Brews News: Always something new at the region’s craft breweries

A boat, a forbidden bay, and Ontario’s forgotten German village — here are three things to ponder on Southern Ontario’s craft breweries this week.

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A boat, a forbidden bay, and Ontario’s forgotten German village — here are three things to ponder on Southern Ontario’s craft breweries this week.

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Equals buys Side Launch. Equals is the stellar brewing facility in an east London industrial park. It’s where brands such as Triple Bogey are brewed under contract and the city’s best lager, Shake, is brewed under Equals’ own banner in support of London Health Sciences Centre’s Baker Center for Pancreatic Research.

In a move few saw coming, Equals now also owns a boat-building tribute brewery, Side Launch in Collingwood.

From producing beer under contract for others to producing its own beer and the Bangarang range of seltzers to taking over an existing craft brewery, this has seen a rapid increase since 2018 when Equals opened. .

As company president Justin McKellar told Collingwood Today, “Having been in the industry for so long and knowing the history of Side Launch and the history of beers and the location in Collingwood , they have always been an admirable craft brewer, in my opinion. . As we researched potential partnerships and ways to grow our brand, Side Launch was honestly at the top of our list from the start.

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What will Equals do with Side Launch? Expanding capacity by brewing beers in London is an easy first step. Side Launch has nine LCBO listings and its lineup includes a well-regarded, well-selling wheat beer.

Could the new Side Launch Brewery Pubs be next? There are good locations in and around London – here’s what to look out for, dockside at Port Stanley and trackside at Western Fair.

Berry prohibited. Americans banned black currants for decades because they believed the plants helped transmit diseases to white pines and ruin logging. Some states still ban the plant. While Canada never followed suit and labeled it a forbidden fruit, its acidity was not well accepted outside of first-generation Europeans. Now there’s a renaissance and you can’t swing a cart at a farmers’ market without finding vitamin C-rich blackcurrant jam. In Cambridge, Four Fathers noticed and brewed Current Currants, a strong dark beer infused with small berries. Current Currants, at 7.5% alcohol, is a fresh, timely beer sold in the Four Father dining room and in cans at the retail store.

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Four Cambridge dads turned to tart black currants to brew Current Currants, a 7.5% alcohol dark beer.  (FOUR FATHERS photo)
Four Cambridge dads turned to tart black currants to brew Current Currants, a 7.5% alcohol dark beer. (FOUR FATHERS photo)

It takes a village to raise a German. Of course, Oktoberfest in Canada is synonymous with Kitchener-Waterloo where overconsumption is buzzing. Smaller communities and some breweries hold Oktoberfest events tied to festbeer launches. But one nature seems to have been forgotten: the small village of Neustadt in Gray County, where 150-year-old stone buildings make it one of the prettiest little places in the province. Two of the finest examples are a former hotel that is now a family restaurant and the rejuvenated Neustadt Springs brasserie.

Mikyla Grau is in the Oktoberfest mood in Neustadt Springs.  The brewery is the main draw for visitors to the Gray County village which has strong German roots.  (Photo NEUSTADT SPRINGS)
Mikyla Grau is in the Oktoberfest mood in Neustadt Springs. The brewery is the main draw for visitors to the Gray County village which has strong German roots. (Photo NEUSTADT SPRINGS)

Neustadt Springs is taking baby steps with an October 29-30 Oktoberfest event featuring Marvin the Marzen pints and German snacks. Fingers crossed that this will be a bigger problem by 2023, as the village was created by German immigrant champions to attract fall tourists, including cyclists who might be drawn to the loop of the country road from Neustadt.

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The Neustadt Springs brewery, located in a long, narrow stone building built in 1859, offers new beers as well as a new version of one of its classics. West Gray APA, Fall Harvest Pumpkin Ale brewed with mashed local pumpkins and spices, and Peach Mango Kettle Sour are new and hitting the mark with loyal local customers and travelers alike. A batch of 10W30 from Neustadt aged for seven months in whiskey casks sits in the tavern. Next up: a new bourbon-aged beer coming out in time for Christmas gift shopping.


NEW AND RATED

In the tank and awaiting release at Caps Off in St. Thomas is Big Apple Newsie, an apple pie wheat beer featuring fruit harvested at Great Lakes Farms in Port Stanley, plus spices and graham crackers. . To watch in November.

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Tiny Batch beers continue to roll out at Refined Fool in Sarnia. The most recent is Sounds Like You Could Use a Pony Ride, which is an 8.5% bronco strength alcohol. The style is Belgian IPA. The brewers used beer yeast from Belgium and hops from Germany.

Babies and Brews is back at Anderson Craft Ales in London. Parent and baby gatherings have been canceled for three years during the pandemic. It’s Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the brasserie’s mezzanine where babies roam freely and mothers socialize.

Taproom exclusives are de rigueur, but LCBO exclusives are bundles. London Brewing does this with a four-pack dubbed 4GANIC. Thinking outside the box for what’s inside the box is an array to taste: Runner’s High Hazy Pale Ale, Earl of Adelaide Double IPA, Front Porch Organic Session IPA and Organic Hazy IPA.

At the brewery, we always pour Truly Local Grisette. It was brewed in collaboration with the London Homebrewers Guild. They used organic spelled from Howick, wheat from Elora, Triple Pearl hops from Parkhill and Old World Saison yeast from Guelph. This beer, also sold in cans, has notes of cloves and bananas and is noted as a staff choice.

Wayne Newton is a London-based freelance journalist.

[email protected]

Twitter.com/WayneWriteOn

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