The Headwaters ULTIMATE 6-pack

This article is an oldie but a goodie!

Posted: June 1, 2021

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

Did you know that Headwaters is home to SIX craft breweries?! We like to credit the country air, the flowing rivers (water is the #1 ingredient in beer, after all), the rich agricultural land and the laid-back vibes for churning out some of the province’s favourite – and most innovative – suds around.

Hockley Valley Brewing Co.

Started in 2003 as Headwaters’ first craft brewery in Hockley Village, and quickly outgrew its quaint facilities. Fast-forward to 2021 and this beloved original is cranking out its English-style ales to nearly every LCBO in the province.

6-PACK pick: Hockley Dark Ale (LCBO & brewery retail). This “brunette with the body of a blonde” is Hockley’s classic – a hybrid of UK style for North American tastes.

Holman Brewing Co.

Family owned-and-operated, this small Orangeville brewery started as a home-brewers dream. Living for weekends at their cottage on Bear Lake, Julie, Brad and Bruce began brewing crushable beer perfect for their days on the dock. Their Bear Naked Lager is just that – a taste of easy days on the lake (or on your back deck) made lovingly in small batches with top-notch ingredients.

6-PACK pick: Bear Naked Lager (LCBO). Inspired by hot summer days, this is a smooth, crisp, clean lager best served ice-cold on those long summer days.

Sonnen Hill Brewing Co.

Caledon’s newest brewery, boasting beautifully complex, low ABV pale beers and mixed-culture fermentations (saisons, grisettes). Located on the family’s 37-acre farm, this brewery is committed to restoring the land by planting thousands of trees, reintroducing native grasses and wildflowers, and adding boxes for birds and bats with the help of the local conservation authority. Don’t be surprised if you see some of the on-farm fruit and botanicals appear in upcoming brews.

Sonnen Hill Keg

6-PACK pick: Local Spiff (Farm Store & Delivery). This saison is brewed using only Ontario ingredients – grains, hops, yeast – bottle conditioned and coming in at just 4.5% ABV. Look for aromas of pineapple, fat and rich oak flavours, with a light, quenching body and a long, dry finish.

GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co.

Headwaters’ first (and only) “farm-to-barrel” brewery, GoodLot is an environmentalist beer-lover’s dream – solar-powered systems, organic growing practices, community-minded vibes and traceable ingredients are all critical pieces of what make exceptional beer here. That, and great people. Owners Gail and Phil Winters, along with brew master Mike Brooks create playful, delicious ales in candy-coloured cans to keep you sipping all summer long.

6-PACK pick: PHILSNER (Farm Shop & Delivery). Did you catch it? This malty, crisp pale pilsner’s namesake is co-owner Phil Winters. Made with Patagonia malt and organic GoodLot-grown Hallertau hops, this easy sipper is as approachable as the good people of GoodLot Farm & Farmstead Brewing.

Caledon Hills Brewing Co.

Keeping it in the family, this brewery churns out German-style lagers and ales in a bricks and mortar location in Caledon’s Palgrave. Master Brewer Stefan Riedelsheimer, wife Monica and their three sons have created a cult following through beer festivals, local events, and now through their biergarten in a restored church. “Brewed with a little altitude”, their flavours are as addictive as Caledon’s beauty and hospitality.

6-PACK pick: Hills Vienna Lager (LCBO, bottle shop & delivery). This radiant, honey-coloured beer is the first from the family-owned brewery. Nut and honey notes play perfectly against its pleasant touch of bitterness. Best enjoyed…anywhere!

Caledon Hill Beer

Badlands Brewing Co.

Named after Caledon’s (arguably) most famous geological formation The Cheltenham Badlands, this on-farm brewery produces frothy, juicy, creatively-named pale ales on a tiny brewing system in a retrofitted calf barn. Run by a small, self-proclaimed “scrappy crew” with freshness in mind, orders open on Friday nights for on-farm pickup and delivery the next day.

6-PACK pick: Tree Crawler (online only – Friday 7pm). This heavy-hitting DIPA is no joke at 8%. Savour the full effect of this single-varietal Citra hopped ale fresh from the bottle shop while it lasts. Badlands’ brews are constantly revolving – try something new!

Badlands Brewing