Brewing Craft Beer in Waterloo

Beer has always had a place in Waterloo Region, dating back over 175 years. The Ayr Brewery opened in 1857 and operated for over a century; Waterloo’s Kuntz Park Brewery opened in 1854 and became the second largest brewery in Ontario by 1910; and we can’t forget that nearly one million visitors come to Kitchener-Waterloo every year to enjoy the tasty suds at our annual Oktoberfest celebrations.

Prohibition along with increasing mechanization and consolidation meant the end to most independent brewers. However, small breweries have experienced significant growth in recent years, including here in Waterloo Region. Today there are a number of brewpubs, craft breweries and restaurants with extensive beer lists contributing to this growing industry. The focus on specific flavours and brewing styles is making beer connoisseurs flock to their favourite suds in the same fashion that fine wines and whiskeys have done for generations.

Within the Waterloo city limits, you’ll find 4 great breweries:

Abe Erb
A new brewery and pub in Uptown Waterloo, they have a rotating experimental tap with new and seasonal brews.

Innocente Brewing Company
Located at Northfield at Bridge in Waterloo, stop by for a tour and sample their latest brews.

Lion Brewery
Founded in 1842 and located in the Huether Hotel block. Try their 4 mini-glass sampler!

Brick Brewing
Home of the Waterloo Brewing Co craft brew series, as well as the Laker brand beers.

If trying new beer is your thing, try visiting one of the local brewpubs or craft breweries. If you’re interested in hearing how beer is made or want to learn more about the history of beer in this area, Waterloo Region Museum is running “Beer! The Exhibit” until January 3, 2016. Check it out!

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