Collingwood is celebrated globally for its thriving outdoor lifestyle culture. Visitors and residents alike know how to play hard and get the most out of the area’s varied terrain, whether it be skiing and snowboarding, boating and relaxing on a beach, or biking along the vast network of off-road trails 365 days of the year.
Liberating outdoor activities aren’t the only way the people here play hard. After a full day of exercise under the blue skies and radiating sun, it’s time to kick back and share a toast to good company with great food and drink. There’s a thriving restaurant scene and a strong locavore culture, which has been supported by a number of craft breweries that have opened their doors amidst this rugged and rewarding environment.
Here are some of our favourite breweries in Collingwood you’ll either want to visit or ask if their brews are on tap at whatever local restaurant, bistro or lounge you choose to kick back, relax and savour the good life in Collingwood.
The Collingwood Brewery
10 Sandford Fleming Drive Collingwood, ON
Phone: 705.444.BEER (2337)
Located a few minutes south of Collingwood Quay Condominiums off Highway 26, The Collingwood Brewery is Collingwood’s original craft brewery, founded in 2014. Their beers are consistently crafted from the freshest, all-natural ingredients and with a devotion to classic styles and brewing traditions. The brewery location has a taproom where you can sample their wide selection of year-round and seasonal small-batch “Freestyle Series” brews. Popular styles include White’s Bay IPA, Downhill American Pale Ale and a positively toothsome Double Chocolate Milkshake Porter. If you like what you try – and you certainly will – you can also find their beers at the LCBO, The Beer Store, grocery stores and at fine bars and restaurants across the province.
Side Launch Brewing Company
200 Mountain Rd Unit 1, Collingwood, ON
One thing Collingwood Quay’s The Shipyards community and this brewery have in common is our love of side launch lore. While our extended community is the home of Side Launch Village, Side Launch Brewing also pays homage to the days when Collingwood built huge lake freighters that were so big, they had to be launched sideways into Collingwood Harbour. Located on Mountain Road near the base of Blue Mountain, the brewery has a taproom where you can sample their wares and even a beer garden that is heated during colder weather and open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. They brew an extensive selection of core and seasonal beers: several lagers (including a coffee lager!), IPAs and an irresistible sour brewed with passionfruit and toasted coconut.
Black Bellows Brewing Co.
40 Simcoe Street, Collingwood, ON
Collingwood Quay Condominium residents, meet your new favourite neighbour. Located mere footsteps from our front door in the heart of downtown Collingwood, Black Bellows Brewing pays respect to our town’s colourful history by reinventing this late 1800’s local landmark and preserving a piece of the past while transforming itself into something fantastically new. At this cozy brewpub, you can simply drop in and get a six-pack to go or stay awhile and enjoy pub-style cuisine such as burgers, sandwiches and dips. Beer styles are all over the map and all done exceptionally well: stouts, IPAs and APAs, lagers, an extremely potent 11% Baltic porter, and the celebrated and deliciously floral Black Bellows White which is a witbier with elderflower.
A great idea when visiting breweries is to ask if they do a tasting flight, which is several smaller servings of a variety of their wares. When enjoying a tasting flight, start with the lighter-coloured brews and progress your way to the darker ones, cleansing your palate with water or a piece of bread in between tastings. Cheers to Collingwood and our craft beer scene!