Beer to the Ground: The most anticipated new breweries in Ontario, Fall/Winter 2020 edition

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No fewer than 19 breweries have opened in Ontario since the spring. Spanning from Sarnia to Sudbury, from farmhouse breweries to juice-bomb hype machines, rev your engine or click your mouse to taste the province’s newest brews.

Big Rig Kitchen & Brewery

GTA (Summer 2020) This Ottawa-based brewpub chain is now in the GTA offering comfort food staples like juicy burgers and Montreal-style pizzas. The Kitchen locations don’t brew, but they do carry one-offs and seasonals from the Ottawa brewery. A welcome addition to Mississauga (5860 Mavis Road) and Richmond Hill (125 York Blvd #135).

Blackburn Brew House

Niagara Falls (Summer 2020) Blackburn is an enormous facility at 8001 Blackburn Parkway looking to be a real player in the contract brewing game. Its own line of beers is themed around the falls area and available for sipping on the patio.

Cold Break Brewing

St. Catharines (Winter 2020) Cold Break at 193 St. Paul Street predominantly features IPAs and light, fruited sours, but also offers eclectic choices like a Baltic porter. The 125-seat taproom is catered by the Righteous Monger and features a full menu of bistro fare.

Collective Arts Toronto Brewery

Toronto (Fall 2020) Think of this small Toronto brewpub as the Hamilton giant’s pied-à-terre in Canada’s biggest city. The brewpub will act as an “innovation centre” to make experimental beers with collaborators from around the world. Grab these, plus Collective’s flagships and one-offs at the taproom and retail shop on 777 Dundas Street West.

Couchiching Craft Brewing

Orillia (Spring 2020) While advertised as a brewery with a taproom, Couchiching is more sophisticated, featuring chef Brandon Conrad, late of Toronto’s The Butcher’s Son, serving a seasonally adjusted bill of fare. The beer list is accessible with standard options. It looks to become something of a community hub at 162 Mississauga Street East.

Cured Craft Brewing

Leamington (Summer 2020) Headed up by brewer Evan Bauer, and located at 43 Mill Street West, Cured is a departure for downtown Leamington. The brewery features a welcoming ambiance and patio, with a menu that reflects the fact that the owners are also butchers. You’ll definitely want to try the barbacoa.

Flux Brewing

Scotland (Summer 2020) Flux is an impressively large brewery at 185 Oakland Road. Its heated patio looks onto nearby farmland, with a beer lineup featuring kettle sours and NEIPAs in addition to more traditional styles. Food truck, Tacos vs. Ice Cream, is parked onsite (spoiler alert: there are ice cream tacos).

Imperial City Brewing

Sarnia (Winter 2020) Located on 1330 Exmouth Street, Imperial City has a wide variety of beer available for shipping across the province including an early standout: Coffee Blonde, brewed with locally-roasted beans.

Katalyst Brewing

Bracebridge (Spring 2020) Katalyst has moved into the original home of the Muskoka Brewery at 13d Taylor Road, but brings modern styles of beer to a venue that once specialized in cream ale. Early standouts include a cranberry sour and a saison.

Lake of Bays Brewing Barrelhouse

Bracebridge (Summer 2020) Just 20 minutes from its production brewery, Lake of Bays’s recent venture is a 125-seat restaurant with a comprehensive menu including one-off brews made on site, beer cocktails and a beer-inspired soup of the day.

Lindsay Brewing

Lindsay (Fall 2020) Previously brewing under the guise of the Pie Eyed Monk at 8 Cambridge Street North, the Lindsay Brewing Company shares a building with that establishment. The ownership has changed, but functionally speaking the experience ought to remain similar.

Optimist Brewery and Kitchen

Sudbury (Fall 2020) Located at 1500 Regent Street, Optimist is a welcome addition to Sudbury’s brewing scene. The beer list featured six beers at their launch in early October and the menu has something for everyone including the eponymous Optimist Bowl.

Quayle’s Brewery

Coldwater (Summer 2020) Situated in a gorgeous, purpose-built barn on a twelve acre hop yard, Quayle’s (4567 Line 12 North) promises to expand on the concept of the estate beer in Ontario. The food menu changes seasonally, but displays some influence from Mexican street food.

Red Barn Brewing

Blenheim (Summer 2020) Red Barn is aptly named, given that it occupies a handsome one at 20466 Lagoon Road. The brewery offers four year round beers at their retail store, with an early star being their Sharecropper Belgian Wit. Its comfortable patio makes it a must-visit when rolling through Western Ontario.

Refined Fool Brewing Sports Bar

Sarnia (Summer 2020) It’s hard to tell whether Refined Fool Sports is an entirely new venture. It is attached to the 1326 London Road location, but expands your entertainment possibilities to include bocce ball, shuffleboard and cornhole so you can burn a few calories while you drink.

Reverence Barrel Works

Cambridge (Spring 2020) One of a very few breweries in the province to launch with barrel-aged product only, Reverence is barrel aging a variety of beer styles—some for a few months, and others for many years. Order these slow brews online, or become a member of their Barrel Club, which may prove to be a bargain if early reports are anything to go by. Located at 1144 Industrial Road, Unit 3.

Slake Brewing

Picton (Fall 2020) Slake is a farm brewery built into a limestone hill on 99 acres of land at 181 Mowbray Road. Delicious, terroir-driven things are coming. In the meantime, it has launched with a series of beers made with 100 per cent Ontario malt.

Sparrow Brewing & Roasting

Cambridge (Summer 2020) Sparrow’s time is equally split between beer and coffee. They are arranging their indoor space for the winter as of this writing, and should reopen retail shortly at 4-54 Guelph Avenue.

Third Moon Brewing

Milton (Spring 2020) Fresh out of the gate and already darlings of the scene, Third Moon is a production brewery making some of the haziest juice bombs this side of Trillium. As of this writing beer is available for pickup only a couple of days a week at 295 Alliance Road, Unit 3 in Milton.

This story originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of The Growler, out now! You can find Ontario’s favourite craft beer and cider guide at your local brewery, select retail stores, and by subscription here.

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