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Eat & Drink

Craft Beer Passport offers discounted pints in Toronto

Posted by Ben Johnson / May 21, 2014

craft beer passportThe Craft Beer Passport is available for $20 starting today and offers holders a chance to visit participating Toronto bars for discounted craft beer. Bars will have a selection of beers available to passport holders for just $2.00 per 12oz serving (so, technically, 3/4 of a pint). Show your passport, get that beer stamped, and save some dough on craft beer.

The list of 20 participating bars includes some of the best beer bars in Toronto, including Get Well, Tequila Bookworm, and Thirsty and Miserable and will provide access to discounted pints of local beer.

While it may seem a touch gimmicky to turn something as intrinsically rewarding as drinking into a scavenger hunt, the passports do claim to offer a comprehensive field guide to Toronto's craft beer scene and even if that claim falls flat, at the very least, if you actually visit all the bars in the passport you'll save roughly $40 - money that can then be spent on more beer.

"I think that the craft beer scene is so momentous right now that it can be overwhelming for some people to decide just where to dive in" says creator Mike Stulberg, a street artist and soon to be OCADU Master of Design student. "And, often enough, some really great bars get overlooked. I see the Craft Beer Passport as a fun way for people to explore Toronto, discover new bars and support the local brewers of craft beer."

An official launch party for the Craft Beer Passport will take place on the evening of June 1st at The Piston and will include samples from a number of Ontario craft breweries, beats by Memorecks, craft beer-related door prizes and Craft Beer Passports on sale.

Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog. For travel tips that involve beer and don't require leaving the downtown core, follow him on twitter @Ben_T_Johnson.



1 / May 21, 2014 at 09:30 am
Ray / May 21, 2014 at 09:45 am
Not sure if this helps or hurts craft breweries. If craft breweries offered lowered prices or a Craft beer week then I'd be more likely to try a craft beer over my corporate brand.

Otherwise I need to buy a passport, and travel all over getting stamps. Is the discounted price on just one beer? Or can I have 8 beers at an establishment at the lower price?

I'd like to get a new craft beer pleasure pack sent to my house monthly so I can try in the comfort of my own home.
Jason / May 21, 2014 at 11:20 am
12ozs is 3/5 of a pint, unless you're in the United States.
It's still a pretty good deal though.
Justine replying to a comment from Ray / May 21, 2014 at 11:27 am
We actually have two Craft Beer Weeks in Toronto beyond this passport program: Ontario Craft Brew Week is June 13th-21st this year, and Toronto Craft Beer Week is September 12th-20th.
David / May 21, 2014 at 11:51 am
This is awesome!!!!!!!
sean / May 21, 2014 at 12:08 pm
how much does a passport cost?
Audio Blood Inc. / May 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm
An inventive way to get people engaged in the craft beer market. Hopefully, it stirs up a little more traffic in pubs that support local brews!
Olivier replying to a comment from Jason / May 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm
um no a pint is 16 oz, therefore 12 oz is 3/4 of a pint.
JD replying to a comment from Olivier / May 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm
Imperial pint is 20 ounces.
Jesse / May 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm
It's the first line of the article...
ohcomeon / May 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm
Oh come on Ben!

You've been doing this for ages - You know a pint in Canada is 20oz. Stop trying to make excuses for the hidden price increase and get out of the brewers' bed, you're looking like a bought shill.

The concept is nice, but you just ruined the delivery of it.
Ben replying to a comment from ohcomeon / May 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm
For the record, when this post was originally written and titled, I thought the passport entitled users to cheap pints.

The clarification regarding 12oz servings was added by blogTO's editors at Mike Stulberg's request and, presumably the editors opted not to change the title because a) the URL had already been created and linked to, and b) "Craft Beer Passport offers discounted fractions of pints in Toronto" isn't a really good title.

As for making excuses, being in brewers' beds, and being a bought shill; well you've got me there.

That's actually what's on my business card.
Jason replying to a comment from Olivier / May 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm
"The declaration of net quantity in Canadian units for a measurement of volume less than one gallon shall be shown in fluid ounces, except that 20 fluid ounces may be shown as being one pint,"

Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, CRC, c 417, retrieved on 2014-05-21

Jenna replying to a comment from Ray / May 21, 2014 at 01:05 pm
Wanting cheaper prices on craft beer is like wanting a delicious, beautiful, artisan burger for the same price as a McDouble. Sure, they'll both fill you up, but one has a lot more heart and soul put into it, not to mention taste. Of course craft beer (and a good burger) is more expensive!

Also, you can totally get a "craft beer pleasure pack" delivered to your house once a month. Check out various "Beer of the Month" clubs. They also do wine, cheese, chocolates and other good stuff, but it will cost you about double what you'd pay at the LCBO.

The passport helps to offset some of that cost and promote local businesses. What can be wrong with that?

Jason replying to a comment from Ben / May 21, 2014 at 01:07 pm
That still doesn't explain why the article gets the size of a pint wrong.
freddiestarfish / May 21, 2014 at 01:12 pm
$2 full pints would also be illegal, wouldn't it? I believe there is a minimum you can charge that is tied to serving size that is regulated by the LCBO.

$2 pints would be sweet though. The beer gods know these breweries could offer such a discount and still make a profit. Beer is one of the most marked up products that I'm aware of.
Yello replying to a comment from Jenna / May 21, 2014 at 01:31 pm
Pure silliness. The cost of beer has very little to do with the things you mention. Folks like you want to pay more 'cause it makes you feel special and like you are saving the world and fighting the man.
Ray replying to a comment from Jenna / May 21, 2014 at 01:34 pm
It's not the same. We all cry that we pay more for beer and liquor in this province than any other province because the LCBO and the Beer store are cranking up the prices. What's the craft beers excuse?
Daryl replying to a comment from Ray / May 21, 2014 at 01:48 pm
There is a new start-up for what you are looking for.

Focusing on craft brews, that might be special one offs. Rather than the beer of the month club which is just paying more for what you can buy in the LCBO
1 / May 21, 2014 at 01:48 pm
I don't want to pay more for craft beer but I am willing to. Especially if it means the difference between Coors Light and Wizard Wolf. Not because I feel special, and with the surge in craft beer, how could you feel special. Those are the people drinking PBR in Portland because craft beer has started outselling big brewing
Just another one of my brilliant ideas!!! / May 21, 2014 at 02:17 pm
If they want me to drink more craft beers, let's just make the bottle caps a currency!

$0.25 per bottle cap. Drink a six pack and you've got $1.50 to put towards your next purchase.

GENIOUS I’m an absolute GENIOUS!!!

You can have the idea if you want, we spend so much time on the bottles and reuse recycle, where do you put your caps, straight in the trash.
Jeff replying to a comment from Ben / May 21, 2014 at 02:54 pm
Title still states "DISCOUNTED PINTS". What's the actual discount here?
... replying to a comment from Ray / May 21, 2014 at 02:57 pm
the craft brewers' excuse is that they have to pay the insane listing fees just to sell in the beer store and lcbo.
Charles replying to a comment from ... / May 21, 2014 at 03:17 pm
Tough business to get into I guess, high fees + you have to rent your equipment or brew time from the Big Players.....
sean replying to a comment from Jesse / May 21, 2014 at 03:58 pm
thanks. spending $20 on a piece of paper really wipes out any significant savings on 12 ounces of beer. I can (and do) drink craft beer regularly and can buy it at the lcbo somewhat cheaper.
A smart move would have been to tie in with the upcoming Toronto Beer Festival and provide this passport as an addon.

Uh, a "genius" kan spel replying to a comment from Just another one of my brilliant ideas!!! / May 21, 2014 at 04:14 pm
thanks Ben replying to a comment from Ben / May 21, 2014 at 04:15 pm
don't mind all these haters on here, they can all dry-swallow a bag of dusty dicks.

keep on keepin' us informed about craft brews, the non-whiners on here (95% of your audience) love it.
Just another one of my brilliant ideas!!! / May 21, 2014 at 05:02 pm
Alot of geniouses can't spell and/or aren't the best at grammar, we have a a part of the brain that fires above and beyond the average and sometimes another part of the brain lacks firing.

EITHER WAY you like my idea or what?! Each bottle cap can have an amount printed under them majority being $0.25 but if your lucky you might get a $1-$2 bottle cap. Currency that can only be used to redeem towards your own product but really nothing more than a coupon. The more someone drinks of your brand the more reason they'll have to purchase again.

Keep the craft drinkers loyal to your brand!

GENIOUS I’m an absolute GENIOUS!!!
Sammy / May 21, 2014 at 05:08 pm
So I absorb the cost by travelling on the TTC at $3 a ride to get to all these bars I have no interest in going to? I just want to enjoy the craft beers don't make me jump through hoops to get it.
Jamie / May 21, 2014 at 05:16 pm
Actually the lowest legal price is $2 correct BUT I can get a 473ML - 500ML can of beer at the LCBO for $2.

They are offering 12OZ which is 354ML.
Fun Suckers / May 21, 2014 at 05:21 pm
Boy, the blogTO commenters sure can suck the fun out of virtually anything.
1 replying to a comment from Sammy / May 21, 2014 at 05:26 pm
Sorry bud, you're living in the wrong province. Jumping through hoops to get good brews is just part of living in Ontario.
Tory replying to a comment from Fun Suckers / May 21, 2014 at 05:31 pm
We are just passionate about our beer that's all. Hard to suck the life out of something if it even ever had a life...
AnnieB replying to a comment from Sammy / May 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm
Get a bike.
Stark / May 22, 2014 at 12:02 am
Just wondering, so at these establishment am I allowed to go beyond the first '3/4 pint'? I think this will be a game changer.
Random Reader / May 22, 2014 at 09:23 am
It amazed me that there are people complaining that they can pay less at an LCBO for a beer than going to a bar. Do you people never leave the house to eat or something?
Charging 3->3.5 times original cost for food and drink is standard issue for restaurants and bars.
Chad replying to a comment from Random Reader / May 22, 2014 at 11:22 am
Yes we do, and I understand full price. The reason were questioning it is because the whole passport concept and article is about "DISCOUNTED PINTS".

As we love our pints our ears perk up when we read/hear there's a discount on pints but after further investigation is there a discount or not?
Sammy replying to a comment from Random Reader / May 22, 2014 at 11:26 am
Yes I'm going to get a bike so I can ride all the way over to Danforth and Coxwell, work up a sweat so I can enjoy one discounted 3/4 pint and ride all the way back home.

Maybe I'll just pop into the LCBO and sit in the park with a craft pint.
Totally Not Ben replying to a comment from Chad / May 22, 2014 at 11:49 am
Sweet Jesus, how is this conversation still going on?

12oz is equal to 3/5 of a pint. If you're getting 3/5 of a pint for $2 it means that, by volume, you're paying $3.33 for a pint. IT IS A SIGNIFICANT DISCOUNT. If you don't like the math, don't want to leave the house, or are scared of the TTC, don't buy the goddamn thing.
Chad replying to a comment from Totally Not Ben / May 22, 2014 at 11:53 am
There a holes in your numbers. Accounting 101.

Don't forget to add the +$20 you spend to get the passport in the first place before you get the discount.
OK, this is obviously Ben replying to a comment from Chad / May 22, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Even if we generously put the average price of a pint of craft beer in Toronto at $6 (which it ain't), this is a deal.

The passport entitles you to 20 12oz drinks at $2, the equivalent by volume to 12 pints.

The total cost to you of those 12 pints is then $60 ($20 for the book and $40 in $2 beers), or $5 per pint, a DISCOUNT.

There are no a holes in my numbers, but there are a holes in these comments.
Chad replying to a comment from OK, this is obviously Ben / May 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm
No holes. The price you quoted just increased 50.15%!
You started at $3.33 a pint and ended up at $5 pint.

The truth is out there. Trust no one.
Done / May 22, 2014 at 11:27 pm
Shut up and DRINK!!!!!
Melissa / May 23, 2014 at 05:21 pm
This has already been done in Calgary...this isn't a new concept.
Rob replying to a comment from Melissa / May 24, 2014 at 05:39 pm
No one said it was a new concept... Soooo yeahhhh...
Jason / May 25, 2014 at 01:34 pm
This comment thread is a great reason why you don't want to make price (or discounts) the core of your marketing concept.
Taylor replying to a comment from Done / May 30, 2014 at 12:22 pm
Well said. Think this is one of the smartest comments in this thread :P
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