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Heading North...Stack Brewing or Highlander Beer Co?

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:15 am
by El Pinguino
Heading up north for a camping trip near Hearst.

Was thinking of stopping for beers at either Stack or Highlander. Leaning towards Stack in Sudbury as they're harder to find and I haven't had most of their beers...anyone have recent comments on their stuff?

Also, if anyone has any connections for getting some Moose meat up north, shoot me a message. I'd happily trade some southern brews for northern Moose if anyone has a friend/family up that way in need of some beer!

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:11 am
by icemachine
Lion Grass was just sent to the LCBO warehouse, so I suggest Stack as everything Highlander does will be available soon.

Too early for Moose, maybe in 6 weeks or so

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:34 am
by ECBS
I "toured" the Highlander facility a year ago and, unfortunately, there wasn't much worth seeing! Or tasting, IMHO (though that could have had something to do with the ice cold temperature of the samples being poured straight from the tank).

Pros: Brian Wilson - the brewmaster, and only person working there at the time - was happy to show my friends and I around and poured us some very generous samples of the two brews they had going at that time. The people there have great intentions.

Cons: "Beer geeks" are not welcome here. Mr. Wilson enjoys employing the term "city-ot" (a play on the word "idiot") when referring to any city dweller. He also griped for quite some time about how out-of-towners use the term "the Muskokas" ("THERE'S ONLY ONE MUSKOKA, CITY-OT!") and how city-ots always ask him what type of beers he brews (in response to my first question - whether the Twisted Spruce I was drinking was an IPA - he replied "It is what it is! If I told you it was a Trappist beer, would that make it taste better?" He said this in a joking fashion, but he and I both knew he was not, in fact, joking).

I would be very curious to know about others' experiences at this joint, that is, if anyone else has ever been inside the place.

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:50 am
by icemachine
I've been a few times, but since I grew up in that neck of the woods I may be biased. Brian is a pretty mild guy compared to a lot of locals.

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:15 am
by ECBS
icemachine wrote:I've been a few times, but since I grew up in that neck of the woods I may be biased. Brian is a pretty mild guy compared to a lot of locals.


Ha, I really didn't have a problem with Brian or my experience there - the people are definitely friendly and super accommodating (I believe it was either a Sunday or Monday on Canada Day weekend that they gave us our tour) - but I did leave with the impression that I might not have enjoyed my visit had I been a city-slickin' beer geek who went out of my way just to get a tour of the brewery! And again, their beers just aren't my thing.

That said, if Highlander brews something in the future that really peaks my interest, and I happen to be in South River, I won't think twice about stopping by the brewery and talking with Brian about them city-ots over a brew or two :)

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:23 am
by El Pinguino
Thanks guys....I will visit both over the coming month, but think I'll hit Stack first!

Will have to save the Moose for another time....

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:35 am
by toweringpine
I find myself travelling past South River every once in a while. One time I decided to check out Highlander and stopped in. I was there long before the posted closing time but the place was locked up and I left empty handed ( with a rather annoyed wife who was dragged along for a fruitless beer adventure ). If you are going at all out of your way to check out Highlander I would highly recommend a phone call to confirm you will be able to get in.

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:42 pm
by schomberger
Being a city-odic beer geek, I couldn't help but review Highlander's RB ratings just now---as I suspected due to the total lack of buzz about them on this forum, they suck!

http://www.ratebeer.com/brewer/10734/sort/2/

Re: Heading North...Stack Brewing or Highlander Beer Co?

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:07 pm
by Beer'n'gin
El Pinguino wrote:Heading up north for a camping trip near Hearst.

Was thinking of stopping for beers at either Stack or Highlander. Leaning towards Stack in Sudbury as they're harder to find and I haven't had most of their beers...anyone have recent comments on their stuff?

Also, if anyone has any connections for getting some Moose meat up north, shoot me a message. I'd happily trade some southern brews for northern Moose if anyone has a friend/family up that way in need of some beer!


No moose meat but if you do find yourself in Sudbury and must try Stack I'd say their Altbier, (Impact Alt in tall can) Smoke N Oat and Les Portes De L'enfer and Black Rock are decent. While they're different styles, I prefer Highlander Blacksmith Smoked Porter to Stack's Black Rock (Black IPA). Not sure where you're planning to stay but Hardrock 42 has 30 taps, several from Stack at any given time as well as goodies from Great Lakes, other Ontario micros.

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:34 pm
by darmokandjalad
schomberger wrote:Being a city-odic beer geek, I couldn't help but review Highlander's RB ratings just now---as I suspected due to the total lack of buzz about them on this forum, they suck!

http://www.ratebeer.com/brewer/10734/sort/2/


That's a little harsh. The Twisted Spruce isn't very good, but the other beers I've tried from them (Blacksmith Porter, Scottish Ale and Liongrass) are fine. And their prices are very reasonable ($4.50-5.00/bomber) compared to a lot of the overpriced crap on the market right now.

The city-ot slur doesn't really hurt my feelings, but then again I'm from Sarnia and virtually everyone here actually is an idiot - so maybe my perspective is skewed.

Re: Heading North...Stack Brewing or Highlander Beer Co?

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:12 pm
by El Pinguino
Beer'n'gin wrote:
El Pinguino wrote:Heading up north for a camping trip near Hearst.

Was thinking of stopping for beers at either Stack or Highlander. Leaning towards Stack in Sudbury as they're harder to find and I haven't had most of their beers...anyone have recent comments on their stuff?

Also, if anyone has any connections for getting some Moose meat up north, shoot me a message. I'd happily trade some southern brews for northern Moose if anyone has a friend/family up that way in need of some beer!


No moose meat but if you do find yourself in Sudbury and must try Stack I'd say their Altbier, (Impact Alt in tall can) Smoke N Oat and Les Portes De L'enfer and Black Rock are decent. While they're different styles, I prefer Highlander Blacksmith Smoked Porter to Stack's Black Rock (Black IPA). Not sure where you're planning to stay but Hardrock 42 has 30 taps, several from Stack at any given time as well as goodies from Great Lakes, other Ontario micros.


Thanks for the tips! I'm actually heading about 8 hours past Sudbury, so it is only a quick beer supply/lunch stop there this time. Been to Hardrock before, might visit them again for lunch.

Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:33 am
by FEUO
ECBS wrote:I "toured" the Highlander facility a year ago and, unfortunately, there wasn't much worth seeing! Or tasting, IMHO (though that could have had something to do with the ice cold temperature of the samples being poured straight from the tank).

Pros: Brian Wilson - the brewmaster, and only person working there at the time - was happy to show my friends and I around and poured us some very generous samples of the two brews they had going at that time. The people there have great intentions.

Cons: "Beer geeks" are not welcome here. Mr. Wilson enjoys employing the term "city-ot" (a play on the word "idiot") when referring to any city dweller. He also griped for quite some time about how out-of-towners use the term "the Muskokas" ("THERE'S ONLY ONE MUSKOKA, CITY-OT!") and how city-ots always ask him what type of beers he brews (in response to my first question - whether the Twisted Spruce I was drinking was an IPA - he replied "It is what it is! If I told you it was a Trappist beer, would that make it taste better?" He said this in a joking fashion, but he and I both knew he was not, in fact, joking).

I would be very curious to know about others' experiences at this joint, that is, if anyone else has ever been inside the place.

This guy sounds about as endearing as Greg Koch.