12 Great Craft Beers to Enjoy in Cottage Country This Summer

We asked each of the region’s breweries to describe their most popular offering and their most unique brew for the hot, summer season. Whether you are looking for a trusted flavour or something cutting edge, read the recommendations below and look for the products at the breweries themselves, or at participating restaurants and retail partners.

Boshkung Brewing Co.

Boshkung’s most popular beer is their 35 & 118 Cream Ale, a bright and refreshing golden coloured ale with aromas of cereal malts, floral hops, and a light fruitiness. This offering is their lightest and most approachable brew and perfect for afternoons on the dock. Their Kungaroo India Pale Ale is an English IPA that is so very drinkable, with a balance between sweet malty flavours and citrus bitterness. Pouring a blood-orange hue with an off-white head, the citrus flavour and fresh herbal qualities round out this IPA.

Haliburton Highlands Brewing

Their most popular beer is their Honey Brown Ale. An easy-to-drink malt brown ale, it is made with local honey that gives it a slightly sweet finish and local oats when available. The brewery’s Mosquito Saison began as a spring seasonal brew, but will now be available all summer long. An interesting yeast flavoured creation, this light bodied yet complex farmhouse ale features Ontario grown flaked rye creating lightly spiced and peppery notes.

Highlander Brew Co.

Highlander’s Scottish Ale is their most popular choice, and it is created in the style of traditional Scottish brews. It has a classic pale ale taste with undertones of caramel, nuts and anise. Their Lion Grass beer is made with locally sourced organic ingredients including lemongrass and dandelion leaf. This gives Lion Grass a distinctively light, citrusy flavour.

Lake of Bays Brewing Co. 

Spark House Red Ale is Lake of Bays’ most popular beer. Drawing its deep mahogany hue and distinctive taste from a unique blend of European hops and dark-roasted malts, Spark House Red is smooth and medium bodied.  The brewery’s most unique offering is their Wild North Piña Grande. A classic wheat ale, it is a light, strawberry coloured summer brew with just the right amount of hoppy bite and a subtle hint of pineapple.

Muskoka Brewery

Detour Session IPA is the brewery’s most popular product. This dry-hopped brew has an aroma of tropical fruit, citrus and mango balanced with a slight bitterness to create big, juicy flavours with a slightly dry finish. Their Cool As Cuke American Pale Ale is made with fresh cucumber juice and lemongrass. With a lively citrus character and an accompanying lemongrass zip, the cucumber provides a lasting freshness that is perfect for summer.

Sawdust City Brewing Co.

Sawdust City’s most popular beer is their Lone Pine IPA. This West Coast style India Pale Ale is bursting with bold pine and citrus hop notes supported by a malt body and a firm, bitter backbone. Their Limberlost brew is a barrel-aged wild ale that is released seasonally. It is brewed with local Ontario hops and malts, and infused with the wild yeasts that live in the heart of nearby Limberlost forest. This year’s Limberlost release has been barrel-aged with strawberries and rhubarb, creating fresh grassy rhubarb aromas, a tart ripe strawberry body, and a dry finish!

This summer, head to one or more of the region’s fine craft breweries to take a tour and sample some of the season’s best beer. Step outside your comfort zone to try something new or just relax and enjoy a perennial favourite – the choice is yours!

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Drink responsibly on the beer traiL. Do not drink and drive.