A Guide To Toronto’s East End Breweries
As Toronto’s thirst for craft beer grows, the city’s east end has proved popular for brewmasters looking to make a splash with hoppy IPAs, thick stouts and fruity saisons. From Riverside to Little India, these east end breweries are more than worth the trip from downtown.
Rorschach Brewing Co.
1001 Eastern Ave.; rorschachbrewing.com
Despite its location on an industrial stretch of Eastern Avenue, this neighbourhood brewpub built in a century-old home exudes welcoming charm. People flock to Rorschach for its Truth Serum, an IPA with notes of mango, passionfruit and mandarin, as well as the selection of barrel-aged sours. With a menu of pub favourites, a sunny summertime patio and events like monthly cheese and beer tastings, there’s no shortage of reasons to stop by for a pint.
Left Field Brewery
36 Wagstaff Dr.; leftfieldbrewery.ca
Down a quiet back alley behind the Greenwood streetcar yards, this cozy taproom is one of the east end’s hidden gems. Founded in 2013 by baseball-loving couple Mark and Mandie Murphy, Left Field brews dozens of ales, stouts, porters and saisons, with the addition of specialty beers like Bang-Bang, a dry-hopped sour. Left Field’s creations are available in their bottle shop, and the attached taproom offers flights of new brews, as well as fan favourites.
242 Coxwell Ave.; godspeedbrewery.com
The inspiration behind this warehouse-sized brewery, pub and bottle shop on the edge of Little India is all things Japanese. Owner and head brewer Luc Lafontaine served as head brewer at Montreal’s famed Dieu du Ciel before following his passion to Japan, where he founded his own brewery. At Godspeed, Lafontaine infuses his beer with Japanese flavours like green tea and yuzu, making them the perfect match for dishes like miso rice balls, pork katsu and black sesame-infused tofu.
Black Lab Brewing
818 Eastern Ave.; blacklab.beer
A newer addition to the east end brewery scene, dog-friendly Black Lab Brewing is a favourite of humans and canines alike. Try the latest batch in the Kennel Sour Series (the most recent flavour is rosehip and hibiscus), grab a board game, pull up a seat in the large taproom and enjoy the company of furry friends. Keep an eye out for the brewery’s mascot and inspiration, a black lab named Snoopy.
700 Queen St E; eastboundbeer.com
Beer and food are considered equal at this Queen Street gastropub and brewery, where brunch, lunch and dinner offerings are designed to complement whatever’s on tap. From the Beer Can Chicken Cobb Salad to the Brewer’s Benedict with beer hollandaise, the menu takes full advantage of Eastbound’s brews. The range of APAs, IPAs, witbiers and seasonal specials are worth a trip on their own, whether enjoyed in-house, or to go.
Saulter Street Brewery
1-31 Saulter St.; saulterstreetbrewery.com
The heritage building this Riverside brewery calls home has been many things over the last 120 years, including a horse barn and a munitions depot, but its newest iteration might be the best yet. Saulter Street’s pride is the Riverside Pilsner, a traditional Czech-style beer brewed from locally-sourced small batch malts and aged for 28 days, and they also experiment with seasonal flavours and new varieties.