunch, this massive almost-three-year-old spot on the Danforth can seat more than 200 pint-holding people. The 24 taps are split between their own recipes, and those of other local breweries and cider houses.
Drink this: A pint of the super-summery coconut-lemongrass Thai pale ale.
Eat this: The signature fish and chips, lager-battered, and served with rosemary fries, slaw and tartar sauce.