Yes you read that right… 12 Pubs of Christmas is a tradition we started last year and we simply love it! It’s a great way for us to unwind with our friends and explore some Toronto pubs and ofcourse craft beers and suds. Last year we twirled around the Esplanade area so this year we focused on the Yonge and Bay Street corridor to hit up some new spots. I’m the designated planner and my goal is to get us trying out new spots and neighbourhoods each year. It’s like we’re tourists on a beer crawl as we ooh and aah at some new finds. Ofcourse since it’s a fairly large group (for personal groups I highly recommend keeping it under 18 to ensure it’s manageable) it’s hard to surprise everyone but for the most part we each find a new spot we like. In terms of planning things can get messy with a pint at each pub so we try to mix it up with a few half pints (hello breast feeding and pumping ME!!) and keeping it to half an hour to forty five minutes at each place gives those who want to nibble a good time slot to do so.
Starting our day off at the Distillery Market to get in the festive mood was a good idea though it was extremely cold and we didn’t get a chance to enjoy some mulled wine by the many patio fire pits. Always next year though! So where did we go? Who did I drink? Why take a look below!
Mill Street Beer Hall – We’ve been here before and loved the communal tables and flights available to convene around as old friends and new ones were introduced.
Jason George – A new find for most of us we loved this spot with it’s cozy back rooms and festive old school decor. It was a spot which had some jolly old fellas meeting up for their own celebrations and it was hard not gate crashing their party! Also.. hello to $5 caesars during our visit!
Cést What– every Toronto beer lover knows of this gem and sure enough they had some unique brews for us to try out. Always a winner on any beer crawl
McVeighs – Oh you know this old gem? They used to have a really cool Guinness O Clock painted on the outside but it’s long gone now. It was my first time here and I loved the old gent on the wall. Ironically the bar man was also a very old gent and we had a good laugh though I don’t think he was impressed by the half pints some of us ordered! Apparently it’s been years since someone’s asked for one of those! ooops!!
Beer Academy – Again been here before and was a must include on the list. Though sadly they didn’t have many new beers for us to explore. Was hoping to find some new loves!
Duke of Richmond – The Dukes are always reliable which is why you’ll see a few were on our crawl….traditional Irish hospitality at its best. A few enjoyed some nibbles here and having had their pub grub before I can attest to it hitting the spot!
Firkin on Yonge – This was the first time in here for most of us and by this point and as you can see I loved their nod to James Bond!
Three Brewers – This French Brewery is where many wanted to dine at and the private area upstairs was just fab!
Queen and Beaver – I love this spot as you very well know. Unfortunately I had to give this one a pass as I had to rush home and pump away. Those who did make it to this spot may have indulged in one extra pint though! That’s what happens when the mistress of ceremonies disappears!
Duke of Somerset – A warm welcome here and another spot where we may have dilly dallied a bit longer.
Dukes Refresher + Bar – A brand spankin’ new spot that we will be frequenting often! They had a warm welcome for us and as our near last stop we indulged in quite a few dishes here. I can’t wait to come back for more nibbles and drinks here!
End of the Night!
We nearly got to our 12th pub when unfortunately I was informed that they had to shut down for various reasons…this lead us towards another pub in the area which unfortunately did not allow us in for various reasons (well the girls were let in but the guys weren’t…it’s a long story and if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you got the play by play). However we did end up at a friend’s place and while not technically a pub, it was a lovely end to a fun day with friends to kick off the holiday season!
Do you have any get togethers with your friends before the hectic holiday season?What do you do?