Ontario Craft Beer Guide

September 29, 2016 // in Bar Bistro

It is well known that high quality beer comes from the Ontario craft breweries, but due to the variety of beer available from our local breweries choosing a beer can get confusing. If you find yourself asking what’s the difference between a Blonde lager and a Stout beer then this guide is for you.


Blonde Lager


A Blonde Lager is a typical light bodied brew with a low to moderate bitterness. Due to their lighter bodies, a Blond Lager is a great option for an easy to drink thirst-quenching beer. We recommend the “All Natural Blonde Lager” from Amsterdam Brewing Co.


Amber Lager


The Amber Lager is a medium bodied brew just a little darker than the Blonde Lager. With the medium body comes a slightly more bitter taste than the Blonde Lager but Amber Lagers are typically infused with chocolate or caramel so some Amber Lagers can be very sweet as well.  


Dark Lager


As the name suggests the Dark Lager is darkest of three Lagers commonly produced by our Ontario craft brewers. The Dark Lager has a heavy body and will typically appear to be a dark reddish brown, unlike our previous two lagers which both are more gold. The dark color comes from roasted malts which all creates a more bitter taste. Like Amber Lagers, Dark Lagers are infused with chocolate or caramel making for a distinct and flavourful taste. For a Dark Lager, we recommend the “Dark Lager” from the Side Launch Brewing Company.




Ales are typically described as less crisp than lagers but due to their style of fermentation Ales will have a more of a sweet fruity taste. For a thirst-quenching Ale, we recommend the “Saison” from The Collingwood Brewery or the “Cruiser All Day Pale Ale” from Amsterdam Brewing Co.  For a stronger full flavored Ale, we recommend the “Boneshaker India Pale Ale” from Amsterdam Brewing Co. For a Midrange bolder flavoured Ale we recommend “Kingpost ESB” from The Collingwood Brewery.




Pilsners offer a more clean and crisp taste than the other lagers. There are mild and very hoppy pilsners, in either case, the hop helps produce a very smooth taste. There are many Pilsners available from Ontario craft breweries some of which can have a floral or spicy taste. For a Pilsner, we recommend the “Rockwell Pilsner” from The Collingwood Brewery.




A porter is a nourishing, heavily hopped very dark beer.  It is a moderately bitter tasting beer with just a touch of sweetness. The flavour comes from roasted brown malt.


Stout Beer


Similar to porters, stouts are a dark, moderately bitter brew with a rich flavour. Stouts separate itself from Porters with their coffee like flavour. Many Ontario craft stouts also produce a caramel or nutty flavour. Some  


Specialty Beers
The Ontario specialty beers follow a historic tradition of brewing beers with a variety of ingredients including sugars, fruits, and spices. Today Ontario craft breweries are creating specialty beer with ingredients such as honey, chocolate, and coffee.