By Lauren MacDermid.
In recent years craft beer has risen in popularity across Canada as beer lovers seek out local microbreweries. Guests at JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka looking for that next authentic taste experience will find it here: fuller flavours, super hoppy India Pale Ales and unique seasonal offerings are plentiful in the craft beer industry.
Muskoka is home to three well-known microbreweries: Muskoka Brewery, Lake of Bays Brewing Co. and Sawdust City Brewing Co. Luckily for beer lovers, all three offer brewery tours and tastings, making for the perfect beer-filled weekend with friends in Muskoka.
As visitors head north on Highway 11, the first stop is Sawdust City Brewing Co. on Gravenhurst’s main street. The newest craft brewery to Muskoka has made a name for itself, earning top place in Ontario for Sawdust City Lone Pine IPA, Gateway Kolsh Lagered Ale, Twin Pines IIPA and West Coast IPA. In addition to their five year-round core brands, they brew exceptional seasonal offerings, limited batch brews, barrel-aged and experimental beers.
You’ve got to love the names of these beers! Lone Pine IPA, Gateway Kolsch, Skinny Dippin’, Ol’Woody Alt, Golden Beach, Sagemehl Stadt, Winding Road for 7km, Plantation 1, Row 27, Pointless Marketing and coming soon Twin Pine IIPA. The brewery also has its very own Saloon with live music on weekends and a gourmet food truck on site, so you know it is a guaranteed good time.
Next up on the beer tour, check out the region’s earliest and most well-known microbrewery, Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge. Since opening its doors in 1996 the brewery has gone on to win countless awards and industry recognition. In 2015 alone the brewery has won awards from Ontario Brewing, PAC Packaging, Calgary International Beerfest, Elsie Awards and the Greg Noonan Beer contest. The brewery offers 5 Signature Muskoka beers (Cream Ale, Detour, Craft Lager, Mad Tom IPA, Twice as Mad Tom) and a number of specialty beers (Moonlight Kettle, Harvest Ale, Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout, Winter Jack, Winterweiss, Summerweiss). The possibilities for “flights” of beer are almost endless!
Arriving next at JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa, the beer-infused weekend continues with fish and chips and one of Muskoka Brewery’s small batch hand craft brews like their Cream Ale or Detour IPA. Looking for a little snack? Select a beverage from Muskoka Brewery, Mill St. Organic or Big Rock and enjoy on the patio terrace overlooking Lake Rosseau by pairing it with one of Cottages Cured Meats & Cheeses platter or steamed mussels. Don’t have time to stop in at Muskoka Brewery? The Food and Beverage team has you covered with an on-site trained beer expert.
The tour continues to Baysville where the NHL Alumni Association official brewery, Lake of Bays Brewing Co. offers the NHL’s flagship brew, Top Shelf classic Lager, and limited-edition Signature Series tribute beers such as award-winning “Crazy Eyes Darcy Tucker” Bock. This is also the official brewery of the CFL Alumni Association, so during football season, Pigskin Pilsner is the appropriate choice. The brewery offers 4 year-round beers (Crosswind Pale Ale, Spark House Red Ale, Rock Cut Baysville Lager, 10 Point India Pale Ale) 4 seasonal beers (Spring Maple Belgian Blonde Ale, River Walker Ginger Lemon Ale, Stamp Hammer Oak Aged Amber Lager, Old North Mocha Porter) and 3 limited specialty “Wild North Series” beers (Midnight Bock, Wild North Pumpkin Ale, Summer Session Ale).
Back at JW Marriott, the weekend of all things beer concludes with an iced cold bevy by the fireplace, pondering which new microbrewery beverages pair best with s’mores!