Where to buy kegs of craft beer in Toronto
Kegs of craft beer in Toronto aren't just for frat boys. Indeed, from mightiest pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn't enjoy a good pint of draught beer? Of course, for your classier shindigs, any old beer won't do, but where does one turn to order a keg of something well-crafted and local?
Well, we've got you covered. Here are the eight best options for buying a keg of craft beer in Toronto. Just don't use it for beer pong, bro.
Amsterdam sells 50L and 30L sizes of most of their main brands for $212 and $135, respectively. Their most popular kegs are Amsterdam Blonde and Big Wheel, and they also do kegs of their (416) Lager. Pumps are also available for a $100 deposit and the whole kit and caboodle can be picked up at their Leaside location. It's always good to call ahead, but for small orders you can just walk in.
Black Oak Brewery
Any keg currently in stock at Etobicoke's Black Oak brewery is essentially up for grabs. Available in multiple sizes (20L, 30L, and 58.6L), prices range depending on style. A 30L keg of 10 Bitter Years, for example, will run you $175.00, whereas their Nut Brown Ale or Pale Ale cost $140.00. Black Oak's charming Jill-of-all-trades, Erica Campbell, tells me that they've got pumps you can borrow and, if they're not to busy, they might even be able to deliver the beer for you. Call the brewery at 416-252-2739 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. If you ask nicely, she'll probably help you drink it too.
Great Lakes Brewery
You can buy 20L, 30L or 58L kegs from Great Lakes Brewery. Prices range depending on the beer and their lagers, Red Leaf and Golden Horseshoe, can be purchased cheaply whereas Canuck Pale Ale and Devil's Pale Ale will cost you a little more. If you want a keg of the current offering from their always-delicious Tank Ten series (when it's available), those beers are considered "top tier" pricing. Perhaps my dream of having Karma Citra flow from all my sinks isn't all that feasible, then. Pumps are also available to rent and, as you can imagine, the best option is always to call the brewery ahead of time to reserve. (Obvious tip: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are the busiest days for keg sales so if you can avoid picking up on those days you'll probably get in and out faster).
Indie will sell you a keg of whatever they are currently pouring provided kegs are available, but due to the high demand in their own bottle shop, they are often too low in inventory. While they frequently get drop-in requests for a keg of that one beer someone had four months ago and really loved, they would like to remind you that, as a small batch brew pub, this isn't really how they operate. It's best to call 416-760-9691 for pricing and availability.
Junction Craft Brewery
At Junction Craft you can always buy kegs of their "regular" brews, Conductors Craft Ale and Brakemans Session Ale, and you can also buy whatever small batch beer might be pouring in their tap room, depending on availability. Provided you leave a deposit, they also provide a keg pump. Prices will vary depending on the beer but you can call 416-766-1616 for pricing and availability.
Kensington Brewing Company
Like other small brewing companies, KBCo often has difficulty meeting demand for public sales of kegs because they are perpetually struggling with low inventory levels and they prioritize their existing customer base over home retail sales. When it's available, they do sell kegs of their core brands, Augusta Ale and Baldwin Fish EyePA, and naturally, once their long-anticipated Kensington Market brewery opens, they'll be better suited to meeting the demand for keg purchases. Call 647-648-7541 for pricing and availability.
Mill Street Brewery
Mill Street offers their entire core lineup for public keg sales, including Stock Ale, Organic, Tankhouse, Coffee Porter, Wit, Lemon Tea, their new 100th Meridian and even their specialty seasonal offerings (so yes, you can get Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale for your halloween party). Prices range from about $185 to $190 for 30L kegs and between $264 and $270 for 50L. You'll need to plan ahead though. Mill Street prefers that keg orders are placed five business days before pick-up. Call 416-681-0338 x 3 or email email@example.com for more details.
If you're looking for the easiest and most efficient way to get beer on tap for your next party, Steam Whistle is hands down your best bet. They offer 20L kegs for $124.95, 30L kegs for $178.95, and 50L kegs for $255.95 (note: 50L is about 146 beers. You probably don't need 146 beers for your next party).
For an additional $49.95 service charge, Steam Whistle will not only deliver, tap, and set up the keg for you, they'll also bring you a 12kg bag of ice and Steam Whistle beer cups, and, the best part, they'll come pick it all up when the party is over. More info here or call 416-362-BEER to order.
Photo of Great Lakes Brewery