This past weekend I felt the need to break out of the modern world and journey into the past for some local agriculture. The peak season for pumpkins and freshly crafted beer, a perfect marriage for pumpkin ale to be made and appreciated. It’s also primetime for a pint because the brewing is happening right now in late-October.
I always like to know where my food comes from, so for the past two years adding this locally-sourced brew to our pitchers on occasion has been fitting. The Black Creek Historic Brewery, located in Black Creek Pioneer Village, just north of Toronto is a working recreation of a 19th century brewery. An era when beer was both a go-to bevy and a staple food. Another highlight to enjoy is the baked goods offered right out of the stone oven, which is situated directly above the Brewery in the Halfway House. It’s always fun to be transported back in time to relive a simpler way of life and experience living off the land through an aged lens.
This handcrafted local beer is the first of it’s kind in Canada since the modernization of brewing. Using only self-sufficient production methods to process this estate ale, this sustainable development depends on period equipment and zero electricity to make their 100-mile beer. The local aspects of beer-making, which are so loved, but sadly lost are making a comeback and are here to stay with the hopes of expanding someday. Unfortunately, even though the grounds are capable of growing all the required ingredients and have done so in the past, the sparrows have a tendency to wipe out the gardens. This has left them no choice but to outsource some of the crops to nearby locations- yet, still remaining true to their local initiative. While the Brewery still proudly and solely handcrafts the same ale and porter varieties enjoyed in Ontario before Confederation.
Open daily to the public, visitors can chat with Brewmasters in costume or join guided tours and taste samples drawn from oak barrels. The beer can be enjoyed on the premise or brought home in returnable growlers. Bring the growlers back and receive a $4 discount towards your next purchase. Entry and parking fee is waived as long as your sole purpose is to visit the brewery and not venture off into the other historic attractions. Otherwise entrance is $15 for regular admission should you wish to enjoy a day on the beautiful grounds. Public events are held throughout the year at the Brewery, so be sure to frequently check their website for upcoming event information.
Upon each fall visit, our ultimate fave is the pumpkin ale with signature spiced notes reflecting autumn flavours such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I love serving this seasonal brew to guests at our Halloween gatherings as its always a big hit. So hurry and you too can get a taste of my favourite autumn ale while supplies last. You can find Black Creek’s bottled beer at select LCBOs but featured brews are only available for limited time.
Cheers to good health!
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