Beer was first introduced to Canada by seventeenth century European settlers, and until Prohibition reared its tea-totalling head, Canadian citizens enjoyed delicious frothy brew with meals and at celebrations, and exported it for other nations to savour. Despite a number of laws that forbade citizens from drinking, the government did allow several exceptions, with wineries being exempted from closure, and with a number of distilleries and breweries remaining open to support the export market. A few of these survived until Prohibition ended, and during the late twentieth century, a number of new breweries began producing quality beers of all kinds. There are several award winning breweries offering tours in Ontario; let’s enjoy a quick trip through a few favorites.
Better Bitters Brewing Company
Celebrating more than twenty years in business since its opening in 1991, the Better Bitters Brewing Company produces traditional root beer and wine as well as the family of Nickel Brook beers and a number of other products. Located at 864 Drury Lane in Burlington, the brewery offers both tours and free samples of its beers, along with a full line of beverages and souvenirs for purchase.
Cameron’s Brewing Company
A craft brewery which has been in operation since 1997, Cameron’s Brewing Company is probably most famous for its premium cream ale. They produce four traditional brews on a regular basis, as well as a line of Brewmasters’ Series beers that change with the seasons. The brewery is located at 1165 Invicta Drive in Oakville.
Home to a wonderful 170 seat restaurant and a 130 seat outdoor beer garden, plus a private garden which can be reserved for special occasions, Granite Brewery’s menu features modest prices, with most entrees coming in at less than $20 and a number of appetizers, soups, and salads priced well below $10. Now that we’ve gotten the food out of the way, let’s talk about the beers – Granite brews a number of specialty beers on site. Bitters, India Pale Ales, Irish Stouts, Summer Ales, Berry Ales, and a signature Gin Lane Ale or “barley wine” will make your mouth water and help your mind relax. Granite Brewery is located at 245 Eglington Avenue East in Toronto. Reservations are recommended on weekends.
Great Lakes Brewery
With a slogan like “Toronto’s Oldest Craft Brewery,” you can’t go wrong. Great Lakes Brewery has been producing fine craft ales and a number of other beers, including Orange Peel Ale, a specialty brew designed to help beat the heat during the warmest days of spring and summer. Visit the brewery to see beer being made the old fashioned way, using an open fire, copper brew house that was built in Germany in the early 1900’s. Open since 1987 and family owned, this fantastic brewery also features a gift shop and a store with a full line of products certain to quench your thirst. It is located at 30 Queen Elizabeth Boulevard in Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario.
Kichesippi Beer Company
At Ottawa‘s Kichesippi Beer Company, which is named in honour of the Ottawa River’s original name, you’ll find both pale ale and malty stout under production. A local favourite, the Kichesippi Beer Company i