Let’s face it, beer and golf go together like apple crisp and ice cream, like Simon and Garfunkel. Each of them are fine on their own but oh so much better when paired with the other.
And when it comes to beer, there’s nothing better than craft beer. Sure, the big brands have been around a long time and serve their purpose, but for adventuresome quaffers, nothing beats the sparkling crisp taste of a local craft beer.
Craft beer may be the greatest invention since giant titanium drivers. For the longest time the beer industry was dominated by Molson’s, Labatt’s, Coors, Miller etc. Basic, dependable, unexciting. Then it was like someone in a black and white world discovered colour. Suddenly, there were hundreds of new beers of varying taste and strength. No barriers. No limits. Even the names are more exciting: Flying Monkeys, Manantler, Rhythm and Brews, Second Wedge and so on – names that speak to the history of the brewery, the local geography or in many cases, the creativity and spirit of the brewery founders.
Research shows that there are 361 craft breweries in Ontario. There are also over 800 golf courses. We haven’t visited or played them all but we’re working on it. And no disrespect to anyone so inclined, but the research is way more fun than museums and art galleries.
Here are six craft breweries in Southern Ontario with great names, intriguing histories and equally impressive beers to pair with a golf day or road trip:
The Second Wedge Brewing Company, Uxbridge, Ontario
Is there a better name for a story about beer and golf? Unfortunately, the wedge in the name refers to the second ridge in a series of ridges that form the Oak Ridges Moraine. Located in the heart of Uxbridge, Second Wedge features intriguing offerings such as 3 Rocks IPA, Monday Night Piper Scottish Ale, Fat Bike Double IPA, Trail Surfer California Common and many more. The beer menu includes delicious recommended food pairings for home consumption while in-store visitors can order wood-fired pizza from Foundry Pi. Local golf pairings include Wooden Sticks and Mill Run Golf Club. https://thesecondwedge.ca/
Cold Break Brewing, St. Catharines, Ontario
Great tap room and outdoor patio. Try the Double Deuce Burger with the Krispy-Crème Ale or the Retro West Coast DIPA and finish it off with the Year Two Chocolate Cherry Stout. Golf nearby at Peninsula Lakes or Royal Niagara. https://coldbreak.ca/
Boshkung Brewing Co., Carnarvon, Ontario
The mysterious name led to a taste test. Now I want to visit the brewery which is located in Carnarvon adjacent to Lake Boshkung. They have another outlet in Minden too. The Lemon Meringue Milkshake IPA is excellent, and I look forward to the North Country Kellerbier and the Extra End Czech Pilsener. Maybe with a Cheddar Jalapeno Pretzel. Blairhampton Golf Club is just minutes away and one of the best in the near north. https://boshkungbrewing.com/
Furnace Room Brewery, Georgetown, Ontario
How could you not want to try something called Chicken Man Pale Ale. It almost defies you not to. The brewery features four core beers and plenty of seasonal offerings. Tours and tastings Wednesday through Sunday. A lot of golf in the Georgetown area is private but Piper’s Heath and Hornby Glen to the south are very good. Calerin is a wonderful 9-hole public course 20 minutes north of town. http://www.furnaceroombrewery.ca/
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Barrie, Ontario
These guys embody everything craft brewing is all about: Normal is Weird! Brew Fearlessly! Browse through the website to get a hint of the crazy Flying Monkey offerings. Juicy Ass is a favourite and always in my beer fridge. There’s a Mutants are Revolting IPA in there too along with a Spaceage Sunshine Quadruple IPA which at 11.6% ABV will only be consumed when I’m pretty sure I’m not going anywhere for a while. Lots more creative brews to sample at the Brewery too. I’m told the Brewery Burger is excellent, especially when paired with a pound of the fully loaded Tex-Mex fries. Tangle Creek is minutes away to the South and Heritage Hills is north of the city. Both are worth a visit. https://www.flyingmonkeys.ca/
Stonehooker Brewing Co., Mississauga (Port Credit), Ontario
Once again, no connection to golf in the name. Rather a rich story about the tradition of stone hooking along the shores of Lake Ontario. Stonehooker features a selection of traditional and new world brews from German stouts and English bitters to sparkling IPA’s. If you like bocks, the Doppelbock at 8.2% ABV packs all the wallop you need. On the lighter side, the Gollywobbler Session IPA is quite fruity and refreshing. Lakeview Golf Club is nearby – over 100 years old and still going strong. I played it as a kid but haven’t been back in over 40 years. Time for a return visit. https://stonehooker.com/