Syrup Season has us counting down to one special weekend: Maple In The County! This “Top 100 Ontario Festival” is a self-directed, two-day celebration of all things Ontario maple. Think pancake breakfasts, tours of sugar bushes, sugar shacks demos, music, dancing, dining and so much more.
With so much on the agenda March 25th & 26th, it’s hard to figure out what-to-do-where to make the most of these two short days. Here’s what we suggest.
1. Take time to check out Barley Days Brewery. The guys at BDB use this weekend to launch the annual release of their Sugar Shack Ale — a sweet, fruity ale with a moderately hopped finish. This year, the Hot Rod Ceasar Bar is back and Big Mike’s BBQ will be grilling to live tunes by Sophiasburg All Stars and Chris Bonham-Carter.
2. Save room for dessert at County Cider Company. They open their patio for the first time in the season for Maple In The County and cook up maple apple crepes. Tighten your scarf and plant yourself at a picnic table to soak up the late-winter sun.
3. Trivia lovers take note: the self-guided sugarbush hike at Sugarbush Vineyards inclide a 2.5km trivia loop. They also do classic maple taffy on snow and plan to serve hot mulled wine all day.
4. Stop by Kinsip Distillery (formerly called 66 Gilead) and sip on some stellar maple spirits distilled on the farm including maple whisky and maple liqueur. They’re also hosting three mixology classes to help demystify the tools and techniques behind a good cocktail.
5. Stop in at a local winery! It’s off season for many local vineyards, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something sweet planned. Norm Hardie will be serving maple smoked salmon crostini and wine by the glass around their firepit. Karlo Estates is doing pulled maple sliders and ?picarones? Peruvian squash maple donuts. Oh, and Keint-he Winery is doing Maple Beaver Tails and savoury Sugar Shack Ale Pies!