by: Wayne Newton a freelance journalist
Reprinted from the London Free Press
amended by myself Jennifer Whaling
Among the best craft brewery/fall colours routes is the Lake Huron shoreline, where 100 kilometres of taste and leaf-peeping awaits along Highway 21 from Bayfield to Southampton. The route has a six-pack of small, independent craft breweries worthy of your attention, with bottle shops available to bring fresh finds home.
Bayfield Brewing Co
At Bayfield Brewing (14 Bayfield Main St., Bayfield), there are four core beers here, each a homage to the village. Navigating Lieutenant is a light 4.3 per cent alcohol lager named for British naval officer and surveyor Henry Wolsey Bayfield, who literally put the picturesque village on the map. Its Woollen Shop Brown Ale gets its name from the brewery’s former use as a woollen mill in the 1940s. Cabinet Maker, a Canadian pale ale, is a nod to a local 19th-century craftsman. Captain Ronny, a 55 IBU, six per cent alcohol IPA, is named for brewery patron Ron Keys.
River Road Brewing
A farm-based Bayfield Brewery where hops are grown on site, River Road Brewing and Hops, (35449 Bayfield River Rd., Bayfield) has two core beers: a wee heavy style called Up Your Kilt delivering a malty flavour that’s the antithesis of a hoppy IPA and Blind Descent, an oatmeal stout incorporating local oats. On the entry spectrum, there’s County Blonde, a mild malt-forward beer featuring all Huron County ingredients.
Bad Apple Brewing
Looking for the baddest, best looking, coolest brewery there is…. let us know when you find it, we totally want to check that place out! We’re just doing what we do best- brewing great craft beer! We also have a beautiful location right along the shores of Lake Huron. We are located in a renovated century barn, on a small orchard where we grow fresh produce that we use in some of our beer recipes. The orchard is licensed and full of picnic tables for tranquil beer drinking with friends! We also have a large indoor seating area, tap room and brewery store. The space doubles as an event space. We have been known to host yoga, paint nights, comedy night, live music and a haunted orchard walk in the fall. Check out our Facebook page for the latest events. We are open year round. Come for a taste, leave with an experience!
Stone House Brewing
Owner Mike Corrie has been in the beer industry for over 25 years. Trained under a German Brewmaster, Mike’s first beer was a Czech Pilsner beer. Crystal clear and deep golden in colour. A very crisp, clean approachable and refreshing Pilsner with light straw grass and mild malt grain finish. Only the best SAAZ noble hops are used in the brewing of this beer to compliment its flavour and aroma. Exceptionally easy drinking Czech Pilsner with good levels of bitterness. Mike has added a wonderful German Dark Lager made with a Dunkel style malt forward very easy drinking lager. He only uses the best SAAZ noble hops. Eight different German malts are used in the brewing of this beer. Giving this exceptional tasting beer flavours of chocolate, coffee, and caramel.
Grey Matter Beer Company
Committed to a diverse selection of beers, Grey Matter Beer Company (726 Queen St., Kincardine) has seasonals that include Origins of Fire, a collaboration with Tartan Tusk Pub in Kincardine. Origins of Fire is a blonde fruit ale featuring 200 kilograms of roasted Ontario peaches. Core beers include Checkmate Helles Lager and Mission to Mars, an American pale ale brewed with Citra and Ekuanot to create a hop-driven aperitif.
Seasonals at Square Brew (430 Parsons Court, Goderich) include Ontario’s West Coast IPA, fermented with Norwegian Farmhouse yeast. It’s a 6.5 per cent alcohol strong beer. Mainstays are Square One Pilsner with German hops and Canadian malt, along with the dark and malty Vienna is Waiting.
Outlaw Brew Co
Outlaw Brew Co. (196 High St., Southampton) is located in the old Southampton Hotel, circa 1867. Outlaw focuses on accessible beers, including the caramel and malty Bronco Copper Ale. At the other end of the scale, Sheriff is a 65 IBU West Coast style IPA brewed with British Columbia grain and California-grown hops. Southern Lass Honey and Heather is intriguing, brewed with local wildflower honey and heather tips imported from Scotland. Pour and pause for the lavender aroma.
At Wismer House (705 Goderich St., Port Elgin), a new era dawns for a historic watering hole and live entertainment mecca in one of Lake Huron’s most popular beach towns. The new brewery featuring a rooftop patio is under construction as an addition to the downtown bar. Recipes and brand names are yet to be announced.
Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.