Niagara Falls has an established reputation for culinary experimentation and fine alcohol – but to most, the extent of Niagara’s specialization is in winemaking – more specifically, icewine.
But in recent years the art of brewing beer has seen a surge in interest and popularity worldwide, and Niagara is no exception. Craft Beer and unique local brewers are becoming a part of the Niagara experience, complementing the established wine community by offering something different, but equal in quality.
Local Niagara Falls Breweries
All across the Niagara region breweries are building their reputations. Picking craft beers to follow is a choice difficult to narrow down. Oast House Brewers, near Niagara-on-the-Lake, is a locally beloved brand with a variety of different ales and stouts, including a chocolate mint stout and a seasonal pumpkin ale that have not yet failed to impress. Their beer is offered in bottles, on tap, by keg and growlers for local craft brew connoisseurs.
Niagara Brewing Company
There is also a new brewer in the area; The Niagara Brewing Company.
The brewery is expected to offer a curated selection of carefully crafted beers, merchandise, growers for take home enjoyment, and tours of the facilities.
The Niagara Brewing Company is located inside Falls Avenue Resort, and is set to open in the second quarter of 2015. Local buzz and word of mouth have been 'brewing' for this opening, and the Niagara Brewing Company is expected to become an industry leader in Niagara's growing Craft Beer market.
Oast & the Niagara Brewing Company aren't the only breweries in the region. Silversmith Brewing is along the same road as Oast House, and counter the latter’s ales with a German-style black lager that any fan of Guinness-style brews will lap up.
Taps on Queen
In the heart of Niagara Falls, more modest brewhouses like the Taps on Queen serve their small-batch brews on tap at their brewhouse and grill – including cream ales, cottage-brew lagers and beers made from unfiltered wheat. Their lineup is constantly evolving and changing so even regulars can be regularly surprised by the variety and quality on offer.
Festivals, Tastings, and Tours
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of boutique and craft breweries in Niagara at the moment – one look at the lineup of the inaugural Niagara Craft Beer Festival in 2014 will see nearly two dozen breweries vying for excellence.
Niagara's Growing Craft Beer Scene
The art of craft beer has become a local institution. NC Teaching Brewery has opened to educate prospective brewers on the art of making a beer worth savoring, as well as providing its own seasonal offerings. The brews that have come from the college are frequent award-winners in state, national and even international competitions.
Beer is on the rise as a fashionable alcohol, but it’s not set to replace wine as a drink of choice any more than salt will replace pepper. But the growing sophistication of brewing, and the quality products that are coming out of Niagara breweries as a result, means that any connoisseur of fine alcohol would be doing themselves a disservice by not stopping in at a Niagara brewery and trying out what’s on tap.
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