Beer In The Burbs- Putting the “Great” in the “Greater Toronto Area”

Or perhaps… making the GTA great again? Nah- I’d rather not go there…

For the past few years I’ve either been working or studying in Toronto while living in Ajax with my roommates (see: Mother and Father). I’ve found that it’s very easy to become very narrow-minded about the city, and all of the things going on in it. Many people can be reluctant to go North of a certain street if they live in the Entertainment District, hesitant to travel West of a certain street if they live in the Beaches, and so on. I’ve noticed that this hyper-local allegiance is also prevalent in beer, as well as when discussing better beer bars. Some people are choosing to drink only from breweries that are from their stomping grounds of Toronto, or will only support a bar that’s within spitting distance.

This observation has only been amplified by the recent adoration for the “Toronto VS Everyone” trend. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with this trend (much love to Peace Collective, do your thang dawg). I actually think it’s awesome to see people showing love for their city and remaining loyal to their neighbourhoods and local stops. However- there’s some seriously good stuff happening in the suburbs these days, and I don’t think they are getting enough recognition. You may be thinking I’m being biased since I’m a burbs girl born and raised, but I have actually just signed a lease on an apartment in the city, so I see firsthand the draws to both ways of living. I’ve also noticed while working at a brewery, that events like Ribfests or some of the specialty activations during Ontario Craft Beer Week are far more impactful and well attended in these regions. Of course this is, in part, due to the relative quietness of the regions in comparison to the city. But the significance of the events to these communities is, in turn, exponentially more impactful- and I think that needs to be noted and rewarded. I think there should be more attention paid to the suburbs and the GTA, because any effort exuded in these regions seems to be paid back tenfold by the appreciation and participation of consumers.

Outlined below are three examples of areas outside the city that are home to some awesome bars and breweries, with a few gems being highlighted as inspiration for you to get in a car, or dare I say it, on the GO train, to visit these not so sleepy suburbs.


Bar to Visit: Tap & Tankard

Live Music, daily specials, and two different bars with over 15 taps and plenty of tall cans to choose from. This bar is a hub for the community, and houses many different groups throughout the week including philanthropic and running groups. The food is excellent, proving it’s far more than just that bar you went to when you were perhaps slightly less than 19 years of age.

Breweries To See: 5 Paddles, Brock St, and while you’re out here, go to Bowmanville and see the nice folks at Manantler.

Photo by The Tap & Tankard.
Photo by The Tap & Tankard.


Bar to Visit: Rib Eye Jack’s Ale House

Ridiculously long bottle list (100+ beers in total between bottle and draught) with goodies from Ontario and Quebec, as well as rotating cask selections. Need I say more? Oh yeah, they also have pretty great whisky if that’s your thing. They try to use local ingredients when possible, and the atmosphere is laid back and welcoming.

Breweries to See: Trafalgar and Cameron’s in Oakville, Black Oak & Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke

Photo by Hungry Brew Hops.
Photo by Hungry Brew Hops.


Bar To Visit: Hungry Brew Hops

Amazing rotating tap selection that changes so often they have an “on deck” section in their beer menu so you can plan accordingly. The owner Boris is well known in the industry, and for good reason. Tons of variety in the food offered, amazing beer and the atmosphere is exciting and just upscale enough without feeling stuffy. If you know someone who’s been here or lives in Newmarket, people love to rave about this place! Good vibes all around.

Breweries to See: Arch Brewing

Photo by @rebeccabentolilaphoto on Instagram.
Photo by @rebeccabentolilaphoto on Instagram.

I’ve barely skimmed the surface of what these regions have to offer, but I hope this encourages you to venture outside of Toronto if you get the chance. Thanks to the following lovely folks for inspiring this article, who work (and drink) in these places and helped me create this blog post: Kristin MacDonald, Jen Reinhardt, Mike Relic, Jon Graham, Jared Allen.

Have any suburban spots that you think should have been included? Tweet me and tell me about them: @_VictoriaBrews

All Or Nothing Brewhouse- Trademark Issues Cause Underdog Brewhouse to Drop Their Gloves

Within their first year of business, the folks at -what will now be called- All or Nothing Brewhouse have faced a ton of obstacles. But perhaps none as troublesome as being handed a lawsuit from another craft brewery telling them to nix their name. Eric Dornan, one of the founding brothers of the brewery, appropriately says that “with yet another obstacle behind us, the path ahead is clearer than ever. We promise to continue delivering the beers you’ve come to love, and new favorites for years to come.”

Fellow Bottomless Pint Writer Mike Burton and I had a chance to meet with a few of the folks that work for All Or Nothing at Wayhome Music & Arts Festival (more to come soon on our thoughts of this festival) and we cracked a few beers together. We admire your decision to back out and change your name, while still coming out swinging. All the best to you folks in the coming future from us at Bottomless Pint.

Check out the full press release below.


For Immediate Release: Underdog’s Brewhouse announces new company name:  All or Nothing Brewhouse

Oshawa, Ontario – (December 1, 2015) – Today, Underdog’s Brewhouse announced that it is rebranding itself as All or Nothing Brewhouse. Since 2014, the company has worked tirelessly to establish Underdog’s as the source for premium craft wheat beer in Ontario. Underdog’s has been overwhelmed at the positive reception from bars, restaurants, LCBOs and Beer Stores and, most importantly, the people drinking their beer. As of today, their Hopfenweisse is available in over 400 retail and licensee locations, with more being added every week. The company is also in the middle of planning the construction of a bricks-and-mortar brewery, and perfecting their next delicious beer recipe.


“We originally decided on the name Underdog’s Brewhouse because it represented who we were in the Canadian beer market” said co-founder Jeff Dornan “Facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, including long-established macro-brands with limitless marketing budgets, we knew we had an uphill battle ahead of us. However, we also knew that through creative marketing, a careful attention to quality and detail, and sheer hard work, these hurdles could be overcome, and the Underdog would rise to the top. We put our dukes up, and came out swinging. We gave it our all.”


During the company’s first year of business, a fellow craft brewery served a Statement of Claim, alleging that the name “Underdog” violated a trademark that brewery had been using for a few years. It should be noted that prior to establishing the company, all necessary steps for ensuring that no Underdog trademark was already registered were conducted.


Rather than spend countless hours and dollars squabbling in lawyers’ offices and court rooms, the Dornans have decided to focus on what they do best: making outstanding wheat beers and delivering excellent service to their customers. Co-founder Eric Dornan said “We got into the brewing business because it’s something we believe in one hundred percent, something we can put our entire focus into. We want to create a new brand identity that reflects those values, and All or Nothing is the perfect way to do that. We don’t need to fight over who gets to call themselves the Underdog.”


All or Nothing will continue to be represented by its beloved mascot, Cornelius. A gentleman and a boxer, Cornelius is never afraid of a fight, but knows that sometimes it is better to take the high road. He is strong but refined, just as All or Nothing Hopfenweisse is bold yet approachable, complex but refreshing. He stands at the ready, his dukes up but his mustache impeccably groomed. And in every instance, he goes in with an All or Nothing attitude. He will continue to grace the company’s cans, cases, tap handles and merchandise, signaling to consumers a consistency in product quality. The new brand will also continue to be identified by the bold yellow and black colour palette, standing out in increasingly-crowded retail shelves.


All or Nothing Brewhouse would like to thank everyone who has supported its growth and success so far, and will continue to do so in the future. Said Eric: “With yet another obstacle behind us, the path ahead is clearer than ever. We promise to continue delivering the beers you’ve come to love, and new favorites for years to come.”


About All or Nothing Brewhouse


All or Nothing Brewhouse was founded in 2014 by brothers Jeff and Eric Dornan, on the core philosophy that a true innovator can overcome any challenge put before them, no matter the odds. Embracing an “all or nothing” attitude, the brewery is delivering premium craft wheat beers that defy the expectations of what a Weissebier can be. The company is committed to pushing the boundaries of good beer across Canada, and strives to be a leader in the Better Beer Revolution. To learn more, visit or contact All or Nothing’s media contact, Matthew Gibson.


Contact Information:

Matthew Gibson, Sales and Media Relations

(647) 965-7289

The Ultimate Craft Beer and Cigar Pairing


If you’re like me, there is no better pairing than a fine cigar with a complex locally made craft beer. If you agree, then I have a series of events for you!

Victory Cigars ( Bottomless Pint present Craft Beer Saturday’s.  Starting May 30 through August 22, we will be inviting a different brewery to the shop to pair with a cigar supplier for the ultimate pairing. The events will run from 12pm-4pm every Saturday throughout the summer. We will be featuring breweries like Mill St., Steam Whistle and many Durham Region breweries including 5 Paddles, Brock St. and Manantler. Each customer will have the opportunity to sample the beer, with an option to purchase a full beer afterwards. The beer will be expertly paired with a cigar by shop owners Kevin Newell and Julian Luke. They will be selecting the right cigar that matches the flavour profile of the beer. There will be tons of cigar deals and swag for the customers who come to the event.

Why are we profiling craft beer at a cigar store, you ask? Well Kevin and Julian say,

“Victory Cigars customers love experiencing new and bold things, and pairing cigars and beer gives them the opportunity to expand their horizons (and their palates). In the past we have hosted the Durham Festival of Spirits, OktoberCigarFest, wing nights, Scotch tasting … you name it, our customers love it. So presenting a Craft Beer program is a great fit for our client group.”

So bring your friends and come by Victory Cigars 215 King St E, Oshawa from 12pm-4pm every Saturday, starting May 30, to enjoy an amazing craft beer and a perfectly paired cigar!  For the first 5 people who find me at the events and let me know you read this article and there will be a free beer in it for you!!!