Along with a gang of employees from Bread Bar Locke & Bread Bar James, I had the pleasure of touring 3 of Hamilton's hometown breweries-
Here are some of the pics from the journey, as well as some cool facts we learned along the way!
A side note: working at pubs since I first moved to Hamilton, I noticed Fairweather's beer to be uniquely fresh and delicious, so I was super excited to finally see it up close!
At the brewery we were met by the owners of the company, and led to the back room where all the magic happens.
They gave us 3 beer samples, my favourite: Brite Son (an easy drinking lager), El Dorado (a pale ale), and Nothing More (a stout).
The brew masters explained the differences between dry hopping and wet hopping, how an IPA is born, and blew our minds with the variety of flavours produced by hops.
The big barrel of grain on the right is barley soaking.
Buzzin'- we hit the road!
Grain & Grit
..which was conveniently walking distance down the road.
Here, the weather turned on us and there wasn't enough seating inside.. so they brought us woolie blankets and samples of their hibiscus beer (called Spring Fever)!
Grain & Grit is the smallest of the breweries in Hamilton and they have a unique vibe because of it.
Each week they hold events like trivia and welcoming new mama's and pet owners with their fur babies.
.. after some pizza and coffees we headed on to the next stop ..
Some wicked facts about Collective Arts-
Located in an old Lakeport Brew house, it became a superstar beer company we all love today!
Why is it called Collective Arts? Each type of beer showcases a different piece of art on its can- and they have a wide variety of beers!
Designs are displayed on the Collective Arts website with an artist tag. Artists are paid for their contribution as well!
They switch can designs (called a series) 4 times a year- and all past series are also showcased on their website.
How do they pick the cans? Artists submit their work from all over the world! The Collective Arts team has a different type of voting panel each time, creating a unique series of artwork every season. Like for example, our guide used an example that a panel could be all teachers or all people in the medical profession or all musicians.
Coasters displaying some of the art
We thought, wow, is this mass scale production?
Our guide enlightened us: those big silver vats are massive.. but a brewery like Molson has more of those vats, the vats are x7 in volume, and on top of that they have multiple breweries across the country.
So although Collective Arts is the biggest craft brew house in Hamilton, it still has a ways to be compared to a domestic brew company.
Another cool fact: since Collective Arts gathers art from across the world, they are also carried in various countries- you may find their brews globetrotting!
Walking around there was funky art everywhere
We tasted a bunch of different beers, including sours and a delectable cider.
3 taste rule- have you tried?
Sours are growing in popularity. Don't knock em' until you've tried the 3 taste rule. It's pretty simple, just give them 3 fair tastes, allowing time to adjust your taste buds, and then decide how you feel about it.
Rising star cider!
We also learned the delicious Collective Arts black cherry apple cider is quickly becoming the #1 popular cider in sales!!
.. and there you have it! Here's to a pint! Cheers!