Some may think that the growing interest in local craft brewing is something fairly new. Actually it’s as old as the first pioneer settlers in Ontario. We’re not just latching onto a fad; we’re bringing a huge part of our cultural history back, right here in Black Creek Pioneer Village.
Most of the first European settlers in this area were British, and for them ale was a staple. Beer was nutritious; it was made from readily available ingredients; it was relatively easy to brew, and it was often safer than the water. Roads were terrible in the late 1700s, so for many farmers, using your barley to brew beer was easier than transporting the grain somewhere else.
Farmers who were good at the art of brewing found they could make money selling ale to their neighbours and travelers, so taverns – often just the front room in the farm house – were widespread in the early 1800s Ontario.
Military garrisons offered a great business opportunity supplying ale to the troops. This is how the first large breweries were established in towns like London and Kingston.
Brewing in Ontario could have remained an English tradition, but as luck would have it, the next waves of immigrants in the 1800s brought new beer styles to the local palate. The Irish brought Irish ales and the Germans introduced lager varieties.
You can read more about the history of brewing in Ontario, by clicking on the History tab above. Remember, when you taste an Ontario craft beer, you are experiencing a piece of our very own history.
Check back next week for more news as the opening of the Black Creek Historic Brewery approaches!
The Black Creek Growler