Toronto is lousy with craft microbreweries, but not all of them double as pubs. We narrowed down the list to the top five brewpubs in the city.
Junction Craft Brewing | 90 Cawthra Ave
Junction Craft Brewing is tucked away from its namesake’s main thoroughfares, and its loyal patrons are perfectly content with its industrial surroundings. In fact, they can get understandably protective over its status as a somewhat well kept secret. Aside from some of its proudly displayed railway décor, the long-and-narrow space is fairly utilitarian: a few long tables line a wall opposite some brewing equipment, all leading to a bar that will serve you a pint (or a growler to go) of their signature Conductor’s Craft Ale or whatever arrivals board special suits your fancy.
Indie Alehouse | 2876 Dundas St. W
Before Junction Craft Brewing, the Indie Alehouse’s arrival to the Junction marked a milestone in beer production for the city: from 1904 until 1998, the Junction was dry. Prohibition was lifted to reanimate area business and social standing, so it’s worth noting this establishment is a far cry from the watering holes that littered the area’s corners prior prohibition. The exposed brick interior, punched-tin ceiling, marble bar décor and fancier pub fare like the stout-braised shortrib burger and the BBQ duck pizza make this an upscale pub. Ten taps pour one offs, rare releases, and collaborations alongside mainstays like the Broken Hipster and the Instigator, and if you can’t make up your mind, you can order a sampler flight of five of them.
Bellwoods Brewery | 124 Ossington Ave
When Bellwoods Brewery moved into its space at Ossington and Argyle, they kept the all-white-everything gallery aesthetic left by former tenant the Meta Gallery and the garage door left by the autoshop before that. The blank interior makes a good canvas for the eclectic posters proudly displaying label designs provided by Doublenaut; the garage door extends the restaurant space into a patio in the warmer months. They’ve spent the past year experimenting and revisiting existing recipes (no doubt bracing themselves for the second location expansion they announced last year), so amongst 16 original recipes available on tap and in reserve bottles, they currently offer two versions of their Jutsu APA.
Duggan’s Brewery Parkdale | 1346 Queen St. W
One half of the Ontario Beer Company braintrust, Mill Street Brewery founder (and former president/brewmaster) Michael Duggan focuses on fully Ontario-sourced beer with his namesake brew. Originally based at Richmond and Victoria, the brand spent three years without a flagship brewpub after failing to pay rent in 2011 (they brewed exclusively out of Etobicoke’s Cool Beer Brewing Co. throughout the interim), but returned with a new brewpub in Parkdale in 2014, where they brew and sell their signature No. 9 IPA alongside small batches of specialty beer only sold in house. Paired with chef Rene Chauvin, Duggan’s also extends the OBC’s localist philosophy to a kitchen preparing locally-sourced comfort foods like stout-glazed bacon and sweet potato curry.
Granite Brewery & Restaurant | 245 Eglinton Ave. E
This classic English-inspired brewpub serving Mount Pleasant would rather take comfort in tradition than tart it up their craft status with words like “hip” and “scene.” Counting English-style brews like their Best Bitter and IPA amongst menu items like beer-battered fish and chips and an environment brought to life with a wood-panelled bar, wallpapered interior, a fireplace, and hardcovers lining built-in bookshelves, you can count on Granite for an experience that’s warm and cozy before it is bold.