This emphasis on wine and wine culture can sometimes make the beer enthusiast on vacation to Niagara wonder if there’s anything of merit regarding his or her alcohol of choice. The answer is a resounding, “Yes.” While craft beer brewing is relatively new to the Niagara scene, the results are nevertheless worthy of drinking and praise. Throughout the region, beermakers of all kinds are flexing their muscle and honing their craft, and the Niagara Brewing Company is one of the finest.
Located less than a half mile from the waterfalls, the Niagara Brewing Company finally opened their doors in June of 2015. Located at the site of the former Foxhead Inn, Niagara Brewing Company started in order to fulfill a quest to create daring and memorable beers. And to accomplish that goal, they’ve put a veteran brewer in charge of their brewing operations.
Gord Slater has been working in breweries and brewpubs for over 30 years across all of North America. Seen by many as the founder of Ontario’s craft brewing scene, he was actually one of the people who, in 1984, led the charge to convince the government to move forward with legislation that would legalize brewpubs in the province. Since that time, he has crafted numerous recipes, the most notable in his mind? A hopped German lager that won Best of Show at a beer show in Germany. He brings all that expertise to bear on his efforts at the Niagara Brewing Company.
The Niagara Brewing Company routinely makes one-of-a-kind beers, but their staples also shine. The Beerdevil IPA honors the daredevils of Niagara Falls with a flavor that is not for the faint of heart. Hoppy and malty, it’s well-balanced, but also just a little bit off its rocker. The Amber Eh? Ale is a traditional ale that’s light and toasty with just a hint of hops. The Niagara Premium Lager is exactly what you’d expect from a smooth, clean, and crisp lager, but it gains just enough specificity from its slight sweetness and hint of citrus.
Beer on Ice
Another great thing about the Niagara Brewing Company is they don’t content themselves with simply conducting business as usual. Beer on Ice, a beer-centered event slated to take place on February 5th, couples Niagara icewine with specialty chocolate beers crafted for the event by Gord Slater. For anyone who loves beer or wine — or both — it promises to be an evening unlike any other. Guests can meet Gord Slater, and, in addition to tasting the brews, they can also enjoy food pairings selected exclusively for the event.
Beer may not yet be as synonymous with Niagara as wine, but with the help of breweries like Niagara Brewing Company, it soon will be. So the next time you come to Niagara, be sure to spend some time exploring the taps.