Victoria Day on May 24th is a public holiday in Canada. Originally intended to mark Queen Victoria’s birthday, the day has come to mark the start of the craft beer season and many celebrate by visiting breweries and beer festivals. Victoria Day in Canada is more affectionately named May Two-Four, referencing its date and some believe the Canadian slang for a pack of 24 beers – the beverage of choice over the event.
If you’re on your Canadian holidays this year, why not do as the locals do? Take advantage of convenient flights to Toronto and join in with the fun in the city known for its beer production and of course the Festival of Beer! Here’s our run down of three ways you can kick back with a brew this Victoria Day:
Brewer’s Backyard: Queen Victoria’s Secret
This popular family-friendly event returns in 2016 at the city’s historic Evergreen Brick Works, showcasing some of Ontario province’s finest craft beers over the long weekend. The Brewer’s Backyard concept is simple, bringing together the best breweries from Toronto and the surrounding areas and serving them up in one large pub-garden-esque atmosphere. As always, the event hosts don’t release the beer menu until the day so there’s guaranteed to be a few surprises and some rare brews to try.
Beverages aren’t the only thing on offer at the Queen Victoria’s Secret event on Sunday 23rd. A number of local food vendors also pitch up in Koerner Gardens and Holcim Gallery at Evergreen Brick Works to feed the hungry punters on Victoria Day. Admission is free and visitors may even get to meet some of the brewers behind the bottles on the day.
Steam Whistle Brewing tours
Based in Roundhouse Park near Toronto’s waterfront, Steam Whistle Brewing is ideally situated for those wanting to learn more about the region’s craft beer roots after a day of sightseeing in the city. Steam Whistle’s story began and thrived in Ontario, founded by three friends in the province whose collective dream to brew a pilsner like no other became a reality in the early 2000s.
Open every day, visitors can experience this passion for themselves on the brewery’s tour, where guests will have the opportunity to sample the special pilsner, find out how it’s delivered to bars around the country and learn about Steam Whistle’s railway heritage. The beer store will also be open on Victoria Day for anyone hoping to pick up a souvenir of the brewery or just grab a six pack to take away.
Looking for a welcoming pit stop in Toronto this Victoria Day? At BarVolo the extensive range of artisan beers keep the conversation and the taps flowing!
The bar is a favoured watering hole in the city and it’s hardly a surprise, given that BarVolo features 26 regional craft beers and six traditional cask ales on a regularly rotating drinks line-up. There’s always something new to try when you drop by. The rare craft beer bottle selection provides yet another pull to this venue in the city centre on Yonge Street, as does its own brewing efforts in house. Visitors can refuel with a pint and sample their tasty Spanish-style tapas menu – it’s the perfect place to relax on a sunny evening in Toronto. This popular spot is sure to attract the Victoria Day crowd!