Taps: 20 / Bottles: 145
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 52 | Show All Ratings:
5/5 rDev +14.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
I came here on a Friday night with a large group of people, and all were impressed by this place. The decor of this place is great: clean European design, no clutter, high ceilings, visible kitchen. The place just screams class. The only weird thing was that some of the beer listings were written in white marker on mirros, which was kinda hard to read given the white walls.
First off, the beer selection and organization of the list itself are the best I've ever seen. Stephen Beaumont is a partner in this place, and his influence shows. Rather than just simply providing a list of beers, country of origin, and maybe the general style like a lot of places I've been to, he decided to provide short tasting notes on the beers and then categorize them by general taste profile for easier food pairing. The food menu then follows the same basic scheme, with each dish having a specific beer or family of beers recommended for it.
The waitress we had was quick, efficient, and more than willing to accomodate the staggered entrances of a lot of the people showing up. In terms of beer knowledge.. well, I can't say she had a lot, but her input was not needed due to the excellent writing and organization of the menus. Beaumont figured out a great way to remove that variable from the equation. Also, mad props for using the appropriate glassware for each beer. IPA's came out in pint glasses, Unibroues in either the generic Unibroue glass or the specific glass used by the brewery, you get the picture. Someone ordered Abbaye des Rocs (at my behest), and it came out in that brewery's glass. I should also mention that the bottled beers came out at cellar temp, not chilled like at a lot of beer bars.
The food was phenomenal. Probably the best food I've had in a beer-oriented place. To call this place a beer bar does not do it justice. This is a fine restaurant that serves beer to accompany the cuisine. I heard no complaints from any of my dining companions about the food we head. I believe it was all kudos. Oddly enough, the beet salad that accompanied the burger I had was the highlight for me simply because I never thought I'd gush over beet salad. That's how good the food is.
The prices here were quite reasonable. The most expensive item on the food menu was steak and frites for $20 Canadian and the most expensive beers were 750 mL's (or similar size) for about $16. Oh-so reasonably priced.
Simply put, this was the best beer and food experience I think I've ever had. Other places might have an edge in sheer selection of beers, but this place makes up for it with the food, atmosphere, and organization of the menus.
01-04-2004 19:49:42 | More by ManekiNeko
4.83/5 rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
The beer is taken care of by Steven Beaumont, who is a Canadian authority ob all things beer related, and he's put together a great lineup of rarities not available in the Ontario market, as well as some solid local brews.
Absolutely fantastic food - if only it was cheaper I would go here all the time! The house frites are justifiably popular, and all (or most) of the dishes are made with beers. Servers can recommend what drink pairs well with your meal, which is handy considering the lengthy bottle selection and numerous taps. Very stylish surroundings draw a business crowd of a weekday evening, and a smart-dressed clientèle on the weekend.
01-14-2008 15:47:17 | More by bobsy
4.83/5 rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$$
In simple terms, this is the best beer dining experience I've had. At the end of the meal, I told my niece that this makes me understand what Europeans sit and eat meals for two to three hours at a time.
As a vegetarian, the choices on the menu were limited, but that had little effect on the evening. Started with Potato Truffle Perogies. Amazing complexity for a perogie! Sweet tang from gueze and sheep's milk cheese, I would guess, creamy and full flavored. Just amazing. Drank a Black Oak Summer Saison with the meal, as recommended by the waitress and the pairing guided on the menu. While the beer was good, but pairing worked really well. For an entree, we shared a Blue Mushroom Pizza. Meaty texture from the mushrooms and a tang from the Quebec blue cheese. Again, complex and elegant taste. Got lost in ordering a beer for taste at this point already, but still great. For dessert, we tried three of the beer scream ice creams. In order, we like the Vanilla Bourbon swirl, the dragon stout & skor bar, and finally the rocky road with coffee porter. Excellent finish on the meal.
For the real dessert, ordered a bottle of Cantillon Grand Cru 2008. Excellent aged bottle, a rare and fun treat that few bars accomplish for their patrons. While the night wasn't cheap, I was glad to have paid the price for such a rewarding evening of discussion, food and beer. In spite of it being upscale, it never felt snooty. Friendly and relaxing. If you haven't--you must--at least once.
07-28-2011 19:39:27 | More by FightingEntropy
4.78/5 rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I'm writing this from the bistro itself, as their free wifi makes possible. I'm in town for a conference located at a hotel just a few blocks away, so this is my third visit to Beerbistro - it's that good (for me at least).
The atmosphere is simultaneously upscale and welcoming, cavernous and cozy. Super high ceilings offset small tables and a few tight nooks, with some large, vaguely Belgian-style beer-themed decorations on the walls. Very new and clean, but still comfortable.
The tap list is fairly limited (20 bottles) but has a good mix of locals and imports across a range of styles. Everything is available in a 300ml tulip or a 500ml pint, with prices being fair - particularly for the neighborhood.
Service has been attentive without being officious, and enthusiastic without being condescending. Just how I like it.
The real reason I've been coming back is the Cantillon selection: Gueuze, Kriek, Rose de Gambrinus, Bruocsella, Lou Pepe Kriek & Framboise, St. Lamvinus, Vigneronne, and Iris. The first four are in 375s for $15-8, and the last five are in 750s for $25-35. Amazingly fair prices (especially on the 750s!), doubly so for a central location in an expensive city.
If you don't like sours, you might prefer another place in Toronto, but if you're a Lambic fan like I am then you won't want to leave.
03-30-2013 18:13:50 | More by woosterbill
4.72/5 rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
A fairly new Cuisine a la Beer Restaurant/Bar in Toronto's downtown. Canadian beer writer Stephen Beaumont and the former head chef at the BierMarkt both have a stake in this establishment.
The decore is very nice. More of a restuarant atmosphere than a "bar" atmosphere. All of the tables are covered in white and are set w/empty beer goblets to add to the look. Very high ceilings make for an "open" feeling. Looks like they have also paid homage to "A La Mort Subite" in Brussells as most of the beer menu is written on mirrors which nicely decorate the walls. The kitchen opens onto the dining area and the main bar is near the front doors.
The beer menu is great. 20 taps boasting many local micros such as Black Kat, Mill St., Granite, Dennison's & Churchkey as well as standards like Hacker-Pschorr, Chouffe, Maudite & Fuller's London Porter. The bottled selection is also great probably hitting around 80 bottles from Westmalle to Traquiar to Victory HopDevil to Rochefort to Abbaye des Rocs and of course, many of the Unibroue products. The best part of the beer list here is that the mark up is one of the lowest i've seen in Toronto. Definitley less pricey than Smokeless Joe & the BierMarkt.
The food menu is also fabulous. EVERY item on the menu is made with beer, right from the appetizers all the way to the main courses and dessert. I tried a Cheese & Lager Bread Fondue and then Steak & Frites. My wife sampled the Rabbit Carbonara. Both excellent dishes. Also on the menu: Beer Braised Lamb Shank, Beer Beef Stew, Lamb Sauasage Flatbread, Garlic Shrimp Linguine etc etc etc. Even the desserts are made with beer...Chjocolate Barley Wine Cake for example. The nice part about the menu is that Stephen Beaumont recommends a beer for every item on the menu. A great and easy to follow menu.
My only complaint is that 2 of the beers i ordered were not available, Traquair House Ale & Victory HopDevil IPA. Oh well, that's understandable.
Great place, check it out and be sure to stay for dinner.
12-04-2003 14:51:38 | More by Popsinc
4.68/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
This is my personal favourite beer place in Toronoto. Yes, it's a little pricey and your bill will add up quickly if you're not careful. But the service staff, the beer selection, and the food are all top notch. Even though i'm a little peeved that they expanded the Dogfish Head selection at the expense of Bell's, this place makes a phenomenal venue for all sorts of occasions. The bar is casual enough for a night of hockey and beer, while the dining room is elegant enough for a romantic meal. My lady actually suggested this place for our anniversary. A must try place for sure.
Oh and the beerscream out of this world. I bought an icecream maker just to recreate the dragon stout and skor bar.
07-28-2008 06:22:50 | More by mike24
4.68/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
I am really, really glad that this has become one of my wife's favourite restaurants (for the food), because it's certainly one of mine (for both the beer and food). I prefer this to, for example, Volo, even though Volo has a more interesting and varied beer selection, simply because I like to sit down and have a nice dinner. The food here is always fantastic, especially the meat main courses (ribs, pork, etc.). The suckling pig on Saturday nights is great. Appetizers seem to change often, and are incredibly creative with surprisingly few 'misses'. Beer selection is usually up-to-date and good for Ontario, with 10 or 12 taps and a good-sized bottle menu. Last time we went, I was blown away that they had Bells, Jolly Pumpkin, New Holland, and Lost-freakin-Abbey beers available in bottles (although at exorbitant prices for the most part, sadly).
So glad to have this place around, and we'll go back many more times.
10-20-2007 21:21:10 | More by crwills
4.65/5 rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Good location near the Hockey Hall of Fame downtown Toronto. Appears high-end from the outside but the staff was friendly and crowd diverse in the bar. Good selection of Ontario beers on tap and bottle. Received a key from a San Jose contractor to order the barley wine not listed on the menu (Mills St.).
Dining room had white linen and 4 seats on in the kitchen. Only had a double espresso (excellent) and Belgian frites (fine). Menu looks great though, should have eaten here instead of C'est What?
Dayna provides her choice of favourite brew; and is charming too.
01-12-2007 01:56:14 | More by Niniimaa
4.63/5 rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
While a patron of C'est What had assured me my army pants and t-shirt would be fine for Beerbistro, I made sure I changed into better clothes before I went. The fine glassy-classy entryway and the chi-chiness of the other patrons made me head to the hotel before perusing the extensive beer menu.
Others may be critical of the upper echelon, high-class feel of Beerbistro (and Trap Rock and upstairs at Brewers Art and the late lamented Bank Street,) but I think these types of locations help to elevate beer in the public perception. Yes, a pubby atmosphere is perhaps the best place to have a round of browns with friends, but arty glass-and-steel enclosures are very welcome to me. Clean, well laid out, proper glassware, inventive lighting: a place to survey at length while sipping an outstanding beer or ale.
Plus, the unusual food choices included choices that contained ingredients that would compliment certain beer flavors and for that matter, beer itself (I had a small pizza with loads of goat cheese and some mussels with cured salmon.) Food is served until at least midnight every day.
The beer menu is flat out outstanding (see the beerbistro website, there's no need to duplicate it here,) and the servers are educated. Our bartender had a funny laugh, and it erupted a number of times on a busy Friday night. We had a fine time.
08-20-2004 17:16:46 | More by ecoboy
4.63/5 rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This place is in the financial district, almost exactly where you would expect to find a pretentious bistro type place, with a smoke and mirrors type food and a pricey wine selection; but lo and behold, pretty nice place, rather comfortable, and a terrific beer selection. And I thought volo was good; I mean its more comfortable sure; but the foods just not as good, Italian cafe and beer bar? I still love it but this place makes for a super night on the town dinner and beer experience.
The place boasts that 80%or more of its dishes are made with beer; I had a wurst platter for oktoberfest and I dont believe there was beer in the sausage; however, it was a terrific meal, and a flatbread pizza was terrific as well; as for the beer;
I had a flight to start; churchkey holysmoke rauchbier- superb. Scotch Sargent majors IPA; also quite good; Ste; Andre Vienna Lager- this was fantastic on tap; I read teh reviews and I cant believe it got so slammed; it was so vanilla and dark malts with a light body; anyway; I also had a Blanch De Chambly from Unibroue;
If you go, try the flourless chocolate cake made with Chimay Blue, black raspberries and whipped cream; its pretty damn good.
Safe to say; no matter how much of a beer geek or craft beer snob you are; they will have a bunch of beers you will like; and the food is first rate.
10-24-2005 13:25:25 | More by andjusticeforale
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Beer Bistro in Toronto, ON, Canada
96 out of 100 based on 55 user ratings.