Wood Brothers Brewing one of the new editions to the craft beer scene in Canada hails from Glen Roberston, Ontario and it truly has me captivated. It opened its doors last year in June and has since been servicing thirsty customers every other Saturday, and on some weekends a few extra days. Still a very small brewery in terms of capacity, but in terms of heart and quality, they rise to the occasion. Thus far they have focused mostly on hazy NEIPAs but, have been keen to expand their horizons to complete their vision. Slowly but surely, by the time this article is out, they would have delved into pastry stouts and smoothies which have taken over the scene by storm. Oh wait, the future is here and smoothies and pastry stouts have taken over. Ok so its now! For us lucky folk living in Montreal and west of here, this brewery is very close to the provincial border! It is mere one hour and a bit away depending on where in Montreal you are. A good excuse to get away from your wife or husband for a little drive, good beer and solid people, not to forget the goodies to take home!
Note: This is my series focused on our friendly Neighbors, where in each article I will cover a brewery, a beer (or several), beer stores, craft beer bars and many more! My website is focused mainly on Quebec, however, I am a beer fanatic and couldn’t avoid writing about some of the other great beer out there. Thus I created two different series which will cover outsiders and impostors. P.s. My older articles may not have these distinct titles. But read them still for some insight!
Mark and Natasha Rickerd the owners and the tenacious force behind this venture came together with their partners and co-owners Louis Castonguay, Dan Whitehead, and Kurt MacSweyn without whom this would not have been complete. Together they have created a space for all to enjoy and they have done a superb job making this venture come to life. Since my first discovery of them, they have come a long way and their perseverance has certainly paved the path for their current and future success.
As you take the drive over, you will find yourself taking the beaten path off the main freeway and find yourself on a quiet and quaint country side, inviting and peaceful all the same. And although I consider myself a city boy, I have a country boy in my heart. You can certainly find me driving my car to a remote brewery with country music always blasting (don’t tell my metal head friends). The drive over has a feeling very similar to a pilgrimage to Hill Farmstead Brewery (also whilst blasting country music). And once you arrive, excitement will fill you like your heartbeat fluttering when you meet the love of your life for the first time. At least that is how I felt on my first visit! The excitement was intensifying, the anticipation was building. All the while the actual love of my life was riding with me, as she angrily stated, “You love beer this much?” Yes honey, I do. I love you more, but the excitement to try something new always gives me butterflies. Because, in my mind I wonder will this brewery be a local pilgrimage I can make to get my hands on some hazy juicy ether? And wait. You say there is no limits or border? I will have to check my bank account. And as true and pure as the surroundings, the beer followed suit, sending glee through my mind, making me sing like I’ve never sang before, and my wife who was kind enough to be my designated driver for the afternoon, which she naturally does not enjoy doing, had a moment of bliss seeing me smile away as I sipped on some of the best local (sort of) haze I have had since Boreale and Du Bas Canada. And I said to myself. Now here is a place, I want to come every weekend. Now including Messorem Bracitorium too! But I have only been twice so far to Wood Brothers Brewing, and I’ll certainly see you friendly folk soon once this virus blows over! For on site consumption must convince my wife, advice welcome!
Wood Brothers You’re A Peach
Sour – Berliner Weisse || ABV: 6.0% || IBU: –
This is a beast of a sour, it pours crazy thick, and the bubbles rise ever so slowly. Straight up thick smoothie. Strong intense peach on the nose, leaves you dreaming of a tropical island paradise. The taste has a bold and powerful fruit attack, with a bodacious creamy, thick and chunky mouthfeel. Overall the balance is present and there is only a little bit of a sour hint, not too bold and overpowering. The light sour allows the fruit to shine most, which is perfect for this beer. Takes me straight to palm trees and sandy beaches. But wait, it’s cold, and cloudy, and it is spring. (Well it was when I drank it).
Wood Brothers Ripple
DIPA || ABV: 8.2% || IBU: –
The first thing that sends my body through a wave of feelings, is the aroma this beer is giving off. A quick second after the ‘pop’ of the growler opens, I get a surge of fruits. Loads of citrus and peach are jumping out at me. Inviting me to have a taste, like the sinful snake. The aroma has me mesmerized, tantalized, swooned. The taste sends a rush of fruity deliciousness, like holy damn wow! It’s got an incredibly juicy punch, but without the weight of the alcohol. Super smooth and easy to drink. On. F**cking. Point. Ripple me this? How good is this beer?
Wood Brothers Cadbunny Brew
Pastry Stout || ABV: 8.5% || IBU: –
This one was a special treat, it took several people to conceive this idea, and all of them are in the beer journalism, media game like myself. We have Noah from Beerism, Criag from BAOS podcast, the boys from Hops & Bros and Nathan Does Beer collided with Wood Brothers Brewing to brew this beast of an Easter gift. If Jesus returns on Easter, maybe he came back as this beer? On the nose I’m not getting many of the adjuncts as I had hoped, but after diving in for a taste, I get a slight easy caramel and chocolate with notes of roasted malts and a very smooth finish. This make this beer go down fast! Oh and I love sweets and chocolates, so this is right up my alley! Cheers to those involved, maybe we see a round two next year! Or better yet, Barrrrellll it.
Wood Brothers Blossom
Sour – Berliner Weisse || ABV: 6.0% || IBU: +
Another juicy beer presents itself as Blossom. This beer was released as the world around us Blossoms from winter to spring. The first thought that comes to mind when I heard the word blossom, is a cherry blossom. Because well the word is there in the name. The cherry blossom is a genus of trees, the most popular kind is Sakura, the Japanese flower which distinctly blooms during the spring time March, April for two weeks. It is a serene and delicate tree, known to soothe the sole and bring vibrancy to the life it surrounds. This beer does in fact contain cherries, but it holds in it a bursting raspberry aroma, with a light body, mild taste of fruits, and a cereal finish. Very easy to drink and super light. It too sends a sense of serenity and calm slithering through the body. The cherries do give way a little to the taste by adding an over ripe feel while the added lemon zest to round off the tartness. What a treat, like a yoga session for my taste buds. Inner Peace.
Wood Brothers Tropic Thunder
DIPA || ABV: 8.0% || IBU: –
“I don’t read the script, the script reads me”
With Tropic Thunder plastered on that dangly tag. One can only think of that crazy ridiculous, yet amazing, comedy titled Tropic Thunder. But this ain’t no scripted film. This is beer. Really delicious beer. It seems peach was written in by the director, and peach is what you get. From the lens, to the 4D smell. It is all peach all the time. And as you grasp the perspiring glass (ahem, Watchmen ref?), and as you slowly gulp a large first sip. The pupils dilate, the heart begins to skip a beat. Its like watching Col. Hands Landa toss a scoop of cream and take a bit of his delicious strudel. God, I want a strudel now. The taste has this amazing hoppy, fruity quality and the finish has a bit of a chalky feel, but does finish off smoothly. You know what the call a quarter pound with cheese in France? I know what they call this beer in Canada, simply delicious.
Wood Brothers Brewing is a serene place everyone near by needs to visit and experience. As far as the overall feeling of driving there, meeting the faces behind the liquids, and driving home with a stop for food somewhere along the way, Wood Brothers has me wanting to go back for more, and you should too, for good reason. I’m sold, Wood Brothers Brewing is the Hill Farmstead of Ontario, do you agree?
IMPORTANT INFO: At the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, the taproom is currently closed, but they are following safety protocol to allow for online sales and curbside pick up! Just remember to keep your distance, and wash yo stuff when you get home! Stay safe everyone! You can click here to place an order online when beers come available, usually they release every other week, but follow their Facebook and Instagram for updates on releases. Also please bear in mind, they are still a small batch brewery, and do not produce a very high quantity, so it may take a few tries to get your hands on some of these beers. Things tend to move fast with their online sales! Orders can be placed by clicking here.