A brewery revolution has seen an inundation of microbreweries, brewpubs and tap rooms to Toronto's east end, and surely 2017 will go down as the year this neck of the woods rightly earned its place on the city's beer map.
With Godspeed Brewery, Eastbound Brewing Co., Saulter Street Brewery and Rorschach Brewing Co. bubbling up in the last year alone, you don't have to wander far to find fresh suds. Here are some of the best breweries in Toronto's east end neighbourhoods.
LEFT FIELD BREWERY
Know that feeling you get on opening day, after a walk-off home run or a suspenseful no-hitter? That’s exactly Left Field feels about beer... or so their story goes. Started as a home brewing business back in 2013, husband-and-wife owners Mark and Mandie Murphy hit a grand slam executing perfectly on the baseball theme. Now they've got a diverse roster of beers — from IPAs to lagers and rotating seasonal — worth cheering for and a brewery that's ground zero during Jays games.
36 Wagstaff Dr.
RADICAL ROAD BREWING CO.
This Queen East nano-brewery has developed a following for its rotating tap selection of signature beers only matched with the perfect pairing of chef Kyle McClure’s menu of highly elevated dishes such as cold-smoked roasted half chicken and gnocchi with wild mushroom ragout. Its Slingshot California Common and Yuzu Pale Ale are Radical Road's standouts, and now pour out of other taps across the city. You can also grab and go with its on-site bottle shop.
1177 Queen St. E
Luc “Bim” Lafontaine, the former head brewer at Quebec's famed Dieu du Ciel!, transformed a former dollar store into a 6,000 square foot space of airy minimalism. With a 23-hectolitre brewing system, there's seating for 140 including the patio and taproom, and a kitchen that turns out plates of Japanese comfort food. Godspeed's retail shop is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., selling cans of its IPA, an India Pale lager and the recently released Yuzu, a saison with Japanese citrus, to name a few.
242 Coxwell Ave.
MUDDY YORK BREWING CO.
Deep in East York you'll find this low-key small-batch brewery conceived by co-owners Jeff Manol and Susan Michalek. The taproom’s main attraction is an 11-foot-high tap tower, made from mid-century hydraulic pipes with 12 taps from which a rotating roster of beers flow. Fan favourites Gaslight Helles Lager and Storm Glass IPA pour alongside seasonals like Haberdasher Hefeweizen and Brick Maker Common.
22 Cranfield Rd.
LOUIS CIFER BREW WORKS
The Devil is in the details of the name at this massive Danforth brewpub with 230 seats and 26 taps divided between house brews, seasonals and one-offs, and Ontario craft heavyweights such as Great Lakes, Side Launch, Cameron’s. Toeing the line between innovative and sacrilegious, there's a menu of beer-cocktail hybrids or "hoptails" as they call it. Louis Cifer also offers beer to go in 32 oz. howlers and 64 oz. growlers.
417 Danforth Ave.
RORSCHACH BREWING CO.
Three friends took over the former Le Papillon on the Park space on Eastern Avenue, turning the century-old mansion into a huge brewery and sprawling restaurant with a 100-seat rooftop patio and a retail store. The rotating batch of 16 beers brewed in house ranges from Belgian pale ales to bold sours and double IPAs. Tapas and sharing snacks line the menu, and brunch service runs on the weekends. Can't make it down? Rorschach will bring beer to you for a $6 delivery fee on $30 minimums.
1001 Eastern Ave.
EASTBOUND BREWING CO.
Before it was a brewery it was a furniture shop, and long before that it was the Teck Theatre at Queen and Broadview. These days Eastbound Brewing, a joint effort between Dave Lee (Mill Street) and his wife, chef Tara Lee (Cowbell, Bar Hop Brewco), is an 80-seat beer hall dishing snacks and mains a notch above the standard pub fare. Snag a seat facing the open kitchen or plant yourself directly in front of the tanks — the choice is yours.
700 Queen St. E
SAULTER STREET BREWERY
Off the beaten path south of Queen East, Saulter Street Brewery can be found on the street of the same name. Riverside Pilsner, a hopped version of a classic Czech-style pilsner, is the flagship beer from founder John Sterling and brewer Peter Kufeldt. Saulter Street includes a 20-hectolitre brewhouse, 40-seat tap room and retail store with growlers and 473ml cans to take away.
1-31 Saulter St.
While it doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar location, Danforth Brewery shares its namesake with a famous Toronto neighbourhood. This contract brewery was founded by local resident Ed Carter and the flagship Viaduct IPA, a West Coast citrus-hopped beer that pays tribute to the iconic Prince Edward Viaduct, is served at more than 40 establishments across the city.