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The 10 bars with the most beer taps in Toronto

Posted by Ben Johnson / January 14, 2014

most beers taps toronto barsHaving the most beer taps in Toronto is something of a dubious distinction. It doesn't necessarily mean a bar has the "best" beer selection in Toronto, and the honour raises age old questions about quantity vs quality. Yet, whether you just want to make sure you and your friends have plenty of selection for your night out or you simply like to look at row upon row of gleaming draught lines and fancy tap handles, knowing what bars offer the most draught beer can be a crucial factor in deciding your drinking destination.

Here then is an admittedly unscientific list of bars with the most draught lines in the city. Feel free to point out any additional spots that you think deserve to be on this list in the comments.

Real Sports
Often hailed as one of North America's best sports bars, Real Sports at the ACC also has the distinction of having, hands down, the most draught taps in Toronto. Touting 114 taps, pouring 42 different beers, the selection skews hard toward big brewers and foreign imports and their easy-to-drink lagers and wheat beers (there are exactly two Toronto beers on tap), but hey, you go to Real Sports to inhale expensive wings and shout at a TV screen, so you probably weren't expecting craft offerings anyway.

The Loose Moose
While they have less physical taps than Real Sports, Loose Moose makes the most believable claim for the largest draught selection in city with 57 different beers on tap. The big brewers are well represented here but The Loose Moose has also shown a growing interest in craft offerings and currently boasts a full 20 taps dedicated to craft beer. Whatever event at the ACC/Rogers Centre you're pre-drinking for, you're unlikely to find a better place in the area for something to please everyone in your group.

Bier Markt
Arguably the best spot in Toronto for drinking imported, European beer, all four locations of the Bier Markt offer draught lists long enough to land them on this list. The Esplanade, Don Mills and Queensway locations all have 46 taps while the King West iteration has 44. They undoubtedly give beer the treatment it deserves. And hey, if it's good enough for the mayor, it's good enough for you.

C'est What
Probably the most draught lines East of Yonge Street, C'est What's line-up of brews isn't for the lager-swilling masses. Indeed, instead of Coors Light and Bud, at this Front Street East staple you'll find 42 draught lines dedicated to craft beer offerings, including eight cask ales. The food is decent, the cellar-like atmosphere is well-suited to lengthy drinking sessions and why are you still reading this there are 42 craft beers on tap, what more do you need?

Sin and Redemption
If you like Belgian beer, you'll be hard pressed to find a place pouring more of it than this watering hole that's walking distance from both the AGO and OCAD. 24 of this bar's impressive 41 draft lines are dedicated to Belgian beers -- blondes, and brunes, and trippels, oh my! -- and the rest is a decent selection of European brews with some Canadian and US content thrown in for good measure (not to mention two ciders).

Duke's Refresher
The second location of a Muskoka bar, Dukes Refresher seems to be going for the oft-unseen dining category of "upscale rowdy." Your impressions of that class of dining establishment aside, it's hard to argue with a draught list that boasts 40 offerings. With a selection ranging from Bud and Canadian on down to brews from smaller brewers like Left Field Brewery and even one-offs from Great Lakes Brewery, I suppose you'll come for the overly-loud music and stay for the beer?

barVolo
A proudly "Stella-free" bar, this almost 30-years-old craft beer mainstay on Yonge offers 38 different draught options including a few cask offerings and usually a few beers brewed at their own excellent on-site nanobrewery.

Bar Hop
The Golden Tap award winner in 2013 for the Best Bar for Draught Beer Selection in Ontario, Bar Hop earns that distinction by way of a finely curated list of 36 draught beers that changes frequently and skews hard toward local offerings. A standout for draught selection in Toronto, Bar Hop's accomplishment is all the more unique given its Axe-body-spray-soaked location along King West.

The Village Idiot
The sister pub (and next-door neighbour) to Sin and Redemption features an equally impressive array of 36 European-focused beers and, as you might imagine given that they share an owner, there's quite a lot of overlap between their draught list and Sin and Redemption's. It's a cozy pub, the large sliding windows open up in the summer, and attention is paid to using appropriate glassware. What more could you need?

REDS Midtown
The second, "midtown" location of the mostly suit-filled, wine-focused, upscale watering hole first opened at Bay and Adelaide is decidedly more open-minded when it comes to their beverage selection. Along with an impressive cocktail menu, the "midtown" location of REDS features 30 draught offerings, with a good selection of the mainstream stuff mixed in with craft beer.

Two bonus bars with a lot of taps, just to make it an even 12 pack

The Only
The charmingly grungy Only features 24 craft-focused taps to choose from whilst sitting on garage-sale furniture or, preferably, the noteworthy back patio. Considering that you can bring your own food, the pairing options are thus virtually endless.

Stout Irish Pub
This Irish Pub offers 20 different beers on tap and most of them are local. There's also cask offerings to go along with classic rib-sticking pub grub. Easily the best place to grab a beer in Cabbagetown.

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. You can follow him on twitter @Ben_T_Johnson.

Photo from our review of Duke's Refresher

Discussion

31 Comments

Adam / January 14, 2014 at 02:41 pm
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Now the real question -- which of these bars has the cheapest pints?
Liam / January 14, 2014 at 02:46 pm
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ummm Cloak & Dagger on College has 27 beers on tap.
Jay / January 14, 2014 at 02:49 pm
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A shout for my local, the Olde Stone Cottage has about 22 taps I think, a lot of them are the usual big brews but they've also got some interesting ones such as Innis & Gunn.
Beersnob / January 14, 2014 at 02:55 pm
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This is truly a list that proves "Bigger doesn't always mean better"

If someone asked me where they should get a beer there's no way in hell I'd send them to Real Sports, Bier Markt, or Loose Moose.

But then again, I'd recommend Thirsty and Miserable, which is beside a fish market and frequently smells like pee.
More like cloak and gagger replying to a comment from Liam / January 14, 2014 at 03:01 pm
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Cloak and Dagger might have enough beer taps to make this list, but they shouldn't be mentioned for their draft anywhere, ever. Their tap lines are always disgustingly dirty. Pints there are constantly funky and nasty.
Jamie / January 14, 2014 at 03:05 pm
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Glad to see Stout on here. Their beer menu is constantly changing with new and interesting beers. Some are great local one-offs, others are crazy euro beers, like a 14% barley wine I tried last month.

All in all an awesome place, and super cozy to boot.
lister replying to a comment from Beersnob / January 14, 2014 at 03:20 pm
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Hey beersnob, fellow beer snob here. I would suggest a visit to the Loose Moose sometime which may change your mind. Yeah they still have the usual shit on tap but the craft offerings may surprise you. An example: Kentucky Bastard. LM is certainly no Bar Hop or Volo but it's a very solid craft beer bar now.

Oh and the fish market closed down beside T&M. The last time I was there (Oct I think) it didn't smell fishy.
Maps Are Fun / January 14, 2014 at 03:28 pm
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Seeing as the Esplanade Bier Markt has 46 taps, C'est What cannot possibly have "the most draught lines East of Yonge Street", with 42.

J / January 14, 2014 at 03:31 pm
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c'est what is a favorite of mine. As of a couple weeks ago they carried muskoka's vintage winter beard. incredible.
Ben replying to a comment from Maps Are Fun / January 14, 2014 at 03:32 pm
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Damn it man, I'm a beer writer not a cartographer.
lister replying to a comment from Beersnob / January 14, 2014 at 03:33 pm
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The three best beer bars in Toronto are Bar Hop, Volo and C'est What. IMO Bar Hop is #1. I find they have the best overall varying selection, the best food, the proximity and staff.

Volo has a nanobrewery which is a plus but the walk-up bar service is not my thing and the food is limiting. Other than a couple of times I've never really been happy with the staff. I've also found that sometimes there's a little too much of the same style beer on tap.

C'est What is the second most visited bar we go to behind Bar Hop. Nice varying selection, like the food, cozy place, nice staff.
Maps Are Fun replying to a comment from Ben / January 14, 2014 at 04:40 pm
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Don't sweat it. I work in the area and mostly pretend that the Bier Markt isn't there, too.
C'est What is better.
Andrew / January 14, 2014 at 04:59 pm
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Does the madison pub still have 137 beer taps?
Ben replying to a comment from Andrew / January 14, 2014 at 05:12 pm
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The Madison has about 120 taps in the building, spread out at 10 different bars, but they only pour 20 different beers so I opted not to include it. I figured nobody really goes to the Madison specifically for their draught anyway.
Chris replying to a comment from Jay / January 14, 2014 at 06:13 pm
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Ya - I totally agree with Jay - Olde Stone rivals anyone of those downtown pubs.
Willy / January 14, 2014 at 10:31 pm
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The Town Crier/Halfway Beer House on John St. has 50 diff beers on tap, including a massive selection of Belgian/German beers....and to boot, the food is awesome
KD / January 14, 2014 at 10:51 pm
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What about 3030? They have only 16 or so taps, but the selection changes all the time.
jgam / January 14, 2014 at 11:59 pm
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For me it's BarHop - for their incredibly knowledgable staff, great food (incredible
$10 burger) and because everything I ever learned about beer came from Smokeless Joe's, of which BarHop has ties to. Don't let the locations "lounge" frontage fool ya - it's totally worth entering and exploring!
Chris / January 15, 2014 at 12:54 am
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Does bar volo have 38 draught selections? I thought they had one for each letter of the alphabet (26) and up to 6 casks at a time.
Malchew / January 15, 2014 at 01:31 am
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Have to give a nod to Betty's on King East as well. 29+ beers on tap plus rotating guest taps (including a few casks) which are always interesting. What other bar has a real 'cease and desist' letter from the Betty Ford Clinic blown up on their wall? The servers are great and I love the atmosphere: probably why I end up there so often after work, especially for patio lazing in the summertime. Many a night have I faced the wrath of my wife after arriving home many, many hours later than expected...
CT / January 15, 2014 at 09:05 am
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If your willing to travel westwards to Etobicoke the Monks Kettle on Bloor has plenty of craft beers on tap, featured cask etc
Astin / January 15, 2014 at 10:03 am
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Once, long, long ago, Bier Markt on Esplanade treated beers right. They had a solid draft selection of hard-to-find Belgians and each keg had its own gas mix, as recommended by the brewer for the optimal pour.

Then they went bottle-heavy, never had anything interesting they listed in stock, expanded, and became a douchatorium.

But yah, I guess they have a lot of taps.
natty / January 15, 2014 at 11:47 am
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Bigups to Sauce for 20+ taps as well.
sugarnspice / February 18, 2014 at 05:02 pm
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Really need The Town Crier on here. Missing out large..
Tygo / March 8, 2014 at 09:29 pm
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I gotta agree with the people saying that The Town Crier needs to be added to this list. Not only is the selecting very large consisting of beers from some places around including a great beer from Canada as well, the food selection is very good. A great selection from light to dark beers for everyone.
Sister replying to a comment from Andrew / March 8, 2014 at 09:52 pm
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Yeah man!
Pete / August 5, 2014 at 09:57 pm
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Does anybody know about Pre-Nup Pub opening up where Pour Girl/Molly Blooms used to be?
It's a terrible name for a bar, but the sign outside advertises 70 beers on tap, but it isn't open yet.

hoc replying to a comment from sugarnspice / August 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm
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@ Tygo as well

Town Crier is indeed an awesome spot!

It's owned by the same people as Sin & Redemption, I believe, so I can see why Ben didn't list it.
SumGuy WhoLovesBeer / August 6, 2014 at 07:43 am
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Never been a big Town Crier/Sin&Redemption/Village Idiot fan. All owned by the same guy, and despite the number of handles, the beer is all pretty much the same. So many repetitions of style, and I never feel like the beer there tastes fresh. Yes, I know it's imported, but the flavour I'm referring to is what you get when you leave a keg on for weeks. Just...old.
For fresh local beer, rotated often and pouring out of clean lines...give me bars like BarHop, Stout and Volo any day.
Jason replying to a comment from More like cloak and gagger / August 6, 2014 at 08:49 pm
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Agree The Cloak is a disgusting.....it's reeks like garbage and the lines are never ever cleaned.....the owner is a retard as well....
Floyd / August 8, 2014 at 09:46 pm
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This is certainly extremely decent... Thanks a lot and
even continue this good job!!

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