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Top Hops: Beer Events Come to a Head

Toronto has always been a beer town but with more craft brewers plying their trade here and new festivals foaming up every month, great beer can be found around every corner.

Dive into this 12-pack of events to get you started, plus additional info to help you explore Toronto’s creative craft beer culture all year round. ShareThis

Ein Prosit to Oktoberfest!

Break out your lederhosen and dirndls and check out these events inspired by traditions started in Munich, Germany over 200 years ago.

Toronto Oktoberfest brings a taste of Munich to the city September 30 and October 1, 2016 as it captures the essence of Bavarian festivities through authentic food, drink and merriment. Experience a genuine Festhalle filled with traditional Bavarian dancers, polka bands, German and European biers and so much more!

Steam Whistle Brewing Oktoberfest takes place at the brewery’s historic Roundhouse location just south of the CN Tower. Enjoy authentic German food, traditional entertainment and German dancers as you hoist your steins of Steam Whistle Pilsner.

Craft Crawl

Craft Crawl, reproduced from Toronto Magazine, is your year-round guide for sampling the amber arts. View the complete online edition of Toronto Magazine or request a free copy: Toronto Magazine and Visitor Guides.

Taste the city in five beers. Here’s where to sample some must-try local brews, plus a step-by-step guide to getting there by TTC or on foot.

Breweries are popping up in neighbourhoods all over the city. And the outfits that started the city’s craft-beer boom are opening newer, bigger hubs, too. Take our crawl to sample the wares in a range of settings, from brewery tours to waterfront views to cozy pubs where rarities and one-offs are always flowing.

Round 1: Bar Hop

391 King Street West, BarHopBar.com.

With 36 ever-changing taps and two casks, this friendly hipster haunt serves up refined pub fare and curates the best beers from Ontario.

TRY: Sample a seasonal brew from Toronto’s Bellwoods, Left Field or Kensington breweries.

From Bar Hop, walk south on Spadina, then go east on Bremner, past the CN Tower, to Steam Whistle Brewing (a 15-minute walk).

Round 2: Steam Whistle Brewing

255 Bremner Boulevard, SteamWhistle.ca.

Housed in a former railway roundhouse, this indie brewer has been perfecting its Pilsner since 2000. Take a brewery tour to see how the barley gets from the sacks to the trademark green bottle. Tours start at $10, scheduled every half-hour daily; reserve online.

TRY: Unfiltered Steam Whistle is Pilsner taken before the full process is completed. It’s a superfresh lager that’s only available at the brewery.

From Steam Whistle, walk east on Bremner, go south on Lower Simcoe Street toward the lake, then walk west on Queens Quay to Amsterdam BrewHouse (a 10-minute walk).

Round 3: Amsterdam BrewHouse

245 Queens Quay West, AmsterdamBrewHouse.com.

Take a seat on a Muskoka chair on the lakefront patio, order a pizza to soak up those suds, and gaze out at the Toronto Islands. This location holds a large brewpub, a small on-site craft brewery and a retail beer store. This fairly new brewpub was opened by Toronto’s original microbrewer. Tours and tastings three times daily on weekends.

TRY: Testify Brett Pale Ale, refreshing and tart, made with a different type of hop every time.

From Amsterdam BrewHouse, take the 509 Harbourfront East streetcar and get off at Union Station. Walk east on Front to C’est What? (a 15-minute ride and walk).

Round 4: C’est What?

67 Front Street East, CestWhat.com.

Serving nothing but craft beers and global pub grub, this cozy subterranean craft-beer hub has been in business for 26 years. It boasts 57 taps from breweries across Ontario and Quebec.

TRY: Venture outside Toronto to try some killer ales from Ontario breweries such as Gravenhurst’s Sawdust City and Collingwood’s Side Launch.

From C’est What? walk half a block east on Front to the LCBO (a five-minute walk).

Quick Stop: LCBO

87 Front Street East, LCBO.com.

This craft beer-rich liquor store is a great place to pick up a few souvenir bottles. Look for T.O.’s Junction Craft Brewing and Great Lakes Brewery selections.

TRY: Venture outside Toronto to try some killer ales from Ontario breweries such as Gravenhurst’s Sawdust City and Collingwood’s Side Launch.

From LCBO, walk east on Front to Parliament, go south on Parliament to Mill Street, then walk east to The Distillery Historic District. Go south on Trinity, then east on Tank House Lane to Mill St. Brew Pub (a 15-minute walk).

Round 5: The Beer Hall at Mill Street Brew Pub

21 Tank House Lane, BeerHall.MillStreetBrewPub.ca.

With two or more taps dedicated to Beer Hall-only brews, this modern take on a German beer hall also boasts one of the best patios and the biggest, juiciest duck wings in the city.

TRY: Hopfenschnaps. The Beer Hall is the only place in Canada that makes its own version of bierschnaps, a traditional German-style dry spirit distilled from beer.

Plan Your Trip with the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission)

The TTC has a trip planner that can show you which route to take: TTC.ca.

Craft Beer Passport

Explore Beer Through Toronto – Explore Toronto Through Beer! This Craft Beer Passport is good for 20 different locations and includes such favourites as Junction Brewery and Snakes and Lattes.

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