Nothing screams summer in Cottage Country like cracking open an ice-cold beer, dockside. Lucky for us there are a number of fantastic craft breweries in the region where you can grab a cold one. These local breweries produce exceptional beers, including seasonal styles and limited batch brews that are well worth exploring. Crisp, light and refreshing with hints of citrus and tropical fruit, easy-drinking summer beers range from pale ales to crisp lagers, and they are just what you want to drink as the temperatures rise.
If you’re planning a cottage vacation or a road trip to Cottage Country this summer, be sure to visit one (or all!) of these 8 craft breweries that are doing some amazing things in Ontario’s craft beer scene.
PARRY SOUND – MUSKOKA – HALIBURTON
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Located right on the waterfront in downtown Barrie, Flying Monkeys is a great place to grab some beer for the week or enjoy a pint and a sandwich on their dog-friendly outdoor patio. From crushable IPA’s to fine lagers, they offer an array of thirst quenching beers on tap (if you can’t pick one, you can create your own flight of four). Their brewery tours are currently on hold but check their website for updates before you visit.
What to Drink: Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale
An Ontario craft beer experience not to be missed, this award-winning pale ale is dry hopped with citrusy Amarillo and Cascade hops. The grapefruit, hoppy front of this beer is followed by lingering notes of sweet bready malts and sticky pine. Sample a pint in the taproom and grab some cans to go – they are perfect for sipping around a campfire on a summer night.
Nestled in the heart of Muskoka, Muskoka Brewery handcrafts small-batch premium beers that are distinctive, full of flavour and are as unique and refreshing as the region they’re from. Their taproom and patio are open to thirsty visitors.
What to Drink: Blue Buried Treasure
A decadent Pale Ale inspired by Kawartha Dairy’s Blue Buried Treasure. This unique brew has a dominant blueberry flavour and a creamy finish and tastes like the frozen treat it’s named after.
Sawdust City Brewing Company
Situated in Gravenhurst Ontario, the gateway to Muskoka, Sawdust City Brewing Company focuses on traditional ales and lagers in an array of styles, including seasonal offerings and limited batch brews.
Their 20,000 sq. ft. facility located on the main street of Gravenhurst includes a patio with ample seating and an onsite ice cream trailer serving up scoops of delicious, locally sourced ice cream. You can also enjoy a flight in their impressive tap room featuring a 24-foot live-edge bar milled from a 100-year-old naturally felled pine tree, and 18 taps pouring a rotating variety of Sawdust City cores, seasonal brews, collabs, one-offs and guest brews.
What to Drink: Golden Beach Hazy Pale Ale
Pouring a sunshine yellow, with juicy citrus hop flavours and aromas of tropical fruit and freshly cut grass, this delicious pale ale is made for long lazy summer afternoons.
Boshkung Brewing Co.
Boshkung Brewing is a small-batch brewery located right in the heart of Minden. Their focus: cottage living and great tasting beer. Expect just that — and more – at their two locations in Carnarvon and Water Street , Minden (visit the former if you prefer river views with your drink!)
What to Drink: 35 & 118 Cream Ale
An award-winning smooth cream ale with refreshing aromas of cereal malts, floral hops, and a light fruitiness. It’s ideal for day drinking.
Lake Of Bays Brewing Company
Baysville | Bracebridge | Hunstville, ON
For over a decade, Lake of Bays Brewing Company has been a mainstay of the Ontario craft beer scene. Their brewery and retail store are located just a stone’s throw from the South Muskoka River in Baysville. They also operate a barrelhouse in nearby Bracebridge and a brewhouse in Huntsville. The tasting bar and brewery tours at the Baysville location are not available at this time, however you can stop by the retail store to pick up a couple six-packs of their innovative beers.
What to Drink: Paddle On Session IPA
The Paddle On Session IPA is a celebration of Canadian Canoe culture. Light-bodied, clean and crisp with a hint of lemon and citrus hop on the nose, it’s exactly what you want to drink all summer long.
Fenelon Falls Brewing Co.
Fenelon Falls, ON
Housed inside a heritage building with 50 ft windows overlooking the Trent Severn Waterway and Cameron Lake, this picturesque small-batch brewery has earned fans for its hand-crafted premium beers. Craft beer from ‘tank to tap’ remains the focal point of their taproom which regularly features over 15 locally-made craft beers and the taproom menu includes house-made dishes that pair perfectly with your drink of choice.
What to Drink: Kawartha Sparkling Ale
A Canadian twist on an Australian classic, this golden ale has a sharp, bubbly bite ad a crisp finish. This brewery also makes a refreshing Vienna lager you definitely want to get your hands on.
Bobcaygeon Brewing Company
Bobcaygeon Brewing Company was founded to achieve one goal, to brew great craft beers to be enjoyed among friends. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Visit their patio to sample 8 of their signature beers currently pouring on tap. If you happen to visit on a Wednesday, you can pair your suds with a fun night of trivia!
What to Drink: Sunset Golden Ale
An incredibly drinkable golden ale with sweet biscuit and light fruit aromas reminiscent of campfire s’mores. Notes of pear and light melon gives it a refreshingly clean finish.
Whitewater Brewing Company
Foresters Fall | Cobden, ON
Ottawa Valley’s very own riverside brewery, Whitewater Brewing Company brews bold, innovative beers inspired by adventure. The Riverside Brewery and Riverside brewpub, where it all started, is in Foresters Fall, right by the Ottawa River. Their second location in Cobden (just steps from Muskrat Lake) also includes a brewery and an onsite brew pub offering a delicious seasonal menu featuring local produce.
What to Drink: Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale
A light, refreshing beer hand-crafted using fresh Canadian ingredients –ideal for warm weather!