Craft Beer Market Prepares for Official Opening in Toronto

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TORONTO — Craft Beer Market held special grand-opening events at its new Toronto location this week, offering guests a first look at the space, menu and extensive beer selection.

Set to open next week, the two-storey location will offer more than 150 beers on tap, as well as a selection of cider, wine and cocktails. The restaurant will feature a live DJ every evening, seven days a week and monthly Brewmaster’s Dinners — four-course dinners paired with offerings from one of the restaurant’s partner breweries.

“The revolution of craft beer is here in Ontario…there are over 300 craft breweries in Ontario, and we have 65 per cent of our taps [dedicated] to locally brewed beer,” said PJ L’Heureux, founder & president of Craft Beer Market. “When we first opened, we could only [offer] about five per cent local beers.”

Featured Ontario brewers include, Side Launch, Collective Arts, Great Lakes Brewery, Junction Craft Brewing and Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery — several of which were on hand during the pre-opening festivities.

During the “First Look” event on November 28, guests had the opportunity to sample several of the restaurant’s menu items, including Hawaiian Ahi Poke served with crispy wontons ($16); black-garlic-miso glazed Maui short ribs ($14); and Goucho Chicken flatbread with pico de gallo and chipotle aioli ($17).

The evening’s festivities also included a ceremonial cask tapping — performed by a representative from Great Lakes Brewery — to christen the new restaurant. “We don’t cut a ribbon, we tap a cask when we launch our new locations,” explained L’Heureux.

The Calgary-based chain got its start in Western Canada, currently operating locations in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. It launched in the Ontario market last year with the opening of a location in Ottawa. The premium-casual concept puts emphasis on fresh local food and environmental and social responsibility, as well as craft beer.

The new Toronto location (on the corner of Adelaide and Yonge streets) will officially open to the public next week.