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Pilsner, Pubs & Patriotism


Whether you're taking in fireworks, escaping to the cottage, stuffing your face at a food festival, or just chilling on a patio, chances are your Canada Day will involve that most patriotic activity: beer drinking.

And, as your friendly neighbourhood food/drink snob, I'm hear to remind you to "just say no" to crappy beer - even if it says "Canadian" on the label.

No - do yourself, and your community a favour and take a swig of the local stuff. Canada has some amazing brews to offer, and Toronto, some of the best in the country. And once you go local, you simply don't go back.

A fantastic place to sample some fantastic local beer is C'est What, a brew pub/restaurant located at Front and Lower Jarvis. This cozy yet classy hang-out (that also has a decent menu) hosts some truly terrific draft options, including two of my favourites: the Coffee Porter and Homegrown Hemp Ale. The beer menu is long and inviting though, so there's plenty to choose from - especially if you're willing to diverge out of the city and have a taste of small-town Ontario. (And the prices are completely reasonable, too, in case you were concerned.)

Alternatively, if you're sick of the bar/pub circuit and are seeking something a little different, check out the Steamwhistle brewery, where you can take a tour as you sip on their light, slightly sweet, easy-drinking pils that's a firm local fav.

Finally, if your patriotic celebrations are centred around the comfort of your own home, keep in mind that the Summerhill LCBO has a great selection of beer, including many local gems.

Whatever you do, stay away from the watery, tasteless lager that parades around as beer. ("If I wanted water, I'd ask for water," okay?) Our city, province, and country has an uncanny talent and passion for making really good beer. And that's worth waving a flag for!


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