By Megan Honan | December 2021
With the holidays in full swing, why not consider something (quite literally) out of the box? With a few dozen unique craft breweries in Waterloo Region, there are plenty of weird and wacky brews offering a festive spin for gifting this season. Featuring ingredients like herbal juniper, rich coffee and charred cider––these unlikely pairings make for memorable drinks to kick off the festivities!
Here are our seven choices for limited edition winter craft brews within the Waterloo Region:
TWB Cooperative Brewing
For something sweet and savoury, the holly jolly Candy Cane Imperial Stout from TWB is sure to do the trick. Inspired by the European folk legend of St. Nicholas working in tandem with demon Krampus, this brew can be classified as both naughty and nice with a 8.1% ABV. Crafted for a nostalgic taste, the candy cane is enveloped by big stout flavours and makes for a memorable winter beer.
Block Three Brewing Company
Those who like their beer strong will love Through the Quad from Block Three Brewing Company. Considered a Belgian dark beer, the additional notes of dried fruit, such as raisin and cherry soften the palate. For a little taste of the holiday season, sip slowly and your tastebuds will tingle from the bits of candy sugar and hints of smooth, dark chocolate.
Counterpoint Brewing Co.
Run, don’t walk to grab this limited edition brew from Counterpoint Brewing Co. The Treetop (hoppy) holiday East Coast style IPA features flavours of Sabro (think tropical) and Simcoe (think piney) notes. There are also additional flavour profiles, mixing a creative blend of grapefruit citrus and spicy bitters. Helping you feel good about your purchase, for each batch brewed, three trees will be planted in Ontario through a partnership with Tree Canada.
Descendants Beer & Beverage Co.
Resembling that of a sweet molasses cookie, this session stout—while light in body—offers an olfactory experience with heavy aromatic notes of coffee, roasted almonds and charred cedar. But the flavour doesn’t stop there. After a few sips, the palate changes again for a taste of coffee and roasted almonds, with bitter dark chocolate, brown sugar, and dark rye bread topping it off. Trade your Christmas sweets in for this Descendants Beer & Beverage Co. brew—you won’t regret it.
Four Fathers Brewing
In true Canadiana fashion, this craft beer is the perfect Golden Breakfast Stout loaded with local maple hops. Created by Four Fathers Brewing in collaboration with Red Brick Cafe, there are additional notes of oats, vanilla and of course cold brew coffee. Basically all the best aspects of breakfast brewed in a can, so you can skip the baking on Christmas morning.
Another savoury drink to pair with your baked goods, the Piedmonster made in collaboration with Superflux resembles that of a puff pastry. This heavy stout mixes the taste of nutty hazelnut, alongside bitter cocoa and creamy vanilla. Don’t let this mouthwateringly sweet brew fool you, it packs a strong punch with a 12% ABV––sip slowly.
Short Finger Brewing Co.
Perfect for those who prefer grapes over barley, this delicious barrel aged ale makes for one dreamy wine alternative. Fermented on Merlot Grape skins, the brew is stowed away for two years into a barrel for safe keeping. Next, the base is blended with fresh Saison and refermented on freshly pressed grape skins for a crisp, juicy taste. Yum.
Megan Honan is a seasoned travel, food and lifestyle writer based in Waterloo Region. Megan currently holds bylines for Suitcase Magazine, NUVO, S/Magazine, Canadian Traveller, Days to Come, Swanky Retreats and more. She’s worked with some of the top travel companies across the globe to create content and help with overall brand strategy, including G Adventures and Cosmopolitan Hotels. To connect, please visit https://meganhonan.com.