With so much on offer in Toronto, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, in the beer scene there are a ton of tours on tap that will introduce you to not only locally-made brews, but also to the history and culture behind the city’s distinct and distinguished breweries.
From some longstanding originals to up-and-coming stars, here are some of the best brewery tours in Toronto that are sure to wet your whistle.
Steam Whistle Brewing
Looking for Canada’s premium pilsner? Then this tried-and-true brewery is for you. Steam Whistle Brewing does one thing and one thing only — that delicious pilsner — meaning that they truly focus on quality and craftsmanship. At their facility, you can tour and taste every day of the week while learning about the state-of-the-art sustainable building and the history behind the Steam Whistle craft. Be sure to reserve online Monday to Thursday or take a gamble on first-come-first tours from Friday to Sunday.
We know, it’s not quite beer, but Izumi Sake is definitely worth checking out. Located in the quaint Distillery District, this is North America’s first sake brewery. Armed with traditional Japanese methods, this local gem will introduce you to the freshest sake you’ve ever sipped. Tours will give you insight into the sake-making process before treating you to a tasting of four sake varieties. Plan in advance as tours are only available on weekends.
Great Lakes Brewery
Twenty minutes from Downtown Toronto, in Etobicoke, you’ll find Great Lakes Brewery. This place has been around since 1987 and their beers definitely showcase the craftsmanship and skill of those 30 years of experience. From unique seasonals and premium lagers to everything in between, this tour includes five samples with a “beer geek” as your guide. Who better to walk you through all things beer-related?
Right on the waterfront, Amsterdam Brewery serves up scenery alongside its fine beers. This two-storey brewhouse is massive and is the perfect place to chill or watch a game after your 30-minute tour. Though tours are only available on Saturdays, they do include a free tasting, which is always a bonus. If you’re not able to make it to a tour, this place is still a must-visit for both their beer selection and delicious food.
Mill Street Brewery
An oldie, but a goodie, Mill Street Brewery boasts a vibrant Toronto location. Tours are offered daily giving you insight into their tried-and-true methods. Plus, they’re capped off with a beer flight allowing you to really experience and understand the flavors of their brews. Though beer is the focus (obviously), we definitely recommend trying their bierschnaps. And for the designated drivers or non-drinkers who are along for the ride, there’s something for you too! Grab a souvenir glass and bottle opener for all your fanciest soda pops.
Old Toronto Beer Tour
Have a full day to explore and really want to dive into the beer world? See a bunch of breweries at once! The Old Toronto Beer Tour is an all-day affair that will take you through the history of the sudsy stuff in the area. Offered on Saturdays, you’ll be treated to brewery tours, sightseeing, lunch, transportation, and of course, a friendly guide. If you’re feeling particularly extravagant, tack on a four-course Beer Dinner to round out your day.
Armed with all this beer info, we think it’s only right to pick your pleasure and say bottoms up!