Remember when local microbrews were few and far between? Fortunately for Ontario beer lovers, there’s been an explosion of creativity over the last decade or so. Regional brews are now well represented at the LCBO and taprooms across the province, and Kawarthas Northumberland has a number of excellent offerings. It’s never been easier to find a unique, refreshing beer from a local craft brewery – here are eleven producers you’ll want to check out next time you’re craving a pint.
As with any decision in 2020, be sure to check local guidelines and respect COVID-19 safety protocols requested by individual businesses before setting out. Regulations for indoor dining and shopping evolve rapidly and may have changed since the time of this writing.
Church-Key Brewing Company (1678 County Rd 38, Campbellford)
Church-Key is Northumberland County’s oldest brewery, with an historic location to match. Situated in an 1878 Methodist Church just outside Campbellford, Church-Key produces high-quality beer using local ingredients and suppliers wherever possible. A range of brews from easy-drinking lager to rich and flavourful Scotch ale rounds out the appeal. Online sales are available through the Church-Key website.
Northumberland Hills Brewery (1024 Division St., Cobourg)
NHB is a small brewery with an expansive range of beers. Classic varieties like blonde ale, Irish red, and IPA are all here, but this Cobourg brewer has an experimental streak that has also produced a delicious maple ale, blueberry wit, and more. Visit their Facebook page to find hours for the bottle shop.
401 Cider Brewery (262 Orchard Drive, Colborne)
Ever driven past the Big Apple on your way down the 401? You may not have realized you also passed a cider house. If beer’s not your flavour, then take a look at 401 Cider Brewery’s selection of sparkling and still ciders, produced with locally sourced apples. Try a good old-fashioned craft cider, or opt for a flavour-infused creation like blackcurrant or oaked cider.
William Street Beer Company (975 Elgin St. W, Cobourg)
From the excellent beer to the hip graphic design, William Street Beer Company is an attractive proposition. Try their core lineup of lager, helles, and pale ale, then branch out with the rotating selection of seasonal brews like the White Sail Hefeweizen and Red Sky Amber. Free front porch delivery throughout Northumberland County makes stocking up even easier.
Old Dog Brewing Co. (30 King St E, Bobcaygeon)
You won’t be able to visit Old Dog Brewing Co. in person until construction on their taproom and retail space is completed, but you will find their beers at the LCBO, grocery stores, and a growing list of local pubs. The names will appeal to dog lovers – think Yellow Lab Lager and Dog Days Summer Ale – but the small-batch brews will appeal to anyone. Check their Facebook or Instagram pages for updates on when the Bobcaygeon location will open.
Fenelon Falls Brewing Co. (4 May Street, Fenelon Falls)
This brewery is set inside one of the most distinctive buildings in one of Kawartha Lakes’ most charming towns. The 19th century livery stable-turned-brewery affords a view over Cameron Lake and Lock 34 through its big beautiful windows. The equally impressive lineup of brews includes a pilsner, a red ale, a farmhouse saison, an IPA, and more. If you’d prefer to savour it without leaving the comfort of your own home, free delivery is available in the Kawarthas and Durham regions for orders over $40.
Pie Eyed Monk Brewery (8 Cambridge St N, Lindsay)
You may have noticed Kawarthas Northumberland has no shortage of breweries in historic buildings, and Lindsay’s Pie Eyed Monk makes a strong contribution to the list. Set inside the 1868 C.L. Baker building, just across from the 1902 fire hall, this is an evocative and inviting place to pick up a bite and some local brews. Varieties include a Belgian blonde, an English IPA, and an Irish stout.
The Publican House Brewery (300 Charlotte Street, Peterborough)
Peterborough beer lovers will be well acquainted with the Publican House. The craft brewery has been serving their community since 2008, with the selection steadily expanding from old favourites like the Pub House Ale and Square Nail Pale Ale to include more exotic selections like a raspberry wheat beer and hazelnut coffee stout. Their retail shop was so successful they opened a brew pub in a distinguished 170-year-old building in 2017, and their culinary options pair beautifully.
Bobcaygeon Brewing Co. (4-649 The Parkway, Peterborough)
You might expect this one to appear under Kawartha Lakes, but the Bobcaygeon Brewing Co. is currently operating out of their Peterborough facility until renovations are finished at the Bobcaygeon location. Whether you’re based in Peterborough County or Kawartha Lakes, though, you’ll enjoy same-day deliver on orders over $50. It won’t be hard to fill up the cart, because their website currently lists sixteen varieties of beer that range from APA to Belgian white to ESB. For the adventurous out there, the list even includes the Ghost Town Milk Stout, brewed with cinnamon, coffee, and ghost peppers.
Smithaven’s Brewing Company (687 Rye St Unit 6, Peterborough)
This Peterborough brewery specializes in European styles, as you might have guessed from a lineup that features Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, Kellerbier and other German and Belgian varieties. Whether part of the core offerings or limited release, these are flavourful, sophisticated beers for the discerning drinker. Smithaven’s currently offers in-store and curbside pickup options, in addition to delivery.
Belmont Lake Brewery (54 Fire Route 17, Havelock)
So small it’s been referred to as a nanobrewery, Belmont Lake Brewery is a must-try for locals who value uniqueness and character. The brewery was founded by two English expats who brought their love of British beer styles with them. Cordova Gold Best Bitter, Brown Bear Dark Ale, and Black Bear Stout are among their offerings, available from their charming board and batten building in refillable growlers.