Canada’s Top 10 Places to Drink by Rob Symes

If you missed them in the past year, make sure you check these spots out in 2017!

Taps Online: Bateau de Nuit

Bateau de Nuit, Quebec City

Hard to find and up a flight of stairs, this bar is 50% speakeasy and 50% craft awesome. It’s dark and atmospheric (perfectly matched by the music) and has a great selection of Quebec taps and quality bottles.



Bar Volo, Toronto

The venerable bar at the heart of the Toronto craft beer scene closed its doors in fall of 2016 to make way for yet another condo building. Volo hosted landmark events, which were game-changers in their day, including the first-ever Dieu du Ciel tap takeover, Cask Days and Zwanze. Even as craft bars proliferated, it arguably kept its place as the premiere destination for beer lovers, combining an extensive tap list with a cozy ambiance and outstanding patio. Thankfully, all is not lost, within short order a new Volo location opened on Church Street, and a spinoff bar appeared in Little Italy.

Beau’s Oktoberfest, Vankleek Hill

Camping, beer and bands come together in rural Ontario. Beau’s Oktoberfest has grown immensely in the past few years, and deservedly so.



Bellwoods Brewery, Toronto

One of the city’s busiest patios says more about the quality of the brews than Ossington Street views. There’s an amazing vitality in this space, unlike almost any other spot in Toronto, and after another year of big releases and nationally-acclaimed regulars this bar easily claims its spot in the top 10 places to drink.

Brasseurs du Temps, Gatineau

Poutine, you say? A sampler tray that includes twelve glasses of beer? Both at the same time? Bliss! Located a short walk from the river, and striking distance from downtown Ottawa, this brewpub provides a steady stream of quality craft to an eager crowd.



Dieu du Ciel, Montreal

Neither new nor unknown, it’s impossible to leave Dieu du Ciel off any best of list in 2016, or for any other year for that matter. The venerable Montreal institution is currently ranked as Canada’s best bar on, and the ability to get legendary brews like Peche Mortel and Aphrodite at the source explains this. It’s also the spot to go for DDC one-offs – exceptional in every way.

NWT Brewing Company, Yellowknife

Talk about location! There are few breweries situated further north than this Yellowknife gem. Located at the entrance to the city’s most historic neighbourhood, it bring a rugged northern style to your drinking experience, along with a full range of on-site made brews, including the flagship Bug-Repellent IPA.

Seaport Beer Festival, Halifax

The largest craft beer festival in Atlantic Canada is the place for thirsty maritimers to satisfy their desire for new suds.



Stillwell, Halifax

The go-to destination in the city. The good is great, but the amazing tap list is the draw here, especially for cask lovers, who may find tree on at a time. If you want a window on Nova Scotia’s explosive craft brewing scene, there’s no better place to start than Stillwell.


The Alibi Room, Vancouver

The grand lady of the BC scene retains the crown as Vancouver’s best beer bar. The tap list is to die for, and is complemented by a well-executed, environmentally-conscious food menu. The fact that it’s located in a beautiful heritage building with industrial-chic accents helps too.