Craft Brewing is Booming in Ontario’s Cottage Country

You won’t be surprised to find a wonderful array of award-winning breweries, exceptional distilleries, and an epicurean winery in one of the most beautiful destinations in Ontario. What may surprise you is how much they actually offer!

From a complete beer spa, to incredible live music, memorable trivia nights, brewers’ dinners, craft beer festivals, intriguing collaborations and lots, lots more! Be sure to come for the drinks and stay for so much more. Here are just some of the great things happening this summer:

Canvas Brewing Co Huntsville

One of the many dining specials held at Canvas Brewing Co in Huntsville

Canvas Brewing Company opened its doors in 2019 in downtown Huntsville. With 20 beer taps, a snack menu, weekly events, monthly workshops, and featured art from local artists – the space is a bustling community hub where there is always something to do or someone to meet. Check out the socials for annual brewer’s dinner collaborations with local food truck and restaurants, Thursday night trivia or a host of comedy and music special events in partnership with the Huntsville Festival of the Arts.

Clear Lake Brewing Co. Torrance

Big Dumb Face Trivia aka quiz master Adam Crockatt at Clear Lake Brewing in Downtown Torrance

Just down the road from the Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery is this little brewery located in Muskoka Lakes. New this year is the Clear Lake Distillery and a pizza menu. There is live music every Friday and Saturday, trivia nights, seasonal food specials and guest chefs creating everything from mouth-watering BBQ , to tacos and lobster rolls. Check out the brewery’s amazing retail store for some amazing swag or come hungry and enjoy the extensive menu with weekly specials.

Muskoka Beer Spa Torrance

Enjoying a “Dump Bucket” at the Muskoka Beer Spa

Leading the way is the Muskoka Beer Spa in downtown Torrance. Part of the property with Clear Lake Brewing Co, the Spa has day passes or cute cabins to rent for the ultimate getaway. It is a quintessential Canadian spa where you can detox, retox and relax. Hot tubs, pool, saunas, steam room, cabanas, loungers, hammocks, fountains, swings, beer garden and more are all included with a BeerSpa day visit. There is even an an amazing food truck, El Gringo Cantina, on site! Spend a night, two, or 10, in reimagined glamping cabins complete with in-room draught taps, nap-friendly couches, comfy queen beds, complimentary junk food a coffee and tea bar and an insane collection of VHS movies!

Copperhead Distillery Sundridge

Moonshine in a Mason jar! Swing on by for a tasting try-before-you-buy. They have an amazing array of seasonal concoctions or catch the staff at an array of festivals and local events. To celebrate being open for seven years they are releasing their signature Copper Bond whisky that has been aged for seven years. Private tastings can be arranged or grab a drink on their dog-friendly patio.

Lake of Bays Brewing Co. Baysville, Huntsville and Bracebridge

Taste the Great Outdoors with Lake of Bays Brewery at numerous beer festivals across Ontario

This year the brewery is partnering with Tall Pines Music Festival (July 19-20) to create the Tall Pines Pilsner – a full-flavoured, easy-drinking beer for you to enjoy at the festival and all summer. The brewery has expanded from its home in Baysville to locations in Bracebridge and Huntsville where you can enjoy a pint and full menus as well as trivia, live music and the popular Brewhouse Brunch.

Legend Spirits Co. Parry Sound

Friendly faces and delicious distilled drinks are guaranteed at Legend Spirit Co

Just down the hill from Trestle Brewing, Legend Spirits Company is a craft distillery and retail shop located on the historic Seguin River in downtown Parry Sound. Experience the retail shop where tastings are always available. Specialized LEGENDary cocktails are served inside, or on the patio seven days a week! Bartenders are geared up and ready to treat you to an exceptional experience, and keep everyone smiling. Look out for them at festivals and the local farmers market.

Muskoka Brewery and Muskoka Spirits Bracebridge

Muskoka Brewery Image
Muskoka Brewery has become a community hub with hosting events from yoga to euchre tournaments

The original craft brewery in the area dating back to 1996, Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge is one of the most successful craft brewers in Canada. Brewery tours and tastings are available, the retail store is always worth a visit, their patio is modeled after a log cabin, they run special events throughout the year from euchre tournaments, paint nights, makers markets to yoga and beer afternoons! They also run a Community Venture Fund, raising money and with staff bettering the community and preserving the local environment. This year they have teamed up with adventurer extraordinaire Jim Baird to create the Windbound Campfire Pilsner.

Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery Bala

Amazing food and drink packages are available at Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery

Way more than a winery and cranberry bog, Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery is a full experience. Hiking trails, wine tastings, their own range of fruit ciders, the signature Bog to Bottle Discovery Tour, indulge in a local cheese plate or a cranberry high tea, or peruse their amazing retail store for everything cranberry! It is a destination not to be missed!

Norse Brewery Nobel

Amazing food awaits at Norse Brewery in Nobel

Norse Brewery in Nobel is on the Georgian Bay Coastal Route and is always worth a pit stop. Their brews are all natural and their facility offers a retail shop as well as guided tastings of their delicious product; Norse Golden Ale, Norse Dark Ale and Norse Red Ale. Good beer and lots of amazing food specials await with lots of room in the beer garden on those sunny days!

Sawdust City Brewing Co. Gravenhurst

One for the socials! A food and beer pairing event at Sawdust City Brewing Co

This summer marks the 10th anniversary of Sawdust City turning a former Canadian Tire building into their home in Gravenhurst. As part of the celebrations of this milestone, Brewmaster Sam Corbeil and his team are creating a series of one-off beers with the people that helped make them who they are today. Check out a mushroom porter brewed with their first head brewer, Aaron Spinney, from Merit Brewing in Hamilton.
With an on-site saloon, full kitchen, event space, the largest retail beer fridge in the area, an amazing patio, the world’s largest Muskoka chair for the ultimate selfie, live music on Saturdays, open mic night every other Monday, their famous Tuesday Trivia, Muskoka Pride drag shows, a mug club, brewer’s dinners and special events, Sawdust City’s exceptional beers are served with a big side of entertainment.

Trestle Brewing Company Parry Sound

A small independently-owned craft brewery located in Parry Sound on the waterfront where the Seguin river flows into the harbour, the brewery feature a spectacular view looking towards the iconic CPR Trestle bridge and Georgian Bay.
The brewery is a community hub, hosting Wednesday trivia, stand up nights with the Big Sound Comedy Festival, live music, the amazing Georgian Bay Craft Beer Festival in May, patio bubble tent dining in the colder months, cornhole tournaments and art nights. They make amazing beer that is only matched by the food they serve!

Coming this Fall – Oktoberfest Muskoka – October 25-26, 2024

Oktoberfest Muskoka is a music, culinary and beer festival that take places each October in participating breweries and restaurants across the region. Breweries turn into little pockets of Munich creating German-style beers and partnering with local chefs, retail vendors, food trucks etc. to pair their beer with locally-sourced products, ingredients and menus.
Each night, musicians and entertainers perform to create a genuine Oktoberfest atmosphere. Prost!

To plan your visit to the great Canadian wilderness north of Toronto, click here. For more things to see and do this autumn, including live music a craft breweries, click here.

Feature photo : The world’s largest Muskoka chair at Sawdust City Brewery in Gravenhurst

NOTE: Please drive responsibly.

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