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 7 to think about nabbing tickets to.
1. Toronto Craft Brew Cruise (Early June)
This year the Toronto Craft Brew Cruise sets sail on in early June 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 are 15 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 three sample tickets. Additional sample tickets cost $1. Some of the beer on board will be from Junction Craft Brewing, Silly Sir Brewing Company, Wellington Brewery, Long Slice Brewery and Black Oak.
2. 12 Beers of Summer (Early July)
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.
3. Ontario Craft Beer Week (Early to Mid-June)
This province-wide celebration of craft beer involves more than 90 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.
4. Session Craft Beer Festival (Early to Mid-June)
Session Craft Beer Festival kicks off Ontario Craft Beer Week and takes place at Yonge and Dundas Square on a Saturday in early to mid-June. 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 that have participated and in terms of sustenance, there will be several food trucks on site offering up beer-friendly eats.
5. Canada's Wonderland Brew & BBQ Festival (mid-July)
You might associate Canada’s Wonderland with roller coasters and other adrenalin-boosting rides, but what about beer and BBQ? Starting in 2016, Canada’s Wonderland hosted the Brew & BBQ Festival 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.
6. Toronto’s Festival of Beer (End of July)
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 is also be live music. Recent acts have included House of Pain, Big Sugar, Ja Rule, and Public Enemy Radio.
7. Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival (mid-August)
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.