Discovering Craft Beers & Breweries in Ontario with Savvy Company
Savvy Brew Crew member Meaghan Baskin met with Brett French, Barley Days Brewery�s sales representative, delivery guy, spokesman, (and everything in between!) to discuss the brewery, the beers, and what it�s like being the only brewery in Prince Edward County.
Brett is a guy who is truly passionate about Barley Days beer – and craft beer in general – and without a doubt he absolutely loves what he does. He got me really excited to try the beers, and visit the brewery! With so many new beers, there is always lot to look forward from Barley Days. This is one brewery to look out for, and definitely should be a stop on your next trip to Prince Edward County.
Located in the heart of Ontario�s newest destination for everything gourmet, artisan and craft; Barley Days Brewery is definitely enjoying the sense of pride and community in Prince Edward County. From the ability to trade your neighbours� used wine barrels for beer, or using local farm�s fresh produce as ingredients, to the labels, packaging and name of the brewery itself; are all signs of a close knit community and a pride of their craftsmanship.
Since the brewery was founded in 2007 by owner Chris Rogers, Barley Days has developed a loyal following. Their fans are always pushing the envelope requesting something new, yet happy to find that their County favourites are always available. Recently, Brett tells me, there has been an increasing demand for new & novel beer creations, resulting in renovations and transitions at the brewery to keep up with production and demand. All the while, something that is guaranteed not to change is the history of Barley Days. Chris is a veterinarian, with a passion for beer. From 1750-1910 his family owned a brewery in Lancashire, England and Barley Days is his homage to his family�s past. Being a Canadian history buff, Chris celebrates Prince Edward County�s part in the exporting of bay barley, malting barley and hops to breweries in the United States during 1860-1890. This is history is depicted in the artist rendered labels and in the name Barley Days � a time when farming, shipbuilding, and shipping flourished and this period became known in local history as “The Barley Days”.
Barley Days� Best Kept Secrets
A small handful of Barley Days beers are available at LCBOs (and always sellout quickly), a trip to the brewery is definitely a reason to visit The County. Be sure to ask for Brett when you stop by as he would love to meet new fans & share stories behind how many of their ingredients are sourced, and brought to the brewery. Can you imagine this? Each autumn, Barley Days friends and family parade across the road to the neighbouring farmers market, each person�s arms piled high with pumpkins � the essential ingredients needed for the pumpkin saison. This glorious seasonal beer requires over 400lbs of County pumpkins in the recipe to create a batch of 4000L this specialty beer. Imagine how many trips across the road it takes to make that beer! (sounds like a ?how many times did the brewmaster cross the road� joke is coming on!)
Brett explains, ?The community in the County is very much like going to your next door neighbour�s home and asking to borrow a cup of sugar.? It is truly a bonus being located in The County where your next door neighbour on one side is a farmer�s market and on the others it is a winery. There is inspiration everywhere and someone to lend a hand (or pumpkin!).
Drop By Barley Days any time
When you�re next in The County, stop in for a chat with Brett and his team, sample their latest & greatest where you will see the growing demand for their beers coupled with the The County�s popularity as a tourism destination. The tasting room has a cafA� feel with small plates of local restaurant�s dishes and boards with charcuterie and locally made cheeses. ?It has become a place that is hard to leave!? laughs Brett.
With more & more craft beer festivals popping up everywhere, look for Barley Days & ask for Brett at The County�s annual events like: Taste the County, National Capital Craft Beer Week in Ottawa or The Brewery Market events in Toronto. If its craft beer related, ?Barley Days Brewery will be a part of it?, assures Brett.
New brews are always in the works, so make sure to look for Barley Days next time you�re out at your favourite local restaurant or pub. Their Mason jar tap handles are hard to miss, and you may be excited to find a seasonal treasure on tap.
Savvy Hip Hops is Ontario�s first craft beer of the month club. To further your enjoyment of Ontario�s best craft beers, each month the Savvy Brew Crew compiles a ?mini-magazine� to give you the inside scoop on the brewery, the brewmaster & of course the beers! It�s just one of the benefits of being part of this hopping club. Sign up today for more beer knowledge. Cheers!
Originally written for Savvy Hip Hops subscribers by Meaghan Baskin of Savvy Company�s Brew Crew.