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beer

Go Team, Go! Toronto’s Top Sports Bars

Root for your favourite players in style as you fuel up, celebrate or unwind at one of these fine establishments.

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Get a front-row seat to the game with the big screen at the Real Sports Bar & Grill.

  1. Open since 1949, Duffy’s Tavern is the longest operating bar in Bloordale and the fifth oldest bar in Toronto. This local favourite has pool and foosball tables, a great selection of craft beers and spirits, and live music nightly. 1238 Bloor St. W., 416-628-0330.
  2. The Contender in Little Portugal is a hip, yet low-key take on the traditional sports bar. Memorabilia like vintage baseball pennants, signed photos and framed jerseys adorn the walls, and the tables might look a little familiar—they’re made of repurposed bowling alley lanes. The ever-changing menu features concession stand-style eats like pretzels, foot-long hotdogs, and nachos, as well as soft serve beer floats for a sweet, boozy treat. 1166 Dundas St. W., 416-792-3513.
  3. At Wayne Gretzky’s Toronto enjoy draft beer, signature cocktails, or vintages from Wayne Gretzky Estates along with an extensive menu. The Great One’s namesake establishment also features daily specials, including a $5 burger with all the fixings on Fridays. 99 Blue Jays Way, 416-348-0099.
  4. The huge space at The Ballroom easily accommodates large groups. In addition to an abundance of TVs and HD projection screens for watching the game, activities include 10-pin bowling, ping pong, pool, bubble hockey, foosball, and an Xbox corner. Try the poutine with numerous options, including lobster, bacon double cheeseburger, and popcorn chicken. 145 John St., 416-597-2695.
  5. The Loose Moose has been a downtown staple since 1989. Show up on game day for the lively atmosphere and more than 65 varieties of beer on tap. 146 Front St. W., 416-977-8840.
  6. Boasting a two-story-high HD TV, Real Sports Bar & Grill, has a prime location adjacent to the Air Canada Centre. Hungry fans can chow down on a wide selection of burgers and wings as they watch the action on one of the 199 television sets. 15 York St., 416-815-7325.
  7. Owned and operated by former NHL goalie Wayne Cowley, The Bottom Line is conveniently located within walking distance of the Hockey Hall of Fame (page TK) and the Air Canada Centre. Drop by for a pre- or post-game drink and tuck into an assortment of pizza, sandwiches, sliders, nachos, and more. 22 Front St. W., 416-362-7585.
  8. A 90-foot-long sports ticker and a 15-foot widescreen means that you’ll never have to ask for the score at The Shark Club Sports Bar Grill located at Yonge-Dundas Square. Two two happy hours (3 to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. to close Sun.-Thurs.) ensure you won’t miss a second of the action. 10 Dundas St. E., 416-506-0753.

Hoppy Holidays

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

By Joelle Kidd

Craft pints are trending, and a new wave of creative brewers have Winnipeg beer lovers rejoicing. For those with visions of ales and hefeweizen dancing in their heads, these four breweries give local flavour to Christmas festivities.

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Photo courtesy Torque Brewing Co

Barnhammer Brewing Co

595 Wall St, barnhammerbrewing.ca

Sip on site: Wed-Thu 3 pm-9 pm, Fri-Sat 12 pm-9 pm, Sun 1 pm-6 pm

BYOB: Barnhammer beers are available on tap at several local restaurants and pubs including Barley Brothers, Blind Tiger, The Common at The Forks, Cornerstone, Yellow Dog Tavern, and Peg Beer Co. Growler filling stations are listed on barnhammerbrewing.ca.

Despite being one of the city’s newest brews, Barnhammer’s geometric logo has already popped up on taps across the city. The brewery itself, housed in a stylish industrial space in the West End of the city, opened Winnipeg’s first taproom in July of this year.

A welcoming room with beer hall-style communal tables, the taproom offers the brewery’s 6 signature beers and 2 experimental flavours, including winter favourites like “Grandpa’s Sweater”—a rich, velvety oatmeal stout—and “Coffee Black”, a strong and malty rye pale ale cut with cold brew coffee from local roaster Dogwood Coffee Co.

Half Pints Brewing Company

550 Roseberry St, 204-832-PINT (7468), halfpintsbrewing.com

Sip on Site: Brewery tours offered most Saturdays. Call for details.

BYOB: Half Pints beer is available at all Winnipeg Liquor Mart locations and on tap at numerous local restaurants and pubs.

A decade ago, Half Pints ushered in the craft beer movement in Winnipeg. The independently-owned brewery has gained national recognition and won multiple awards.

Four flagship beers are offered year round: the biting Little Scrapper IPA, malty and floral St James Pale Ale, nutty Bulldog Amber Ale, and a coffee-infused Stir Stick Stout. The brewery also makes regular forays into seasonal specialties, so look out for offerings like Encyclopedia Brown, a hoppy and malty brown ale set to be on tap at restaurants and Liquor Mart growler bars in November.

Photo courtesy of Peg Beer Co

Photo courtesy of Peg Beer Co

Torque Brewing

830 King Edward St, 204-941-1723, torquebrewing.beer

Sip on Site: At time of print, Torque plans to have a taproom open in early November. Call for details.

BYOB: Find Torque products at all Winnipeg Liquor Mart locations and on tap at Yellow Dog Tavern, The King’s Head PubBarley Brothers, The Grove, and Peg Beer Co.

Torque has been sending out beer since late August of this year, to a warm welcome: the brewery is on track to exceed a goal of putting out 1 million L of beer in its first year, recently purchasing 5 additional brewing tanks to keep up with demand.

A range of four tried-and-true brews please beer drinkers of all stripes: a dark stout with hints of roasted coffee, chocolate, and malts, an aromatic and hoppy IPA, a coriander- and citrus-scented Belgian wheat beer, and a Munich style lager. Construction of a taproom is underway at the brewery, with plans to be open early November for hop heads to try before they buy and sample special seasonal brews. Select styles of beer like Barleywine, Russian Imperial Stouts, and sour beers will be available only at the brewery.

Peg Beer Co

125 Pacific Ave, 204-416-2337, pegbeer.com

Sip on Site: Sun-Thu 11 am-11 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-12 am

BYOB: Peg Beer Co’s brews can be found on tap at Liquor Mart growler bars (call for availability).

Winnipeg’s first brewpub matches craft beer with a rustic menu focused on regional ingredients. Housed inside a former warehouse/skatepark in the east Exchange District, the rustic-industrial space boasts a brewery in the back and tables in the front, where beer connoisseurs can snack on anything from tart house made pickles to full Sunday-dinner style roast chicken or ham.

Four signature beers are now on tap, including a drinkable session ale, a hearty stout, a red ale brewed with rye, and an IPA. Rotating specialty beers branch out from the basics with more complex flavour. Berliner Weisse, a sour white beer, and Saison, a fruity, bottle conditioned variety, are in the works, both having gained growing popularity with beer enthusiasts. For those wanting a peek behind the scenes, the brewery is open for free tours every Monday at 7 pm and 8 pm.

Don your Lederhosen: Oktoberfest Celebrations

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Watch Bavarian-style dancers at Octoberfest Toronto. Photo by Tom Pandi.

Since the first festival more than 200 years ago, Oktoberfest has become a popular celebration worldwide—and Toronto is no exception. Get your Bavarian fun fix at these three events.

  1. September 30 to October 1 For two days, Oktoberfest Toronto transforms the grounds of Ontario Place into a Munich-style party featuring folk dancers, non-stop polka music, plenty of food, and a selection of German and European beers. Visit torontooktoberfest.ca for more details. Festivities include a tapping of the keg party and an “Ein Prosit” party for the over 19 crowd. All ages will enjoy Saturday’s Volksfest Carnival, which features games, hat-decorating, rides, and contests.
  1. September 30 to October 9 With traditional beer hall decor, a keg-tapping ceremony, and “oom-pah-pah” bands, the party at Amsterdam BrewHouse strives to be as the close to the real thing as you can get outside of Deutschland. Enjoy your favourite sausages and soft pretzels, as well as a special beer brewed on site and served in one-litre steins. Make sure you show up early, as tickets are limited, and most of the seating is first-come first-serve.
  1. For a modern take on the German beer hall experience year-round, visit WVRST. There’s a wide selection of sausages—try the likes of bison, kangaroo and duck—paired with an even wider selection of local craft beers and ciders. —Karen Stevens

 

Hot Dining: Now Open

Peg Beer Co. photo by David Wakeman

Peg Beer Co. photo by David Wakeman

Peg Beer Co., the latest venture from Nicole Barry, former CEO of local Half Pints Brewing Company, has opened its doors in the Exchange District. A one-time warehouse turned skatepark is now home to this convivial brewpub, where craft beer is joined by family-style feasts. Chef Aron Epp’s menu takes inspiration from the earthy, farm staples of past generations with shareable spreads and ingredients pulled from Manitoba soil. 125 Pacific Ave, 204‑416‑2337.

Saperavi is the first Georgian restaurant to open on the prairies. The bright 2nd floor space serves Caucasus specialties like khinkali, a spiced meat filled dumpling, and shashlik, meat grilled on skewers. 709 Corydon Ave, 204‑416‑3996

Unique Finds at Banff & Lake Louise Shops

Feb. 16, 2016
By Ashley Materi & Olivia Grecu

Banff’s shopping scene goes beyond generic gift shop finds. Pick up something unique this season!

Shopping

Love for Local
Owner Gary Schultz stocks Banff Provisions with local and regional goods. Shop for coffee beans from Banff Roasting Co. and Canmore’s Rave Coffee. From BC’s Okanagan Valley, find fruit snacks and preserves, and Taste of Okanagan bacon ketchup. Try Kootenay Bayou hot sauce if you want a kick!

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4 Favourite Banff Restaurants

By Where Staff

Photo: Elk & Oarsman

Photo: Elk & Oarsman

Spirit of Banff

Park Distillery is arguably the most original new Banff restaurant to open, ever! Joining the exclusive ranks of few such establishments in Canada, vodka and gin (and soon whiskey) are produced in-house. After a free tour of the distillery, sample their spirits straight, in an exotic cocktail or incorporated into the wood-fired cuisine of chef Liz Gagnon’s food menu. While at it, drink in the backcountry alpine hut décor.

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Canmore Uncorked Ravenrock Craft Beer Festival

The Stewart Creek Golf Club was bustling with beer lovers at the Canmore Uncorked Ravenrock Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, April 11. With over 15 vendors and double the beer selection (as well as ciders, meads and more), the variety in product was impressive, not to mention delicious.

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3 Places to get Great Food & Beer in Canmore

Photo: Courtesy of The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

Photo: Courtesy of The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

By Where Staff

Canmore has a great dining scene. Check out three of our favourites below and keep an eye on our dining blog through April for extensive coverage of the Canmore Uncorked food festival!

Brewery Tour with Benefits

Grizzly Paw Brewing Company beers have a solid local following. See why during Friday to Sunday tours of their 20,000-square foot Canmore microbrewery. Learn how hops, malt, mash, wort and tun become your favourite beer, and sample their tasty regular and seasonal brews.

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From Tool Shed to Tap: Meet Calgary’s Newest Brewers

By ADELE BRUNNHOFER

“Calgary wants more craft beer,” says Graham Sherman, co-owner of Tool Shed Brewing Company, the city’s newest craft beer producer. Though the city is home to few brewers, the proliferation of its beer halls and the diverse, international flavour of their menus supports his claim. The city’s thirst for beer is a natural match for its well-known entrepreneurial streak. Sherman and business partner Jeff Orr have suitably transformed their onetime backyard project into a refreshing new beer business. (more…)

Hot Dining: Vancouver’s Portland Craft Celebrates Oregon Beer

Braised pork belly with roasted shallots and crispy baby potatoes. Photo by KK Law

In a twist from more BC-inclined locales, Portland Craft unabashedly celebrates Oregon’s brewing scene, which kick-started the craft beer revival. Drop by this friendly Mount Pleasant room for stalwarts such as Deschutes, Pyramid, Rogue, Hopworks and more, all properly poured and easily paired with a daily pizza, house-built burger or perfectly crunchy pork belly slices with fingerling potatoes. Also not to be missed: the stout chocolate lava cake.—Tim Pawsey

Hot Dates: Cornucopia, Whistler’s Celebration of Wine and Food

Cornucopia photo by Mike Crane courtesy Tourism Whistler

November 7 to 11

More than 6,500 foodies and oenophiles follow their taste buds to Whistler for Cornucopia, the annual food and wine extravaganza in the town best known for skiing and snowboarding. In addition to palate-pleasing tastings, luncheons and winemakers’ dinners, the deliciously long weekend offers hands-on seminars, extravagant galas and over-the-top parties. New this year is a cocktail competition, in which bartenders have just 15 minutes to create a unique concoction. Also new is a night market that focuses on pairing Asian cuisine with wines, beers and spirits. If you intend to fully indulge (and really, why wouldn’t you?), then loose, comfortable clothing is a good idea. Bon appétit!—Sheri Radford

Hot Dining: Local Beer and Wine at Olympic Village’s Tap & Barrel

Wine kegs and beer taps at Tap & Barrel. Photo by KK Law

The games may be long gone but False Creek’s Olympic Village has been re-energized by the arrival of Tap & Barrel, a pub-style, two-tier emporium that dispenses 24 BC beers and 14 wines on tap. Owner Daniel Frankel says the wines are as fresh as when they leave the winery and more environmentally friendly than bottled ones—and we agree! Go for AAA Alberta beef burgers, baked pretzels, made-to-order wood-stone-fired pizzas (including a version with roasted pork belly and soft-poached eggs), “drunken” mussels, or even “sticky” yam fries with Marshmallow Fluff.—Tim Pawsey