Recommended Ontario Craft Pubs - The Ontario Craft Beer Guide - Robin LeBlanc, Jordan St. John

The Ontario Craft Beer Guide - Robin LeBlanc, Jordan St. John (2016)

Recommended Ontario Craft Pubs


Griffin Gastropub

Addres9 Chancery Lane, Bracebridge

Phon(705) 646-0438


Run by Curt Dunlop and Jed Corbeil, who are in charge of Toronto’s annual Session craft beer festival, the Griffin features twelve rotating taps, among which Sawdust City is a regular pour.


Rib Eye Jack’s Ale House

Addres4045 Harvester Road, Burlington

Phon(905) 633-9929


Rib Eye Jack’s has a healthy taplist featuring a number of Ontario beers on draught and a bottle list longer than your arm. Macro beers seem to be priced at a premium and require you to order from the “Beginner’s List.” Nice.

Rib Eye Jack’s has recently opened a new location in Mississauga. Located at 6531 Mississauga Road (905-820-6300), it features the same ambience, menu, and beer selection as the original Burlington location.


Beertown Public House

Addres561 Hespeler Road, Unit 1-A, Cambridge

Phon(519) 629-0288


This three-location chain of pubs features a mix of Ontario craft products, imports, and macro beers. The modern decor and eclectic menu of pub food and bistro fare make for a good destination for those new to craft beers or for craft beer drinkers with friends who haven’t made the switch yet.


Iggy’s Pub and Grub

Addres115 Highway 20 E, Fonthill

Phon(905) 892-6667


With its large selection of frequently updated craft beers listed in bright colours on a chalkboard, Iggy’s is a favourite of the brewmaster students from Niagara College. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I’m not sure what would be. The menu focuses on bringing farm-to-table cuisine to a traditional pub menu.


Baker Street Station

Addres76 Baker Street, Guelph

Phon(519) 265-7960


This relatively young pub’s menu features a number of truly interesting fusion items in addition to a series of frequently rotating brewery-dedicated taps. The second-floor balcony patio is a real draw in summer. Try the duck and waffles.

Woolwich Arrow

Addres176 Woolwich Street, Guelph

Phon(519) 836-2875


A legendary Guelph pub, the Wooly is a great place to try beers from the Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo region. It also periodically hosts interesting tap takeovers from out-of-town breweries.


Augusta’s Winking Judge

Addres 25 Augusta Street, Hamilton

Phon(905) 524-5626


The Winking Judge is a holdover from the first wave of microbreweries in Ontario and feels not unlike an English front room. The selection of beers on offer is wholly made up of Ontario craft brews, with the majority coming from Hamilton or nearby.

The Ship

Addres 23 Augusta Street, Hamilton

Phon(905) 526-0792


The Ship features a well-curated thirteen-tap lineup of craft beers and ciders in addition to a limited number of cans. The late-night-eats menu makes it a natural choice for an evening out on the lash in Hamilton.


The Alibi

Addres 293 Princess Street, Kingston

Phon(613) 767-1312


The Alibi is the sister pub of the Brooklyn. By way of contrast, the Alibi has a more relaxed atmosphere, suited to trivia nights. With beers from east and west of Kingston, it might have one of the most diverse tap lineups in the province, geographically speaking. The Alibi also hosts occasional interesting tap takeovers.

The Brooklyn

Addres14 Garrett Street, Kingston


The Brooklyn features a taplist best encapsulated by its motto, “No crap on tap.” It features American selections as well as Ontario craft beers. The pub also functions as a live-music venue and on some nights has a busy dance floor.

Red House

Addres369 King Street E, Kingston

Phon(613) 767-2558


Red House has a small number of craft taps available, but the selection is rock solid. In terms of food, the variety might be best categorized as down-home bistro.


The Bent Elbow

Addres 2880 King Street E, Unit E, Kitchener

Phon(519) 208-0202


The Bent Elbow features thirty-nine taps, the vast majority of which pour Ontario craft beer. While the rest of the selections are from other countries, they’re still really good. The pub menu has a daily burger that changes according to the chef’s whim.


Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium

Addres420 Talbot Street N, London

Phon(519) 601-4447


Featuring a selection of Ontario craft beers and the house’s Beer Lab products, Milos’ is a real favourite in London, and Milos himself is one of the few remaining examples of a real publican.

Morrissey House

Addres359-361 Dundas Street, London

Phon(519) 204-9220


The Morrissey House features seventeen taps of Ontario craft beer and cider. The converted mansion provides an interesting ambience and there is a pleasant patio with a courtyard feel in the summer.

Poacher’s Arms

Addres171 Queens Avenue, London

Phon(519) 432-7888


The Poacher’s Arms is just starting to diversify into craft beer, but provides a number of options both on tap and in bottles.


The Crooked Cue

Addres75 Lakeshore Road E, Mississauga

Phon(905) 271-7665


The Crooked Cue is a great place to play pool and enjoy an Ontario craft beer. The Mississauga location is one of the few places where you can find Old Credit’s beers on tap. Why not enjoy one or two on the patio?


Hungry Brew Hops Public House & Eatery

Addres 211 Main Street S, Newmarket

Phon(905) 235-8277


A destination on Newmarket’s main street, Hungry Brew Hops boasts thirty-two taps, which include a number of Ontario choices along with quality international selections. The impressive beer list and the contemporary menu can be enjoyed in a bar area with a unique rustic, industrial feel. The authors recommend the pork rinds.


The Garrison House

Addres111C Unit 2 Garrison Village Drive, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Phon(905) 468-4000


A gastro-style tavern, the Garrison House has six taps with Ontario beer. The real attraction here is chef David Watt’s menu, which features his take on modern Canadian pub fare, including a fun black lager beer-a-misu for dessert.

The Olde Angel Inn

Addres224 Regent Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Phon(905) 468-3411


Standing since 1789, the main draw of the Olde Angel Inn is the ambience. Its cozy rooms with low ceiling beams make the pub a nice place to enjoy a craft beer and a ploughman’s lunch.

North Bay

The Raven and Republic

Addres246 1st Avenue W, North Bay

Phon(705) 478-6110


The Raven and Republic has sixteen taps focused on local breweries and serves upscale pub food. As well as offering delicious beer and great food, the pub hosts a beer-101 course taught by the owner on the first Wednesday and Thursday of each month. Delicious, but also educational.


Buster Rhino’s Southern BBQ

Addres28 King Street E, Oshawa

Phon(905) 436-6986 ext. 3


Buster Rhino’s features completely legit Southern BBQ, chicken and waffles, an extensive selection of craft beers, and a whisky menu longer than many grade school primers. It now has a second Oshawa location at 30 Taunton Road E, Unit 6 (905-436-6986 ext. 2), as well as one in Whitby at 2001 Thickson Road S (905-436-6986 ext. 1).


Arrow & Loon Pub & Restaurant

Addres99 Fifth Avenue, Ottawa

Phon(613) 237-0448


Originally a part of the Neighbourhood Pub Group, the Arrow and Loon continues to supply Ontario-made beer and local foods to the people of Ottawa. The authors heartily recommend the bison chili.

Brother’s Beer Bistro

Addres366 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa

Phon(613) 695-6300


Located in the ByWard Market, Brother’s features a selection of European beers in addition to the local brewery choices that are exploding onto the Ottawa scene. The cheese and charcuterie boards offer fantastic selections.

Cheshire Cat

Addres2193 Richardson Side Road, Carp

Phon(613) 831-2183


Rising like a phoenix from the ashes (having suffered a catastrophic fire in recent memory) is this Ontario craft beer institution that features continually rotating taps and casks. Absolutely everyone is glad to have it back.

Pub Italia

Addres434½ Preston Street, Ottawa

Phon(613) 232-2326


An Italian restaurant combined with an Irish pub, Pub Italia is a beer bar that provides an excellent selection of craft and imports, and offers customers the opportunity to order them in a 38-ounce “Holy Grail pint,” a Pub Italia exclusive. The can and bottle list is extensive.

Wellington Gastropub

Addres1325 Wellington Street W, Ottawa

Phon(613) 729-1315


One of only three pubs on the list to have begun brewing out of their own location, the Wellington specializes in bistro fare. The brewery is temporarily on hiatus but will rebrand as Stalwart.


Hardrock 42

Addres117 Elm Street, Sudbury

Phon(705) 586-3303


Featuring a wide range of craft beers from both inside and outside Ontario, this gastropub also boasts a selection of poutines and more gourmet burgers than you can shake a patty at.

Laughing Buddha

Addres194 Elgin Street, Sudbury

Phon(705) 673-2112


In addition to a carefully chosen list of Ontario beers in cans and bottles, Laughing Buddha has beer from all over the world. It may be the only pub in the world with a sandwich named after the star of the 1970s Canadian TV series The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.


Bar Hop

Addres391 King Street W, Toronto

Phon(647) 352-7476


Since opening in 2012, Bar Hop has established itself as one of Toronto’s can’t-miss beer destinations. Expect a comprehensive bottle and tap selection along with unique food offerings and a commendable spirits list.

Bar Hop Brewco

Addres137 Peter Street, Toronto

Phon(647) 348-1137


Bar Hop Brewco is Bar Hop’s second location. Taking up two floors, it has over thirty-six beers on tap, exquisite food by chef Mark Cutrara, and its own brewing facility.

Bar Volo

Addres587 Yonge Street, Toronto

Phon(416) 928-0008


A pub that has proved instrumental in pushing the Ontario beer scene out of its complacency, Bar Volo features over thirty taps, as many as six casks at a time, and a selection of bottles it imports under its Keep6 label.


Addres18 King Street E, Toronto

Phon(416) 861-9872


Started by chef Brian Morin and beer writer Stephen Beaumont, beerbistro remains a sundown destination for the Bay Street crowd. While the bottle selection may have lost a step since a change in ownership, the taps are still well-curated and include the house beer from Shillow Beer Company. The Belgian frites are a favourite of the clientele.

Castro’s Lounge

Addres2116E Queen Street E, Toronto

Phon(416) 699-8272


Castro’s Lounge features a selection of Ontario craft beers on tap, from the cask, in bottles, and in cans. The menu is vegetarian and vegan friendly. The decor is of the Communist-Socialist persuasion in this cozy little pub.

The Ceili Cottage

Addres1301 Queen Street E, Toronto

Phon(416) 406-1301


As properly Irish a pub as one can fit into a modified garage, the Ceili features oysters and daily dinner specials in addition to a selection of Ontario beers and a whisky selection worthy of Brendan Behan.

The Craft Brasserie and Grille

Addres107 Atlantic Avenue, Toronto

Phon(416) 535-2337


Catering to the Liberty Village condo crowd, the Craft features over 100 different taps, many of which feature Ontario craft brews. The eclectic menu includes upscale takes on pub classics and interesting bistro fare.

The Loose Moose

Addres146 Front Street W, Toronto

Phon(416) 977-8840


The Loose Moose features something for everyone, with a significant number of craft beers on offer in addition to macro lagers for the sports crowd in downtown Toronto.

Morgan’s on the Danforth

Addres1282 Danforth Avenue, Toronto

Phon(416) 461-3020


Morgan’s has a small but dependable selection of Ontario beers, with rotating taps and an interesting bottle selection. The kitchen boasts chef Anne Sorrenti, who won Chopped Canada in 2015. The authors’ standard recommendation is the Hoisin chicken wings.

The Only Cafe

Addres972 Danforth Avenue, Toronto

Phon(416) 463-7843


The Only’s frequently rotating taps and seventies’ rec room feel make it a comfortable hangout on the Danforth. Bonuses include the spacious patio, seasonal beer festivals, a decent music selection, and the fact that it’s within stumbling distance to Donlands subway station.

The Queen and Beaver Public House

Addres35 Elm Street, Toronto

Phon(647) 347-2712


The Queen and Beaver serves pub fare of the extremely old school. British fare includes an excellent lamb curry, devilled kidneys, and mushrooms and Stilton on toast. A good place to catch Ontario ales on cask.

The Rebel House

Addres1068 Yonge Street, Toronto

Phon(416) 927-0704


A Rosedale institution, the Rebel House isn’t just for the rich folks. Its selection of beers is also quite inclusive. On tap is a well-curated selection from Ontario brewers with bricks-and- mortar facilities. There is also a limited selection of cans. In summer, the patio is an excellent hideaway from the real world.

The Rhino

Addres1249 Queen Street W, Toronto

Phon(416) 535-8089


The Rhino is a Parkdale institution. It features a great selection of Ontario craft beers and ciders on tap in addition to an interesting cellar. The patio is an excellent place to people-watch in summer.

Stout Irish Pub

Addres221 Carlton Street, Toronto

Phon(647) 344-7676


Situated in Cabbagetown, Stout has all the trappings of a traditional Irish pub but a vastly better beer list, made up of both standards and seasonal taps. In summer, the alley patio is a popular spot for a beer in the shade.

Tall Boys

Addres838 Bloor Street W, Toronto

Phon(416) 535-7486


Tall Boys likely features the largest number of Ontario craft beers available in a single location. While the taps rotate periodically, the real attraction here is the vast number of different canned beers, many of which aren’t available anywhere else in the GTA.

Tequila Bookworm

Addres512 Queen Street W, Toronto

Phon(416) 504-2334


Tequila Bookworm is a popular destination for those seeking Ontario-made beer and cider. Its “upshtairs” event space, used to host tap takeovers and allow breweries to show off their new products, is an added attraction and is available for private bookings. A patio on the second floor at the rear is a quiet sanctuary from bustling Queen Street.

Wise Bar

Addres1007 Bloor Street W, Toronto

Phon(416) 519-3139


With a masterfully curated beer list, courtesy of owner Tamara Wise, Wise Bar is a small and relaxed hangout. Along with its impressive drinks menu, Wise Bar also has simple, unpretentious snacks for grazing. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.


Addres609 King Street W, Toronto

Phon(416) 703-7775


Specializing in duck-fat fries and a variety of sausages from different parts of the world, Wvrst is a good place for communal dining and stein hoisting. Their cellaring program will eventually produce interesting results. From the sausage menu, the authors recommend the Boerewors.


Kickoff Sports Bar and Cafe

Addres170 University Avenue W, Waterloo

Phon(519) 888-9699


Supporting a diverse lineup of beer from across the province and across its borders, Kickoff is a laid-back sports bar with great beer. A perfect place to watch the footie and probably also the football.


The Barrel House Draught Co. & Grill

Addres3199 Sandwich Street, Windsor

Phon(519) 977-5334


The Barrel House serves a variety of Ontario beers on tap and is a contender for the hotly contested title of best burger in Windsor.

Rino’s Kitchen & Ale House

Addres131 Elliott Street W, Windsor

Phon(519) 962-8843


Located in a converted one-hundred-year-old house, Rino’s carries only Ontario and Quebec beers, and the menu is dedicated to showcasing Essex County on a farm-to-table basis.

Rock Bottom Bar & Grill

Addres3236 Sandwich Street, Windsor

Phon(519) 258-7553


Rock Bottom has Windsor’s best selection of Ontario beers on tap (thirty-one) and a total lack of pretense. It is the kind of bar in which peanut shells crunch underfoot — a refreshing change in an age of often unnecessary refinements.