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Active Beers: 28
Beer Ratings: 50
Beer Avg: 3.75
Taps: 32 / Bottles: 76
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
587 Yonge St
, M4Y 1Z4
phone: (416) 928-0008
barVolo has recently begun brewing house beers on premise, under the guise of House Ales. However they are not always available. Call ahead to confirm.
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British Columbia (Canada)
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I was there for their Cask Day festival. They ended up with 24 cask-conditioned brews (2 were lagers)! This was sold out weeks before the event. For $15 (or $20 at the door), you got a glass, five 10oz samples, a sample of awesome artisinal cheeses, a chance at door prizes, as well as the option of purchasing more beer tickets.
The have some photos on their site:
This was a remarkable gathering. Hopefully they'll make it an annual or semi-annual event! (When the patio is the appropriate 'cellar' temperature).
This event received international coverage:
Here's their descriptions:
1. Church Key Holy Smoke
Scotch Ale, 6.25% Smoked
and malt dominant with
pleasant flavors throughout. It
lingered long on the palate. Holy
Smoke was peat smoked,
enhanced with smoked Scottish
2. Granite Peculiar Scotch Ale
(Whiskey Barrel-Aged), 5.5%
Wood-aged scotch ale with nice
caramel flavors, and full body.
Nice whisky notes in a well
made scotch ale.
3. Wellington Iron Duke, 6.5%
Smooth well-made malty scotch ale
with nice caramel notes. Full body with
4. Stratford Brewing (Saint Andre)
Dougs Scotch Ale, 7.0% Big Scotch
ale with smooth lingering flavors. Roasty,
coffee notes with hints of vanilla.
5. Heritage Blackcurrant Rye Lager,
4.5% An unusual pairing of vinous
flavors with a malt and rye dominant
6. Heritage Traditional Dark Lager,
4.5% Medium bodied dark lager with
some toasty biscuit flavors.
7. F & M Stone Hammer Dry Hopped
Pilsner, 5.0% Pale, clear pilsner with
floral hop flavors. It finishes semi-dry.
8. Trafalgar Abbey Belgian, 6.5%
Belgian Dubbel with modest flavor and
aroma. There are hints of raisons and
spices in the finish.
9. Black Oak Nut Brown Ale (Whiskey
Barrel), 5.5% Vanilla flavors from the
barrel highlight rich, maltdriven ale.
Smooth taste, with roast and chocolate
10. F & M PremiumDark Ale, 5.0% Malty,
chewy session ale. Some chocolate notes.
11. Neustadt Springs 10W30 Brown Ale,
5.0% - Smooth caramel, coffee flavors
with nutty and caramel accents.
12. Wellington Arkell Best Bitter, 4.0%
- Slight roast malt flavors with a hint
13. Granite Best Bitter Special (Dry
Hopped), 4.5% Amber color hoppy
bitter with floral nose and medium body.
14. Black Oak Atomic Hop Bomb Pale
Ale, 5.0% Big hopped American Style
Pale Ale. Lots of big citric hop flavors
dominate this pale ale.
15. Granite Traditional IPA 4.5% Hopdriven,
16. Scotch Irish Sergeant Major IPA,
5.5% Hoppy IPA with nice malt balance
and citric hop bitterness.
17. Scotch Irish Sergeant Major Double
IPA, 9.5% Big alcohol and big hops
throughout. Modeled after the Dogfish
Head 120 IPA.
18. County Durham Als Cask Pale Ale,
6.0% Smooth, hoppy ESB. Pleasant
hoppy floral aroma and flavors with a
19. F & M MacLeans Dry Hopped Pale
Ale, 5.0% Hoppy, medium body pale
20. Mill Street Tankhouse Ale, 5.2%
Amber color, session ale with some
earthy hop flavors.
21. King Dry-Hopped Pilsner, 4.8%
Crisp, hoppy pils, with semi-dry finish.
22. Denisons Dunkel, 5.0% Clean
malty lager with traditional German
ingredients. It was chewy, smooth with
lots of red highlights to this very dark beer.
23. Cool Beer Millennium Buzz Hemp
Amber Beer, 5.0% Spicy ale with semidry
finish. There is an herbal character
to this red lager made with hemp, dark
roasted malt and German hops.
24. County Cider Ice Cider 11% (bottle)
Smooth, semi-sweet with lots of flavor.
Pours bright golden and finishes with
11-28-2005 17:58:05 |
More by Derek
British Columbia (Canada)
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Thank goodness i googled for cask beers Toronto and came across this place. AMAZING! But that is really based on being fortunate enough to get the one and only seat at the bar and then to be "hosted" by Tomas, co-owner and beer/coffee geek extraordinaire. He was working flat out pouring beers and talking to customers and still made time to tell me all about their AMAZING "nano-brewery" and more importantly to offer tastes. I wish the info about the beers was on their website but it's not so feel lucky just to taste them at the time. My visit this time included -- and excuse me if I don't have all the details right; we were chatting across the bar -- a FANTASTIC brun that was aged in wine barrels for 6 months and a equally good Berlinerweisse. So many taps, so little time. I don't give a rating of 5 very easily but really this may be the best beer bar I've every visited -- or at least equal to Hair of the Dog in Portland. And if you're into good coffee too don't forget to ask for his recommendations. He knows his stuff!
09-25-2012 02:46:36 |
More by EspressoGuy
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Was here on a Thursday night. A small joint on Yonge Street with a dining area and very small bar. There was a bench and a sofa as well where you could enjoy your beers. The beers were outstanding. Tons of different bottles available, about a dozen taps of mostly local micros as well as a cask conditioned ale.
The prices were very fair and the best deal was 3 5oz samplers for $5. What a great way to try a lot of new beers without making a big investment in the beer. Not sure whats worse when you get a pint you dont really like - the fact you shelled out your money or the fact that you have to drink a pint of the stuff.
I had a pile of beers that were new to me which i was pretty excited about. With the samplers I think I had almost all of the tap selections as well as a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
The bar was a little cramped but the service was great as was the attitude. I will defenitely be back next time I am in the area.
As an added bonus, after I had a Denison's Weisse, I was informed that the brewer, Michael Hancock was in the house, so I had to tell him what a great job he does on that beer. Hopefully he gets his brew in bottles sometime soon.
03-12-2005 17:00:24 |
More by SaunaKing
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I love Volo. Its a little piece of heaven for Toronto beer lovers, and a must-visit if you are in the city from out of town. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the aged wood makes it feel like a well-worn bar. Service has always been prompt and friendly, and the beer selection is definitely amongst the best in the city. The tap selection is a constantly rotating range of good Ontario micros, and the occasional surprise such as Fuller's London Porter on cask, or La Trappe Quad. The bottle selection is excellent, with a varied selection from around the world, including US micros hard to get elsewhere in the city. The food is Italian-styled, and is pretty damn delicious!
Volo hosts occasional beer events. Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Nutcracker Suite, where it was possible to try four different incarnations of Black Oak's Nutcracker. The Cask Days in the Summer is almost definitely the highlight of the beer year in the provice, but is unfortunately hard to get tickets for.
Monday night is $5 pint night. Regularly, expect to pay around $6.50 for a pint.
If you're in Toronto, you have to go here!
01-16-2008 19:43:40 |
More by bobsy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
volo is a great little place conveniently located right on the subway in downtown toronto. whether you're a local or just visiting, it's a must-visit place if you want good beer.
the restaurant is fairly small, with seating for approximately 35 people, and a bar area with room for about 10 more. when seasonally appropriate, there's also a patio available. the atmostphere is cozy, like an small cafe, and always busy.
as for beer, there are approximately 10 taps that are usually most/all local offerings, perfect for anyone new to the city. if you're looking for more variety, the bottle selection is where volo really starts to shine. the menu changes regularly as new things become available and contains a great mix of canadian, US, and international offerings. ralph goes out of his way to make sure that the beer is fresh and the selection is top notch.
while the beer would be more than enough to draw you here, the food is also worth the trip. whether it's a nice appetizer while you're sipping a beverage or a nice bowl of pasta, you won't be disappointed by the food at volo.
service is great, and the staff are always very friendly and knowledgeable.
i think volo is a great value too. the food is priced reasonably and even beers that could fetch top dollar are comparably priced with other offerings.
all of that aside, where i've seen volo really shine is efforts like ralph's "cask days" festivals. he gets most of the ontario brewers, many of whom don't even usually do casks, to create interesting and unique cask beers. some of them are variations on their standard fare, others are complete one-off experiments created specifically for the fest. there is simply no better source of cask beer anywhere in ontario and no better cask fest. ralph is a true "beer advocate" in every way possible.
in summary, volo is a must-visit spot for anyone visiting the area and a frequent stop for locals too.
10-26-2006 19:54:02 |
More by grub
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I walked by this place returning to my hotel, looked into the window and saw an impressive selection listed on the chalkboard. Sadly, it was closed. Only a block away from hotel, I figured I'd swing by later. In my room, I looked it up on BA to see that it's one the best received spot in Toronto. So now I was excited.
I got there a little after they opened and perched myself at the bar. The owner, Ralph was extremely helpful and more than happy to talk beer with me. He gave me some samples of the various draughts with some background. All of the beers on tap (~10), were Canadian and I had tried none of them. Being California homesick for something hoppy, I got excited to see Country Durham's Hop Addict. "This is not your California hop monster.", Ralph warned me. He was right. After the many samples and some chatting, I settled on Denison's Weissbier - perfect for the unseasonably ridiculously hot day.
After ordering up an appetizer, a delicious tapenade on rosemary bread, I moved on to the Black Oak Summer Saison. Ralph talked of how he wish it were easier to get a lot of the American craft beers into his restaurant. I could tell that he has already put a massive amount of work into getting what he could. The bottle selection was outstanding from West Coast favorites from Bear Republic to the Belgians, even to his latest treasure, Panil - something that I am still dying to try.
Ralph was only too generous to give me info about other spots in Toronto I should check on my travels. Clearly, this place was a labor of his love and that really resounded with me.
If you ever find yourself in Toronto, you owe to yourself to stop into Volo.
08-16-2006 20:28:54 |
More by sloejams
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
My girlfriend took me here as part of an early birthday present and man was this place great.
It was quite busy when we arrived but lucked out on a table right away. The atmosphere was cozy and homey with the majority of the lighting coming from candle and christmas lights. Old beer taps, bottles, posters, and boxes are placed in every corner, making it clear right away that this bar really prides itself on their beer.
Their selection is out of this world and by far the best I've ever come across. They had 1 beer on cask, about 10 solid locals on tap and an extensive Canadian and import menu with the local one being 2 pages. I ended up getting a pint of Durham's Hop Addict, a bottle of Half Pints Little Scrapper, and another bottle of Moyland Moylanders Double IPA, all of which were fantastic and served in the proper glassware at the proper temperatures. The food was also excellent. I don't eat pasta but that was no problem with a variety of other tasty choices on the menu.
The service was superb. The owner was there (forgot his name) and was very helpful in finding appropriate beers for both me and my girlfriend and seemed genuinely interested in how we liked them. As the night came to an end I ordered a bottle of Southern Tier's Unearthly, and the owner quickly came over and asked our server to wait a second. He ended up giving me a run through on almost all of their double ipa's and recommended the Moyland's because "it was more bang for my buck" and a bit cheaper. I ended up going with his recommendation and I was not disappointed. I was very appreciative of the fact that he cared more for what I liked than he did selling a more expensive bottle, and this is partly why the service is so excellent. Our server was just as nice and also quick, and very knowledgeable. I couldn't have asked for more in terms of service.
The only bad thing I could say about this bar is that the bathrooms are in need of a little work, but that's a minor complaint and had no effect on my overall experience there.
All in all, without exaggeration, Volo is the best bar I've been to in my life (although I only turned 19 last year). The service, selection, quality, and food were all excellent and everything was decently priced. I'm counting down the days until the next time I get to visit this gem of a place. If you're in the Toronto area, definitely stop by this place, you will not be disappointed.
12-30-2009 21:54:56 |
More by ludachris
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Just walking in the door put me in the throes of ecstasy. Right there was a cooler full of fine beers, plus the top of said cooler was loaded with great, spent bottles. Holy Tintin, Batman, Ive really arrived! The whole place was free-form, with seat yourself seating; an open-air quality with the doors wide; the randomness of the seating area, which was split by a blonde wood divider; and the extremely short bar, which looked more like a wine bar than anything else. I settled for a marble-topped table for two, tangentially overlooking the patio to my right. The breeze kept me alert and the washrooms were to my left, down a flight of stairs. The kitchen was all of the way aft, on the right side.
The selection was amazing! They had so many things that I wanted to try, but many of them were in either bombers or cork-conditioned bottles, any of which would have been too much for this solo traveler at Volo, wearing a bolo (tie). As to the atmosphere I felt as though I was sitting in a Parisian café circa the 1920s. I kept awaiting the arrival of members of the Lost Generation, but at least the headwaiter came over to see how I was doing. Pen and ink notebooks have that effect on people. I just sat there, astounded, listening to the great banter among the staff and contemplating a return visit.
08-24-2006 04:15:51 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$$
First thing I saw when I walked in was the incredible selection of beer in the entrance. I was little shocked at first by the size of the place, but was quickly greeted and took a seat the bar. I ordered several pints on draft, of some beers new to me from Ontario and even a Belgian quadrupel. I was impressed. I then quickly switched to the wide selection of American craft beers that they have in bottles. Tried some great ones that I'd never even heard of.
I ordered a pizza, which was not at all like a pizza, but incredibly delicious. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable about beer. The only unfortunate part about the place, other than the size and lack of seating was the prices. Granted it's one the only places I've seen with such a large collection of American beers in Canada, so it is worth it.
Great bar. I absolutely recommend it.
04-04-2008 16:14:39 |
More by Quej
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
This is hands down the best beer bar in Toronto, and its primarily an Italian Restaraunt, go figure. This small cafe is located on a street corner with a cozy eating area open to the street, a retro bar area and a nice little covered patio. Theres lots of vintage Italian prints, breweriana and a cool collection of beer bottles on the walls. Theres a good mix of music, I heard the Hives, Whitestripes and some Techno house stuff. The music was a little loud for me but it was 1 AM.
The selection is well thought out and very varied, with all the unibroues I ever heard of, lots of Belgians (including cantillons Rocheforts and Westmalles) and a good American selection (Rogue, Victory, Dogfish head). The taps are good with Apple Ephemere, Dennison's excellent Weissbier and my favorite, Sargent Major, among other Canadian micros. on September 23rd they are going to get Sargent Major and a Mill Street creation called 'Hop it up' on cask. I can wait, Sargent Major is one of the best IPAs Ive ever tried and its going to be amazing on cask.
The owners of this bar have a real passion for beers and have clearly put a lot of time and effort into the beer menu. The fact that they are going to intoduce casks is a testament to this, especially considering how unknown good beer is in Toronto.
The prices at Volo are always cheaper than the other bars Pints are a dollar or two cheaper than the Bier Market or Cest what and unibroue 750 mL bottles are 5 dollars cheaper than Smokeless Joe's. My Dogfish Head Raison Detre was only 6 dollars.
The servers are very friendly and insist you sample the beers you havent tried before you get a pint. They are also very fast and quite knowledgable (for Toronto) on beer.
This place is an absolute must visit for any beer lover in Toronto, its also relatively unkown which sucks because its so good. Dont waste your time at the pretentious Bier Market, come here instead. Next time Im gonna try the food.
09-15-2004 22:10:36 |
More by CAMRAhardliner
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barVolo in Toronto, ON, Canada