Warm weather means summer. Summer means patios. Patios mean craft beer. It’s a pretty simple equation, so why does it sometimes seem so hard to choose what cold one will be keeping you company on your sunny Saturday afternoon? While everyone has their favourites, sometimes it’s best to throw caution to the wind and try something new.
Here are five up-and-coming breweries you’ll want to try if you haven’t already.
This young Oshawa brewery has been around for a little over a year now, making their start in early 2014 with a bold brand and one awesome German brew. The All or Nothing Hopfenweisse is a dry-hopped beer that isn’t too overpowering and super refreshing. Citrus notes and banana give it a unique flavour and one you definitely won’t tire of on a hot day or paired with delicious BBQ. They’re currently on tap at a number of Toronto restaurants, and having just announced that their Hopfenweisse is coming to the LCBO fairly soon, there’s no excuse not to give this new brewery a try.
Located in Kensington Market, this small brewery has quickly made a name for themselves over the past few years in the craft beer world. With their two flagship beers, Augusta Ale and FishEYE-PA in the LCBO and on tap at plenty of restaurants throughout Ontario, it won’t be hard to find something from this brewery for your next patio session. Those looking for something a little more unique will love the Fruit Stand Watermelon Wheat, a light and refreshing beer that is perfect for summer.
If you’re heading out of the city for a little R&R you’ll want to make your way to the Historic District of Port Perry to give Old Flame a try. While their beer can be found on tap at local Durham restaurants and C’est What in Toronto, the real fun is taking a day off from city life and doing a tour and tasting at their 130 year old landmark building that used to house Ontario Carriage Works. Offering up a Helles Style Lager (Old Flame “Blonde”), Vienna Lager (Old Flame “Red”) and Munich Dunkel Style Lager (Old Flame “Brunette”), there’s definitely something for everyone.
While I haven’t actually tasted Boshkung, I’ve been told by friends with more developed beer palates than myself that they’re definitely a new brewery to watch out for. Located all the way out near Haliburton Highlands in Minden, Boshkung Brewing Co. shares facilities with Rhubarb restaurant, so cottage goers can enjoy a meal and a beer. With four rotating and four seasonal brews, Boshkung also gives beer lovers the chance to try a selection of year round brews, including a cream ale, India pale ale, dark ale and Kellerbier. Aside from their location in cottage country, you can find them on tap at Bar Hop in Toronto.
Okay, so this one isn’t a brewery, but you have to admit, cider can be just as nice as beer on a hot day. West Avenue Cider was founded in late 2012 and just recently won the 2014 Best Cider in Ontario award. Made from some of the best local ingredients (including 100% fresh pressed Ontario heritage apple juice), you can definitely taste the local goodness in their ciders. With a number of limited editions, barrel aged and one off casks, cider lovers will be happy to know they also have several year round staples. They can be found at a number of restaurants and bars across Toronto.
What’s your favourite up-and-coming brewery in Ontario?