By Conor McCreery

Ottawa-born Winter Brewfest is hitting Toronto’s Exhibition Place February 19 and 20th for the first time. A very welcome addition to the otherwise beer-festival-free month of February, Brewfest is bringing in some hard-to-find beers from Eastern Ontario and Quebec. We took a peek at the beer list, and selected four must-try breweries at the fest.

The Saturday session is sold out—but we have tickets for the night of your choice! Enter our contest at the end of this post for your chance to win. You must be 19 years of age or over.


Tooth and Nail Brewing Company, Ottawa, Ontario

One of Ottawa’s hottest new breweries, Tooth and Nail is helmed by husband and wife beer power duo, brewer Matt Tweedy, who has brewed for King and Beau’s, and co-owner Dayna Guy, who managed Toronto’s Beer Bistro. When it comes to brewing these two know what they’re doing. Don’t miss their pilsner, which Stephen Beaumont has called the best in Ontario.

What’s pouring:

Stamina, Belgian Session Ale 5.2%

Vim and Vigor, Pilsner 5.2%


Microbrasserie Charlevoix, Charlevoix, Quebec

Quebec’s Brasserie Charlevoix has been brewing beer for 16 years. Yet it has just eleven beers in its lineup — bucking the current trend of releasing new and zany bottles every few months. That’s a good thing, because every beer they make is fantastic. Try them all. If you want to know more about the brewpub, check out our profile from last year.

What’s pouring:

Flacatoune, Belgian Blonde Ale, 7%

Dominus Vobiscum Lulpulus, Belgian IPA, 10%


Ironwood Cider, Niagara Region, Ontario

Ironwood is a Niagara-Area cidery run by Sunnybrook Wines. Lakeshore fresh is dry-hopped with locally grown Willamette and Mt Hood hops, giving the cider a grassy, citrusy notes. Popping four kinds of toasted oak chips into Tres Roble imparts a silky smooth mouthfeel, with a dry, tannic, finish.  You can only snag these at the orchard door, so take a beer break and sip some cider.

What’s pouring:

Lakeshore Fresh, Fresh Hopped Cider, 6.2%

Tres Robles, Oak-Aged Cider, 7.5%


5 Paddles Brewing, Whitby, Ontario

While many GTA-ers may have tried this Whitby area brewery, we have only sipped a few of their ales. Pith is brewed with the zest of 5 citrus fruits and citra hops from the 2015 harvest. We asked co-owner Spencer McCormack WTF a Royal Canadian Stout is, and he explained it as somewhere between a black IPA and imperial stout. We think it sounds pretty tasty.

What’s pouring:

Pith Girl & the Zesty Boys IPA, American IPA, 6.4%

Midnight Paddler, Royal Canadian Stout. 9.9%


Wild Card

Microbrasserie Gainsbourg, Gatineau, Quebec

We haven’t heard much about this Hull-area brewpub, but they’ve got a big list of IPAs on tap for the fest that we’re game to try.

What’s pouring:

Côte Est Série Road Trip, American IPA, 7%

Côte Ouest IPA Série Road Trip, West Coast IPA, 7%

Orange Tie-Wrap, American IPA, 7%

Double IPA Série Road Trip, Imperial IPA, 8%

Scotch Ale, Wee Heavy, 7%

Two Penny, Mild Ale, 4.7%



Use our handy widget below to enter — there are TWO ways to enter: Enter your email address below to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter bringing you the beer news, reviews and contests. And, for a second entry, follow @BrewFestToronto on Twitter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway