I’ve been spending a lot of time in Toronto recently (it’s where the artist working on my binary code sleeve tattoo is based) and so I’ve had the chance to really dig into the local craft beer scene.

The craft beer and micro-brewery scene in Toronto is huge, with lots of brewpubs and venues open for business and many more on the way. So while it was a difficult process to narrow them down, here’s my pick of the top 5 craft beer spots in Toronto:

Bar Hop
Bar Hop
Bar Hop (391 King West, at Charlotte, 647-352-7476)
One of the best spots in town for all things beer, Bar Hop is not short on malt and hop-oriented drinks; they have over 36 taps to draw from! There is a seasonal list of brews depending on the time of the year. You have a choice when you get there; you can either try and squeeze in at the bar for a crash course on craft beer, or you can sample your own way through the gigantic selection. You can check them out at www.barhopbar.com

Bar Volo Brewhouse
Bar Volo Brewhouse

Bar Volo (587 Yonge, at Gloucester, 416-928-0008)
If you want to see craft beer at its best you need to see Bar Volo. The important hard-to-find beers from all corners of the globe, they have their own very small micro-brewery and even their own cask beer festival. There is also a patio bar and a big list of the new trendy beer-inspired cocktails for those who want to try something a little different. The atmosphere is trendy and comfortable and the staff was knowledgeable and friendly. For the craft beer enthusiast this place has the right mix of everything. You can find them at www.barvolo.com

Bryden’s (2455 Bloor West, at Jane, 416-760-8069)
No list about the top craft beer scenes is complete with a mention for Bryden’s. Started over 15 years ago when craft beer was still a small, growing industry, Bryden’s has a reputation for great beer and good, friendly service. One of the great things about Bryden’s is its size. Despite the huge industry growth it is small enough to remain intimate and to conserve what made it great in the first place. www.brydenspub.com

Tallboys (838 Bloor Street West, 416-535-7486)
This is a family-run craft beer house with a big reputation. Featuring over 70 brands it has a line-up dominated by Ontario craft beer. It’s known for its good specials and food, which can only help to increase your enjoyment. It’s also one of the only craft beer venues in Toronto where you can catch the game on the big screen, which gives it a big thumbs up from most sports fans. tallboyscraft.com

The Only Cafe
The Only Cafe
The Only Cafe (972 Danforth Ave, the Danforth, 416-463-7843)
This small but mighty beer bar is connected to a coffee shop, a combination that I really enjoy. They regularly host beer tastings on site, where you can purchase tickets to try either a small pour or a full pint of many different craft beer offerings. There’s no food here, but many places will deliver right to the pub. The beer tasting events are highly recommended as its a great way to taste a large number of beers responsibly. As a bonus, it’s also just down the street from Square Boy, where you can pick up the best $4 chicken souvlaki you’ll ever eat.

Of course there are plenty more great spots to grab a craft beer in Toronto. What are some of your favorites?

Tags: Toronto

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