As one of the first spring crops, rhubarb is celebrated the province over. Folks bake it into pies, the cook it into jam and juice it into cocktails — but more recently, brew masters are brewing it into beers. Deliciously sour, refreshing beers at that.
In the hottest months, when all the rhubarb has long wilted or been preserved, a cold pint of any of the following beers can remind you of those first, quickly forgotten spring days. Those days when the breeze is still cool and trees are bursting into bloom.
As most rhubarb brews are saisons or similar in style, we suggest drinking them from a tulip glass. On those really hot says, we also like them over ice — or beer yet, turned into a beer float with Strawberry ice cream. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, trust us.
Find these brews at the LCBO, a better bar near you — or, of course, direct from the breweries.
Mojo Citra Rhubarb Wheat Ale
For us, fruit beers can be all too sweet, but the Lennox Farm rhubarb here is subdued yet tart, and the citra hops lends an earthy musk that makes it perfect for picnics. This American style wheat beer is completely surprisingly and totally sip-able, all afternoon long.
Whiprsnapr Brewing Co.
Sweet Rhubarb Of Mine
Rhubarb harvested in Bells Corners, outside Napean, is blended with tangelo peel for and spiced up with cardamom and star anise for a refreshing, but complex summer saison. Alas, it’s a seasonal as is gone for the year. Fingers crossed they do it again!
Farmers’ Market Rhubarb Saison
Wellington Brewery introduced its Farmers� Market Rhubarb Saison last June as a collaboration with Aberfoyle Farmers� Market. The slightly tart notes from rhubarb perfectly compliment a saison style beer.
Grandma’s Strawberry Rhubarb
This wildly popular seasonal has the entire peninsula a buzz. It’s pale, with light strawberry flavour that complements the sour qualities of the rhubarb and the biscuit-y yeasts. Oast House does seasonal beers with local produce within their Farm House series — includes brews made with Niagara peaches, cherries and even lavender.
London Brewing Co.
A fabulously tart rhubarb wheat ale with rhubarb grown right in London’s Old East Village. How’d they do this you ask? London Brewing Co-op has monthly pop-up stores at 623 Dundas St. At the most recent pop-up, folks were asked to bring in their chopped and frozen rhubarb in exchange for some very spiffy co-op beer glasses! Now that’s what we call resourceful.
Archived, But Oh-So Amazing
Dominion City Brewing Co.
Picnic Blanket Raspberry Rhubarb Saison
Loaded with fresh Ontario grown rhubarb and pumped full of juicy raspberries, it’s earthy, spicy, crisp and dry yeast notes complement tart rhubarb and raspberry character. This beer pours a pleasant deep pink with rose-coloured head.
Can we bring this one back please? Pretty please?
Rhubarb is just one of the many locally grown ingredients Ontario brewers are experimenting with. For more seasonal releases and beer knowledge, make sure to check out the Ontario Craft Brewers.