Our favourite Beerfest is back- so we decided it was time to do our homework on Toronto’s beer history. Get ready for a frothy journey through the history of beer drinking in Toronto! Trust me, it’s a tale as old as time, or at least as old as a tipsy uncle’s embarrassing stories at a family reunion.

Beerfest is this month! Let’s celebrate with a history lesson on Toronto’s beer pedigree!

goose island, beer, beerfest
Look for Goose Island at Beerfest

Back in the early 1800s, when Toronto was just a wee village called York, people realized that drinking water could sometimes be as risky as trying to pet a squirrel with rabies. So, what did they do? They turned to the next best thing—beer! It was safer than the H2O roulette and had the added bonus of making everything seem a little less gloomy.

You know those rowdy folks who always have a drink in their hand and love to cause a ruckus? Well, Toronto had its fair share of those characters during the temperance movement in the late 19th century. The “dry” advocates tried their best to ban alcohol altogether, but let’s just say they were about as successful as teaching a cat to juggle. Spoiler alert: They failed miserably.

LOOKING FOR THIS SEASON’S NEWEST BREWS- WE HAVE THAT TOO

One of the most iconic moments in Toronto’s beer-drinking history happened during the Prohibition era. Picture this: smugglers sneaking cases of beer across the frozen waters of Lake Ontario, like boozy penguins, waddling their way to thirsty Torontonians. It’s like a bizarre version of the March of the Penguins but with way more alcohol and fewer adorable critters.

In the mid-20th century, Toronto’s beer scene really started to flourish. New breweries were popping up faster than weeds in your neighbour’s neglected garden. Suddenly, Torontonians had more beer options than they knew what to do with. It was like being a kid in a candy store, except the candy was beer, and you had to be of legal drinking age, or you’d end up in the naughty corner.

ace hill canada, beerfest
Low-carb options include the popular Ace Hill

MORE TORONTO BEER HISTORY

Let’s not forget the legendary “Beer Store.” It’s like the fortress of hops and barley, where you could find all the beer you could ever dream of. Like a magical place where the employees have probably tasted more beer than they have water. It’s where you could go in with the intention of buying a six-pack and come out feeling like you just won the lottery because they have so many options. Beer paradise, my friends!

Finally, we arrive at the present day, where Toronto has become a craft beer haven. Breweries are constantly popping up all over the city, each one trying to outdo the others with wackier flavours and more imaginative names. From “Hoptimus Prime” to “Mango Unchained,” these beer names could easily give Hollywood a run for its money. Who needs a movie theatre when you can sip on a pint of “The Hopfather”?

So, there you have it, the tipsy tale of Toronto’s beer history. It’s a story filled with laughter, hops, and the occasional hangover. Remember to always drink responsibly, and never let your beer-stealing penguin dreams go unfulfilled!

SEE YOU AT BEERFEST- TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW AND FEATURE MORE THAN 400 ICE-COLD DRINKS, FOOD TRUCKS AND NEW FRIENDS TO MEET

Get your tickets at www.beerfestival.ca!

Always drink responsibly and never drink and drive.