Bee The Name

Cat Lady. Long Dark Voyage to Uranus. Long Dong. Cockpuncher. Shawinigan Handshake. There are some pretty epic beer names out there. And now you have a chance to add to that list!

Since 2011, The Royal York (yeah, that one) has been serving an exclusive beer made for them by Mill Street Brewery in their bars and restaurants. The beer is a honey ale, made with honey produced by the bee hives The Royal York has in their rooftop garden. And in case this just sounds like a marketing ploy, The Royal Stinger (as the brewers called it for lack of a better name, more on that in a minute) has won numerous awards, including a Bronze at the Canadian Brewing Awards.

But they’re ready to give it an official name. And that’s where you come in.

Roayl York Bees

“bzzzzzzz bzzzzzz, just making beer ingredients, bzzzzzz”

Until August 8th, they are accepting suggestions at All entries will be judged by The Royal York and Mill Street, and they will choose their top three. These will then be voted on via social media to choose the winner. I’m going to suggest it’s called “Let’s Bee Friends (and there’s a picture of a bee) Ale”. Clearly the winner.

And what do you win if they choose your name? Well, aside from the obvious honour of having named an exclusive beer made for one of the most exclusive hotels in Canada, you will also recieve an all-expense paid trip to Toronto, including round-trip airfare and 2 nights at the Fairmont Royal York; dinner and drinks as well as a tour at the Mill Street Brewpub; and entrance to the #TWIFF party.

So send your name suggestion, along with a short blurb about why you think this ought to be the new name.

If you need some inspiration, I would highly suggest heading down to Union Station, pop across the street, nod politely at the dudes in the crimson coats, and grab a pint of Royal Stinger Let’s Bee Friends (and there’s a picture of a bee) Ale in the Library bar. If that’s just not in the cards, I’ve got your back, Jack.

I got to pop round The Royal York last week, and in addition to visiting the rooftop garden and apiary (pictures below), drank some of the beer, and I must say, it was quite nice. It’s a solid malty beer with notable noble hops. Joel Manning actually told me how it was made, though I’m not certain how public that is. Suffice to say, I tasted Hallertau hops, and they’re in there, as are fuggles and Hersbrucker. The honey is subtle, and adds creaminess to the body, and just a touch of floral sweetness (it’s added to the brights, which means it’s all there, none of it gets fermented). Considering it’s a beer that needs wide appeal as a house brand, it manages to be approachable but has enough going on that it’s not throw-away. I would happily drink it again.

The Royal York roof-top garden

The Royal York roof-top garden

In addition to multiple different herbs, the chefs also grow tomatoes, potatoes, squash, peppers, figs, grapes, and more in large raised beds on the roof of the east wing.

Man I love me some spuds

Man I love me some spuds

Developers are vying for bee-condo space in this city.

Developers are vying for bee-condo space in this city.

Not only do these bees cross-pollinate the roof-top garden, but they collect nectar from the Islands, the Don Valley, and even the (possibly) the hanging plants on the patio of the Mill Street Brewpub.

Solitary Bee Nesting

Solitary Bee Nesting

There are multiple colonies of honey bees up here, but they also have a nesting site set up for solitary bees, who are also very important pollinators. You can set up a “condo” too! Check out

Royal York Hops

Honey isn’t the only beer ingredient up here

Royal York mini-vineyard

There are also wine ingredients. One of the smaller vineyards around.

The biggest scarecrow in the world.

The biggest scarecrow in the world.


  1. Karen Pottruff
    Posted August 7, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting roof-top garden!

  2. Mary
    Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Hi, have you posted the winners for the Beethename contest yet?

  3. chris
    Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Mary, The contest isn’t run by, but by The Royal York. The winner was meant to be announced this past Wednesday, but I haven’t heard anything yet. Follow them on Facebook for more info.

  4. Posted January 3, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Some cool beers and rooftops, who is up for a drink

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