Photo courtesy Boshkung Brewing Company
Contributor Hanna Dykstra gives us the lowdown on cottage country’s world-class Haliburton breweries
In the heart of Ontario Cottage Country, just South of Algonquin Park, lies the beautiful area of Haliburton Highlands. From Toronto, Haliburton is only two and a half hours away, and well worth taking the time to visit, if you ask us. Just the drive on its own is almost magical, and the journey from the city to this scenic area is nothing if not calming.
But you and I both know you’re not here to read about the drive. Let’s talk breweries. Specifically, the fantastic micro-breweries that call Haliburton home.
And remember to check out the local beer section of your local LCBO and Beer Store for these and other great Ontario craft brews.
While you’re at it, why not consider spending a night or two (or longer) in the Haliburton Highlands while you do your own brewery tour? Each of the accommodation options included on our list of top Haliburton hotels and resorts is easy to get to (and from) the region’s best breweries and eateries, and makes for an excellent ‘taste base’. Enjoy!
Our Guide to Must-visit Haliburton Breweries
Boshkung Brewing Company
Picture this: an award-winning brewery, located within an award-winning, provincially renowned restaurant. That place? Boshkung Brewing Company in Carnarvon, a dream come true for the traveling foodie and home not just to great cottage country beer, but to the excellent Rhubarb Haliburton restaurant, a FEAST Ontario-certified (*) location.
While the beer is brewed and sold, along with merchandise, on-site, if you want to really enjoy Boshkung’s beer head to Rhubarb. Widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Haliburton, it’s here that you’ll want to spend your time if you want to sit and enjoy a pint. Another option, if you’re looking to enjoy a wonderful Haliburton beer from these guys, is to visit Boshkung Social in Minden. This is a casual spot where you can enjoy a flight of beer and some snacks in a very relaxed environment.
Back to the beer. The 35 & 118 Cream Ale and the North Country Kellerbier are favorites, and both hold gold medals from the Canadian Brewing Awards & Conference. Whatever you choose, this brewery is nothing short of award-winning and excels in craft beer making.
(*Editors Note: The Feast Ontario program works with restaurants that procure food and drink from Ontario, partners with local agriculturalists, and participates in community-based initiatives. Check out their website at https://ontarioculinary.com/feast-on/about/)
Haliburton Highlands Brewing
With eight beers brewed year-round, this microbrewery is small but mighty. Our fave? The Coffee Porter, it’s rounded out with flavors of caramel, chocolate, and black malt. The porter is infused with a local cold brew that has been roasted in Haliburton by the County Coffee Shop – that may be why we like it so much.
Not only do they strive to include local ingredients in the brew, but Haliburton Highlands Brewing is itself located within the heart of a community space. Abbey Gardens is a not-for-profit charity that provides economic and recreational opportunities for the community of Haliburton. The brewery, being an integral part of this initiative, inspires visitors to think in a more sustainable way.
This place is well worth a visit and is most definitely worth the drive.
Visit their website at http://haliburtonhighlandsbrewing.ca.
Oh…. and Check Out These Muskoka Breweries!
If you’re a real beer connoisseur, why not make your visit to these Haliburton breweries a road trip? Our cottage country neighbor, Muskoka, features a number of excellent craft beer makers that are worth visiting.
Stop at Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, a cottage classic with many dock-worthy brews. Be sure to include Sawdust City Brewing in Gravenhurst, where you can not only try their famous IPAs but also take a tour through the brewing facility.
On route to Port Carling or Rosseau? Head through the small town of Torrance, where Clear Lake Brewing lies. Enjoy something to eat, then head over to their Muskoka Beer Spa. And if in Bracebridge, check out the new kid on the block: Katalyst Brewing. Located in the old Granary Building on Taylor Road, they feature a fun taproom where you can try out their Muskoka beer.
Heading a bit further North? Be sure to stop in at Lake of Bays Brewing, where you can enjoy a sample of any beer. You can also enjoy a lovely meal at their excellent Huntsville Brewhouse restaurant. Love supporting a new business? Try out Canvas Brewing, which opened recently in the heart of Huntsville.
Muskoka also makes for a superb getaway destination for those who enjoy a brew tour. Check out LuxuryMuskoka’s list of the top resorts in cottage country to find the perfect place to lay your pint glass… er, head!
Hanna Dykstra is a Muskoka-based social media expert. You can learn more about her work at www.cabinmuskoka.com.
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