This week is officially ‘Ontario Craft Beer‘ week, with literally hundreds of beer events happening across Ontario, promoted by local breweries, bars and the Ontario Craft Brewers Association.
In Toronto, it seems that there are new brewpubs and breweries sprouting up every couple of months now. This evolution of breweries in Toronto means it is exciting times for the local craft beer lover!
Spearhead Brewery helped to get it started last year, with the successful launch of their hoppy Hawaiian-style IPA beer. Building on that success, they’re planning to get their beer into the LCBO and start producing two new beers. Since then the Indie Alehouse, Kenginston Brewing Company, Junction Craft Brewing, Hogtown Brewers and Bellwoods Brewery have come into existence.
If that isn’t enough, more new breweries, like Sawdust City in Huntsville, are showing up around the province.
The best part about this influx of new breweries is that willing or not, established breweries in Toronto and Ontario are upping their game to meet the demand for new styles and flavourful beers.
Flying Monkeys is a great example of this. Their re-branding quickly launched them to fandom amongst craft beer lovers a few years ago and their Smashbomb Atomic IPA helped fuel the local hop craze. But Black Oak has 10 Bitter Years, Great Lakes has Karma Citra and Amsterdam has Boneshaker IPA. They’re all pumping out special beers at a near constant rate; plus these are just a few examples of local breweries upping their game.
The most promising thing is that a number of these special beers are turning into regular releases at the LCBO, as the awareness of and interest in craft beer has become more mainstream. With enough demand, it seems almost any style of beer has a chance of succeeding in Ontario, and specifically, Toronto these days.
All in all, it is going to be a great summer for beer lovers in Ontario. If you want to know more about some of the newest local beers and breweries, check out the links above and enjoy Ontario Craft Beer Week!