If you’re looking to brew up a great getaway, consider that craft beer makes for a better souvenir than a keychain. Head to Hamilton and bring home new beers that might not be available at your neighbourhood LCBO, Beer Store or grocery store. You’ll have the chance to sample the brewer’s craft at the source with welcoming taprooms, retail outlets and tour-friendly facilities visit. There are plenty of options, so choose a True Brew path based on your own type of “beer love”!
Adventurous taste buds will want to include these two brews on their must-try list. Merit Brewing’s Chanan is a dry hopped Saison with orange peel and Indian Coriander. Chanan is a hybrid of three styles — it is hopped like an IPA, uses orange peel and coriander like a German wit, and is fermented with house saison yeast. For an early morning treat, Grain and Grit, in West Hamilton, features a breakfast beer. Its Milk Stout is brewed with lactose, chocolate malts and coffee from local café Grupetto in Dundas. Shawn & Ed Brewing Company’s Barrelshed brews are like nothing else you’ll find. A variety of beer styles are craft brewed, then aged gently in wine barrels for distinctively oak affected beers.
At Hamilton’s Collective Arts each beer is a work of art on the inside and out, featuring visual art on the label along with a scan that unlocks music and videos by featured bands and filmmakers. After checking out the Collective Arts Gallery, featuring artists and musicians who have been on the labels since the brewery’s launch, taste from a beer menu that includes ales, IPAs, and a porter, sour and gose.
If you want to be able to tell your friends that you raised a glass inside a former curling and skating rink, don’t miss Shawn & Ed Brewing Company. That’s not the only reason to visit – this unexpected location is also home to the winning Canadian brew from the World Beer Awards, the Barrelshed No. 1.
If you’re on the hunt for some of Ontario’s finest locally brewed beers, look no further than Clifford Brewing Company’s proudly brewed porter. Since 2015 the porter from this taproom and retail store in East Hamilton has won 3 Gold medals and 4 Silvers in the Canadian and Ontario Brewing Awards.
Two Oktoberfest mainstays, sausage and pretzels, make for authentic pairings at two Hamilton hot spots. Pair a doughy soft pretzel with a sour ale or IPA in the intimate but vibrant taproom at Fairweather Brewing Co. in the west end of the city. Merit Brewing has a sausage-based menu fit for any hungry beer drinker. Links lovers will drool for the Pork Heart Chorizo, Lamb Andouille, and Butter Chicken sausages here. You can pair them with beers made by the brewery’s “5th ingredient brewers” who add fruits, herbs, spices, or teas to every batch.
If you’re looking for more suggestions to find “true brews”, you’ll want to check out the True Brew Path, which will guide you along the road for touring and tasting at amazing craft breweries in Hamilton Halton Brant. The Ontario Greenbelt’s Brewery Discovery Routes are another curated selection of ‘must-sees’ from our full list of recommended stops.
Planning to brew up a few days in the area? You’ll want to further explore Hamilton. The city, with one of the hottest and fastest-growing foodie scenes around and the nickname of Canada’s Brooklyn, offers plenty of diversions to round out your tasting trip.