spring beer toronto

The top 5 spring beers in Toronto for 2015

As we emerge from our winter hibernation, begin to wear less clothing, and start to socialize once more with other merriment seeking Torontonians, it's only natural that our fertile young minds turn to one primal thing: beer.

Thankfully the city's local brewers have taken our carnal desires to heart and have provided us with a new crop of great local beer to take home, enjoy for just one night, and not have any regrets about it in the morning.

Here are my top picks for spring beers this year in Toronto.

Motley Cru from Bellwoods Brewery, 8.5% Sour Red Ale
Motley Cru is the beer Bellwoods releases on their birthday each year, but the beer is never the same as the previous year. This year it's a blend of sour red ales that are 1-3 years old and aged with Ontario pinot noir grapes and a mix of wild yeast and bacteria strains. The result is a ridonkulous, subtly sour beer with funky cherry and oaky leather notes that will appeal to die hard sour fans and newcomers.
Available at the Bellwoods Brewery retail store starting 11am on Saturday, April 4th. 750ml, $13,

Octopus Wants to Fight from Great Lakes Brewery, 6.2% IPA
This is a new India Pale Ale from Canadian Brewery of The Year, Great Lakes Brewery. If you've had a GLB IPA before, you're probably already driving to Etobicoke, but for those that aren't familiar, expect monster tropical fruit and resinous pine in the aroma, dank, grassy flavours and a lasting bitterness. I don't get the name, but I don't care.
Available at the Great Lakes Brewery retail store. 473ml cans, $3.50

Armed N' Citra from Rainhard Brewing Co, 5.2% American Pale Ale
The first beer from The Stockyards' brand-spanking new brewery is a take on a classic American Pale Ale. Aromatic owing to four hop additions and one dry-hopping in the fermenter (yes, with Citra hops), Armed n' Citra is has distinct flavours of melon and grapefruit with a solid malt backbone. An excellent first beer from a brewer that shows promise.
Available at Rainhard Brewery's retail store in 2L growlers for $15 (plus $5 bottle deposit) and in 650ml bombers for $5.95

Love Fuzz from Black Oak Brewery, 6.2% Red Pale Ale
Originally created for Cask Days, Black Oak has now opted for a wider release of this full-bodied red ale that has aromatic Legacy, Simcoe, and Galaxy hop aromas with a blueberry and citrus caramel malt flavour and just a touch of bitterness.
Available at the Black Oak Brewery retail store, 650ml for $8.95 and on tap in select local bars.

Bonus-not-new-but-kind-of-new beer:

Resin Bag from Left Field Brewery, 6.5% American IPA
Just in time for spring training, the good folks at Left Field Brewery have finally opened the doors on their long-awaited east Toronto brewery. So while Resin Bag has been around a while, why not pick up a bottle of this tidy little IPA now that it's being brewed in Left Fields very own, very impressive new brewery?
Available in 750ml bottles for $9 (plus a $3 bottle deposit) at Left Field's intermittent (for now) pop up shops. Check their website for upcoming dates.

Extra bonus exciting Toronto spring beer news
Great Lakes Brewery is releasing "a lot" of 650ml bottles of Thrust! An IPA at the LCBO this spring for $5.95.

What did I miss? Add your favourite local spring beers in the comments.

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

Photo via Bellwoods Brewery

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