One day in Toronto

Discussion in 'Canada' started by elliott1184, Jul 21, 2016.

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  1. elliott1184

    elliott1184 Disciple (352) Mar 31, 2011 Minnesota
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    I have a lengthy layover coming up in Toronto and am looking for recommendations for 1 or 2 spots to check out for beer + lunch. Additional info:

    - I have Nickel Brook Immodest and Driftwood Fat Tug on my list of Canadian beers to try. Will one or both of these be on draft somewhere?
    - would love to try some local/regional IPAs ... anything resembling the so called "Northeast style" Ala Tree House, Lawson's etc. in Toronto? Or any place with an IPA focus? Open to bar, restaurant, or brewery taproom
    - vegetarian food and/or a kids menu is a plus... even a place where our daughter could get some pizza would be great
    - wine is a plus (for my wife)
    - getting there from the airport via public transport with relative ease is also a plus...

    Thanks in advance for any input!
     
  2. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2012 Canada (ON)

    Where is your layover (Pierson or the Island airport)? How long is the layover?

    If you are at the big airport (Pierson) getting to and from the airport is possible via public transit, but its going to take some significant time so how much layover you have is very important.
    Immodest may be on tap somewhere, but Fat Tug will not be.
    Hitting all your wants (vegetarian, kids, pizza, wine) could be tricky if you want to combine that with a good tap selection.

    Check out menus at Bar Hop, Burdock and Bellwoods online.

    But again, timing is everything. Toronto traffic is not kind.
     
  3. elliott1184

    elliott1184 Disciple (352) Mar 31, 2011 Minnesota
    Trader

    Hey, thanks! Pearson airport; the layover is ~ 7.5 hours
     
  4. elliott1184

    elliott1184 Disciple (352) Mar 31, 2011 Minnesota
    Trader

    Oh, and it's on a Thursday, landing at 110 pm
     
  5. bdemarco

    bdemarco Initiate (39) Aug 6, 2015 Canada (ON)

    so you'll probably be downtown around 3ish...

    Take the UP express to union, then subway up to either Bar Hop (both locations are good) Wvrst has a kids menu and beer but not cheap but lots of open space. Bellwoods is the best in the city for your ipa needs, they open at 5pm I believe. Get their early, they are always busy. I'm not crazy about Burdock, more misses than hits (sorry @FEUO ).

    Good luck!
     
  6. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Poo-Bah (1,918) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

    Indie Ale House is alright for kids. They have a small sized Margharita Pizza. They open at noon as well. Good beer overall, but won't help you in your quest for the best local IPAs. You would take the Union-Pearson Express from Pearson to Bloor station, make the short walk over to the Dundas West subway station and take the Dundas bus westbound for about 10 minutes. Here is their website: http://www.indiealehouse.com/#slideabout

    The Bellwoods: http://bellwoodsbrewery.com/ and the Bar Hop: http://www.barhoptoronto.com/ suggestions from above are probably your best bets in the IPA search as already mentioned. If you are thinking Bar Hop, I would likely just take the Union-Pearson Express to Union and grab a short cab ride to Bar Hop rather than waste time taking the subway the one stop that will get you 2/3rds of the way there. I'm guessing it will only be a couple dollars more than having everyone pay the subway fare. Bar Hop updates their website tap list at least once a week. Keep your eyes out for the Great Lakes IPAs (different brewery than the one in Ohio).

    CHeers, and good luck!
     
  7. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2012 Canada (ON)

    Lol, don't apologize to me. I wouldn't apologize for Burdock. I haven't had enough of their stuff to really vouch for them, but I wanted to add a third option behind Belly and BarHop (as I've shown bias towards them in the past).

    And did I really spell it Pierson? hahahahaha.... I fly villy Billy Bishop so I'm unfamiliar with the mess that is YYZ.
     
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  8. elliott1184

    elliott1184 Disciple (352) Mar 31, 2011 Minnesota
    Trader

    Thanks for all the tips so far; really appreciate it!

    Some other things that have come to mind:

    1) is BYO a thing in Toronto? I know there are some U.S. states in which you can bring your own beer or wine to a restaurant to have with your meal if you pay an "opening fee." Wondering if I could pick something up from a LCBO to enjoy somewhere that's not, as my wife says, "another beer place" :slight_smile:

    2) Here's a list of stuff I'd like to try someday; if anyone knows where I might find some of these, or if anyone has additional recommendations on stuff I should try, please let me know...

    Auval Super A
    Nickel Brook Immodest
    Driftwood Fat Tug
    Great Lakes - Octopus Wants To Fight
    Great Lakes Robohop
    Great Lakes Karma Citra
    Bellwoods Roman Candle

    3) is untappd a good way to locate drafts in Toronto if I'm looking for something in particular? Other ways to do this in addition to checking individual bar/brewery websites?

    4) beer options at Pearson airport?

    Again, thanks in advance!
     
  9. portwood

    portwood Aspirant (209) Aug 20, 2015 Canada (ON)

    Given the traffic between the Airport & downtown at that time of day*, >half of your 7.5 hours will be taken up in travel time just getting to/from downtown - especially on public transit. If you plan to hit more than one spot, consider Uber ...

    * anywhere in TO for that matter!
     
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  10. DaveBar

    DaveBar Initiate (0) Oct 21, 2013 Canada (ON)

    1) is BYO a thing in Toronto? I know there are some U.S. states in which you can bring your own beer or wine to a restaurant to have with your meal if you pay an "opening fee." Wondering if I could pick something up from a LCBO to enjoy somewhere that's not, as my wife says, "another beer place" :slight_smile:---- Yes there are restaurants in Toronto that offer a corkage fee that varies from nothing to over $30.00/bottle. You need to just do some google searches. Might wish to stick to wine as you will confuse them with beer and may run into issues. Been there done that.

    2) Here's a list of stuff I'd like to try someday; if anyone knows where I might find some of, or if anyone has additional recommendations on stuff I should try, please let me know... You won't find many of these on tap at all..... too long since released.

    Auval Super A- Don't know
    Nickel Brook Immodest- 5 in stock at Summerhill LCBO accessable by the TTC transit system after you take the UP
    Driftwood Fat Tug- 38 in stock at Summerhill
    Great Lakes - Octopus Wants To Fight- You are out of luck now on this one. All old stock.
    Great Lakes Robohop- See above
    Great Lakes Karma Citra- See above
    Bellwoods Roman Candle- Brewery only right now

    4) beer options at Pearson airport?- Decent area in the secured section of both terminals. Better wine and hard liquor then beer

    Again, thanks in advance![/QUOTE]
     
    #10 DaveBar, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  11. dabeerbuddha

    dabeerbuddha Aspirant (285) Feb 4, 2016 Canada (ON)
    Trader

    Burdock - opens at 5pm
    Bellwoods - opens at 5pm
    Bar Volo - opens at 5pm
    Indie Alehouse - opens at noon
    Bar Hop - opens at noon
    WVRST - open at 11:30am.

    This is the problem with beer bars in Toronto. They serve the night life.
    Bar Hop or WVRST might be the best options to go for.

    Also consider C'est What. http://www.cestwhat.com/menus/featured-beer
    Not in the Bar Volo, WVRST, Bar Hop category but you are limited because of your timing.

    As has been mentioned, a few of the beers you are looking for are not fresh at this time. Mostly older rotational releases. You might get lucky on Karma Citra. Had one today on tap in Hamilton at the Brux House (but that is a little out of your way) and it was release about 2-3 weeks ago If I recall correctly. Roman Candle and Jutsu are currently available at Bellwoods but if you are in Toronto next week no promises they will still be available. Fat Tug is likely your next freshest IPA and it is still probably a 3 month old. Immodest is about the same. The LCBO is probably the only place you will find those two. Oh, and the Auval is unobtanium. Think Heady topper with a much smaller release. Plus that's one province over, in Quebec. It's not release in Ontario.

    Had you thought of lining up a trade?

    Cheers and best of luck!
     
    #11 dabeerbuddha, Jul 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  12. yasky

    yasky Disciple (386) Dec 21, 2008 Canada (ON)

    Best bet would be to find an LCBO with both Immodest and Fat Tug, then hit Bellwoods at opening for food and some drinks. Immodest may be on tap somewhere in the city, Fat Tug probably won't be. If time is an issue maybe bring some MN beer and do an exchange near Pearson for some of your wants?
     
  13. ckoop

    ckoop Initiate (86) Apr 2, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Trader

    Honestly, I would skip buying immodest from an lcbo right now, any cans that are around are from May (at best) and it has dropped off quickly. It was sweet to begin with and now it's just a malty mess (and this is coming from a Nicklebrook fanboy who loves that beer). If you are buying lcbo stock ipas, just buy collective arts' ransack the universe. it's better than any of the ipas you listed (not sure about auval or fat tug in that fight, haven't had them yet) and still relatively fresh.
     
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  14. bdemarco

    bdemarco Initiate (39) Aug 6, 2015 Canada (ON)

    Just had a ransack last night, and I'd definitely take all of those beers over it. Thankfully this batch was drinkable.
     
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  15. ckoop

    ckoop Initiate (86) Apr 2, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Trader

    Yep, different palates and all that. For me, this beer uses two of my favourite hops perfectly releasing huge grapefruit and mango flavour and has the best mouth-feel out of the above beers. Personally, I find that even though I enjoy the flavour on all of the above beers, the mouth-feel on them is a huge let down, either somewhat soapy or "dirty," just not soft and smooth like I personally like.
     
  16. DaveBar

    DaveBar Initiate (0) Oct 21, 2013 Canada (ON)

    New batch! Excellent going to look now as it nice fresh. Sure it's hot out but still would enjoy a fresh batch of an excellent IPA like lake effect, octopus or Immodest right now.
     
  17. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,197) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    As for Pearson, the domestic terminal doesn't have much. I ended up going with Mill Street, it appeared that Great Lakes and Muskoka were both out in the International terminal only.
     
  18. elliott1184

    elliott1184 Disciple (352) Mar 31, 2011 Minnesota
    Trader

    The Bar Volo website shows a 2pm opening time Thursday - Sunday; assuming that's correct?

    Is Ransack the Universe something that will pop up on draft anywhere?
     
    #18 elliott1184, Jul 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  19. yasky

    yasky Disciple (386) Dec 21, 2008 Canada (ON)

    It could pop up on draft somewhere but cans at the LCBO would be your best bet. I've seen them at my local LCBO outside the city that were canned 4 days prior. I checked 5 places I thought might have it on tap and got shut out.

    Just checking out Bar Volo's taplist, if it were me going there today I'd be sticking with those Great Lakes IPA for my hop fix. Karma Citra on tap? Sold!
     
  20. GJKerr

    GJKerr Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2014 Canada (ON)

    I do think you're pushing your luck using public transit - I think someone already mentioned that total travel time (remember time walking to from trains, etc ... assuming also that there is no transfer involved that will require luggage handling), will eat up half of your available hours. That said, traffic in and around the airport is particularly bad and you may catch the tail end of rush hour heading back, so cab/Uber is tricky too.

    The most straightforward (and reliable) route for a "destination" bar might just be Bar Volo - take the Union Pearson Express to Bloor Station, then get on the eastbound Bloor subway line (or whatever it's called now ... Line 2?) at Dundas West station, getting off at Bloor-Yonge station and walk a few blocks south to Dundonald. Volo has wine and small plate food. I believe there are salads or other meatless options and I think a pizza or two. Menu is on the website.

    You won't be seeing the best Toronto has to offer along this stretch of Yonge unfortunately, though there is some gentrification going on, which is the reason Volo will soon vacate it's location ... condos!
     
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  21. Wildcat1

    Wildcat1 Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2016 Georgia

    Hi all! Reviving an old thread here!
    I'm coming to Toronto from Atlanta for work on 10/23-10/24, and am hoping to bring a few beers home with me. I might stop by the Bellwoods bottle shop to grab a couple bottles...I see they have Gotham and Jelly King available. Are there any other particular beers currently at the LCBO (or anywhere else) that you'd highly recommend I try and track down? I'd also be up for an IP trade if anyone is interested...would be happy to smuggle up a couple tasty Georgia beers (or anything else you guys can't get in distribution) for a couple bottles of good Canadian stuff.
     
    #21 Wildcat1, Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  22. rdecker679

    rdecker679 Initiate (31) Oct 8, 2015 Massachusetts

    Now that this has been revived (sort of), I need an opinion on breweries to visit over a couple days.
    Bellwoods and Indie Ale House, plus Bar Hop are on the list.
    Is Blood Brothers worth a go? How about Her Father's Cider Bar?
     
  23. dabeerbuddha

    dabeerbuddha Aspirant (285) Feb 4, 2016 Canada (ON)
    Trader

    What's your goal for visiting? Brewery tour? Great pub atmosphere? Epic beers?
     
  24. rdecker679

    rdecker679 Initiate (31) Oct 8, 2015 Massachusetts

    Don't need brewery tours - they blend together for the wife. Bellwoods has the atmosphere, so yeah, I guess something epic would be nice. Something I probably won't see again but was worth trying.
     
  25. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Poo-Bah (1,918) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

  26. dabeerbuddha

    dabeerbuddha Aspirant (285) Feb 4, 2016 Canada (ON)
    Trader

    Ok, ya Bellwoods is great. They have their own reserve bottles which are nice dip into the past and I'll second Birreria Volo. It's the newest and probably the most impressive selection or rarities and hard to get beers in Toronto specializing in lambics, sours and BA beers.
     
  27. rdecker679

    rdecker679 Initiate (31) Oct 8, 2015 Massachusetts

    Thanks for the suggestions, Volo looks interesting, and Folly, given we'll be primarily in Ossington/College area.

    Thoughts on Blood Brothers? I've heard so little, is there a reason for that, or are they just off the beaten path?
     
  28. dabeerbuddha

    dabeerbuddha Aspirant (285) Feb 4, 2016 Canada (ON)
    Trader

    Nothing wrong with Blood Brothers. I enjoy their beers. Especially their Paradise Lost series of sours. Only thing is they don't have a huge tasting room and their beer selection is highly variable. Right now there are only 4 beers to sample, 3 IPAs and a sour. Enjoy your visit.
     
  29. rdecker679

    rdecker679 Initiate (31) Oct 8, 2015 Massachusetts

    Reporting back:
    - Bellwoods is great, and the food makes it even more of a draw.
    - Blood Brothers actually had 5 main taps going, plus 6 variations on Guilty Remnant on new taps. We had time to kill to make the hike, and I'd say it was worth it.
    - Got half way through that huge list before tapping out. Perfect place to try some of everything.
    - Folly was...fine.
    - Popped into Amsterdam while waiting for our flight. Fracture was okay, but it feels like a glorified Applebees.
     
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  30. rdecker679

    rdecker679 Initiate (31) Oct 8, 2015 Massachusetts

    Correction: Got half way through the huge list at Bar Hop. That thing would take a couple more days
     
  31. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (258) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    Thought I would leverage this thread. I will be in one night in early January (a Wednesday if that matters). I will be staying somewhere near First Canadian Place. Don't have my flight booked yet, but I'm guessing I won't be in downtown until around 8. Any of the above places better or worse in terms of. Chances are that I will not have eaten so looking for dinner / beer combo.

    I'd love to check our Birreiria Volo but I am definitely not a sour guy so it seems like I should pass on that and look for something with a greater variety in the IPA/Stout realm.

    Thanks!
     
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  32. bdemarco

    bdemarco Initiate (39) Aug 6, 2015 Canada (ON)

    Bar Hop has some pretty good food and drink combos which is close to where you'll be. If you want to adventure/cab, bellwoods will be good.
     
  33. GJKerr

    GJKerr Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2014 Canada (ON)

    Fantastic sausages and duck fat fries go well with the extensive tap and bottle list at WVRST on King, which is walking distance for you.
     
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  34. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (258) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    Just wanted to say thanks for the suggestions. My flight ended up being significantly delayed so I limited myself to Bar Hop due to proximity to the hotel where I was staying. Great little place with a large selection though all of the double IPAs were kicked (last Wednesday). Just found that odd, but I had no problem enjoying from the remaining taps. Atmosphere was great, food was fine. Thanks again!
     
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  35. mjmcnns

    mjmcnns Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2014 Canada (BC)

    In my past visits, I've always really enjoyed Barhop and Bellwoods, so they're must-visits this time around.

    Is Birreria Volo the best bet to add to my stops? Any other breweries/bars I should make an effort to get to?

    I've done WVRST once before and found it pretty meh...but that was several years ago and I'm sure it's changed.
     
  36. Quotashun

    Quotashun Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2004 Canada (ON)

    Yes, definitely (to Volo). I'm there with my girlfriend probably once a week spending way more money than I should. So much good stuff, on tap and by the bottle.

    As far as other breweries go, Rainhard is a good one to check out (tap room too, just chips for a snack if you're hungry) that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere above. It's kinda off the beaten path, so make sure to have a car or take an Uber there. Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke is worth a visit too and is easily accessible (right off the Gardiner Expressway).
     
  37. atomeyes

    atomeyes Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 Canada (ON)

    Take the Airport express. it will take you to Kipling station. get a transfer from the driver.
    From there, you can take an uber to Great Lakes and get some stuff from the source.
    You can then take the subway downtown. As said above, not a zillion options as far as what's open during the day
     
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