Toronto’s best microbreweries right now
2125 Dundas St. W., 647-348-1002, banditbrewery.ca
A raccoon mascot is now associated not only with a boutique airline, but beer, too. At this massive west-end brewpub, communal tables, hanging plants, strings of lights and roll-up garage doors bring the outdoor beer garden inside. A rotating list of Bandit’s brews include a peaty porter, a tart hefeweizen and a dangerously drinkable lager. They all go perfectly with the kitchen’s confit chicken tails, deep-fried bites served with a tangy white barbecue sauce. In the summer, Bandit doubles in size thanks to the patio—a reclaimed parking lot.
2876 Dundas St. W., 416-760-9691, indiealehouse.com
This 4,000-square-foot brewpub in the Junction contains a craft brewery, a 110-seat restaurant and a retail operation, all decked out in salvaged furnishings sourced from local shops. Among the take-home options are various bottles that you won’t soon find at your local LCBO or Beer Store—like the Spadina Monkey, a raspberry sour.
Left Field Brewery
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, like the Sunlight Park saison and the highly drinkable Eephus oatmeal brown ale.
Louis Cifer Brew Works
417 Danforth Ave., 647-350-5087, louisciferbrewworks.com
With 230 seats, Louis Cifer is one of the largest restaurants in Riverdale. The 26 taps are divided between house beers and Ontario craft mainstays like Great Lakes, Cameron’s and Nickel Brook. Pommies cider can be ordered as a regular pint or as a boozy slushie made with a special machine imported from Japan. Beer cocktails (called hoptails) and house-made root beer are also available, and the upscale pub grub is infused with beer wherever palatable.
1346 Queen St. W., 416-588-1086, duggansbreweryparkdale.com
After shuttering its Victoria Street operation in 2011, Duggan’s has set up shop in the west end with a restaurant, a retail counter and, of course, brewing facilities. The 16 taps dispense 14 beers, including the brewery’s own No. 9 IPA; a malty ode to the neighbourhood, the Parkdale Bomber; and a few of its seasonal suds. Adventurous drinkers can also sample from a menu of beer-based cocktails like the Beer-groni.
75 Victoria St., 416-238-1484, batchtoronto.com
This spot from Creemore Springs is the latest in a series of brewpubs to take over the same address . Batch makes six beers in-house (including a peppery wit and a chocolatey porter), but what sets it apart from its predecessors is the menu, designed by consulting chef Ben Heaton: flatbread topped with brined brisket, or a juicy pork chop, plus wings and burgers. Free Ping-Pong is a bonus.
124–126 Ossington Ave., 416-535-4586, bellwoodsbrewery.com
Ossington’s buzzing brewpub serves an ever-rotating list of seven house-made drafts (like the citrusy Witchshark double IPA) alongside special-edition bottled brews and a short menu of nibbles. The room is rustic and romantic, filled with candlelit tables, wildflowers in Mason jars and the hum of happy tipplers—nothing like the Molson-soaked keggers of your youth.