Craft breweries are popping up all over Ontario and the craft beer market is no longer the exclusive domain of the large metropolitan areas like Ottawa and Toronto.
Smaller towns like Carleton Place, Smith Falls, Perth and now Almonte have their own local breweries. These are locally owned and operated by families and friends that are passionate about making good quality beer.
The beer is not shipped from massive breweries that pump out name brands with novelties like cans that change colour when it’s cold or free t-shirts in cases to attract customers. Instead, we get artisan style beers that are produced using local ingredients and sold within the community. Well-made India pale ales that are hoppy and crisp, stouts and porters that are dark and rich with flavours like coffee and molasses, pilsners and lagers that are flavourful plus many more styles of beers.
Almonte has a tradition of attracting unique businesses like Equators coffee and Hummingbird chocolate, to name a few. Crooked Mile Brewing Company has continued that vein of inspiration by opening a brewery on Ottawa Street in Almonte.
The brewery offers a stable of quality produced beers like Standing Stone English IPA, Crows Castle Best Bitter and Highland Hillwalker Scottish Export plus a variety of seasonal brews. I spoke to the folks operating the brewery about their process and was pleasantly surprised to hear that they are brewing beers using water from the Almonte water supply, which is a plus as some breweries have to use reverse osmosis to clean their water and then add minerals to bring the water back to an acceptable level to brew.
Crooked Mile’s future plan is to continue seeking out locally produced ingredients like Cascade hops and to start a canning line so that customers have a choice of container when buying their beer. Crooked Mile must be doing something right as their beers are popping up in restaurants like Alice’s Village Café in Carp and O’Reilly’s Ale House in Perth.
I purchased two seasonal squealers from Crooked Mile called Peculiar Porter made with locally sourced molasses and the Lanark Maple Brown ale brewed with maple syrup produced in Clayton, Ontario.
First appeared in the May issue of Hometown News.