Whet your palate with this craft brewery tour in Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills

Originally published in Think Local, Metroland Media

Craft beer connoisseurs will be thrilled with a tour of four local breweries in Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills!

Are you a beer lover? Cold, flavourful, fresh and frothy, craft beer has a lot to offer the discriminating palate!  True brew connoisseurs looking to explore the flavours of different craft brews can head to Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills, and spend the day sampling different craft beers while touring four local breweries.

While beer is always a favourite for Canadians, craft beer in particular is one of the fastest growing segments within the LCBOs beer category, increasing by approximately 20 to 30 per cent annually.  Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce General Manager, Jackie Kavanagh, explained that the surge in popularity of craft beers has taken beer to a new level in Ontario.

“People are enjoying the different flavours of craft beer,” Kavanagh said, “When you’re visiting local breweries, it’s not the same thing at every stop, local brewers really take pride in making a high-end, distinct product.”

For a complete sampling of delicious, hand-crafted brews, begin your day in Pakenham with a tour of Cartwright Springs Brewery, then head to Almonte to visit Crooked Mile Brewery.  Take a break for lunch or some shopping before visiting Stalwart Brewery’s downtown Carleton Place location, then end your day only a short drive away in Ashton Station, and visit the Ashton Brew Pub.

Whet your palate and explore two great areas – Carleton Place and Mississippi Mills – at the same time!

  • Cartwright Springs, 239 Deer Run Rd., Pakenham, ON, 613-293-3377, www.csbeer.ca

Tucked away behind scenic Mount Pakenham, Cartwright Springs Brewery is only minutes from Pakenham, and features plenty of unique brews on tap to make it worth the drive.  As the name suggests, beer from Cartwright Springs is made using spring water from an artesian spring only 15-metres from the facility.

Cartwright’s spring water comes from a very deep aquifer, and is clear and fresh tasting – perfect for making beer!  Cartwrights’ has six beers on tap, and a few others available in bottles, and is known for their unique taste that stems from their spring water.  For the maple lover, Cartwright’s offers a Maple Porter, made using maple sap as opposed to spring water, which gives it a completely unique flavour.

“We have a great variety of beers…that’s the nice thing about being a craft brewery is we can offer lots of different flavours,” brewery owner, Andre Rieux explained, “We can offer some light, easy, or more complex beers with hoppy characteristics.”

One specialty in particular is guaranteed to be a hit with beer-lovers this summer – beer ice cream! Rieux explained they reduce beer down to syrup and use that as a flavouring agent in the ice cream. The ice cream can be eaten on its own, or as Rieux explained, they also offer a beer ice cream float.  If you miss the ice cream at the brewery, it’s also available at Scoops, the local ice cream shop in Pakenham.

To schedule a tour at Cartwright, visitors are invited to call in advance.

Coming soon to Almonte, Crooked Mile Brewing is setting up shop on Ottawa Street, across from Home Hardware. With a scheduled opening for summer of 2016, brewery owner, Nick Pruiksma, is looking forward to showcasing several ‘flagship’ beers that have also won awards in brewery competitions.

Pruiksma explained the brewery will feature their three staple beers, along with an extensive catalogue of one-offs that will be available throughout the year, something that craft beer lovers will appreciate.

“Craft beer drinkers are more eclectic in their tastes,” Pruiksma explained, “They’ll have their stand-bys, but they’re always mixing it up, always looking for something different.”

As a craft beer lover himself, Pruiksma understands the need for something different to quench your thirst, and is aiming to provide that to customers.  Crooked Mile Brewing will feature a variety of seasonally available brews, some lighter for summer drinking, and others darker and more flavourful for the dark days of winter.

With an expected grand opening in July, Crooked Mile Brewing is expecting to be open Thursday through Sunday.  Please check their website www.crookedmile.ca for more up-to-date information about their grand opening and availability.

Specializing in full-flavoured ales, Stalwart Brewing, located in scenic downtown Carleton Place, has the goal of making a beer that stands out.  This new brewery opened up in early 2015, and has been making a splash in the craft beer world since.

Of their three core beers, each is uniquely crafted to combine originality and flavour into one winning combination. There is Big Papa, a peach and apricot, pale ale; Dr. Feel Good, an India Pale Ale, which features a larger hop profile; and Bad Moon Stout, dark, chocolatey, with hints of coffee.

In honour of the warm days of summer and the Mississippi River, Stalwarts has come up with a new, lighter beer for summer, with only 5.3 per cent alcohol, called “Down By the River.”

“We used flaked oats, specialty malts, and full flavor,” co-owner, Adam Newlands, explained of this new blend, “There are a lot lighter beers out there, but we like to make a beer that stands out.”

Stalwart Brewing is open Thursday to Saturday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays feature a “Bring Your Own Vinyl” opportunity, and each day Stalwart’s offers beer sampling, small beers and beer for sale.  Tours are available, depending on the stage of the brewing process.

Located in picturesque Ashton Station, near Carleton Place, Ashton Brewing Company offers a two-for-one experience.  You can sample excellent craft beer while enjoying a delicious pub-style meal in the Ashton Brew Pub!

The first original English pub in the heart of the Ottawa Valley, the owners at Ashton Brewing Company know their beer! Ashton’s claim to fame is being one of only two breweries in the Ottawa Valley using an open fermentation method, a traditional English brewing method.

Their selections include an Ashton Amber, Cream, Harvest Brown, Hop Extravaganza, Vanilla Stout, Session and Seasonal Ales.

Open seven days a week from 11 a.m., you’ll want to save room in your day for this English-style experience, and drop by for a pint of ale, traditional English favourites like bangers and mash, and sample some delicious, craft brews.


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