Because it's too damned hot outside.
As a beer writer, I’m often expected to write stories that encourage readers to take advantage of the summer, go out, and support our fine local establishments. I could write about the top 10 patios to visit to beat the heat, or a listicle of bars with good A/C.
But frankly, even with the chance of rain, it’s too damned hot outside, and I want to do nothing more than stay at home, crank the air conditioning to its highest possible level, and watch the world melt away. Forget what every lifestyle magazine is telling you: weekends don’t always have to be packed with patio outings and drinks in the sun.
That said, there’s no reason you shouldn’t watch the world burn without a fine beer to enliven the senses and cool you down—something a bit more on the local side of things.
Here are a few notable local breweries within walking distance from the TTC line that have bottle shops. This way, you can take their beer home with you and avoid spending any more time outside than you need to.
Left Field Brewery
36 Wagstaff Drive
The baseball-themed brewery on Wagstaff is no stranger to Toronto beer lovers and is known as much for its high-quality beers as it is for being a reliable local beer destination to catch the game. While its core beers are, of course, available, the beer to really get your hands on to beat the heat is the Grandstand Hoppy Wheat. Expect intense notes of pineapple and melon with a slightly bitter, citrus finish.
1184 Bloor Street West
Burdock, located just minutes from Dufferin Station, has long been regarded by the beer hipster elite as a favourite destination. The reputation of its beer is almost entirely due to the creative talents of brewer Siobhan McPherson. Of the beers available in its bottle shop, the one I most often find myself craving in the warm summer months is the West Coast Pilsner, one of the best examples of a decently hopped pilsner in the city. Beautiful notes of lemon and pine are prevalent throughout the aroma and taste, ending in a crisp, somewhat bitter finish. Pro tip: Eyesore Cinema’s new location is across the street from Burdock, in case you want some entertainment for your staycation.
928 College Street
Folly and Burdock are so close to each other that it would be a crime not to visit both to get your fill of bottles. If there’s one place that is guaranteed to tempt you to stay a while, Folly—with its delicious new food menu, incredible selection of in-house beers, and the largest spirits collection in the city—will definitely make it difficult for you to not to pull up a chair and look at the menu. If you somehow find the strength of will to just pick up something from the bottle shop, I suggest my personal favourite: the Flemish Cap Old World Saison, a fine example of what a good yeast (in this case from Guelph’s Escarpment Labs) does to simple ingredients. Expect notes of lemon with a slight hint of apple in a crisp mouthfeel and a fading, somewhat dry finish—just perfect for a hot summer day.
247 Wallace Avenue
Located directly across the street from Ubisoft Toronto and a short walk from Lansdowne station, Halo Brewery is one of the most promising new breweries in the city. Its bottle shop is always well stocked, with new beers appearing almost every week. The latest is New Wave, an IPA that is sure to hit all the right spots if you’re looking for a juicy beer with hints of blueberry and citrus. Sipping it you wouldn’t even know that it was 7% ABV.