I haven’t written since April and since then EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED FOR CRAFT BEER IN ONTARIO. It was a slow climb, and then very very fast and now the sky’s the limit I guess. There is so much happening that it’s hard to keep track of it all. The Ontario Craft Beer Guide writers have to update their book every half year or so to properly document this crazy influx of everybody and their mother opening a brewery.
Let me clarify a couple things since my last post:
Hey, remember when I said we’d never have Cantillon in the LCBO? I was wrong. We have several types of gueuze available now, and Cantillon is probably on the way. Shock and awe, my friends.
Hey, remember when I said that the first batch of Milkshark wasn’t very good? lol. Five fruited versions have come out since then (with many more to come), and they’re all good. They sell like hotcakes. (This is an outdated saying that I think we should update to “they sell like Milksharks”. Hotcakes/pancakes are so two decades ago. Except for the ones at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen.) My fave Milksharks are the berry ones, because they are both tart and hoppy.
Take yo praise:
This summer was the first time in Ontario history when people actually started to complain about there being too many good releases steadily happening — what can I say, we’re an eager bunch and put a lot of our money into beer. It hurts the wallet but it makes us happy. Woe is us.
If someone likes sour beer, I’m able to give them recommendations for at least five local craft breweries that are consistently making sour beer.
The Bellwoods bottle shop is now consistently carrying at least five things, now that their Hafis facility is running at full capacity. This means we can get good things all the time. No having to worry about this not happening. Along with Barncat, I think they’re making the best IPAs in the province.
Burdock is making tasty IPAs and sours, and released several wine barrel blended beers this year. Half Hours on Earth is making short cans of awesome sours, which you can get delivered to your door through Canada Post.
There are many independent importers, most of whom you can order a case of your favourite funky cider or wine though. They also deliver to your door.
Godspeed opened, is establishing their core lineup and will do at least one crazy collab this fall.
Several new breweries open every month.
More of them than I even know of have koelschips and foeders and puncheons.
Nickel Brook’s Funk Lab is in full swing. Ceres and Raspberry Uber (my favourite Ontario raspberry sour) are in a bunch of LCBOs.
Birreria Volo ain’t the only one hosting awesome exclusive craft beer events anymore. Zwanze tickets went on sale three days ago and haven’t even sold out yet. We’re talking about an event that sold out in under a minute two years ago.
Bellwoods is launching Witchstock at the end of the month, a beer fest featuring a mix of Ontario breweries and breweries from the UK, Belgium, Quebec, Florida, New York, Maine, Virginia and Massachusetts. There are two sessions, each with 350 tickets, and I was shocked they didn’t sell out in under a minute (it was more like eight minutes). It will be the first time that many Canadians get to try the likes of Trillium and Other Half. They’re going to have food trucks and oysters and everything delicious. It’s going to be the best. I didn’t even buy Cask Days tickets this year. There is so much goodness. There is so much fullness. One love.