These nine Brewery Discovery Routes showcase the very best independent craft brewers, cider makers, Feast On Certified restaurants, farmers’ markets and the bounty of Ontario and its protected Greenbelt. Use them as a starting point to create your next delicious adventure.
Curated by a partnership of eighteen food and beverage associations, tourism organisations and the Greenbelt Fund, the Brewery Discovery Routes Maps recommend a series of hand-picked itineraries to help you explore the best of Ontario’s tasty craft beverages and fresh local food. We've tried and tested each stop to make sure it's worth the trip.
Please note, these routes were last updated in 2018. It's best to check in with all the businesses on your chosen route to see if they're open before heading out on your grand adventure!
1 Windsor Essex Barrels Bottles & Brews
As the birthplace of whisky in Canada, the tradition continues today with a new generation of craft brewers and distillers. Learn about the history of Canadian prohibition and whisky as you experience the Barrels Bottles and Brews trail. Enjoy a flight of craft beer or small batch ultra-premium spirits in Ontario’s’ beautiful western peninsula. Don’t miss; Rino’s Kitchen and Ale House, located in a 100 year old historic house, easy drinking, fresh beers at BREW Windsor Microbrewery and Wolfhead Distillery, Windsor Essex’s first premium craft distillery.
Details at visitwindsoressex.com
2 HOP thru Ontario’s Southwest
From Ontario’s only brewery farm to craft breweries that are cooking up delicious brews with locally produced ingredients like honey, strawberries, and of course, hops, the craft beer scene in Ontario’s Southwest is truly locally inspired by the bounty of the region. Dont miss: Railway City Brewing’s handcrafted, small batch brews, SixThirtyNine’s cozy setting offering upscale New Canadian local, seasonal eats and Refined Fool who started out brewing out of their homes in midwinter!
3 Saints & Sinners
The Saints & Sinners Bootleggers’ Run Trail map is your passport to beer, wine and cider producers around south Georgian Bay. The area was once a hotbed for bootleggers during Prohibition. Today it boasts imaginative producers who use local hops, apples and grapes to create award-winning products. Don’t miss: Northwinds Brewhouse and Kitchen’s ultra-fresh beer and seasonally inspired menu, the year round Owen Sound Farmers’ Market, the Castro Kitchen Table and Thornbury Village Cidery, Surrounded by 7,500 acres of apple farms within a 15-minute drive.
Details at experience.simcoe.ca
4 Taps, Tastes & Trails
Explore quaint villages nestled in rolling countryside, spectacular views from atop 400 million year old cliffs, a Canadian Heritage River and the critically acclaimed restaurants and breweries of Guelph. Include a visit to Canada’s third oldest farmers’ market located in historic Cambridge and Wellington Brewery, Canada’s oldest independent microbrewery. Don’t miss: Guelph’s vibrant year round farmers’ market, “defiantly independent” Grand River Brewing in historic Galt and Dixon’s Distilled Spirits, hand crafting local spirits that Canadian’s can truly call their own.
5 True Brew Path
Come explore a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Canada’s longest footpath, The Bruce Trail, and a collection of over 100 waterfalls! The True Brew Path includes some of Ontario’s oldest and award-winning craft breweries set amongst Canada’s treasured Niagara Escarpment. Don’t miss: Year round, Hamilton Farmers’ Market, open since 1837, Artisan coffee roasters, Detour Cafe and Cameron’s Brewing, proud winners of over 100 awards.
6 Rural Roots & Dirty Boots
Explore incredible trails and historic towns set amongst the rural landscape of delicious farm fresh food and cutting edge craft beer and cider. Take a tour, meet the brewer or grower and discover their partners’ many offerings like beer butter tarts, beer brittle, spent grain bread, cider doughnuts, cheesy ale soup and even ‘brew school’. Don’t miss: Urban Pantry, Uxbridge’s trendy casual eatery, Second Wedge, which is dedicated to brewing beer that brings joy to its drinkers and Uxbridge Farmers’ Market offering farm fresh meats and veg.
7 Brews, Bites and Barns
The new wave in local cuisine is not new in Peterborough & the Kawarthas. For hundreds of years, the fruits of our centuries-old farmlands and passionate people have been, and continue to be the most important ingredient in our local food scene. Blend that with the area’s long, storied history of brewing connected to Canada’s Treasured Waterway with today’s growing number craft beverage makers and you have the perfect pairing for a mouthwatering experience. Don’t miss: Elmhirst’s cottage resort restaurant on Lake Rice and Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ market or The Publican House Brewery’s award winning, varied and interesting beers.
8 FAB: Artisan Food and Beverage Region
Eastern Ontario’s artisan Food and Beverage (FAB) Region encompasses the counties of Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington and Frontenac where entrepreneurs are ‘living the dream’ of growing and crafting artisanal food and/or beverages. With lake-side ciders, farm breweries, local markets, and no shortage of artisanal cheeses, you’re never far from experiencing the bounty of the counties. Don’t miss: Back Forty, a small creamery and cheese shop, Kinsip House of Fine Spirits and MacKinnon Brothers Brewing who use the hops, wheat and barley grown right on their farm to brew beer emboldened with the unique character of rural Canada.
9 Backroom Deals and Muddy Wheels Trail
If you’re looking for good craft beer and local food, Ottawa is the place to be. Canada’s capital boasts craft beer pioneers like Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. and lesser known gems. As one of Ontario’s designated culinary tourism destinations, its innovative restaurants and local food producers are working together to bring locally-grown and prepared foods and craft beverages to tables across the region. Don’t miss: A giant among craft breweries, Beau’s, takes pride in creating organic beers using local spring water and the finest ingredients while Kichesippi and Waller St also keep alive Ottawa’s brewing tradition with the highest quality, exciting brews.
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