Guest blog by the Kings of Summer
We are the Kings of Summer – a two-man, traveling duo. Born from our passion for travel, exploration and outdoor activities, we aim to journey to parts known and unknown throughout the vast and beautiful province of Ontario. Whether in Belleville, Kincardine or anywhere in between, our goals are always to meet new people, learn from the cultural diversity of the province and uncover the beauty that is Ontario. All on a minimal budget.
The town of Collingwood, Ontario is many things to many people. Once a major shipping port servicing the great lakes, today it has year round appeal for locals and visitors alike. In the winter time it serves as a hub for ski enthusiasts enjoying Blue Mountain and surrounding clubs. In the summer outdoor advocates will find endless trails to parade around after one of many cultural festivals. And in the fall the colour of the leaves and bountiful harvest are sure to leave a warm feeling of welcome to anyone passing through.
These days Collingwood is giving visitors one more reason to flock to the area, beyond the crashing shores of Georgian Bay and beautiful views of the escarpment, a cold pint of craft beer is slowly becoming a major draw. This year Collingwood welcomed their newest resident, Side Launch Brewery, and it is no surprise this award- winning brew is set to propel the region into the Craft Beer spotlight.
With the popularity of craft beer in Ontario at an all time high, master brewer Michael Hancock decided to bring his recipes to Collingwood and officially put Side Launch on the map. Dedicated to his craft, Hancock first fell in love with the beer industry during his time in Germany, where he had learnt from master brewers in search of the perfect combination of hops and yeast. With over 40 years of experience we believe that he’s found that combination in Collingwood, using locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms. What exactly is this perfect combination, you ask? He’ll never tell — Hancock keeps his recipes under heavy lock and key.
The bright, artfully labelled cans crack open to reveal surprisingly vibrant flavours, and we found it hard to pick a favourite. The ones you’ll find at your local LCBO are the yellow cans — the incredibly “sessionable” (industry lingo, we’re told) wheat beer. Sip one — or four — this weekend and you’ll see why they’ve already garnered some of Ontario’s most prestigious awards.
Thirsty? Head to Collingwood and visit the guys yourselves, as their doors are now open for retail. You’ll find endless activities year round and there is no better way to spend a summers day or winter night than with a local craft from one of the areas shining stars.
Jeff Aylen Mikey Sadowski
Read more about Sidelaunch Brewing company here.