A Guide to Kingston’s Breweries
Some may say Kingston is the craft beer capital in Canada. It’s easy to make that claim when we have 9 breweries in the city. From classic downtown hangouts to new west-end gems, read on to find out the tasty sips we have to offer.
1. Stone City Ales
275 Princess Street
This is a place with a definite vibe – there’s lots of natural light along with exposed brick, metal, blackboard menus, and the impressive glassed-in, gleaming stainless-steel brewery. When owner Ron Shore opened the place in August 2014, he was interested in the local food movement, so in addition to craft beers, the menu at Stone City Ales is dedicated to local ingredients.
What to try: OK.NO is a super refreshing, crisp unfiltered Czech Pils. Very drinkable and a perfect patio beer. Pair it with their new Spicy Chicken Sandwich and you’ll be set for the summer.
2. Riverhead Brewing Company
631 Fortune Crescent, Unit 10
The brews available at Riverhead walk the line between traditional and adventurous, with varieties that offer something for everyone’s palate. Seasonal brews round out Riverhead’s offerings, often echoing the local climate as well as the time of the year. The restaurant side is as thoughtfully curated as their beer selections, with every aspect of the eatery reflecting the company slogan, “Adventurously Brewed”.
What to try: the London Porter; based on a 200-year-old recipe found within the pages of a historical document. Pair it with the Old Fashioned Kettle chips with chipotle dipping sauce for a classic pub snack.
3. Spearhead Brewing Company
675 Development Drive
Founded in 2011, Spearhead’s mantra is “Beer without Boundaries” and it’s definitely reflected with their mainstay brews including a Moroccan Brown Ale, Bedrock Lager, Lighter Lager, and a Hawaiian Style Pale Ale. During the year, they play host to tons of events like Comedy Fest, Oyster Fest, Bacon Fest, open mic nights, and art battles. Stop by their recently opened patio for some summer sips with friends.
What to try: the Hawaiian Style Pale Ale; as the name suggests, this bold, hoppy West Coast pale ale is brewed Hawaiian style – with pineapple. It’s naturally carbonated, unfiltered and dry-hopped to provide a delicate carbonation and complex flavour.
4. Santur Brewing Inc.
177 Princess Street
Santur Brewing is the newest kid on the block – an Iberian influenced gastropub with beers brewed on-site. Located in Downtown Kingston on Princess Street, you can expect an animated scene with live music filling the space. Glass fixtures, warm wood features, and an ornate ceiling reflect the delicious food completely.
What to try: the flight of 4 beers for $9. Pair it with the Pulled Pork Tacos braised in Rauchbier and fresh slaw on grilled warm taco shells.
5. Kingston Brewing Company
34 Clarence Street
Housed in an 1800s telegraph office, this place is packed to the rafters with assorted beer memorabilia. It’s best known for its beer, its laid back vibe and the gorgeous, private patio in the old carriageway beside the pub. Established in 1986, the Kingston Brewing Company is Ontario’s oldest brew pub and Canada’s oldest wine-producing pub. The food is pub standard with unique twists and beer used in many of the recipes.
What to try: The Whitetail Cream Ale; golden in colour using malts and hops to make it a clean, crisp, full-bodied ale. Pair it with the KBC Royale with Cheese – a 6oz beef burger with bacon, American cheese, Royale Sauce, lettuce, onions and pickles.
6. King’s Town Beer Company
3-675 Arlington Park Place
Inspired by the beautiful, historic Limestone city and the innovative culture that thrives within it, King’s Town is home to a remarkable, wood-polished tasting bar, 50-year-old reconstructed pews, and bottle shop glowing with natural light. It’s conveniently located in the west-end; you can expect events including Friday Music Nights, Wednesday Happy Hours, and $10 Growler Tuesdays.
What to try: the Third Crossing Series Golden IPA. Made with their signature GPA, Amarillo and Citra Hops, this IPA has a wonderful citrus-peach flavour and is a tribute to a long-time Kingston project.
7. Skeleton Park Brewery
Available on-tap at select locations and LCBO’s
Skeleton Park Brewery’s owner and brewmaster comes from a family of brewers and bootleggers that goes back three generations. The current generation of brothers have over 45 years of brewing experience. The name and playful dog logo pays homage and brings together the past and the future of Kingston’s Skelton Park. Their brews are based on tradition and reflect Canadian history.
What to try: the Amber 6.6; a well-balanced European-style amber ale. Reminiscent of our time as an early nation, this style of big bodied, high ABV ale was popular among the hard-working men and women who helped Canada become what it is today.
8. MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company
Available on-tap at select locations and LCBO’s
Just down the road in historic Bath, the MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company conduct tastings and beer sales on the 1400 acre farm which has been in the family since 1784. Brothers Ivan and Daniel renovated century old barns to house the equipment and planted hops and malting barley in the surrounding fields. The character and history of the place shines through in every glass. In the summer, they host the popular festival Back to the Farm; a day long celebration with beer, food trucks, and live music!
What to try: The Red Fox Summer Ale; an easy drinking ale with a distinct colour and flavour from the addition of beets. Citra hops deliver a foxy, citrus bitterness.
Stay Tuned: Daft Brewing
768 Princess Street
Opening Spring(ish) 2019, the Daft Brewing team started this project with the hope of creating something great – transforming an old car garage into a West-coast style tap room/brewery. Its mission is to create an ever-changing array of beer, maintain a steady stream of collaborations, and to showcase a tap featuring the best beer that Kingston’s homebrew club, Kingston Area Brewers of Beer, has to offer.