Brews News: Old East breweries uncap seasonal suds

Chicago has Bucktown, Wicker Park and Logan Square, Toronto has the Junction, and our London has Old East Village.

They have a lot in common —faded neighbourhoods becoming vibrant again with craft beer as a centrepiece - writes

In Chicago, it’s Revolution Brewing and Piece Brewery, the latter co-owned by Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. In Toronto, it’s the highly respected Indie Ale House, Henderson Brewing and Junction Craft Brewing.

In London, Old East Village has been energized by Anderson Craft Ales and London Brewing Co-operative, soon to be joined by Silver Stacks Brewing opening next year in an abandoned Kellogg’s cereal factory. It’ll be a craft beer holy trinity, guaranteed to attract brewcationers and craft beer explorers.

London Brewing Co-op glass holds Gavin Anderson's Rum Raisin Brown, while the Anderson Craft Ales mug holds a Sweet Potato Rye designed by Aaron Lawrence. (MIKE HENSEN/THE LONDON FREE PRESS)

The spirit of the neighbourhood, the holidays, and the craft beer tradition of collaboration are being celebrated in Old East Village by Anderson and LBC on Dec. 9 at the OEV Collaboration Celebration.

That’s when two new beers, Sweet Potato Rye and Rum Raisin Brown, will be on tap at Anderson and LBC respectively.

Both new brews cleverly play on traditional Christmas food.

“The Sweet Potato Rye, a recipe developed by Aaron (Lawrence, of LBC), features 100 per cent local ingredients including roasted local organic sweet potatoes and locally grown ginger from Loco Fields in Stratford,” LBC’s David Thuss said in an email. “The Rum Raisin Brown is Gavin’s (Anderson) creation and features some rich crystal and chocolate malts and real raisins soaked in rum added during secondary fermentation.”

The two breweries are a three-minute walk from each other at 1030 Elias St. and 521 Burbrook Pl.

Meanwhile, LBC continues to celebrate the season and the neighbourhood with an indoor Christmas market on Dec. 10. It features approximately 10 vendors selling crafts, baked goods and coffee — and a chance to get your growlers refilled.

. . .

Fear not the cold winter weather. Lake of Bays offers comfort in the form of a new German-style red wheat beer.

A Doppel Do Ya is the winter instalment in the brewery’s Wild North series developed by the brewers for experienced craft beer drinkers.

Wild North releases this year have included Golden Chia Ale last spring (loved it), Pina Grande last summer (missed it) and a sweater weather pumpkin ale (haters of the style need not try).

“Doppel” means double in German, suggesting A Doppel Do Ya is a strong beer. At 6.5 per cent alcohol, it’s more potent than many, but not quite an alcohol content heavyweight in craft beer terms.

A Doppel Do Ya has notes of banana, apricot, toffee and apple. It’s made with historic German Hallertau hops.

Pairing suggestions from Lake of Bays include spring rolls dipped in plum sauce, which makes it an excellent choice to have chilling in the fridge when friends share Chinese takeout. It also pairs with pork roast or spiced apple pie.

You might think of A Dopple Do Ya as the more serious cousin of Baysville brewery’s marquee Spark House Red Ale.

A Dopple Do Ya will be on LCBO shelves soon.

. . .

Beer at your doorstep gets high marks for convenience, assuming you trust the neighbours.

Left Field, the four-year-old baseball-themed brewery in Toronto, is the latest to step up to the plate by offering front-door delivery via Canada Post.

If you haven’t yet tried Left Field beer, start with Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale and work your way through the lineup.

Delivery is promised within one to three days. Get it at by clicking on Fan Shop and creating an account.

Wayne Newton is a freelance journalist based in London.

Read more news of London on our site.
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