The Northumberland Hill Brewery

During my trip to Cobourg, I decided to swing by the 9 week old Northumberland Hill Brewery. The brewery is located at 1024 Division St, in a small unit just off the main street. Upon arriving at the brewery, I was greeted by two gentlemen, one being Rick Bailey, the brewmaster and owner. Rick, who was very busy helping the flood of customers walking into the retail area of the brewery, was very friendly and was able to talk to me about the brewery and business inbetween helping others.

The brewery has a small footprint but utilizes the area very well. Upon entering, you will notice the bottle fridge, which was full with 5 beer selections. As the brewery is very new, things are slowly starting to come together. The retail area is being built, where they will offer flights, glassware, and apparel. The sampling area was a bar top infront of a large chalkboard which displayed all the brewery news, it also displayed beer that are coming soon and what they are currently sampling. During my time there, I sampled all their offerings, all of which were very different and unique.

When the brewery died down, Rick took me into the brewhouse. The brewhouse uses 300L tanks, which after the brewing process, ends up with about 250L of beer per batch. Though the brewery isn’t large, they have a wide range of beers that they are currently offering, and the list is always growing. Northumberland Hills Brewery (NHB) has truly been found by the locals. During my time there, the customers never stopped coming in, and Rick tells me the brewery was busy all weekend. Its great location combined with their well balanced beers, will surely make for a successful combination.

I wish I had a chance to spend more time there and speak to Rick longer, but my short time there has me wanting to go back. With their ever growing new beers being brewed, you’ll be sure to get something new everytime you head into the brewery. So be sure to head over to Northumberland Hill Brewery and pay the guys a visit, you won’t be disappointed.

William Street Beer Co.

I had a great opportunity to take a trip out to Cobourg, Ontario recently. While in town, I decided to pay William Street Beer Co a visit. William Street Brewery is located at 412 William Street, which is a prime location at the corner of William Street and University Ave. The brewery isn’t hard to miss as you can see the sign, which is high in the air, as you drive down William St. The brewery is located in a old automotive shop, which really suits the brewery well. During my time at William Street, I had the opportunity to be shown around and to speak with Sean Walpole, who is the brewmaster. Sean welcomed me with open arms. Sean was very knowledgeable about brewing, the beer industry and business. I left the brewery having learned a lot from him.

William Street Beer Co is a nice small local brewery. As you walk in the door to the right, you will see the stores two fridges, which house all the beer that the brewery is offering at the time. The fridges themselves have great graphics, which are some of the beer labels, displayed on the sides. The designs are very well done and with everything William Street does is very consistant. Just down the hall, you enter the tasting room, where you have the chance to sample selections of their beers. The tatsting room incudles a bar that runs the length of the room. A garage door, which in the summer, opens up to wlecome everyone into sample. As the tour continued, we ended up in the brewhouse, which is a 3BBL brewing system. The brewhouse is able to brew 300L batches of beer at a time. On the day of my visit, Sean was just releasing their pumpkin beer, Peculiar Pumpkin.

William Street has been open for about 8 months, and like most breweries going through their ups and downs. At first, the brewery was having troubles keeping up with demands for the beer. This forced them to close down for a few weeks to catch up and perfect the beers. Now, the brewery is fully stocked and very busy. While in the tasting room, I had the chance to try 3 of the breweries beers, Red Sky Amber, Cliff Top Pale Ale and Peculiar Pumpkin. All three of the beers were very good and unique. I will review a couple very soon. Sean was very helpful in telling me all about the beers and the process in which they were made. During my hour or so at the brewery, I could see how well William Street fits into Cobourg. There was a steady stream of customers coming in, not only for their new beer offering but for some of their staples, which are the Cliff Top and Red Sky. A lot of the customers that were coming in, Sean knew by name. Currently you can only pick up their beers at the brewery and your able to order a pint at a handful of local bars.

Sean’s main message to me was “We are committed to brewing simple, high quality and hand crafted ales for Cobourg and the surrounding communities. In addition, we make our beer with premium ingredients with preference always given to local, natural or homemade products over extracts, chemicals or shortcuts.” So, if you are ever in the Cobourg area be sure to check this place out and go and pay Sean a visit. You will get great beer and very friendly and knowledgeable service.

 

Hungry Brew Hops Visit

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I finally had the opportunity to check out Hungry Brew Hops! It’s a gastropub that I have been hearing about for months from friends and fellow beer lovers, and all I can say is it was worth the wait.

Hungry Brew Hops is located at 211 Main St. in Newmarket, Ontario. The restaurant is placed among little boutique stores and cafés and fits in very well. When you wilk in the door you get taken away with the rustic décor and large scale art on the wall, but it’s the little touches that make this place special. The details that went into the design are amazing, from the warm rustic tables, to the wall of kegs at the front entrance. As you walk past the bar, you will notice the 28 tap handles including 4 wines on tap. One thing you can’t miss is the “Hungry” light sign hanging on the wall of the bar. This is definitely an eye catcher!
My girlfriend and I, were seated near the back of the restaurant by the open kitchen. Once seated, we got to see the full beer list with brews from around Ontario and the world, but our eyes were easily taken away from the menu when we noticed the beautiful chalk art on the wall displaying all the beer styles. It is truly a work of art.
Once we ordered our first set of beers, myself a GLB Saison Dupump and my girlfriend a flight, the service was excellent. Our beers came promptly and our orders for food were taken. The food menu at Hungry Brew Hops is quite vast. There is definitely a great selection of food to pair with the amazing beers that they offer.
The food was delicious. Very good portion sizes and full of flavour. Even though I was full I had to order dessert and another beer. I went with their apple cheesecake and a Sawdust City Skinny Dipping Stout. It was truly the perfect pairing.
My overall experience was great! The food, service and beer were on point and the décor was so welcoming it made you want to stay. It was definitely worth the trip and I will for sure making another trip out there.

Review: Oktoberfest (Mill St. Brewery)

DSC02713Origin: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Beer Style: Marzen/Okoberfest

Alc./Vol.: 5.6%

Suggested Glassware: Dimpled Mug

Suggested Serving Temperature: 5-8° Celsius

Availability: Mill St. Brewery, Select LCBO Locations in Mill St. Fall Sampler

This review features a beer from Mill St. Brewery in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Mill St. is located in Toronto’s beautiful distillery district, where they have two locations, Mill St. Beer Hall and Mill St. Brew Pub. The beer that I chose to review is one of the beers in the Mill St. Fall Sampler, Oktoberfest. This beer is true to the great traditional Bavarian lagers. The beer stays true to its roots by being brewed with German malt, hops and yeast

The beer came in a 355ml bottle that I purchased from the Brock Road LCBO, but it can also be found at the brewery. Like I previously stated, the beer was included in their fall sampler pack. Included in the sampler was 3 bottles of the Oktoberfest and 3 bottles of the Mill St. Nightmare on Mill St. Pumpkin Ale, which I will review next time. For my review, I poured the beer in a dimpled mug, but it can be also enjoyed in a shaker glass.DSC02723

When the beer is poured into the glass it has a copper tone. The beer was very clear with no settlement at all. The beer poured with little to no head. The aroma that I smelled from this beer was sweet, yet had notes of bread and yeast. At first, I noticed the sweet smell of honeyed malts and sugar with a hint of bread in the background. The smell was very light and not overpowering to the nose.

At first taste, the beer had a good balance of sweet and dry. I noticed sweet notes of caramel and brown sugar. The beer also had nice characteristics of bread and yeast. It is a very smooth beer that is medium bodied. When the beer was in my mouth, I noticed a high micro carbonation that slowly turned into a creamy harvest taste. The Mill St. Oktoberfest was very true in taste to the Bavarian beer you would find at the Oktoberfest in Germany.

My overall impression of this beer is that it is the perfect beer to drink to celebrate Oktoberfest without having to travel to Germany. This medium bodied lager is very smooth and easy drinking with a well balanced taste that you will enjoy to the very last drop. With the beer sitting at 5.6% it is very sessionable, so make sure you have some pretzels and bratwurst to go along with the beer.

I give this beer an overall score of 42/50. Be sure to go and pick up a couple to try for yourself. Shoot me a message or follow me on Twitter (@_bottomlesspint) and let me know what you think.

Prost!