Ontario Road Trip - Burlington VT to Toronto ON

Discussion in 'Canada' started by HopsDubosc, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Aspirant (210) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Hi all! I'm in the infant stages of planning a road trip to Toronto this summer. The kiddo has declared himself a Blue Jays fan and we're going to surprise him with a ball game and maybe a night at the Renaissance Rogers Center if we can swing it. Anyway, I've read up on the Toronto beer spots in the forums, but I'm wondering about some good places to visit on the way. We get Creative Arts down here in Vermont, so I'm excited to visit them in Hamilton (we'll be looping back to VT through the States). Are there any can't miss breweries, brewpubs, restaurants on the way from Quebec to Toronto along Route 401? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Crusader (754) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Best option along the 401 to Toronto would be Stone City in Kingston. Not much else I’d say is can’t miss along the highway. The new brewery in Whitby, Little Beasts is off to a nice start though. There seems to be a new brewery in Prince Edward County every month or so. Can’t speak to quality, but you would be able to hit a bunch of them just a few miles of the highway.

    My picks for Toronto breweries are Bellwoods, Burdock, Left Field. They are pretty consistent and make good beer. The cluster of breweries in The Junction can be a fun visit (Junction, India Ale House, Rainhard, Shacklands). Bar Hop and Birrera Volo are the top picks for beer bars.

    There are some recent additions to the Hamilton area that other might be able to speak to better than me.

    Cheers and hope you enjoy the trip.
     
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  3. sweetbabybladefoot

    sweetbabybladefoot Initiate (110) Mar 15, 2017 Ontario (Canada)

    Also in Whitby there's 5 Paddles and Brock St Brewing. They're basically across the street from each other and next to a highway off ramp. Neither one of them will blow your hair back but if you're looking for a quick, convenient stop, they're certainly an option. As mentioned above, Stone City in Kingston is your best choice along the 401.

    Hamilton will provide you with some good options - Merit, Fairweather and Collective Arts. Heading back to Vermont that way, you'll pass through Ontario's wine country. There's some excellent wineries plus Dillon's distillery if you're into that.
     
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  4. rejtable

    rejtable Initiate (128) Apr 20, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    If shorter trip time is your main goal, fastest to go via 401, but there isn't much to offer. Stone City in Kingston the one exception. Other breweries on the route Rurban in Cornwall, Napanee Brewing Company and then the Toronto Region ones as noted.

    Another option is to stay in US all the way, and cross over at Buffalo/Niagara. Longer drive, but lots of interesting beer options along the way including Syracuse, Prison City in Auburn, all the Buffalo beer scene.
     
  5. GJKerr

    GJKerr Initiate (92) Aug 11, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    WVRST on King St. is also a family-friendly beer and sausage hall in close proximity to the Dome.
     
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  6. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Aspirant (210) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Totally agree. I'm planning on a big loop. So Canada there, and USA back.
     
  7. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Aspirant (210) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Thanks all for the good tips. Much appreciated!
     
  8. rejtable

    rejtable Initiate (128) Apr 20, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Best of both worlds!

    Depending on how big you want to make your Canada loop, you could include either Montreal and/or Ottawa reasonably easily. Unless you are big wine fans, going out of the way to hit Montreal/Ottawa would likely be a better family+beer experience than going out of your way to hit the Prince Edward County area without being that much further out of the way.

    And if you do stay at the stadium hotel you are spitting distance to Amsterdam, both Barhops, tons of great stuff. Bellwoods just a reasonably short Uber or nice walk.
     
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  9. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Aspirant (210) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I might take that piece of advice. We do Montreal often as it's 90 min from home, but Ottawa looks like a good sub trip addition. Thanks!
     
  10. Electros

    Electros Meyvn (1,071) Feb 20, 2007 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Whitby: 5 paddles is one of the best breweries in Ontario. Also Town Brewing.

    Ajax: Falcon Brewery.

    Scarborough: Common Good Brewing.

    Toronto: Bellwoods, Rainhard, Blood Brothers, Godspeed, Radical Road, Muddy York.

    This just to name a few.

    On the way: Stone city Ales in Kingston.

    Check out the bevarge map:

    www.momandhops.com
     
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  11. quadmad

    quadmad Initiate (178) Jul 23, 2015 Ontario (Canada)

    Unibroue in Chambly Quebec is only about five miles from your route. Makers of many fine beers.
     
  12. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Crusader (754) Apr 21, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Come to think of it, my fridge and cellar are just off the 401 too! Lots of limited local releases. We don’t take cash but do take anything and everything from Four Quarters Brewing in exchange. Our hours can be quite flexible too!! :grin:
     
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  13. JonnyBeers

    JonnyBeers Disciple (333) Oct 24, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    In case you've never been, it's really close to Burlington, but Domaine Neige is fantastic and even worth the trip if you don't like cider, because ICE CIDER! Although this is terrible timing because they aren't open until April now unless you make an appointment. I did Snow Days a few years back when going to Montreal/Vermont and it was one of the coolest parts of the trip.
     
  14. TheHammer

    TheHammer Savant (942) Feb 15, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    If you are coming to Hamilton, I highly recommend stopping at Grain and Grit and Fairweather Brewing. They are a pair of excellent smaller breweries within short walking distance to each other.
     
  15. darcyk

    darcyk Initiate (144) Jul 15, 2014 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Sounds like a great road trip. Not sure what styles of beer you like, but there are lots of options. The east end (east of the Gardiner Expressway) has a few solid spots.
    - Radical Road doesn't get enough respect, but the beers are consistently tasty and technically solid. Always 8-10 house brews on tap and in can or bottle.
    - A bit to the east is Rorschach, a brewpub in a converted Victorian mansion on the waterfront. It's a beautiful space, and also has one of the best (rooftop) patios in Toronto. 20 or so beers on tap, and quality wise, the brewing team has really dialed in quality. Very good lagers and imperial stouts - if plain Jane hazy and lactose IPAs aren't you're thing (they're not mine).
    - Godspeed is my top pick. Brewer is perhaps the most technically brilliant in Canada, and makes superb beers across the portfolio, from Dortmunder Lager to DIPA. Godspeed has a good kitchen, too, if Japanese cuisine is of interest.
    - Northeast of the downtown core, Burdock is also a great brewpub. Well executed selections from pale lager through to BA saisons.

    In Hamilton, I'd recommend Merit and Fairweather, again, for the selection and quality of the offerings. They're about 10 minutes apart. IMO Grain & Grit isn't making good beer (stylistically accurate + defect free) but it's across the street from Fairweather. If you have a bit of time, would also suggest heading a bit north, 10 minutes or so, off the 403 and up highway 6. You're getting into farm country, and will find West Ave cidery. 10+ ciders to taste and buy, and the tasting room is gorgeous - converted barn loft, bright and lots of space. Should be a full kitchen in the summer, so you can eat, drink and look out over the fields.

    Have a great time here.
     
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