We hit the road to London, Ontario to lead beer trails (like a pub crawl, but at a beer fest). We also presented the Beer Sisters’ Beer-cathalon for a wonderful bunch of curious, beer-loving folks.

The London Beer and BBQ show took place on June 17-19th and featured 25 different breweries. The trip let us glimpse at the region’s brewing scene which is in full bloom with Forked River, Toboggan Brewing, Labatt’s headquarters and Anderson Craft Ales in the city. The scene is anchored in place by the packed, friendly, beer-venerating Milos’ Craft Beer Emporium, which will get a new neighbour this fall, Beer Lab, a small-batch brewery being opened by two former Flying Monkeys employees. And when Londoners want to go beyond their local, it’s only an hour’s drive to Seaforth’s Half Hours on Earth, New Limburg, Barncat Artisan Ales and all of the great breweries in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

We had a blast meeting some of these breweries for the first time and tasting their beers. Here are a few brews that had us smitten.

Belgian Blonde Ale, New Limburg Brewery:

  • We stopped in at New Limburg to taste this beer on all of our beer trails, and this was that beer that united everyone in craft beer love! This bottle conditioned beauty is so smooth, dry and refreshing that folks were shocked it clocked in at 7.2%. The citrus, pear and pepper notes were crowd pleasers.
  • Housed in a former public school, the Gevens family has transformed half of the building into a brewery and saloon / tasting room, and live in the other side (thanks Ontario Craft Beer Guide for the info!). It’s worth the drive to Nixon to sample New Limburg’s brews and nibble on Belgian bar snacks.
  • Oh, and their gorgeous packaging? Mom Yvonne designs all the artwork and branding.
  • Available: LCBO and at the brewery.

Turbulent Peanut Butter Porter, Craft Heads Brewing

  • A Windsor brewery and coffee roastery that makes some really fun experimental brews.
  • They were so popular that they ran out of beer by Saturday night, so had to close up shop on Sunday.
  • The Peanut Butter Porter was the first to go on Friday night, and it was delish. The dark chocolate notes married perfectly with a hefty does of peanut  butter. People just went nuts for it.
  • Available: Seasonally, check with the brewery.

IPA and Session IPA, Anderson Craft Ales

  • London based, it was opened by brewer Gavin Anderson’s London-based brewery is truly a family biz, with dad helping with construction and sister Aynsley designing their amazing, minimalist packaging (thanks for the nifty info Ontario Craft Beer Guide).
  • We tasted the Skipper and Barbie of IPA’s side by side. Little Sis, the Session IPA (not on regular rotation) is light-bodied and refreshing with citrus and pine notes minus the big bitter bite and high ABV. Big sister IPA had a solid malt backbone, with lush tropical fruit on the notes and palate, with a long, bitter finish.
  • Available: IPA at LCBO, check with brewery for Session IPA.

We’d love to be a part of your beer, cider or food festival, get in touch to chat about talks, workshops and guided tours!