The Road to Brew-heaven

The Ale Trail – a brew lover’s answer to the popular Wine Route – was unveiled last month in Southern Ontario, and six craft brewers are holding open houses this summer to showcase their products.

Visitors will be able to sample a variety of beers, talk shop with the brewmasters and tour the facilities. The six are: Brick Brewing, F & M Brewery, Gold Crown Brewery, Old Mill Brewery, Sleeman Brewing and Wellington County Brewery. The open house tours will be conducted once a month on Sundays – May 24, June 21, July 19, Aug. 16 and Sept. 27.

Centered in the Waterloo-Kitchener-Guelph region, the area is rich in brewing history. Early settlers started the practice in the area in 1832, and Canada’s first lager was brewed in Kitchener in the 1840s. The nation’s first malt house was opened in Galt in 1856, and Canada’s first cream ale was produced in Guelph in 1895 by George Sleeman.

The open house (held each Sunday) on the Ale Trail will feature demonstrations, brew tastings with snacks and tours. To encourage safe Ale Trail travelling, brewers will offer soft drinks and spring water to designated drivers.

For further information and guide maps, contact Ale Trail Co-oinator Mary Cocivera at (519) 821-2613; Dave Ryan of Brick Brewing at (519) 576-9100; or Mike Stirrup of Wellington County Brewery at (519) 837-2337.