Nothing says summer like sitting on a patio and sipping a cold brew. If your thirst for variety extends beyond the six-pack of Bud Light sitting at the bottom of your fridge, you're in luck. Toronto's thriving craft beer scene means there are plenty of places in town where you can enjoy suds in the sun. Here are our five favourites; add your own in the comments below.
Amsterdam Brew House (245 Queens Quay W, amsterdambrewhouse.com)
Have a large group? Amsterdam Brew House is massive and can accommodate up to 350 people, making it one of the largest patios in the city. The waterfront restaurant, which opened last year, offers three different outdoor seating options, depending on your noise level tolerance and how close you want to sit to the lake. Sit back and enjoy your favourite brew from Toronto's oldest craft brewer, or try one of their small-batch, limited time experiments.
Mill Street Beer Hall (21 Tank House Ln, beerhall.millstreetbrewpub.ca)
Speaking of patios that can accommodate large groups, Toronto's biggest craft brewer offers an enormous outdoor patio in the historic Distillery, overlooking one of the district's most popular laneways. There's also a patio in the back. They're currently participating in Summerlicious, which means you can get a 3-course prix fixe lunch for $15 or dinner for $25.
Bar Volo (587 Yonge St, barvolo.com)
If you're downtown and looking for a wide selection of craft beer, you can't go wrong with Bar Volo. They operate their own nano-brewery, as well as offer 30 rotating regional craft beers on tap, six on cask, and a selection of over 75 international varieties in bottles. Their vine-covered patio is situated right off Yonge St., making it the perfect people watching destination on a warm summer night.
Big Crow (176 Dupont St, roseandsonsbigcrow.com)
This all-year patio, which is located behind Rose & Sons, was inspired by Algonquin park, canoe trips and cooking over a campfire, which explains the rustic decor and open-air grilling. But it's their small but impressive list of craft beers on draught and in bottles that keeps us coming back for more. From Kensington Brewing Company's FishEYE-PA to Hogtown Brewers Kolch ale, you're sure to find a local brew to wash down Big Crow's delicious ribs.
The Granite (245 Eglinton Ave East, granitebrewery.ca)
An oldie but a goodie, The Granite has been our go-to summer beer destination for years, thanks to its secluded back patio, which is surrounded by trees and overlooks a garden. The food selection is more upscale than most pubs, while still being surprisingly reasonable price-wise. Try one of their seasonal brews, like the malty Summer Ale or the Honey Daze wheat beer. There's also a small patio in front.
Honourable Mentions: Bellwoods Brewery, Bier Markt, The Rhino, Allen's, Betty's