Visiting London and creating a list of the best breweries in London, Ontario was a task that I was only too happy to assign myself.
It’s tough work, but someone had to do it, right?
Joking aside, long time readers will know that I’ve been passionate about beer for quite some time (and perhaps even before I was legally allowed to publicly admit such a thing). It’s not just about the beer, though – I’m genuinely enamoured with the entrepreneurial journey that so many breweries have had to take, and in some cases endure, to find success.
I appreciate that I can use my site and channels to guide more eyes towards deserving businesses. I know that was the case when I wrote about my favourite breweries in Butler County, and was similarly the case when I put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard, as it were) on the best Finger Lakes breweries.
And today’s goal is to do that very same thing as it relates to London, Ontario breweries.
London, Ontario Breweries Worth Popping Into
In no particular order, I’m going to mention some breweries that I feel are worth visiting when you’re in London, Ontario. For each brewery, as per usual, I’ll offer my beer recommendations, as well as any other pertinent information to help you create own little London beer tour.
I was taking Ubers around London to do this responsibly, so I’d encourage you to do the same, or make sure you’ve got a designated driver. Sorry, I had to say that – I fully recognize that I’m slowly but surely becoming my parents.
POWERHOUSE BREWING COMPANY
Powerhouse is a London craft brewery that’s located in the newly revitalized Kellogg’s Factory. They’re situated in London’s Old East Village, and have noted many times that they’re proud to do their part to bring some positive energy and good vibes into the OEV.
While I was there, I spent a couple of hours chatting with Chris, the head Brewmaster. He’s a guy who is clearly passionate about good beer, and it was privilege to walk through Powerhouse with him and get a sense of what went into his brewing process.
I was a huge fan of what I tried. I’d recommend starting with the Homecoming, their popular pale ale. Try to see if you can pick up the subtle notes of citrus and fruit. It’s a refreshing beer that, in my opinion, showcases how clean their brewing process is.
IPAs are hit or miss for me, but The Generator was a hit. You’ve got those heavy tropical notes, but it also maintains a certain measure of purity, if that makes sense. I also liked that it finishes strong with some notes of pine. Though, each sip I was tasting different elements and flavours to be honest, which is something I enjoy.
The Cream Ale is a nice summer beer in that it’s easy drinking, and their Porter is also well regarded. If you visit Powerhouse Brewing Co. in person, I’d pay attention to what they’re brewing seasonally. I had the Oktoberfest Blonde Lager while I was there, for example, and thought it was exceptional. Too many breweries brew their blonde beers without much flavour, and this wasn’t the case with this beer.
I’m not positive how it’ll progress into winter, but when I visited they had a fairly epic beer tent set up with heaters, which leads me to believe they’re looking to serve year round.
ANDERSON CRAFT ALES
If I wrote a post about the best breweries in London, Ontario and didn’t include Anderson Craft Ales, I imagine it would take about 4 minutes after this article was live before I received the first email or comment asking why they weren’t included.
Anderson Craft Ales, founded in 2005, is the poster child of what a successful Ontario craft brewery can hope to accomplish. They’re family owned and operated, and still focus on what made them successful – small batch, handcrafted brews made with the right ingredients. Their branding, both sleek and simple, means you can notice their cans across the room.
As far as their beer goes, their IPA and Cream Ale are very solid, but I’m actually most partial to their Amber. It’s ruby red, and it perfectly balances the sweet flavours of caramel etc. with the more bitter notes from the malts. It’s a great fall or winter beer, if you ask me.
My wife, Briana, loves their Stout that’s brewed with locally roasted coffee, so stout lovers take note!
I’ll also likely get hate mail if I don’t mention their 2xIPA, which is their first canned double IPA – it’s hazy and delicious.
STORM STAYED BREWING COMPANY
As far as London, Ontario breweries are concerned, Storm Stayed Brewing Company was probably the craft brewery that I had the most folks message me about on social while I was in London. Once I started posting on Instagram about other breweries, people wanted to make damn sure I knew about Storm Stayed as well.
Storm Stayed Brewing Co. is little community oriented craft brewery that’s become a focal point of the Coves neighbourhood near Old South. They’re got a modern taproom, but an old fashioned sort of warmth as it relates to how they treat their customers.
If you don’t mind a touch of lactose in your beer, then you should try their Confluence milkshake IPA, or their Shook milkshake kettle sour. I also want to give a shoutout to their Coffee Break, which is the first blonde ale that I’ve seen with coffee flavouring – usually that’s reserved for the stouts etc.
A safe play if you’re not looking for anything too off-the-beaten-path, would be their ever popular Sunburst (a pale ale) or their Maelstrom (an American IPA).
LONDON BREWING CO-OPERATIVE
London Brewing Co-op is unique in that its a worker-owned cooperative (which, perhaps, is self-evident from the name.)
They’re messaging is something I can get behind. They talk regularly at this London, Ontario brewery about the importance of beer being from “plough to pint,” with as little in-between as possible. Another phrase that I’m a fan of is, “worker-owned, locally grown.” They’ve got a whole section on their website entitled “Local Matters,” and that is just something I fervently support.
If it’s a hot summer day, the London Organic Lager is a good bet, but in the colder months I’d lean more towards the Tolpuddle Porter. Their Workhorse IPA is quite good as well, but I’d say the beer most worth sipping on and appreciating is their Downtown Coconut Brown, which has just the right amount of toasted coconut poking through.
I can’t get enough of the vibe and mission of this London, Ontario brewery.