Trip to Canada (26.07 - 09.08.19)

Hello / bonjour!

As it happens I will do my first ever over Atlantic flight. My plan is yet not fully formed, but rough plans are better than no plans. I will travel around “a bit” by your standards, a lot by mine.

My plan is:
26 - 29 - Toronto, there is some beer festival going on there. Mainly macros, but might pay visit there 'cause 100ml adjunct lager is better than 1L adjunct lager. Pub crawl, mainly breweries and brewpubs. Recommendations are welcome.
29 - 31 - (overnight) train to Montreal, brewpub crawl and points of interest if there is any. Recommendations?
1 - 2 - Quebec City, brewpub crawl and points of interest. Recommendations?
3rd - there is Down East Beer Festival in Fredericton, New Brunscwick. Trying to visit that.
4 - 7 - will travel around islands (maybe Prince Edward, but will end in Halifax Nova Scotia, from where we take plane back to Toronto.
7 - 9 - Toronto, points of interest and beer.

What I’m looking for:
Canadian state ticks which I’m still missing (any good shops to peek into?)
Country ticks which I’m still missing (any good shops to peek into?)
Brewery ticks (I think that will happen anyway)
Legendary brews (absolute Canadian classics which are must try (Molson Canadian ohh yeah baby!). I really don’t mind malt liquers and/ or ice ciders from other end.
Must have Canadian cuisine - boiled eggs with maple syrup, maple syrup with maple syrup maple syrup on top, but what else? Different regions might have different foods, I wanna try em all. Don’t be shy 'cause in Estonia I would recommend you to drink kama and eat sült! Meat is my vegetable!
Sport season is unfortunately over so no NHL matches and since MSL sucks I might skip that.
Traveling in cities and between cities. Any recommendations of cheaper tickets or the common European logic works here as well (book early get cheaper)?
If anyone wants to meet up, show us around or even offer a shelter I’m one big ear! I’m traveling around with my girlfriend so that you know.
If anyone wants beer trade then let me know. Traveling with extra baggage and can bring stuff over, no problemos.
If I forgot or missed something, point it out.


Welcome to Canada. Although not longer an expert on that coast, if you don’t get any feedback closer to the date feel free to message me and I will get you the help you need.

I think I have only been to the Toronto beer festival once in the last ten years when I got free tickets. It’s more of a party atmosphere than a beer geek atmosphere. Saturday night will likely be crazy. Last year they had some beers from across the country which is unusual so that might be cool. Otherwise if you just want to tick new beers it’s an expensive admission vs just bar hopping around town. Check the website to see if there is enough that interests you to be worth your while.

Toronto Bars: Birrerria Volo, Bar Hop (King St. and Peter St. locations are walking distance from each other), C’est What doesn’t necessarily get a ton of love but as a visitor it’s a great change for some ticks. All of those do samplers/flights.

Toronto Brewpubs and Breweries: Bellwoods, Indie Alehouse, Godspeed, Left Field are amongst my favorites personally. Lots of other good ones that I would tend to prioritize by neighbourhood. (e.g. there are clumps of breweries near each other.) A bit out from downtown is Rainhard, Shacklands, Junction, and Indie near each other for example.

Food: Get some poutine in Quebec. There is a place called Poutineville near Hopfenstark that I quite like but others will likely say there are better options. Go to The St. Lawrence Market for a peameal bacon sandwich (It’s near C’est What). “beaver tails” and “Tim Bits” are stereotypical desserts but are just variations on fried dough / doughnuts really. Maple candies are probably easier to find in Quebec.

Trains: Booking ahead is the best option with Via Rail and would be my preferred options.

In Ontario the best beers are often seasonal (IMHO) so your mileage may vary in terms of availability. In Quebec I’d say St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout and Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel are must tries.

i was in Quebec City recently so check my place ratings for my comments.

Check for listings of what’s available at the government liquor stores. You might find some new countries for you. Best store is likely Summerhill in terms of selection and access via subway. Also - fewer single bottles/cans available there.

Shoot me a message if you want to meet up. I can send you my google maps too if you like.

If you remind me closer to July I can try and bring you some beer from Newfoundland. You may or may not be able to find that in New Brunswick or NS. Not sure.

Thank you very much for all the info. Ohh why did I think that beaver tail means actual (smoked/grilled) beaver tail… but it’s a pastry of some sort. Ohh well bread with another name :slight_smile:

What’s the story with all (read most) of the beers being sold in multi-packs?

Long story… The Beer Store is historically owned by big brewers (Molson, Labatt, Sleeman) and tends to mostly sell 6 packs and cases of 12/24 (that’s changing a bit recently though). The LCBO has lots of single cans and bottles but selection varies widely depending which store you go to. Most breweries sell singles as well.

No it doesn’t :cry: though, the football is definitely better than the brand-new Canadian Premier League. That said, it could be really interesting to go to a match in the inaugural season of Canada’s very first domestic professional league! There are a couple of teams somewhat close to Toronto, plus there is one in Halifax.

Had to re-plan most of the trip 'cause I underestimated so many things. First of all I underestimated that getting from Quebec to east is problem. It wouldn’t be if I had a) unlimited time b) willing to spend most of my vacation in waiting for transport or be in a transport. Secondly, coming from country where it takes 4-5h from 1 corner to another (excluding islands) Canada is big ass huge!
So my new dates are:
26.07 - 30.07 - Toronto;
30.07 - 03.08 - Montreal;
03.08 - 08.08 - Quebec;
08.08 - 09.08 - Toronto;

More free time in each place, more time to see surroundings properly.

Is Canada more of cash country or card?

Depends where you are and what you are doing but most places take cards.

We use cards here, cards (almost) everywhere :stuck_out_tongue:

cards better than cash

I’ve been to Toronto the last 2 years in July. Last year the highlights for me were Bellwoods again, great beers, especially the fruited sours, the raspberry was fantastic,, they do single take always also, which I put in the case, the food is also great. Other highlight was Godspeed, a walk away from Leftfield, so you can combine the visits, the beers here were great, good food, they also had Hill Farmstead beers on tap in addition to their own lovely beers. C’est What is fun, worth a visit, same re the Bar Hops, which can be a little pricy for the smaller measures, I was at a work conference so all the beers were on expenses :wink: bring back cans of Collective Arts from the LCBO. Toronto is easy to navigate and plenty to keep you busy beer wise, have fun

In Montreal, the best Brewpubs IMO are Harricana (which also have good food) and Isle de Garde (limited menu). Vices & Versa is a really good tap bar too. Dieu du Ciel is always a good brewpub to visit too…
If you want some quick ticks, go corner Ontario/Saint-Denis street, there’s 5 brewpubs within 5 minutes of walk between each other from there (Saint-Bock / Saint-Houblon / Cheval Blanc / L’'Amère à Boire / 3 Brasseurs St-Denis).

Hi Marduk,

I notice no one gave you any Quebec City ideas, so here are some.

I highly recommend La Souche in Limoilou, although they do bottle, it’s worth going there and they have good food.

East of the Wall City is Bateau De Nuit. It’s kind of a dive, they open quite late (7 or 8 PM, 5 the earliest) so become FB friends with them to know the hours, but it is great, small but great tap list, cool staft (top rated place in the city on RB).

In the borough of Saint-Rock (between the Wall City and the Saint-Charles River), you got three brewpubs; Noctem, Korrigane and Griendel. I do not recommend anything within the Wall, because it’s over price.

And if you got time, east of the cite is Microbrasserie des Beaux Prés in Sainte Anne De Beaupre. The brewer/owner was the co owner of Dieu du Ciel.

Thank you! Places marked down on my map. I see quite a few cideries on the Ile d Orleans. Any of em worth viewing?

Unfortunately I’ve never tried any of them, only a few wineries.

The island itself is nice and there is a brewery there by the same name (but you can find some in stores). And it is a historical site because it’s one of the first place French settle in the New World, as far back as 1661.

Departure date is close and preparations are almost finished. Just some final adjustments.
Would you say is Molson XXX THE paper bag beer in Canada? Is it widely available or certain dodgy neighborhoods needs to be visited? Anything similar to it or even “better”?
I’ve asked that before, but is there any shop in Toronto, Montreal or Quebec which sells beers from different countries and is worth to visit? Same actually applies to beers from different states. I managed to find out that Big Rock Brewery (Alberta) has a pub in Toronto. Since I’m missing Alberta I’m planning to visit it.
Edit: Manage to find out that at least according to UT Oland Brewery / A. Keith’s Brewery (NS) beer(s) seems to be available in weird pub next to Brutopia in Montreal…

You can generally find Alexander Keith’s across the country I think. Their smaller brands mostly just on the east coast. There’s lots of terrible strong beers available. There’s a strong European lager that is cheap in Ontario for example, I forget the brand. Quebec used to have several versions of Labatt Bleue going up to varying strengths if that’s the kind of thing you are looking for.

I brought some beers back from Newfoundland if you want to meet up when you are back in Toronto.

Would be great. I’ve packed some .ee beers to my bags anyway just to share 'em around. Instead I’ll keep some of them for you.

Are you still planning to be in Toronto Aug 8 and 9?