Welcome warm weather with a weekend in PEC
Slake’s brewery is set into the side of a limestone hill overlooking some of PEC’s vineyards and lush green scenery.
Supplied photoAlthough the pandemic has put a damper on travel over the last little while, this spring gives you a chance to explore some destinations right in our own backyard. Prince Edward County is just two and a half hours from Toronto and there are a lot of breweries, cideries and restaurants that have popped up recently that you might not have visited yet. As an extra incentive you can take advantage of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit which could see you getting back up to $200 per person or $400 per family.
1632 Charles St., Whitby
Your first stop outside Toronto is Town Brewery in Whitby. They’ve become known for the colourful artwork on their cans and their IPAs. You can find their flagship Square Wheel IPA and Outside Jokes Pale Ale on LCBO shelves so go for the more limited releases like their Double Square Wheel IIPA or Good Buds Triple IPA. They’ve also got some releases that you can only find on tap which you can have by the glass or sample. TownBrewery.ca
Little Beasts Brewing Company
2075 Forbes St., Building B Unit 4, Whitby
Little Beasts, located just down the street from Town, is in an industrial park but once you’re inside it feels bright and welcoming and you have full view of the brewing equipment at the back of the space. Erin Broadfoot does a wide range of beers but the saisons are the star including the complex but easy-drinking La Petit Duchesse Belgian table beer. They’ve also got Hukdufólk, a rare Ontario-made rauchbier. LittleBeastsBrewing.com
Midtown Brewing Company’s lively tasting room. Supplied photo
Midtown Brewing Company
266 Wellington Main St. Wellington
Paul Lees and Mark Andrewsky started Midtown in 2017 and it’s been an essential destination for anyone going through Wellington ever since. Head brewer Lees hails from Manchester so he naturally has an affinity for English beer styles but he also has a Kolsch-style beer and pilsner on tap. They’ve got a short food menu but they’ve got everything from Goan curry to fish and chips and wood-fired pizza. MidtownBrewingCompany.com
At the Royal Hotel, pair the pizza with their Italian lager made in collaboration with Midtown Brewing.
The Royal Hotel
247 Picton Main St., Picton
Built on the site of the old Royal Hotel, the new iteration looks decidedly more glamorous. The location right in the middle of Picton makes it an ideal base from which to hit all the breweries, cideries and wineries in the region. Chef Albert Ponzo, of Le Select fame, is using ingredients from The Royal’s own Edwin Country farms as well as other local producers to pair with his love of sustainable farming and nose-to-tail cooking. The hotel also has an Italian lager made in collaboration with Midtown called Birra del Campo in addition to their offerings from other PEC and Toronto craft breweries. Also, try their spa facilities for post-county tour relaxation. TheRoyalHotel.ca
Matron Fine Beer
65 Barker Ln., Bloomfield
Since opening in June 2019, Matron has been
one of the most talked about breweries in Ontario. While they make excellent beers, it’s how they make them that really sets them apart. Using local ingredients like Pleasant Valley Hops (grown in the county) and Barl Own Malt (from nearby Belleville), Matron is able to make its beers using sixty to one hundred per cent Ontario ingredients. Co-founded by Mallory Jones, Jessica Nettleton and Justin da Silva, Matron is your PEC destination for IPAs and easy-drinking beers. MatronFineBeer.co
Slake has fashioned a draught system to resemble the French Oak barrels that many of its products slumber in, awaiting the day they’re ready. Supplied photo
181 Mowbray Rd., Picton
One of the newest breweries to open in PEC, Slake is the baby of Greg Landucci and Eric Portelance, who had previously helped found Halo Brewery in Toronto. They keep to the PEC theme of going local by using only Ontario-grown malts in their beer and grapes from Redtail Vineyards in PEC. SlakeBrewing.com
Parsons Brewing Company
876 County Rd. 49, Picton
Parsons was one of the first of the new wave of craft breweries that opened in PEC. Since it opened in the fall of 2016, it’s been a destination for craft beer enthusiasts with its cozy taproom, great food, huge kid-friendly property and varied lineup of beers including stouts, lagers, sours and pale ales. ParsonsBrewing.com
Loch Mor Cider
890 Danforth Rd., Hillier
Sara and Gary Boyd have been planting apple trees in their orchard since 2017 with the goal of creating dry ciders like they enjoyed back home in the UK. Their pommeaus (fortified cider) and cider have won awards at various national and international competitions including best cider of the year at the 2021 WineAlign awards. LochMorCider.com
1243 Greer Rd., Wellington
Long-time PEC favourite Rosehall Run has been serving great wine since 2000. Unlike some wineries who are using grapes brought in from Niagara or elsewhere, Rosehall Run prides itself on using only estate-grown grapes (with the exception of a small lot they own in Twenty Bench). RosehallRun.com
Flossie’s Sandwich Parlour
1317 Wilson Rd, Hillier
Recommended by locals and daytrippers alike, Flossie’s makes for a quick lunch stop while you’re touring the county. Located just north of Wellington, it’s conveniently located on the way in, or out, of the county. Their signature breakfast sandwich When Porky Met Petunia packs a meaty, cheesy punch but they’ve also got vegetarian options. FlossieSandwiches.com
Once you’re in PEC there are a couple of options you can use to travel around the county. You could opt for a luxury van from Sandbanks Vacations or Cronkie’s Tours to quickly zip from stop to stop in style. PEC is also very flat so doing a bike tour for a day would be quite easy as well. The new Millenium bike trail starts near the Trent-Severn waterway and runs right through the middle of the county ending at Parson’s brewery. Several bike rental companies are in the county and offer both traditional bikes and e-bikes. Bloomfield Bicycle Company, Westlake Ebikes and County Bike Rentals are just some of the places that will outfit you for a day of adventure. Most will bring bikes to you and pick them up after you’re done.
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