Saddlebag Samples

/ August 11, 2021

After a long day of riding Ontario’s Highlands’ handcrafted roads, nothing is better than cracking open a nice cold brew from the samples you’ve collected during your ride, and recapping the day. There is no shortage of craft breweries to wet your whistle along our Ride the Highlands routes and we’ve created a list just for you.

Please note: Ride the Highlands does not promote drinking and riding. There’s a reason for your saddle bags. Start your trip with them empty, and fill them to the brim with all the samples you find on your adventure to enjoy at the end of your day or when you return home.

This 1000 km route is the ultimate brew tour. With nine breweries dotted along the route, a craft beer lover can’t go wrong. Wind your way through Ontario’s Highlands and grab some samples at each brewery to try after each day of riding.

Location: Petawawa

Located in Petawawa, Dog House Brewing Company is a father-son veteran operated brewery. Both still currently serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces, this duo pulls inspirations from those who have served us to create their beer labels (Read stories here). Try their most popular beer the War Dog (pilsner), or perfect summer beer, the Royals (blueberry wheat). If you prefer something a bit heavier but smooth, the 18 Pounder (amber ale) is the way to go.

Brew Masters Choice: Breacher (Pale Ale)

Other Route Breweries:

Not only does the Ottawa Valley provide you with the perfect backdrop while riding Deep Valley Run, it also has a number of breweries where you will want to drop your kickstand.

Just outside of Pakenham, Cartwright Springs Brewery uses the nearby artesian springs to produce refreshing beer for your palate. The natural spring allows them to reduce their carbon footprint, a priority for the brewery. Choose from a selection of beer, including their Honey Lager made with honey from a local bee keeper or a refreshing Ginger Ale with subtle flavours of ginger and citrus.

Brew Masters Choice: I’d Tap That (Pilsner)

Location: Pembroke

If you prefer beer that is light on the hops with a flavour that concentrates on the malts, this is where you want to pick up some samples. Two Hawks Brewing Company is a nano brewery that strives to make beers perfect for sitting around a campfire and telling stories. An excellent choice if you are doing a moto camping trip with your crew.

With ties to the military, each batch is crafted using as many Canadian products as possible to support the country that so many have selflessly served. Don’t be confused when you arrive at a house; the brewery is actually located in the garage. Good beer has to start somewhere, right? Their goal is to continue producing great beer until they can one day open an actual tap house to visit.

Brew Masters Choice: Hefweizen (Wheat Beer)

Other Route Breweries:

This two-day ride has a few stops where you can fill your saddle bag with delicious brews. Make sure you cheers to the road builders of the past for their tirelessly hard work exploding through rockface to create the paths through this epic terrain you just rode.

Located off highway 118, just northeast of Haliburton, Haliburton Highlands Brewing is an award-winning micro-brewery that incorporates local ingredients to create a taste of the Highlands. Stretch your legs and take a break on their patio with live music every Friday night and Sunday afternoon throughout July and August.

Brew Masters Choice: Honey Brown Ale

Other Route Breweries:

If you plan on doing the hub and spoke approach to riding Ontario’s Highlands, start with local ride Meand’rin Motorbikes to stock up your accommodation’s fridge with tasty samples to enjoy in the days to come. This 148km ride has five craft breweries for you to visit.

Location: Carleton Place

A short ride off the main route, this brewery is not to be missed. Located in Carleton Place, Braumeister Brewing Co. offers an authentic Bavarian experience with German-style lagers similar to what you would find in biergartens throughout Bavaria. Take a break from riding and stretch your legs in their very own Biergarten onsite.

Brew Masters Choice: Biergarten Blonde (Helles)

Location: Almonte

Located in the beautiful town of Almonte, Crooked Mile Brewing has a selection of beer to choose from, including their traditional English style brews, a favourite for many, as well as seasonal flavours like Between the Rows (saison). Crafting quality ales is taken very seriously and they encourage you to use all of your senses to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into each beer.   

Brew Masters Choice: Crow’s Castle (Welsh Best Bitter)

Other Route Breweries:

We have an appreciation for all things handcrafted, including our beer. On your next ride, pack light to leave room for samples, and don’t forget some ice packs in your saddlebag to keep your samples cold for you to enjoy once your kickstand is down for the day.

Ashton Brewing Company - Photo Cred: @motoadventurebrotherhood
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