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The top 10 cheap craft beer deals in Toronto

Posted by Ben Johnson / January 29, 2014

cheap craft beer torontoCheap craft beer is important to know where to find in Toronto. Sometimes money is tight but you could really use a pint and other times your beer consumption needs simply require so much quantity that it's only frugal to seek out the most reasonably priced offerings. But that shouldn't mean you need to sacrifice quality by drinking cheap pitchers of Molson or Labatt's offerings (and presumably one might get the same experience for free by simply drinking from the toilet).

Instead, with a little digging, you can find a handful of places in the city offering up regular specials on craft beers. Here are 10 places that have at least one night when the good stuff is (relatively) cheap too. (Spoiler alert: I hope you like drinking on Mondays)

$5 Session Sundays at Bar Hop
Also ranking among the best craft beer bars in the city, Bar Hop offers select pints for $5 on Sundays. Usually the discount offerings are those beers that weigh in at less than 7% alcohol so as to keep things respectable. It is Sunday after all.

$5.75 pints Sundays at Thirsty and Miserable
If you've never been to Kensington's down and dirty craft beer bar, you're missing out on a great craft beer lineup and a quintessentially no-frills Kensington market drinking experience. As a bonus, on Sundays Thirsty and Miserable offer a whack of brews for $5.75 a pint, and while cheap drinking experiences abound in the market, this is definitely the only place you'll find names like Shacklands, Junction Craft, Oast House, and Sawdust City on the draught list.

$5 pints Sunday after 5pm at The Only
The Only doesn't mess around with this "select" pints business for their cheap beer night. Instead, they offer up every beer on their always-great lineup of draught for just $5 every Sunday after 5pm.

$5 pints Mondays at barVolo
On Mondays at this cozy Yonge Street craft beer institution, you'll find select pints available for just $5. Given that Volo always has a ridiculously good draft selection featuring pints you often can't find anywhere else, any day where you can grab some of those pints for $5 is a good day.

$2 pints on Mondays at Electric Mud
While the draught list is short at Electric Mud, the beers that are offered are usually decent, frequently local, and, on Mondays at two-effing-dollars a glass, pretty hard to complain about. If the BBQ isn't enough to entice you to brave the notorious wait times, surely craft beer that cheap is.

$5 pints at on Mondays at WVRST
Ontario is, as our slogan goes, yours to discover and on Mondays after 5pm the folks at WVRST are doing their best to help you discover the province's great beer. Enjoy the Ontario craft offerings on their excellent draught menu for just $5, leaving you some dough to spend on your wiener.

$5 Craft Tuesdays at Gretzky's
Gretzky's isn't a name you expect to see on a list of craft beer hot spots given their touristy trappings, but they might surprise you with their rotating cast of craft offerings available for $5 every Tuesday. As of this post, the crafty lineup includes Blanche de Chambly, Creemore, Granville Island Winter Ale, Okanagan Pale Ale, Muskoka Mad Tom, Steam Whistle, Mill Street Organic. As bonus, while you might find a lot of these other locations serving 14oz (or smaller) "pints," Gretzky's $5 offerings are a down-right respectable 18oz.

$5 Steam Whistle after 6pm at Tall Boys
If the comments section of every post I've ever written about them has taught me anything, it's that it's cool to hate on Steam Whistle. And frankly, that's fine with me because it means there's more of Toronto's own delicious refreshing pilsner for me. And anyone else who appreciates this well-made beverage is welcome to join me any day of the week at Tall Boys, where you can enjoy a Steam Whistle for just $5 after 6pm.

$5 and $6 beers during The Witching Hours at Bellwoods Brewery
For the first two hours of service every day of the week from October to April, the folks at Bellwoods Brewery are selling their beers that are normally $6.50-$7.50 for just $5-$6. While that might seem like small savings, consider that, if you normally drink six Witchsharks in one sitting, for the same money you'll be able to buy a seventh Wtichshark and still have TTC fare home!*
*do not drink six or seven Witchsharks in one sitting.

$10 Pitchers Mondays and Wednesdays, $3.50 bottles on Tuesdays, and $3.75 tall boys on Thursdays at The Bar with No Name
Presumably you don't need a name for your bar when you're offering up discounted beer multiple times a week. The Bar with No Name has all the trappings of a dive bar but manages to do it all with a pretty respectable list of all Ontario beer. If you like pitchers, the obligatory Monday deal is here--returning Wednesdays until 11pm--as is a $3.50 bottle night and a $3.75 tallboy night; making this a contender for the best value in craft beer in Toronto.

Got a recurring craft beer special I missed? Let me know about it in the comments.

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

Discussion

37 Comments

Stickler / January 29, 2014 at 09:59 am
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Just like to point out that The Bar With No Name is actually located at 1651 Bloor West, near Parkside drive, not 1561 as you have on your map.

Otherwise, great list! Seems like everyone wants you to drink on Sundays and Mondays in this town.
I am Curious / January 29, 2014 at 10:32 am
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Why are Ontarians so incredibly open-minded and adventurous in discovering our wonderful beers, and so incredibly close-minded and reverse-snobbish about our wonderful wines? I'm perplexed at the nature of crowd-mentality. The number of times I've seen people self-righteously turn their nose up at a fine Niagara wine, and instead drink a glass of disgusting imported plonk boggles the mind.
Wino McGee / January 29, 2014 at 10:37 am
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My guess is that it's because Ontario doesn't typically grow great examples of the wine varietals that have become the world's most popular. That is, while our climate allows us to make great Rieslings and ice wines, and our reds are greatly improving, most people drink big, bold reds and chardonnays that are best made in warmer climates. Furthermore, the parts of the world that make the most popular wines have a huge head start on Ontario in terms of getting their name out and perfecting wine production--in some instances hundreds of years.
Ben replying to a comment from I am Curious / January 29, 2014 at 10:45 am
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I think a lot of craft beer folks would scoff at the notion that Ontarians are open-minded about beer but close-minded about wine. Most would probably say that Ontario wine actually gets a lot more support than Ontario beer. Personally I think Joe Schmoe is much more likely to pick up an Ontario wine than they are to put down the Coors Light and try an interesting craft beer.

Also, the Ontario government recently okayed Ontario winemakers to sell their products at farmers markets while beer makers still have to sell their products at the LCBO or their own brewery unless they want to pay big brewers to sell their beer in the Beer Store.
Pete680 / January 29, 2014 at 10:47 am
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I'm pretty sure that $2 pints are illegal in Ontario FYI. From what I remember in my serving days was the minimum you could charge for a 375ml bottle is $2.75 according to AGCO
Dubs replying to a comment from Pete680 / January 29, 2014 at 11:31 am
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IS this really something you want to point out?
I am Curious replying to a comment from Wino McGee / January 29, 2014 at 11:32 am
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Great Chardonnays come from warmer climates? Since when? How "warm" do you imagine Burgundy to be? Would it surprise you to discover that Niagara is on the same latitude as Bordeaux? I'd say it is more a case of people feeling safer clinging to old ideas than relying on unbiased first hand experience. Our wine industry is tiny and mostly ignored by the rest of the world. Outside validation is sometimes required to coax many that it is ok to get to know your own wine region instead of automatically falling back on truisms they heard somewhere in the past.
Derek replying to a comment from Stickler / January 29, 2014 at 11:33 am
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This has been updated. Thanks...
One_Forward / January 29, 2014 at 11:38 am
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Thanks for bars list, Ben! There even more spots offering a "frugal Monday" price

BTW, the legal minimum price for "major label domestic", 341ml bottle, is $2.26.
wideOPEN / January 29, 2014 at 11:40 am
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Wide Open is not on this list, are you kidding me? Same for Bistro 99. Cheeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaappppppppppppp.
how do i logic? replying to a comment from wideOPEN / January 29, 2014 at 12:09 pm
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see the title: CRAFT beers.
lister replying to a comment from wideOPEN / January 29, 2014 at 12:11 pm
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I think, and it's just my guess, WideOpen isn't on there because they basically have just Amsterdam Blonde and Amber on tap (the last time I was there.) Craft yes, but not quite up to the cheap offerings of the other places listed.
crafty / January 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm
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Wide Open serves Amsterdam but so does most places.

I think the idea is pint specials at places that offer a wider selection of good draught.

Aside...If you ever find yourself in Windsor (then you'll definately need a pint or two!)...check out Barrel House Draught Co. & Grill
I am Curious replying to a comment from Peanut Gallery / January 29, 2014 at 01:07 pm
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Of course the climate of London is "different", but latitude also affects the intensity and strength of the sun's rays and is definitely a factor in viniculture. The a similar way the climate of Vancouver is "different" than that of the wine regions of the Okanogan Valley. To my mind the Niagara region soil and micro-climate (caused by the shelter of the Escarpment) is superb for white wines, and in my opinion the reds are often best blended in a similar manner to Bordeaux.
Few things are more bewildering than watching someone enjoy a wine and then turn all snobbish about it when they are told it is from Ontario. Misguided attempts at social sophistication sometimes hamper a lot of real enjoyment.
chris / January 29, 2014 at 01:25 pm
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Union Social at St Clair/Yonge has $5 Craft Bottle Beer on Wednesday and their feature craft tap is $5 on Thursdays. Last week, the tap was Muskoka Winter Weisse.
Jessica R / January 29, 2014 at 01:33 pm
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$2.50 mugs of Golden Horseshoe by Great Lakes (Toronto's Original Craft Brewer) every single day at Dimitri's on Lake Shore in New Toronto.
Drunk as Fsck / January 29, 2014 at 02:15 pm
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$5 pints until 7pm Mon-Thurs at Sauce!
Clara Fie replying to a comment from Jessica R / January 29, 2014 at 02:15 pm
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There are two types of mugs commonly used for beer in Ontario. The half Pint, and the Pint. They are priced differently. What type of mug do they use?
Rafa replying to a comment from I am Curious / January 29, 2014 at 02:16 pm
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Better yet, let's get back to the original topic of this forum... RIGHT! CRAFT BEER!

I'll see your micro-climate and viniculture and raise you a polar vortex!

Beer, it's an article about beer. #$%* your VQA's for just a fleeting moment.
Bloorcourt4Life / January 29, 2014 at 02:22 pm
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Gotta send some love to Drift on Bloor, west of Dovercourt. All pints $5.75, every day. Great selection of on tap brews. Mill St, Flying Monkey, Cameron's, Wellington, St Ambroise, etc etc
v79 / January 29, 2014 at 03:15 pm
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As Pete680 pointed out $2 pints are in fact illegal in Ontario, so it must be a smaller glass at Electric Mud.

Not that either of these craft beers is anything special, but Ein-stein on College has $4 pints/$10 pitchers of Great Lakes Golden Horseshoe Lager everyday, and O'Grady's at College/McCaul has $10 pitchers of Nickel Brook everyday.
gabe / January 29, 2014 at 03:44 pm
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Great list! I have been to a gourmet beer store in the Buffalo NY area that carried more Canadian craft beers than my local Beer Store! It's time to end the Beer Store and LCBO monopolies.
Stephane / January 29, 2014 at 03:56 pm
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Hooch Hour @ Prohibition on Queen Street East. Pints are $5.09 from 4PM to 7PM and 10PM to midnight everyday. And they have a very good selection of craft beers on tap.

http://www.myprohibition.com/
crafty replying to a comment from Rafa / January 29, 2014 at 04:53 pm
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Cheers Rafa

Rick Mercer did a funny bit last night about
"Polar Vortex Beer"
Mark / January 29, 2014 at 06:48 pm
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At Mill Street (in the Distillery) for $10 you get a tour of the brewery, a flight, and a sample of their bierschnapps AND you get to keep the shot glass.
NoName / January 29, 2014 at 07:20 pm
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Jack Astor's at St Lawrence Market now has all draft and wine at $5/pint/glass. This includes Ontario Craft brews (Mill St Organic, Muskoka Winter Weiss, Beau's Lug Tread). Pints are 18oz and special goes all day
NoName / January 29, 2014 at 07:22 pm
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The Special at Jack's is on Thursdays
Robert / January 29, 2014 at 08:10 pm
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Great craft beer specials at Jack's. Also for a change try the delicious mango "iceberg": delicious wheat beer with sweet mango slushy! Don't forget to Jack It Up!
Erin / February 5, 2014 at 05:40 pm
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Stout Irish Pub in Cabbagetown has Hoppy Hour EVERY DAY of the week from 4-7pm $5 select pints and appetizers!
Geo / February 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm
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The Office Pub does $5 Craft Pints every Monday & Wednesday all day.

Also on Tuesdays they have $5 Creemore & Steam Whistle Pints as well

whitecat / February 10, 2014 at 04:01 am
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14 $5 craft tap beers on Thursday and Sunday at Relish Bar and grill on danforth
Anthony / April 1, 2014 at 01:09 am
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don't forget about Pour Boy Pub at 666 Manning that has
$5.00 craft pints EVERYDAY ALL DAY
greggy replying to a comment from Wino McGee / April 1, 2014 at 01:41 am
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i like the wine banter. haha. i know ontario has some good wine, but it's a rarity. come on! ontario is not known for good wine for a reason.
the best wines in Canada seem to come from BC, but for some reason, most arent available at the LCBO.
as for beer, ontario is pretty fantastic for producing quality. and luckily, we are right next to quebec.
Graham / April 1, 2014 at 02:50 am
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What about Pour Boy at 666 Manning Ave @ Bloor
Amsterdam Blonde 20oz. at $4.75
All other draught beers are $5.25 which includes:
Creemore Lager
Steam Whistle
Wellington Dark or SPA
Sapporo
Blanche D Chambly
Mill Street Organic, Tankhouse, and Cobblestone Stout

Beaus Lug Tread 20oz. - $5.75
Lara / May 20, 2014 at 05:34 pm
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An sibin at queen and broadview has $5 craft pints all day/night Thursday.
Matt / May 22, 2014 at 02:27 pm
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$5 pints 12-5pm at Tequila Bookworm 512 Queen Street West every weekday
Gene / July 27, 2014 at 11:43 pm
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Beer shouldn't be 7-8 dollars a bottle. Craft or not. I would hate to see craft beer become a high-brow thing. Shouldn't be more than $5 any time.

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