With the food industry increasingly embracing local and seasonal ingredients in innovative ways, it was only a matter of time before the beverage industry followed suit. You’ve probably heard about natural wine; it’s not only buzzy—it’s delicious and healthy too. But did you know that many of the same processes are being applied to beer?
Whether you’re a casual beer drinker or a proud beer lover, these craft beer breweries are sure to inspire. At the forefront of the new brew movement, you can visit these breweries in person, order beer online, or sample a bunch as part of a craft beer subscription. We recommend pulling up a seat at the bar and chatting with the brewers to really get to know your brews.
Is it beer? Is it wine? Toronto’s Burdock Brewery has been blurring the lines by experimenting with wine grapes to produce inspired hybrids. Burdock works with forward-thinking Niagara winemaker Pearl Morissette to create small-batch beers that satisfy wine enthusiasts and beer lovers alike. Try a bottle from their ‘BUMO’ series, an ongoing collaboration that features barrel aged wine grapes, or their ‘Best Fruits’ blend, which combines golden plums and Ontario orange wine grapes.
It’s no surprise that a brewery based in California is pioneering ‘wellness beers’: a new brew process that infuses sea salts and electrolytes into beer to help your body refuel. Initially geared towards endurance athletes who wanted to power down after an intense workout, Sufferfest beers are now being embraced by all types of beer drinkers. They currently have five beers on rotation—all gluten free and brewed with all kinds of feel good ingredients. Try their ‘FKT (Fastest Known Time) Pale Ale’—it’s brewed with the same electrolyte-replenishing salt as Gatorade.
Family-owned 33 Acres Brewing prioritizes creativity and innovation above all else. All of the names of their beers are inspired by the Pacific Northwest and the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood in which they’re located. We recommend trying the ‘33 Acres of Ocean’, an aptly named West Coast pale ale with citrus and pine notes, or the hoppy ‘33 Acres of Nirvana’ IPA. The brewery recently expanded into the space next door to create the 33 Acres Brewing Experiment, where they’ve been playing with the boundaries of fermentation to produce even more exciting new brews.
Greensboro Bend, VT
With an ever-increasing number of small batch microbreweries experimenting outside of traditional brewing methods—Vermont is a beer lovers’ dream come true. Hill Farmstead should be top of your list—it’s resoundingly referred to as one of the best and most interesting breweries in the country. They hand select hops, work with local fruit farmers, and brew their beers using the well water on property. Their single hop series was the first to focus on one hop variety at a time—a move that other brewers quickly followed. Try the ‘Single Hop Pale Ale’ with Nelson Sauvin—a hop with white wine qualities from New Zealand.
Stillwell is a playful East Coast brewery from the team behind the popular Bar Stillwell. They favour farmhouse-style ales that are brewed with local Nova Scotia fruits and herbs. Many of their beers are low in alcohol and light. Their house saison is called ‘Easy’ and drinks just as it sounds: lightly tart, herbaceous, and dry—it’s the perfect anytime, anywhere brew. We also recommend the ‘Merryweather’, a botanical beer brewed with Nova Scotia-foraged juniper and rose hips.
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