Before my more bold adventures into the enjoyment of craft beer, one fun thing I liked to do when traveling was wanting to try the local beer. Beer that you just couldn’t get “back home” or beer that was unique to the local geography, culture, etc.
Local was always an important aspect to me, and still is, when I travel. It’s fun to explore things that are unique about each location; both Liz and I treasure those discoveries as we travel together.
But the local aspect was why I was a fond supporter of the old Lakeport Brewing Company in Hamilton and proudly bought their beer even when friends scoffed at me for buying that somewhat “lesser” known local discount brand instead of the large name brands that were more popular.
Of course, after time, the Lakeport brand grew in market share. Their prices, after all, were attractive, and the beer they produced was as good as any of the large mega breweries. So good, in fact, that one of the big ones had their eye on the market share Lakeport was taking. Not all that long after Labatt targeted them and then bought them out in 2007 they shut the operation down (don’t get me started on the anger to have a multi-national corporate ruin a good local thing and local jobs – something Hamilton has suffered from multiple times), it was upsetting that we didn’t have a local brewery right in Hamilton.
But enter Collective Arts Brewing who, in a partnership with Nickel Brook Brewing Co bought the plant, gave Hamilton not just a local brewery, but an amazing craft brewery with an incredible focus on craft and art.
Collective Arts aims to fuse the creativity of craft brewing with talented local and emerging artists and musicians. Their support of the artistic community is as strong and unique as their wonderful selection of incredible tasting beers. I mean, check out the amazing showcase of indie artists and musicians in the Collective Arts BLACK BOX SESSIONS.
So many incredible indie artists to discover and explore. It’s an incredible treasure trove and phenomenal musical talent. But let me get back to the beer . . .
Their initial offerings, and still among their most popular staples, available quite broadly, at least in Ontario through The Beer Store, the LCBO and selected grocery stores, include Rhyme and Reason (Extra Pale Ale), Saint of Circumstance (Citrus Blonde Ale), State of Mind (Session IPA) and Ransack the Universe (IPA).
Though I try my best not to re-check in a beer I have already had on Untappd, Collective Arts gives me a solid reason to do so. When you purchase a six-pack, for example, of a series, you get unique art and notes on the bottles. Causing me to want to post some of the check-ins and sharing the image of the art.
The small retail shop of the brewery itself is an artistic expression, complete with wall murals, a room filled with wall to wall bottles showcasing just some of the amazing artwork the brewery has included on their bottles, sampling, other fun merchandise and swag and an older school pin ball machine.
But one of the things that is a delightful surprise is the incredibly value priced re-fills for growlers and grunts (or rounds). Makes it so hard to believe that such delicious and flavourful craft beer can be had at such an incredible price.
So many reasons to adore Collective Arts. So, so many reasons.
Feel free to share a link to your favourite art, music or taste from Collective Arts by commenting or linking to it in the comments below.