With the overall beer market shrinking to wine and spirits, it is remarkable to see amazing growth in Craft Brewing. In Ontario, there was a huge expansion in both breweries and brewery with some brewing on contract to maximize use of existing facilities. Toronto saw a rapid expansion with award winners such as Spearhead getting a lot of acclaim.
This summer saw lots of wonderful local IPA's including one of my favourites, Flying Monkey's Smashbomb Atomic IPA finally being let into the LCBO. Muskoka Brewery also had huge success with it's delicious Mad Tom IPA.
Bigger brews such as Grand River's Russian Gun and Amsterdam's Tempest were major highlights in the local Imperial Stout category.
The biggest highlight's for myself both came from Grand Rapid's Michigan. With the much anticipated release of Founder's CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout). Thick, rich, delicious and just amazingly complex and balanced. This lived up to the hype, and it probably the best beer I have ever enjoyed. Then there was the brew pub to measure all brew pubs against. Brewery Vivant, where artisans in both food and brew have paired together the most deicious foods and beers to bring out the Bon Vivant in all of us! And amazingly this place just celebrated it's first birthday! Co-owners Jason Spalding and his wife have hit this one out of the park.