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The best of local seasonal beer in Muskoka

Blog by Susan Brown | November 17th, 2014

If you’ve ever had craft beer, then you’ll know that there’s distinct difference between beers that come from a microbrewery and those that are highly filtered and mass-produced.

Muskoka Brewery and Lake of Bays Brewing Company
Among the purveyors of craft beer, which is already something of an art form in itself, are Muskoka’s very own Muskoka Brewery and Lake of Bays Brewing Company. The former has been creating delicious beer since 1996 with artisan-like precision while the latter, which was established in 2008, has also been making a name for itself in the world of premium craft beer. What makes these brewing companies so special and distinctively Muskokan is the fact that the raw ingredients they use are locally sourced and the beer is brewed right in the region.

The Muskoka Harvest Ale by Muskoka Cottage Brewery
Available from September through November and brewed in Bracebridge, this delicious, refreshing brew is reminiscent of the flavors of nature; it has a rich malt backbone and was made from the last batch of the harvest. Now on its seventh year of production, this particular brew has a slightly higher alcohol content. It has gotten rave reviews from ratebeer.com.

10 point India Pale Ale by Lake of Bays Brewery
This dark hued brew is bold, rich and smooth with a flavor infused with notes of caramel and dark toffee and an initial taste grapefruit. Specially brewed in celebration of brewery proprietor Darren Smith’s wedding, this beer is full of flavor and is brewed in the British tradition.

Muskoka Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout
This uniquely interesting concoction is available from November to February. Characterized by a bold and rich flavor that comes from roasted dark chocolate malt and cranberries, this festive brew is perfect for the holidays. With premium 70% dark chocolate and with a slightly higher alcohol content of 8%, they don’t call this brew winter beard for nothing. This beer packs a punch, making it the perfect drink for the cold winter season.

Vintage Legendary Muskoka Oddity
Typically available starting March until June, what makes this brew so special is the fact that it was aged in cellars, and continues to mature while in the bottle. Brewed in the Belgian style, the Vintage Legendary Muskoka Oddity will surely deliver a unique drinking experience every time. With a special blend of truly unique and interesting elements that include juniper berries, sweet orange peel shavings and candi sugar, you just have to try this brew for yourself to see what everybody’s been raving about.

Top Shelf by Lake of Bays Brewing Co.
While not a seasonal brew (it’s available year-round), this award-winning North American Lager is worth a mention here. It won the Silver Award during the 2014 Ontario Brewing Awards in the American Lager Category. This brew was created in collaboration with the NHL Alumni Association, which influenced the design of the can.

Characterized by hints of citrus and honey with a zesty flavor profile reminiscent of freshly cut grass and green tea – this brew is definitely crisp and refreshing, making it the perfect drink for a sunny day.

To know more about Muskoka Brewery’s special craft beers, visit their website. If you would like to tour one of their breweries today, you may e-mail Tap.Room@muskokabrewery.com to schedule a visit. For more info on the specialty craft beers made by the Lake of Bays Brewing Co, you may visit their website or contact info@lakeofbaysbrewing.ca to know more about their brewery tours.