The Windsor, Ontario area is rich with history, from the Underground Railroad to the rum runners throughout the time of prohibition. It is this very history that is embraced and celebrated at the Walkerville Brewery, where the story of our city is combined with a passion for today’s craft beer.
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This past week I was excited to have a couple good friends visiting. We decided to make the most of our short time together and go for our own ‘brewery tour’ throughout the City of Windsor, checking out some of the newer breweries that have popped up in the area as well as those that have been around for a while. On that list was a Windsor original – Walkerville Brewery.
Located at 525 Argyle Road, Windsor, the Walkerville Brewery is easy to get to with plenty of roadside parking available. While we didn’t spend our time out on the patio (it was far too hot and humid that day), it did look like a nice place to soak up the sun on a little more forgiving day!
When you first walk into the Walkerville Brewery you are instantly greeted with a wealth of information about the history of the brewery as well as of the city as a whole. The ‘lobby’ portion of the brewery includes a large display case full of historical treasures including older bottles, serving trays, an antique cash register and more. Throughout the brewery are banners sharing interesting facts from the history of the brewery starting with the original Walkerville Brewery in 1890.
One of the things that really impressed me while we were there was the knowledge of the brewery employees. Curious about the connection between the current Walkerville Brewery and how much it is directly linked to the original, we called the one employee over to ask. He was able to share some interesting information, explaining how the current brewery is completely new, sharing only the name and history. While they have some beers that may be similar to those originally associated with the name, all recipes are new.
Speaking of the beer… We each enjoyed a flight, giving us the opportunity to try 4 of the beers available. Unfortunately, one of the beers that instantly caught my attention (Waterfront Wit) was no longer available. That being said, for those of you who know my love of fruity and citrus-style beers, I was able to include the Smooth Sail Summer Ale in my list!
Smooth Sail Summer Ale: is described as ‘ale that is light and refreshing with a delightful citrus character from the Mosaic and Amarillo hop’. It definitely had the citrus style beer taste, which is my weakness. There is nothing better than a good citrus beer while floating in the pool…
Walkerville City-Cidery Argyle Apple Cider: There was only one cider available, and I had to give it a try. I am a huge fan of ciders, and this was my favourite drink of the day. Unlike some ciders, it wasn’t too sweet. In fact, it was slightly tart, which is exactly the way I like my ciders!
Red Beard Irish Red Ale: with the description stating this is ‘very mild and easy drinking, with a subtle fruity character from the English yeast’, I thought it would be a nice option as I am not much of a darker beer person. While it wasn’t my first choice, I could definitely see myself kicking back and enjoying this on the patio.
Road Block Doppelblock: Finally, the one beer that didn’t really stand out at all to me (I actually had to ask my husband what my fourth beer of the day was in order to write this), the Road Block Doppelbock is described as being ‘flavourful yet delicate; with malt sweetness and bready toasted notes’. It’s not that this beer was bad in any way, it simply didn’t stand out.
The brewery does offer tours for those who are interested in learning a little more about their facilities and the process, however, we decided to visit on the only day of the week that you can’t get a tour – Sundays. They are open to the public without having to call ahead on Saturdays, at 12:30 PM, 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM, and throughout the week with an appointment.
At a cost of only $7 for a 45 minute tour, it’s a pretty good deal! We’ve already discussed the fact that we plan on returning on a Saturday to give it a go ourselves. As a craft beer addict, my husband is always incredible interested to learn more about all the work that goes into crafting the perfect beer.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time visiting the Walkerville Brewery. The history was fascinating, and we discovered some good local craft beers. If you are in the area and interested in checking out the Windsor/Essex brewery scene, this is a must-see stop on your tour!
The charm of the Walkerville Brewery largely centers around it’s fascinating history. How much do you know about the history of similar locations in your area? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!