Best "easy to find" Canadian beers?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by NikD, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. NikD

    NikD Initiate (147) Jan 6, 2013 Maryland

    I need some help with Canadian beers. An uncle of mine is coming down here from Toronto and has offered to bring down some beer. I just need to tell him what I want. He's elderly so I don't want to send him searching for rare or hard to find stuff. what I'm looking for is stuff that can be commonly found in an average beer shop.

    The only Canadian stuff I really know is from Unibroue, which I do like. So I could ask him to bring some of that. But are there other good easy to find beers that I can ask him to bring? Styles? Belgians, Pale Ales, IPAs, Pilseners, other Lagers. Avoiding stouts and porters, only because it's too hot here for that.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. taxandbeerguy

    taxandbeerguy Poo-Bah (1,998) Jul 12, 2013 Ontario (Canada)

    Well, If you're looking for easy to find, your uncle will stop at either the Beer Store or the LCBO. The LCBO has a far superior range of Canadian craft so I'd suggest going there. For IPA's I'd suggest Collective Arts Ransack the Universe, Life In the Clouds and possibly their newest arrival, Liquid Arts Fest which is a tropical milkshake IPA. Great Lakes Brewing Octopus Wants to Fight is another very good local IPA with lots of distribution. Sawdust City's Lone Pine IPA is another personal fave. For a Belgian IPA I might suggest Elora's Wandering Monk, it stacked up pretty well against some of the top Belgian IPA's I've ever sampled. You can't go wrong with Unibroue, mixed six-packs may still be available and if not a 4 pack of La Fin Du Monde (Tripel) and Blanche de Chambly (witbier) are quite available.

    Because of the LCBO's purchasing power, we also have access to some great Belgian's for much cheaper prices, Rochefort 8 and 10, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Rodenbach Caractere Rouge (if you're lucky) and St. Bernardus Abt 12 are readily available.

    As far as lighter beers go, Lug Tread from Beau's is a pretty decent Kolsch, Collingwood Brewery has a pretty crisp Pilsner (Downhill Pilsner I think) and Amsterdam Brewery at times has really good pilsners too (2018, Starke Pilsner) although i haven't seen them around lately. Collective Arts Lunch Money might be viable here along with Flying Monkeys Golden Pilsner. I'm not as much of a pilsner or lager drinker, so others may be a better source for that info.
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  3. nater919

    nater919 Zealot (554) Aug 26, 2016 New York

    Can't really go wrong with anything from Collective Arts or Flying Monkey, those are two of my favorites. I live in Buffalo so we get decent distribution of southern Ontario beers. Taxandbeerguy is right I think the LCBO is probably the most convenient stop for Canadian craft. I'm not sure if they would carry anything from Oast House from Niagara on the Lake but their bottle conditioned beers are worth checking out.
    NikD likes this.
  4. TorontoFrank

    TorontoFrank Initiate (18) Aug 28, 2017 Ontario (Canada)

    Just my 2 cents as well. The LCBO is where you want to go, the beer store is generally weak for selection and sadly in Ontario the only place to buy booze with the exception of a brewery itself.

    Great Lakes Brewery Octopus Wants To Fight is a great seasonal IPA thats available pretty much everywhere.

    Redline Brewery Clutch IPA is also a great year round IPA.

    Beaus Brewery Lugtread Kolsch is super crushable on a hot day, a cold day, a day that ends in Y. Beaus seasonals are also easy to find off the shelf too. Probably the most expensive beer on the list since they come in large format bottles not cans.

    Anything from Collective Arts is indeed a great bet. They rarely mistep and they are almost macro with their distribution. Any they also have minimum 4 or 5 different brews to choose from at a single LCBO. Variety Pack!

    If I may be so bold, I disagree with the Flying Monkeys selections. Sometimes their seasonal beer are palatable but I think anything you find on the shelf right now is pretty disappointing.

  5. taxandbeerguy

    taxandbeerguy Poo-Bah (1,998) Jul 12, 2013 Ontario (Canada)

    To follow up on the previous points: Oast House Saison is pretty good and is available in cans in some LCBO's Not sure about Toronto but definitely Hamilton / Burlington. Lug Tread is now available in 355 ml cans as well, although you need to buy 4 cans.
  6. BakaGaijin

    BakaGaijin Aspirant (271) May 20, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    Where does he live? If he's close to Bellwoods Brewery just tell him to go Bellwoods and buy everything.
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  7. NikD

    NikD Initiate (147) Jan 6, 2013 Maryland

    Don Mills. I checked on the map. That's kinda far.
  8. BakaGaijin

    BakaGaijin Aspirant (271) May 20, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    If he is drivimg to the airport the Hafis location is on the way. If he is driving down he can also take a route that goes past the Hafis location.
  9. TheHammer

    TheHammer Savant (939) Feb 15, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    Just about any LCBO will carry Collective Arts and while I'm not an IPA fan I'm told Ransack the Universe is good. I can recommend though their Stranger the Fiction Porter (although sadly you are avoiding Porters) and Mash Up the Jam their dry hop sour.

    Other easy to find ones are Beau's All Natural Brewing. They usually have also at least one or two floating around most LCBO's and often Lug Tread if easy to find. I'm a huge fan of most of their Gruit's.

    Apart from that, Side Lauch Wheat I find to be one of the best Wheat beers in Ontario and it's pretty easy to find. It's a fairly easy to spot yellow and black can.
  10. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Crusader (769) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    I’ll second the Hafis Bellwoods location. It wouldn’t be too difficult from Don Mills and kind of on the way to the airport. Much better than almost anything he’ll get an LCBO.

    He could also hit the Wilson and Duffferin LCBO. He’ll want to check dates on things. Great Lakes stuff is good if the dates are good. Collective Arts can be very good but I know they have increasingly wide distribution. Some of the Nickel Brook stuff is good, but again, it is getting increasingly widespread US distribution.

    Unless you are a ticker, I would bother with some of the other suggestions. Beaus, Flying Monkeys, Sidelaunch, Amsterdam, etc are very middle of the road and not worth the effort to lug down to you (imho).

    Common Good Brewing is close to him, but I have been underwhelmed by their beers.

    Again, if he can get to the Bellwoods location on Hafis, you’ll be very happy.
    NikD likes this.
  11. NikD

    NikD Initiate (147) Jan 6, 2013 Maryland

    Thanks for the suggestion all. I sent him a list. Will wait and see what he brings.

    What does that mean? Must be some Canadian term I'm unfamiliar with.
  12. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Crusader (769) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)

    No no. Some people just like to track their drinking, always trying something new regardless of quality. Ticking new beers.
    NikD likes this.
  13. yasky

    yasky Disciple (374) Dec 21, 2008 Ontario (Canada)

    Bench's Citra Grove should be easy to find.
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  14. Derek

    Derek Poo-Bah (3,586) Apr 2, 2005 British Columbia (Canada)

    You can look up some of the suggested beers on the LCBO website and see if you can get them at a local store.
  15. Electros

    Electros Meyvn (1,160) Feb 20, 2007 Ontario (Canada)

    You could even order off the and have it delivered to your uncles house or to a store close to him.
    dabeerbuddha likes this.