When we heard that there was a new craft brewery opening in Niagara, Shawn and I were thrilled. Shawn doesn’t mind
wine but it’s not his passion, so for the most part he’s happy to tag along
while I tour wineries and be the designated driver.
However, when there’s a chance to visit a brewery or distillery we always try
and take it because he’s much more interested in beer and spirits. Fair’s fair
And The Oast House,
which opened in November, is a delightful place to visit whether you’re a beer
fan or a novice like me. If you’ve driven down Niagara Stone Road recently you likely
couldn’t miss their big red barn, which is the fantastic home to the brewing
operation and a beautifully-designed tasting room.
When we visited we were lucky enough to have a tour and
tasting with co-owner Mike Berlis, who showed us the brewing operation and let
us taste the three brews they currently have on offer. Mike’s a sommelier who
has recently moved into the beer industry, so it was great to chat about how
similar the two actually are.
So, since Shawn was doing the tasting and he knows way more
about beer than I do, I thought I’d put him to work on helping me with the
Shawn’s tasting notes:
The Farmhouse Saison is a tasty strong beer with hints of
banana. It’s an interesting process, as the beer is under cork and cage. This
is an ageable beer that’s suitable for cellaring (although they’re still
working out for how long, as this is their first vintage). It will be an
interesting experiment to keep this one amongst our wine collection.
The Barn Raiser Country Ale has a citrus undertone and a
clean, crisp finish. We would have liked to take some of this one home, but
they’re all sold out so it’s only available on tap right now. We’ll definitely
be back for this one.
The Belgian IPA has a higher alcohol content and a long
finish. Unlike some beers, this one isn’t bitter at all. It would be great with
burgers, steak or barbecue. Mike also suggested pairing this one with a charcuterie
plate or sausage, which would work well too.
We will definitely be visiting The Oast House on our future
trips to Niagara and look forward to bringing
home even more of their beer. A great
addition to the Niagara area!
The Oast House is located at 2017 Niagara Stone Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Interested in learning more about beer? The Thirsty Wench has a fabulous blog about all things beer. Check her out here: http://thethirstywench.com/
Some more photos from our visit: