Discover the Tastes of Muskoka’s Craft Brewery Scene
If you’re a fan of craft beer and beautiful scenery, then a brewery tour through Muskoka is the perfect way to spend the day. Muskoka is home to some amazing breweries, and visiting them all in one day is a great way to sample a wide variety of beers while taking in the natural beauty of Muskoka.
The tour starts off at Sawdust City Brewing Co., located in the charming town of Gravenhurst (it’s right beside the ginormous yellow Muskoka chair, you can’t miss it!). Before setting out on your tour, grab a bite to eat at Sawdust City’s onsite kitchen. Sawdust City is a great place to start your tour because they offer a variety of delicious pub-style fare and a huge selection of beers on tap. Try “Patio Nights,” a sangria-style pale ale with a beautiful deep red-purple colour. This brew is fruity, spicy and juicy with just a hint of hops. If you’re looking to try multiple beers,opt for a flight.
Pro tip to the best flight-tasting experience: Sample a light-coloured beer such as a lager or blonde ale, then progress to darker beers like amber ales, brown ales and finally, the darkest such as a stout or porter for an enhanced tasting experience. This order allows the drinker to gradually adjust to the increasingly strong and complex flavours as they move to the darker beers, and makes it a great way to discover and compare different styles of beer.
After fueling up on food and beer, head north to Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, one of the region’s most popular breweries. They offer a selection of premium craft beers, as well as a diverse range of spirits, including flavoured hard sparkling water and gin. Be sure to try the “Mad Tom IPA” a classic hoppy beer. If you really like it, try “Twice As Mad” for even more boldness! In the summers the brewery offers tours of their facility, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how their beer is made; you can learn a lot from this tour as guide’s are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their craft brews. Pick the flight option to sample these unique beer flavours to maximize your visit at the brewery!
Non-alcoholic option for the dutiful designated driver: “Muskoka Wandr,” a sparkling and refreshingly tart, tea-based beverage.
Next, head north to Katalyst Brewing, located in Bracebridge, where you’ll find a cozy taproom with a rotating selection of beers. Here you can try their pilsners, lagers, stouts, IPAs and more! Enjoy tastes from light, crisp and refreshing to strong, full-bodied and hoppy. While in Downtown Bracebridge, take the opportunity to walk and shop the main strip.
Non-alcoholic option for the dutiful designated driver: “Equilibrium,” a fresh tasting, pale ale-styled beverage
Continuing your journey, take a short trip north to Canvas Brewing Co in Huntsville, where you’ll find a modern taproom with a casual atmosphere and an amazing new event space. At Canvas you can try one of their many core brews on tap like the “Last Light Lager” or “Back Trail Pale Ale.” As well, be sure to try some of their other limited or seasonal beers. They also have delicious beer-tails like the “Beergarit,” a fun twist on the traditional Margarita. Canvas is a short walk to Huntsville’s downtown core where you will find trendy shops, loads of art installations and a beautiful view of the water. Load up on some of the brewery’s dippable snacks before you set out to the next stop on the tour.
Travelling south, the next stop on your tour is Lake of Bays Brewing in Baysville, where you’ll find a rustic taproom with a laid-back vibe. Among their beer selection, the “Forest Dweller” is a must-try sour. This wildberry citrus sour has notes of tart raspberry to start that eases into an earthy vibe with hints of chocolate.
Non-alcoholic option for the dutiful designated driver: “Near Zero,” a pale ale with citrus flavours of lemon and grapefruit, finishing a clean with notes of bread crust and citrus rind.
Finally, head west through beautiful Muskoka Lakes to Clear Lake Brewing in Torrance, where you’ll find a taproom with a selection of beers that range from light to dark and hoppy to malty. The “Honey Cream Ale” is a great option if you’re looking for something light and easy to drink that finishes with a crisp smoothness. Clear Lake Brewing also has a fabulous menu filled with casual favourites and shareables. Plan ahead and stay the night, check out the Muskoka Beer Spa onsite at the brewery for a unique cabin stay.
As you go on your tour and sample beers, it’s important to remember to drink responsibly and never drink and drive. It’s always best to have a designated driver, or consider other means of transportation such as a taxi, driving service or private tour bus.
In addition to enjoying the different beers on offer, be sure to take in the natural beauty of Muskoka, with its lakes, forests, and rocky outcrops. And don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at the breweries that offer food, it will make your tour that much more enjoyable.