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brewery

Hops of Fun: 7 Stops for a Refreshing Pint of Craft Beer

CRAFT BREWING CONTINUES TO BE A BIG BUSINESS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA, WITH A GROWING GROUP OF INDEPENDENT BEER MAKERS PRODUCING NEW EXCITING ALES, LAGERS AND STOUTS, AND EVER MORE CUSTOMERS DEMANDING THE SMALL-BATCH BEVERAGES AT THEIR LOCAL WATERING HOLES.

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Photo Credit: Amsterdam BrewHouse

In Toronto, both supply and demand have noticeably increased over the past half-decade. Though corporate beers remain predominant, most respectable establishments now serve at least a couple of options for more discerning drinkers, and connoisseurs can look to any of the bars and brewpubs recommended below for some truly memorable beer-based experiences.

1 Indie Ale House is a straightforward name for a joint that specializes in decidedly non-standard bevvies. Look for rare releases like its “Fates and Furies” series—barrel-aged beers brewed using ancient techniques.

2 Though relatively new, Bloordale’s Burdock has already established itself as a microbrewery and resto-bar to watch. Eight taps pour its “approachably experimental” offerings while the kitchen serves gourmet comfort fare.

3 Still a foodie favourite, Bar Isabel is also very well known for its craft beer list, which, among other things, has many bottles from top-tier Quebec brewers Trou du Diable and Dieu du Ciel.

4 Toronto hipsters’ beers of choice come from Bellwoods Brewery, which offers exceptional drinks—the Farmhouse saison and Witchshark IPA are both classics—in its brewpub and bottle shop.

5 Amsterdam Brewhouse is a massive Harbourfront hub—with three lakeside patios—for enjoying beers by Toronto’s oldest independent brewery. Try a flight of four beers, or see what’s new in the tanks.

6 Family-owned Bar Volo is one of the city’s more venerable spots for craft brews. Can’t decide from among the 100-plus taps and bottles? Its house line of cask-conditioned ales are always intriguing. (Volo is closing it’s Yonge Street location in September; a new location is yet to be announced.)

7 Just outside the Financial District, Beerbistro entices area hot shots with brasserie-style fare and a massive selection of everything from local lagers to trappist ales.

From Tool Shed to Tap: Meet Calgary’s Newest Brewers

By ADELE BRUNNHOFER

“Calgary wants more craft beer,” says Graham Sherman, co-owner of Tool Shed Brewing Company, the city’s newest craft beer producer. Though the city is home to few brewers, the proliferation of its beer halls and the diverse, international flavour of their menus supports his claim. The city’s thirst for beer is a natural match for its well-known entrepreneurial streak. Sherman and business partner Jeff Orr have suitably transformed their onetime backyard project into a refreshing new beer business. (more…)

Hot Dining: Brew Masters

Once seen as a drink made more to guzzle than to enjoy, beer is quickly shedding that reputation, thanks in no small part to the recent boom in microbreweries. The folks at Les Brasseurs du Temps pride themselves on using only high quality ingredients in the handcrafted beers that they brew on site. The same philosophy extends to the food they serve — fresh, often local ingredients are used to create flavourful dishes like bison tartare, specialty poutines, or the Old Hull veggie sandwich (with goat cheese from nearby Les Folies Bergères). The building also houses a museum, where visitors can explore the history of brewing in the Ottawa region.

170 Montcalm St., Gatineau, 819-205-4999, www.brasseursdutemps.com

Hot Dining: Limited Edition Beer

The Deviator Doppelbock by Cameron's Brewing in Oakville.

Sick of ordering the same beverage time and time again? Looking for something to really make you “buzzed” with excitement? Look no further than Cameron’s Deviator Doppelbock, a seasonal beer available until early spring. Right now you can only get it on tap in Ottawa at Restaurant E18hteen and the Wellington Gastropub, but there are more locations to come – and for good reason. This dark beer boasts a 7.1% alcohol content as well as a warm, full-bodied taste and colour with subtle undertones of toffee, caramel, and coffee. Its richness will fill you up (and also warm you up during a cold Ottawa winter). Don’t miss your chance to try this distinctive-tasting beer before the Deviator Doppelbock disappears with the snow. — Erin Morawetz