All aboard! We recently had the chance to discover Uxbridge through their brand new Boxcars & Beers: The Cheese Trainexperience.
We boarded the historic York-Durham Express at their Stouffville Station, and for 90 blissful minutes we were led through local beer and artisanal cheese pairings by fromager Cecilia Smith and Joanne Richter, owner of The Second Wedge Brewing Company.
Our favourite pairing (though it was really hard to choose just one) was 3 Rocks IPA paired with Providence Monforte Cheddar. The IPA was a beautiful balance of bright citrus notes, a hint of pine and a bit of bitterness; which is why it paired so perfectly with the tangy, aged taste and rich texture of the Monforte cheddar.
This experience is one of several events offered by the York-Durham Heritage Railway this summer. The event will run again on Sunday July 16th, Sunday July 30th, and Sunday August 27th. You can purchase tickets online here.
The adventure begins in Stouffville where you board a train at noon and spend an hour being led through five local beer and cheese pairings! Your ticket also entitles you to your very own tasting notebook and take-home souvenir glass. Arriving in Uxbridge at 1:15 PM you will then have an hour and a half to explore the town; the train stops just steps from the local brewery and The Uxbridge Farmers Market where you will find an abundance of local goodies. Once you’ve had your fill of the historic downtown, the train will depart Uxbridge at 2:30 PM and will arrive back in Stoufville by 3:45 PM.
In typical CTA fashion, we deboarded the train in historic downtown Uxbridge and belined for a tour of The Second Wedge Brewing Company. The beers that are offered as part of the beer and cheese pairing are produced here, and the names are even inspired by the local community. For example, Monday Night Piper (which is a Scottish-Style Ale we also had the pleasure of trying during the tasting) was named after a local group that has been gathering on Monday nights for the last 40 years to learn and practice playing the bagpipes! The music could be heard from the brewery while the ale was being made, and thus inspired the name.
What’s the perfect pairing for craft beer? Feast On-Certified snacks delivered by Urban Pantry Restaurant right to your table in the Second Wedge beer garden! Farm to table dining is very important to owner Niki Filntissis. Urban Pantry works closely with its Uxbridge community as well as local farmers and suppliers.
After lunch, we were lucky enough to still across town to The Passionate Cook’s Essentials, where we got down and dirty with one of their signature cooking classes. We whipped up some 4-minute pizzas with the help of Executive Chef Erin Monaghan. While this isn’t part of the standard Boxcars & Beers experience, it’s definitely worth coming back for!
NEXT TIME: Though we didn’t make it this time around, we plan to check out Carpe Diem Cheese, Desbarres Chocolate and the Uxbridge Farmers’ Market during our next visit! If you’re looking for fun for the whole family, take a look at all the other events offered this summer by the York-Durham Heritage Railway.