Best non-Toronto, non-LCBO breweries?

Discuss anything and everything about craft brewers from Ontario here.

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Re: Best non-Toronto, non-LCBO breweries?

Postby jp_jkl » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:42 am

I've tried the Elora Hoppy Hefe, but I've heard good things about their other beers. The Hoppy Hefe reminded me a lot of 3 Floyds Gumballhead actually.
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Re: Best non-Toronto, non-LCBO breweries?

Postby Coronaeus » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:17 pm

alsiem wrote:
The strangest beer that I had that I enjoyed was from 5 Paddles and was called something like Grandma's Back Yard and was a pale ale flavoured with basil. It had a nice anise astringency that worked well with the malts. .

I'm with you on this one. It is actually called Italian Backyard. The bottles I had in 2014 were better than the ones I had from August this year. One of the brewers told me they used a different type of basil in the August batch than they did earlier this year, or in 2014. It is my favourite of their beers, and I will look forward to it every summer they brew it.

It is weird, but highly enjoyable for lovers of basil. If they ever decide to can something and get it into the LCBO, this is the beer I would choose. it is unique, but approachable for the novice. My mother-in-law loves it!
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Re: Best non-Toronto, non-LCBO breweries?

Postby NRman » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:48 pm

another vote for Black Swan. Their IPA fresh on tap is near the top of the Ontario IPAs IMO. The porter is always good and if you are in Stratford the Red Rabbit is a great place to enjoy their beer on tap
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Re: Best non-Toronto, non-LCBO breweries?

Postby pinot_casey » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:37 am

I'm voting for Block-3.
I think the caliber of their stuff is just continuing to rise, and their IPA's really are very good.
The small barrel aging program they have is coming along nicely too.
There are also lots of one off releases, and again this is personal taste, I appreciate that they they still make beer focused beer without too many crazy extra ingredients.

Again mentioned above, I'm not so much on the Royal City wagon.
Everything I have tried has been, at best, sub par.
I go through guelph often enough, and haven't bothered to go out of the way to go by for at least the last year, so they could have changed in that time.
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Re: Best non-Toronto, non-LCBO breweries?

Postby Winter is Coming » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:48 am

1. Sawdust City
2. Innocente
3. Stack
4. Sleeping Giant
5. Barnstormers
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Re: Best non-Toronto, non-LCBO breweries?

Postby darmokandjalad » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:37 pm

Black Swan's porter is excellent, and their Wild Child is also quite nice, and could potentially help fill a huge gap in the market (not a lot of sours coming out of SW Ontario). I would love to see both of these become more widely distributed in the near future - perhaps as part of this newfangled LCBO growler program? Their IPA and EPA were both fine, too.

I've also enjoyed a lot of the stuff I've had from Block Three. 1up is a solid DIPA, and I also really enjoyed Kamikaze Monk (5.6% saison w/sorachi ace). Their flagship saison is alright, but not a favourite of mine. They've been experimenting with wine barrel-ageing too, though I haven't gotten around to cracking open either of the two bottles I picked up quite yet. One is a 10% Belgian-style pale ale, and the other was a saison aged with Brett in barrels from Stratus winery. Both sound pretty enticing.

Innocente is another one that comes to mind. Their Pils-Sinner German pils was one of the better Ontario-made examples of that style that I've tried, and Werk Avoidance (3.4%) was easily one of the more solid session ales that I sampled this summer (of which there were many). BA says I've tried 13 of their beers, and nearly all of them were products I'd consider purchasing again.

I've been to Royal City a few times; tried all four of their main lines and a handful of rotating offerings. The dry-hopped pale ale and Exhibition IPA (session ale) were both ok, but those are the only ones that come to mind. The "kombrewcha" that I tried back in the spring was neat I suppose, and all of their other offerings have been forgettable (though it's worth mentioning I didn't get to try the oud bruins).

I suppose if I had to pick a favourite, I'd vote for Block Three, but their saison is in the LCBO so maybe they don't count. Black Swan then?

Edit: Almost forgot Kilannan, though I suppose they aren't really a non-LCBO brewery either. I live outside of their distro area, but the next time I go camping up in the Bruce, I am going to pick up a mixed flat of their Kolsch and their Alt. Both are very nice, easy-drinking beers that would be ideal for the cottage/campground.

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