BEST NEW BEER BARS

It’s clear Toronto’s love for craft beer won’t be wan­ing any time soon. These are our picks for best beer bars of the last year.

NOW Magazine - Beer Guide - - TORONTO BEER GUIDE - By SARAH PARNIAK

Chances are your ob­scure wa­ter­ing hole has achieved a small but sig­nif­i­cant vic­tory in the form of at least one craft tap. But some bars re­ally com­mit to de­li­cious beer. Whether they've had a man­date to spotlight lo­cal and in­trigu­ing brews for more than three decades or less than three years, we salute them for help­ing Toron­to­ni­ans drink good beer. Now go forth and do just that.

Burdock

1184 Bloor West, 416-5464033, bur­dockto.com

What pairs best with live mu­sic? Beer. Al­ways beer. This welcome ad­di­tion to Blo­ordale nightlife spe­cial­izes in both, dished up with a side of hy­per-lo­cal fare. Though I ab­so­lutely loathe slam­ming meat­balls on toast ($7) into my face and wash­ing off the sauce and cheese with an APA, I will make con­ces­sions for Burdock.

The shiny mi­cro­brew­ery in the back will show­case On­tario yeast, malt and hops once it’s up and run­ning, hope­fully by Au­gust. Un­til then, Burdock’s 12 taps fre­quently ro­tate what’s good and lo­cal. An ad­ja­cent sound­proofed venue fea­tures live in­die rock a few times weekly. There’s also a snug side pa­tio with com­mu­nal seat­ing for un­wind­ing dur­ing the golden hour.

Hours Sun­day to Wed­nes­day 5 pm to mid­night, Thurs­day to Satur­day 5 pm to 2 am.

Ac­cess En­trance bar­ri­er­free, wash­rooms in base­ment.

Prenup Pub

191 Col­lege, 416-506-4040, prenup­pub.com

They say the hop doesn’t fall far from the vine… or some­thing. From the same own­ers be­hind no­tably beer-fo­cused joints like Sin & Re­demp­tion (136 McCaul, 416-640-9197, sinan­dredemp­tion.com), the Town Crier (115 John, 416204-9588, town­crier­pub.ca) and the Vil­lage Idiot (126 McCaul, 416-597-1175, vil­lagei­d­iot­pub.ca), Prenup Pub boasts 70 taps that spotlight in­ter­na­tional beers, pay­ing spe­cial at­ten­tion to Old World styles.

Plenty of space (two floors plus a front pa­tio) and ex­cel­lent value – I’m talk­ing Trap­pist ales priced dol­lars cheaper than at most other beer bars in town – make this screen-free drink­ing zone (a ma­jor plus in my books) a new happy place for lowkey beer lovers and dis­cern­ing uni stu­dents. Hours Daily 11 am to 2 am. Ac­cess Steps at en­trance, wash­rooms on sec­ond floor.

Craft Brasserie & Grille

107 At­lantic, 416-535-2337 (by the way, that’s BEER), the­craft­brasserie.com

This brasserie is just what Lib­erty Vil­lage (where pre-ex­ist­ing bars are al­ways burst­ing at the seams) needs: a so­cial hold­ing tank for young pro­fes­sion­als bit­ten by the craft beer bug. With 120 craft draughts, it wins the cov­eted (and of­ten du­bi­ous) ti­tle of most taps in town. The list is di­vided by style de­scrip­tors in case the stag­ger­ing vol­ume makes your eyes swim while a lit­tle voice in­side your head pleads, “Help me.” Lo­cal beer devo­tees will be stoked to hear that 80-plus On­tario op­tions are avail­able. Ad­ven­tur­ous drinkers should spring for flights, while sports fans can suc­cumb to the ec­stasy of bigscreen TVs with fancy beers in mitt.

Hours Daily 11 am to 2 am. Ac­cess El­e­va­tor at en­trance, wash­rooms on main floor

Dug­gan’s Brew­ery

1346 Queen West, 416-588-1086, dug­gans­brew­ery­park­dale.com

This brew pub set up shop on the cor­ner of Queen and Brock late last year. Shock­ingly, it’s Park­dale’s first res­i­dent brew­ery. Dug­gan’s sticks to its guns, ex­clu­sively serv­ing in-house beers like No. 9 IPA, No. 46 Park­dale Bomber and 100 Mile Ale and Lager, brewed with lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents. Its beer also makes an ap­pear­ance in cock­tails like the Hefe-Weisour (a beer­i­fied whisky sour with bour­bon, fresh le­mon and or­ange, hops syrup, he­feweizen and bit­ters) and the Beer-Groni (gin, sweet ver­mouth, Cam­pari and hop syrup with No. 9 IPA, both $12) and food­stuffs like beer can­died ba­con ($6) and stout crème brûlée ($12)

Hours Tues­day to Thurs­day noon to mid­night, Fri­day and Satur­day noon to 2 am. Ac­cess One step at en­trance, wash­rooms on main floor

Wenona Craft Beer Lodge

1069 Bloor West, 647-344-6444, wenon­alodge.ca

Only two weeks old, Wenona Craft Beer Lodge is lo­cated a swift jog across Bloor from its mother ship, Tallboys. Those con­fined to the city this sum­mer will ap­pre­ci­ate the re­laxed, cot­tagey vibe. Eight taps pour a ro­tat­ing range of all-On­tario beer while the fridge, stocked with lo­cal tall cans, pays trib­ute to the bar fam­ily tree. The con­cise Cana­dian-inspired menu is pizza-heavy to help you soak up all the beer you’re in­evitably go­ing to throw back.

Hours Mon­day to Fri­day 4 pm to close, Satur­day and Sun­day 1 pm to close.

Ac­cess En­trance bar­rier-free, wash­rooms in base­ment.

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