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Ontario Toronto Riverdale visit mid August-where to go & what to drink?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by sublimesipping, Aug 1, 2013.

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  1. sublimesipping

    sublimesipping Disciple (332) Mar 13, 2004 Pennsylvania

    I am looking forward to my first extensive(1 week) time in TO in 8 years. Wanting to know the latest on the craft scene. Will be staying in Riverdaka so would like to know best beer store nearby to purchase craft beer and then of course what to buy and drink? Will check out Mill street and steam whistle and will revisit C'est What? but but am looking for other suggestions, also 2 specifics:
    - love CC red racer now red Betty, where can I buy inToronto and also is ther something else local as good?
    -first time back with my 3 year old so looking for some family friendly restaurant and pub reccomendations with good beer lists or at least great food family friendly places.
    If you Torontonian beer advocates could help a yank brother out I would appreciate it, thanks. Also, how is the Creemore drinking these Sleemam days? Still one if my memorable and sentimental Canadian beers- do they stil give tours at the brewery? Thanks again cheers!
  2. anchie

    anchie Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2013 Connecticut

    Mill street has a lot of good beers, I personally recommended Tank House or their organic lager, their brew pub is great, food is good. Creemore is one of my personal favorites favorites they do offer tours, . Downtown Toronto has a lot of great bars, specially on The Esplanade, the Beir Markt is a good place to eat and have few. Check out this website http://www.ontariocraftbrewers.com/mobile/lists/masterList.php

    There is a list of craft brewers, Amsterdam gives tours. Visiting steam whistle is great way to spend the afternoon, especially if the Blue Jays are playing next door at the Rogers center, something your kid will enjoy as well.

    I was born and raised in Toronto, just moved to CT for a job, I would love some Creemore right now, do you know of any any similar tasting beer that I can get here?
  3. sublimesipping

    sublimesipping Disciple (332) Mar 13, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Thanks very much, regarding a local comparison to Creemore stateside, I recently had the Southern Tier out of NY Hop Sun, their summer seasonal, which I thought tasted and drank a lot like Creemore. The beer's description did not seem accurate- it drank like a lager and the mouthfeel, hop profile and finish reminded me somuch of Creemore. Give that a try and let me know what you think.
    anchie likes this.
  4. KeKeKumba

    KeKeKumba Initiate (188) May 5, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Okay, I don't live in Toronto and only visit 3-4 times a year, but forget about Mill St, forget about Creemore, forget about Sleeman, etc etc. Just from looking at your reviews it's obvious you're well beyond that stuff, so instead get a taste of how far Ontario has come in 8 years.

    First off, you can get Red Racer at basically every LCBO - http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/lcbo/product/details.do?language=EN&itemNumber=256594

    I personally think there's lots of things as good and perhaps better, but that's a whole other discussion.

    For bars/restaurants: Bar Volo, Bellwoods, Bar Hop, C'est What, Beer Bistro are all popular spots. Bunch more I've not been to but hear are great.

    Breweries to try (and/or visit and check out): Bellwoods, Great Lakes, Amsterdam, Muskoka, Flying Monkeys, Beau's, Grand River, Nickel Brook, Wellington, Cameron's...among others. There's some nice Quebec stuff scattered around as well; Dieu Du Ciel, Trou Du Diable. I don't have one or two beers I think everyone should absolutely try, as what gets brewed and sent around bars can be a bit unpredictable.

    Amsterdam just opened a brewpub on the lake, that might be a good option to take your 3 year old.

    But if you really want Creemore and that stuff, you can find it all over the place and it still drinks decent enough these days. The LCBO has a decent enough bottle selection for Ontario stuff, some seasonal imports, and a few odd things from the rest of Canada.

    The Toronto residents can help you out far better, I don't even know where Riverdale is, but the discussion needed to be taken off Mill St and Creemore asap...
  5. peensteen

    peensteen Poo-Bah (1,843) Apr 3, 2010 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Bellwoods is a must IMO....If you go to the brewpub the fried chicken is unreal, but a trip to the bottle shop (next door) is certainly in order. If your driving or have access to a car Great Lakes is worth the trip, lots of one off's in the retail store in the last little while. As far as bars/pubs go Volo, beerbistro and Ces't What are the best in the downtown core good local taps at Ces't What and Volo and beerbistro has a great bottle list and the food is quite good also and is a bit more upscale than volo and ces't what if thats what your looking for. If your at the waterfront Amsterdam is worth a visit, big space and family friendly also in an area full of other stuff to see and do and they have a bottle shop on site as well. I would stay clear of Mill St. though. Red Racer is available in almost any LCBO as well as Creemore for the most part. If your staying in Riverdale there is always The Only on the danforth that has a good draught and bottle options. Hope you enjoy your stay and if you have any other questions just ask.
    yasky and hopsolutely like this.
  6. sublimesipping

    sublimesipping Disciple (332) Mar 13, 2004 Pennsylvania

    Thanks very much, particularly for the link-little confused now , you can buy beer both at the LCBO and the beer store in Ontario? Do I understand that correctly?
    And to ask for some other info- I love IPA so can you guys recommend the best local drinking IPAs at preset, would that include flying monkey? Also, met a guy @ Yuengling brewery who was starting a micro in Orangeville, ON. Did that ever get off the ground?
  7. anchie

    anchie Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2013 Connecticut

    Hi...The Beer stores will have a wider selection of beers and only sells beer. Depending on the type of Beer store, it may be a walk in refrigerated warehouse style store or a store where you order beer at a counter which then comes out on a roller belt at the other end. The LCBO sells only select Beer which is usually displayed on the counters as well as liquors and wines. The prices are more than you would pay for beer in the US, so be aware of that.

    If you are looking for a specific beer then I would recommend going to a beer store because not all LCBOs have the same selection. The LCBOs will have the usual generic beers, but the international and craft beer selection will vary. There are plenty of Beer stores and LCBOs all over Ontario so do not worry. Just Google it and you will find one near you, you can even search on the LCBO website the particular beer you are looking for and of they have it in stock.

    From personal experience, the IPA's in Canada are a lot less hoppy than the ones found in the US. If you are looking for Hoppy beers than go with Flying Monkey Hoptical Illusion, (Flying Monkey love using hops). If you are looking for a lighter beer than go with Amsterdam Boneshaker (Just examples there are plenty more out there). There is a beer called Alexander Keiths IPA which is very light on the hops and more like an ale.

    The only brewery i know of in Orangeville is Hockley Valley Brewery, not sure if this is the one you are interested in.

    If you have any other questions let me know.

    Cheers! Eh:wink:
  8. yasky

    yasky Disciple (370) Dec 21, 2008 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    Im not saying he is wrong because everybodys tastes are different, but much of what anchie is giving you is extremely conservative and safe, which is fine if thats what you want.

    I like hitting Bellwoods and bar hop, with Volo as my 3rd favourite bar in the gta. Bellwoods is doing some amazing things lately. If you're taking bottles back home that arent going to be easily found anywhere else id load up at the bottle shop next door to Bellwoods though selection can vary as they sell put pretty fast. Ive found mill street has gone downhill in the last 5 years.

    For ipas id go with anything bellwoods has on, Amsterdam Boneshaker, flying monkeys smashbomb if its fresh on tap. Nickle Brook has some good ipa as well, while Camerons RyePA is always great. Muskoka Mad Tom is fairly good as well. You might find some of Great Lakes one off ipas around the city as well at some of the better bars. Red racer is in cans at the lcbo, but not the beer store. Hoptical is ok but there are far hoppier offerings if you are on a hop fix. I would just skip Keiths Altogether unless you're looking for no hop profile.

    The beer stores selection for craft beer is minuscule at best. Probably not worth your time unless you want to buy macro beers that you can get in the us for cheaper, or load up on craft beers a half decent lcbo will already have. Some of the imports at the lcbo go for much cheaper than they do in buffalo.
  9. rhudder

    rhudder Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2010 Ontario (Canada)

    If you are in Riverdale, and don't necessarily want to go downtown, I would suggest Castro's for their small tap list but decent Belgian fridge list. The Only is a must with 24 taps, 1 cask, and a really decent beer fridge including rarish barrel aged Beau's, Westy 12, etc. If you go in the day, you can spend next door at their cafe and bring the beer over. Free wifi and patio. I'm biased, it is my local and see kids there all the time. Amsterdam brewery moved their brewery to Leaside which is a short hop from there. Good place to get one offz that may not make it to LCBO.

    Against the grain is probably pedestrian in terms of what you like in beer but it is family friendly, trendy and in Leaside. A small gem if you don't mind New York service is Dangerous Dan's. They have a fine curated list of on tap beers and have always been great with the kids. (7 and 10).

    LCBOs in the area with decent beer selection are the new one at Danforth and Broadview, Queen and Coxwell. The main depot is a short trip on Lakeshore and may be worth it. Often fine odds and sods in their delisted carts.

    Have not dealt much with Leslieville and places change fairly rapidly. A number of new beer and cocktail focused bars have cropped up but I can't vouch for them.

    Bellwoods, Black Oak, Amsterdam and Great Lakes are breweries around TO that may be great to plan a daytrip. If you are looking for unique beers that haven't made best of lists and want to try on the ground floor. I recommend Indie Ale House, 5 Paddles, Kensington and Granite.

    Just my opinion...
  10. rhudder

    rhudder Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2010 Ontario (Canada)

    Didn't address this but go to their tasting pub downtown. The beer is decent and you can pick up bottles and growlers. The Beer Academy. Given every thing you have mentioned, I think this should be high on your list. I've liked everything I have tried their (not loved) but it is a great way to see how Creemore is doing and what they are doing.
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