What goes better together than hot days and cold beer? Not much (assuming you like beer). And if you do, spring and summer are a great time to enjoy old favorites and discover new beers that may not have been on your radar thanks to the city’s plethora of beer-related events. Whether you want to learn more about craft beer, sample some beers you’ve never tasted, or simply want to enjoy a few beers with friends on a warm day there’s an event to suit your beer-drinking tastes this spring and summer in Toronto.
Here are 10 to think about nabbing tickets to.
1. Toronto Craft Brew Cruise (June 4)
This year the Toronto Craft Brew Cruise sets sail on June 4 with two sailings: one at 2 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. Each three-hour tour around Toronto’s harbourfront aboard the River Gambler is a celebration of craft beer in the city – on the water. There will be 14 craft breweries represented along with one cider company meaning there are lots of chances to try some new brews. The $45 ticket gets you on board plus a commemorative mug and four sample tickets. Additional sample tickets cost $1. Some of the beer on board will be from Junction Craft Brewing, Side Launch Brewing Company, Wellington Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery and Beau’s.
2. Ontario Craft Beer Week (June 10-19)
This province-wide celebration of craft beer involves 70 craft brewers producing hundreds of events all across Ontario, many of which will be in Toronto. The goal of Ontario Craft Beer Week is to introduce Ontarians to craft beer, learn about it and get to know the people making the beer. Events will include brewery tours, pub crawls, beer tastings with food pairings led by experts and tasting festivals.
3. Sessions Craft Beer Festival (June 11)
Sessions Craft Beer Festival kicks off Ontario Craft Beer Week and takes place at Yonge and Dundas Square on June 11. Make your way to the fest for the chance to sample over 100 different beers, eat some delicious food and listen to live music. Breweries like Longslice, 3 Brewers, Big Rig, Nickle Brook and Amsterdam are just a few breweries you can expect and in terms of sustenance, there will be several food trucks on site offering up beer-friendly eats.
5. Beach, BBQ & Brews Festival (June 17-19)
Head to Woodbine Park on Father’s Day weekend to enjoy three of the best things about summer: beach, BBQ, and beer. The annual event will feature live music, an area just for kids with rides, BBQ competitions, grilling demonstrations, craft vendors, food and beverage vendors and most importantly – craft beer to sample. Oh, and entry is totally free.
6. Canada's Wonderland Brew & BBQ Festival (June 25-26)
You might associate Canada’s Wonderland with roller coasters and other adrenalin-boosting rides, but what about beer and BBQ? New for 2016, Canada’s Wonderland will be hosting the Brew & BBQ Festival June 25 and 26 in the Action Zone. Entrance is free with park admission so once you’re done with rides, head over to enjoy craft beer from local breweries and everything BBQ-related, from various sauces to ribs and more.
7. Summer Craft Beer Fest (July 14)
The cobblestone galleria of the Liberty Market Building and its surroundings in Liberty Village will be host to Summer Craft Beer Fest on July 14 from 5 to 10 p.m. The pay-as-you-go event puts you in sipping distance of a whole host of ice cold craft beers as well as food vendors. There will also be special offers from Liberty Market Building vendors in case you feel like doing some shopping while you stroll and sample beer. Big Rock Brewery will be there, as will Brickworks Cider House, Henderson Brewing Company, Mill Street, Amsterdam and Wellington among others.
8. Toronto’s Festival of Beer July 22-24)
One of Toronto’s biggest summer beer events, Toronto’s Festival of Beer, is back once again at Bandshell Park at Exhibition Place. This is the place to go for a huge array of beers being served up in the sun as well as lots of food vendors of all kinds serving up a variety of dishes to help keep you going. The fest will feature beer from over 300 brands from around the world so you’re sure to discover something new. There will also be live music courtesy of House of Pain (July 22), Big Sugar (July 23) and The Temperance Movement (July 24).
9. 12 Beers of Summer (July 29)
Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel will be hosting the 12 Beers of Summer July 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. Breweries have yet to be announced but keep an eye on the Gladstone event page closer to to the date. The beer-focused fun will also include live music, DJs and after 9:30 you can show off your singing chops with some karaoke. This one sells out quickly.
10. Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival (August 13-14)
The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival combines Ontario craft beers with some of Toronto’s best food trucks for two afternoons of laid-back eating and drinking. The fest takes place in Roundhouse Park and gives beer fans a chance to learn more about some the province’s best craft breweries. Some of these include All or Nothing Brewing, Steam Whistle, Flying Monkeys, High Park Brewery, Big Rig Brewery and Brimstone Brewing Company just to name a few. As for food, soak up the suds courtesy of Junked Food Co., Sugar Mamma’s (mini doughnuts), Canuck Pizza Truck, Chimney Stax and more.