Like a 1 year old child, spring is taking a few hesitant steps closer to being a reality. But unlike a one year old, I won’t be running around putting up barricades to prevent it from wandering all around the house and getting into mischief — I want this spring to bring it on! One of the most anticipated signs that spring is springing is the Blue Jays (hopefully) triumphant return to Toronto and this year in preparation to the Boys of Summer return I picked up a sweet little ticket package that allows me to go to every home game in March and April so I plan on ringing in spring with a few games. Last month the Blue Jays made a lot of waves in the media announcing that this year fans will be able to buy $5 short cans of Bud and Bud Light at home games — but only in 3 locations (one on each level of the ballpark) which is both great and a nightmare for domestic beer fans. I can only imagine what the crushing line-ups will look like for this deal. So what is a craft beer fan to do if they want some interesting beer? Visit one of the nearby craft breweries for a little primer before the game, that’s what!
Steam Whistle Brewing — If you’ve been to a Jays game before, there is a good chance that you have been to Steam Whistle for a pint or two before the game and it has probably evolved into a tradition of sorts. But this year they are opening the Locomotive Hall in Bays 12–14 (formerly the lager celler before the new facility opened in Etobicoke last year) which will hold another 1,000 people before the game. You may also find a few pints of Fat Tire there — now freshly brewed by Steam Whistle for New Belgium Brewing to help quench the thirst of Canada!
Amsterdam BrewHouse — Another pre-game staple. The BrewHouse will celebrate its 6th birthday on Canada Day this year and still has one of the best beer-drinking (if not the best) patios in Toronto. Situated right on the waterfront you really can’t beat the location for a pint any sunny summer day of the week. They generally just offer the core-brands even though they do have a small brewery on site but occasionally you can find something special on tap. They also have a great menu if you are going to skip the traditional street dog. My favourite beer is still Cruiser but the Pale Rider makes a few appearances in my pint glass every so often.
Stackt Market — The soon-to-open Stackt Market is located near the foot of Bathurst Street at Front Street will not only have some amazing food and shopping, they will also boast the first mobile brewery in Toronto operated
as a satellite of Belgian Moon Brewing (known as Blue Moon in the US — part of Six Pints Specialty Brewing). I would imagine that we will see fresh Belgian Moon brewed there along with some interesting one-offs — definitely keep an eye out for the opening!
Not heading to the home opener? Most of these brewers have beer available at the LCBO or from their bottle shop so you can create your very own ballpark in your backyard.