Best of 2017 eh?

Well, yet another year has come and passed us by. The year of Trump, they would say. Well, I don’t really care about that stuff. The year of 2017 was a exciting time for the Ontario Craft Beer scene. There was more hazy beers, online ordering, more breweries opening, and what else? Well, more delicious Ontario Craft Beer was brewed this year.

I suppose I should write a best of 2017 because everybody else is doing it too.

So what was my “Best of 2017” favourites? Well, I’ll tell you right now.

Beer of the year? Brewery of the year? Okay, keep reading.

2017 saw a lot of tasty and delicious beers….and yes, there was some awful ones too. Ace Hill, Trailer Park Boys Beers, you know. Anyways, drum-roll for the beer of the year.

PULP by BARNCAT ARTISAN ALES, a beautiful Double IPA that clocks in at 8.1%. Juicy, hazy, and refreshing all in one.

Brewery of the year; BARNCAT ARTISAN ALES, oh yeah, that’s right! Barncat has delivered gem after gem this past year with hits like “Double Simcoe”, “Baby Larry”, “Lawrence”, “Barrel Aged Rat Queen”, and of course my beer of the year, “Pulp”.


Barncat Artisan Ales has been an outstanding brewery with two awesome guys, Jere and Matt. You really can tell how proud and how hard they’ve worked to get where they are right now. I get easily excited about Barncat beers more than Bellwoods beers. That’s how good they are. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bellwoods has amazing beer as well with its lineup of Barn Owl, Bring Out Your Dead, and of course, the ever so overhyped “Milkshark” series.

However, the “awards” aren’t just for Barncat Artisan Ales. I have more to say!

Here’s my “Better Late Than Never” Award, well, that honour belongs to WELLINGTON BREWERY (and Jeff Wilson) for “Not a Word Spoken” Apricot IPA which was just a beauty of a beer. On the same topic as Wellington Brewery, I would also have to give the UVB76 series a major shout-out and a must-try as well.

Oh, we are talking about Porters? Well, a brewery finally heard what I wanted for so long, well, I’m just assuming that they’re listening to my rants. After begging STONEHAMMER BREWERY to frigging barrel-age their delicious Baltic Porter, Continuity, well… BLOCK THREE did it first with Baltic Bourbon which was outstanding. That’s my Porter of the Year. I still hope that StoneHammer will do it…hopefully.

Fall beer of the year? Well, I’m going with ROYAL CITY BREWING’S Smoked Honey Brown Ale! Ever since they started canning that in 473ml, it has been constantly consistent. It’s also been in the rotation in the beer fridge as well!

GREAT LAKES BREWERY has been partying all year celebrating its 30th birthday, it’s a long time and guess what? They keep cranking out delicious beers that hasn’t been disappointing! With its Tank Ten series on the rotation in the LCBO (Karma Citra, Lake Effect, and so on) there are more fans than ever. I still heart my Gordie (aka Canuck Pale Ale) and so the GLB beer of the year belongs to…Meanwhile Down in Moxee NEIPA.

Lager? LAGER OF THE YEAR? Well, HELLES YEAH! From WELLINGTON BREWERY, it’s their HELLES LAGER! Crushable and delicious!

Okay! We’re almost done! Argh, really?

The Heavyweight Beer of the Year? Well, it came down to…BARNCAT ARTISAN ALES’ BARREL AGED RAT QUEEN and SAWDUST CITY’S TITANIA. The BA Rat Queen came out recently which as Titania was early in the year. I would give the honours…to BARREL AGED RAT QUEEN!

Event of the Year? No brainer, BELLWOODS’ WITCHSTOCK.

Anyways, there was a lot of tasty beer that was consumed this year. Here’s a list of honourable mentions that was incredibly awesome and well-done. Here’s that list in no order.

  • Full Time IPA by Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.
  • Upside IPA by Wellington Brewery
  • Tang Town by Bellwoods Brewery
  • Peel Out IIPA by Redline Brewhouse
  • Raspberry Juice by Barncat Artisan Ales
  • Paper Saleman Pale Ale by Dominion City Brewing Co.
  • Jump The Pumpkin Shark 5 by 5 Paddles Brewing Co.
  • The Machine by Manantler Brewing Co.
  • India Lager Ale by Cameron’s Brewing Co.
  • 11.05 (2017) by Nickelbrook/Sawdust

….And that’s my best of 2017.

So, Hoppy New Year and start 2018 with Ontario Craft Beer!


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