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5 SUMMER TRENDS YOU NEED TO TRY!
July 10, 2017

2017 Ontario Craft Summer Beer Trends


By: Jennifer Tamse 

Photographs by: Lisa Wissink


With festival season in full swing, there are plenty of opportunities to chat with the movers and makers of some of Ontario’s finest brews and scout out this summer’s hottest beer trends. The OBN now lists a total of 218 operating breweries, 69 contract breweries, 111 planned breweries and 56 operating cider makers – with many more in the works! So where does one start in this era of unprecedented choice?

Here are a few trends you've got to try. So, sit back, relax and get ready to soak in that sweet summer sun!



1) The “JUICY” IPA 

Often brewed with a Vermont Ale yeast and hop varietals which boast notes of citrus and tropical fruit, these beers are reminiscent of one of my all-time favs from Vermont – The Alchemists’ Heady Topper.Hazy, pithy and insanely “juicy”, many Ontario breweries have jumped on the New-England Style IPA bandwagon. A trend that I hope is here to stay!


WANNA TRY SOME? KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR:
High Road’s Bronan IPA, Sawdust City’s Juicin’ IPA, Great Lakes’ Meanwhile Down in Moxee IPA, Barncat’s The Juice!


(BRONAN IPA | High Road Brewing (Niagara-on-the-Lake) | New-England Style IPA | 7.1% | 70 IBU)

2) DRY HOPPED SOURS & “FRUITED” SOURS

Eons ago, I had the pleasure of enjoying a bottle of Cantillon’s Cuvee Saint-Gilloise and recall being blown away at the mere thought of dry-hopping a Gueuze. Who knew that year later Ontario brewers would be marrying the art of kettle souring and dry hopping to create their own version of an aromatically vivacious tart hybrid of a beer? Adding fruit and/or fruit puree to kettle sours has also been a popular choice this summer. Needless to say, it’s dangerously drinkable combo!


WANNA TRY SOME? KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR:
Beertown XX Innocente ’s Batch_06: Berry Berliner Weisse, Bellwoods’ Jelly King,  Stone City's Peach Don't Kill my Vibe,  Bench's Citra Grove, Block 3’s Fickle Mistress, Nickel Brook’s Ceres

(BATCH_06: BERRY BERLINER | Beertown XX Innocente (Waterloo) | Blackberry Rasp Berliner Weisse | 3.8% | 6 IBU)


3) THE WELL-CRAFTED, CLASSIC LAGER 

While producers in Ontario continue to experiment and push the limits of brewing as we know it, the demand for a really well-made Ontario craft lager continues to grow, and guests are becoming more discerning when it comes to delineating the bad from the good! When they are good, they are good!!


WANNA TRY SOME? KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR:
Side Launch’s Mountain Lager, Tooth & Nail’s Vim & Vigour, Innocente’s Pil-Sinner


(MOUNTAIN LAGER | Side Launch Brewery (Collingwood) | Pilsner | 4.7% | 27 IBU)


4) THE TABLE BEER 

While this trend has yet to fully catch on in Ontario, I really hope it does! If you were born in Belgium at the end of 19th century, the likelihood is that the first beer you would have ever sipped would have been a tafelbier. Otherwise known as a Table Beer, these malty, Belgian inspired, low-ABV libations are a great way to wet the palate before committing to your first beer of the evening!

WANNA TRY SOME? KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR:
Merit’s French Table Beer, Amsterdam’s Ritual, Half Hours on Earth XX  Arabella’s Blueprint Table Beer,  Burdock’s Belgian Table Beer,  Jester King’s Le Petit Prince (Okay, I know this is not from Ontario, but if you haven’t had a table beer, get your hands on this)



(RITUAL | Amsterdam Brewery (Toronto) | Table Beer with Brett | 3.9% | 28 IBU)



5) ONTARIO CRAFT CIDER – DRY, FUNKY + IDEOLOGICALLY WILD 

There are now 56 cider producers in Ontario, with 13 more in the works! These cats are taking the world by storm. Some are turning to hops, other fruits, second-use barrels, wild yeast and bacterial strains to redefine the traditional boundaries of cider making. While most still do not have shelf space at the LCBO, they are creating cider in our own backyard – often with much less residual sugar than their international counterparts!


WANNA TRY SOME? KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR:
West Avenue’s Bleuet Sauvage, Garage D’Ors Spy P. Eh, Twin Pines’ Hammerbent Red, Pommies’ Pineapple Salted Perry, Revel Cider’s Apfelgose



(BLEUET SAUVAGE | West Avenue (Freelton) | Tequila Barrel Fermented Cider w/ Blueberries| 8.0%) 



** See what's pouring at your Beertown. Click the 'Locations' tab above and find your location for full Beerboard updates! **

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