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A Brief History of Beer in Toronto, Ontario

#DrinkLocal is a global movement in efforts to support local craft breweries and brewers. Here’s a little history on Toronto’s first brewery and why you should #drinklocal by drinking Toronto beers.

A Brief History of Beer in Toronto, Ontario

History of Beer in Toronto, Ontario
Toronto’s Oldest Brewery

Toronto has a lot of history with beer. The first brewery in Toronto is said to have opened in the 1800s. The brewery was founded by Robert Henderson, a man who moved from Kingston to Toronto. When the brewery first opened, all the beers were being imported from Kingston, but Henderson felt this was an opportunity to brew local Toronto beers.

A notice from 1809 signed by Robert Henderson described the brewery as “a milling plant, brewhouse, working tubs, coolers, two kilns for drying malt, two good wells or water, a stable, two stills, a townhouse, slaughterhouse and three acres of land.” In 1811, the brewery eventually moved across the street from its original location onto land owned by Joseph and George Shaw, who had shares in the brewery. The brewery eventually burned to the ground in 1856.

When Henderson passed away, the distribution of his beers discontinued as he didn’t have any descendants to continue his beer legacy. Today, Henderson is remembered as Toronto’s first brewer and is lived on through the brewery named after him, Henderson Brewing Co.

Why Should You Drink Toronto Beers?

Drinking locally-made beers from Toronto helps support local businesses and fosters growth in the Ontario beer industry which can lead to economic development. Drinking craft beers from Toronto’s local breweries is important because the beer industry in Canada is huge.

What is #DrinkLocal?

#DrinkLocal is more than just a beer hashtag, it’s a craft beer movement.

Drink Local or “#drinklocal” is an important grass-roots social movement. The #DrinkLocal tag creates awareness and support for local breweries, pubs, taprooms and liquor stores. Click here to learn more about the #drinklocal movement or tap into the world of Toronto Craft Beer by checking out our Toronto Beer Guide.

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