BEERCATION DESTINATION: GUIDED vs DIY TRAILS & TOURS

Is it any coincidence that the colours of fall match the colours of beer? We think not, and that’s why it’s the perfect time of year for a beercation in Ontario. Here’s a list of toast-worthy trails and tours on tap this season. All you need to do is decide whether to go all-in on a fully guided trip, or draw straws for the designated driver on a DIY adventure.

FULLY GUIDED TOURS

The Beer Bus
Explore the amazing flavours brewed from Ontario’s fresh grapes, apples and hops on an all-inclusive winery, cidery and brewery tour in Toronto or in Collingwood and The Blue Mountains. Tours go well beyond just door-to-door transportation; you’ll also get essential facts and fun back stories, on-board snacks and refreshments.

WE Trolley Tour
One of Ontario’s prettiest wine regions also has a notorious brewing and bootlegging past. Explore the history and local craft brew culture in the Windsor Essex region by trolley (so retro!). Stops include The Grove Hotel in Kingsville, a boutique inn that houses a microbrewery, otherwise known as the beer-lover’s shangri-la.

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Photo location: New Limburg Brewing Co., Simcoe


Ride the Bine
Owners, and Norfolk natives, Amanda and Susan share their passion for local wine, beer and cider of Norfolk County and London in style; travel in the comfort of a Mercedes-Bens Sprinter complete with complementary snacks and water.

Brew Donkey Tours
Best described as a field trip for adults, Brew Donkey Tours are Ontario’s beer tour trendsetters, with regional tours of local breweries in the Ottawa and Kitchener Waterloo areas, both hotbeds for great brews. They’ve even partnered up with BATL Axe Throwing to up the adventure ante with Sip, Axe and Relax, part of a collaborative monthly event series.

Brew Tours
Follow your guide to some of Ontario’s finest microbreweries for behind-the-scenes peeks of the brewing process, facility tours, plenty of samples from seasonal flavours and core brews, snacks and meals, and scenic routes along the way. The Muskoka Edition starts at Sawdust City Brewing Co., the Barrie Brews & Bites tour at Redline Brewhouse, and the Toronto Series (Junction Jitney and Westend Wallop) both begin at Henderson Brewery Co.

Born to Ride
Consider this the Ironman for brew fans – a beer-athon! The Georgian Bay Spirits, Vista View, Cycle & Swim guided day trip leads you to breweries, cideries, wineries and great lookouts (aka: rest stops) by bike. Lunch and a swim are included.


SELF-GUIDED ROUTES

Temperance and Temptation Tours
York Durham Headwaters invites you on an experiential food and drink adventure unlocking secret stills and storied tales from the prohibition past. Meet modern bootleggers, brewers and winemakers on three different self-guided tours.

Niagara Ale Trail
Niagara is for lovers … of great ale. In a sea of wineries, the Niagara ale trail is a beacon for beer lovers with featured flavours, seasonal menus and brewery tours.

 

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Elora Brewing Co., Photo credit: by Daniel Dunlop Photography @the__stash


Waterloo-Wellington Craft Collective Ale Trail
The Kitchener-Waterloo and Wellington area could arguably be classified as the birthplace of craft microbrewing in Ontario thanks to Waterloo Brewing (previously named Brick Brewing). Keeping true to their craft beer roots, today the area boats 12 amazing breweries and one cidery.  Cheers to that!

 

Cottage Country Beer Trail
Nothing says cottage vibe quite like lounging on the dock with a cold one. The pristine wilderness and picturesque lakes of Muskoka, Ontario’s iconic cottage country, have inspired local brewmasters to create flavours that embody the ultimate spirit of chill. Plan your refreshing getaway with beer-inspired itineraries around local festivals, live music, and new product launches.

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Photo credit: County Cider, Waupoos


Bay of Quinte Craft Tour
With over 25 options from the Bay of Quinte across to Prince Edward County, welcome to Canada’s largest rural craft beer and cider region. In a happy coincidence, it’s also home to world-renowned cheddars, so add some artisan cheese to your craft tour.

Brewery Discovery Routes
Reward a fall hike, bike or paddle with seasonally inspired craft brews and locally sourced food. Ontario breweries, cideries, distilleries, Feast ON-certified restaurants, markets, and more in and around Ontario’s Greenbelt have added even more notable stops and activities to these 9 trails celebrating great food, craft drink and outdoor fun:

Windsor Essex Barrels, Bottles & Brews
HOP thru Ontario’s Southwest
Saints and Sinners, Georgian Bay
Taps, Tastes & Trails, Guelph area
True Brew Path, Hamilton Halton Brant
Rural Roots & Dirty Boots, Durham
Brews, Bites & Barns, Kawarthas
Artisan Food & Beverage Region, Eastern Ontario
Backroom Deals & Muddy Wheels Trail Trail, Ottawa

Your options for a craft-filled getaway don’t end here. Download the Craft Beer Passport app and learn even more about Ontario’s booming craft scene at ontariotravel.net.


Main photo credit: Old Flame Brewing Co., courtesy Central Counties Tourism