Come Wander
Craft Drinks at 7/62 in Hastings County

Whether you’re heading out of the city for a quick day trip or a week-long getaway, a much anticipated #roadtrip always brings with it an air of excitement. And when your getaway involves sampling craft beer, cider, and wine in scenic small towns…well, this brings a whole new level of excitement to the table.

Sampling craft drinks near Toronto is the perfect way to meet the makers, and get the inside story on what inspires them to make and sell their product. Oh, and let’s not forget sampling delicious brews at the same time (it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it)!

The opening of a new craft brewery in Madoc seemed like the perfect opportunity to get out and tour the craft drink producers in Hastings County, of which there are many. With destinations spanning from Tweed to Madoc, and Bancroft, only a couple of hours outside of Toronto, we knew before we set out that we were embarking on an unforgettable road trip.

We sampled craft beer at Hastings County’s newest brewery, 7/62 Craft Brewers, along with Bancroft Brewing Co., Kings Mill Cider, and Potter Settlement Vineyards and Artisan Winery.

Just as expected, the adventure was full of opportunities to meet new people, make new discoveries, and yes, we did “force” ourselves to sample some delicious craft drinks along the way. Read on to discover the best craft drinks near Toronto.

7/62 Craft Brewers

I loved chatting with owner, Scott Williams.

In a world where craft breweries are all the rage, 7/62 Craft Brewers’ owner, Scott Williams decided the only way to stand out from the crowd was to not stand out – to take brewing beer back to its basics and simply brew good beer. There are no flavourful twists to be found here. In other words, you won’t see a raspberry-infused, or grapefruit-flavoured brew on the menu at their taproom and retail store. Their beers are simple and straightforward – they are literally producing “simply good beer.”

If you’re wondering about the story behind the name 7/62 (I was!) it’s a fun story: the brewery is named for its location at the crossroads of Highway 7 and 62, historic travelling roads that have been leading visitors to the small town of Madoc for over a hundred years. There are plenty of other historical touches in the taproom, which are also mirrored in their traditional brewing style. Stop by 7/62 and try their loaded charcuterie board, paired with one of their beer flights and see for yourself how their brewing philosophy plays out in real life.

Don’t miss: Try their Little Irish Red, a creation that happened by accident, but was a pleasant surprise. At less than four per cent alcohol by volume, this brew qualifies as a light beer but brings with it a rich, deep flavour that makes it unlike any other light beer you’ve ever tried (promise!).

Check out this loaded charcuterie board – we skipped the cheese and they were happy to accommodate.

Potter Settlement Vineyards and Artisan Winery

Loved sampling award winning wines!

Who would have thought the small community of Tweed would be home to an international award-winning winery producing premium wines? After two decades in the making, Potter Settlement is making waves in the wine world, pioneering wine production from Marquette and Frontenac grapes, and winning awards for exceptional quality wines.

It wasn’t by chance that owner Sandor Johnson founded his winery in Hastings County, a region known for its unusual mineral content in the soil. It’s the soil’s very uniqueness that contributes to the rich flavour profiles found in wines grown here. Visit the Tweed area vineyard and learn all about their many awards, tour the winery and experience wines that will make you feel like a true sommelier.

Don’t miss: Try their Pinot Noir Rosé, which is made from a single grape varietal, or another one of their award-winning wines like the Marquette. Check out  their fun wine cellar, a set of bespoke doors that make the perfect backdrop for a snapshot.

Bancroft Brewing Co.

If you’re a fan of English and German brews, but aren’t into travelling across the ocean to find them, you’re in luck. Bancroft Brewing Co. has combined brewing traditions from these two regions, and then added some twists to keep things interesting. This is another brewery dedicated to producing truly excellent beer, without a lot of gimmicks.

It could be the minerals in the spring water they use to brew their beer, or it could come down to a determination to produce the highest quality product possible, but either way Bancroft Brewing has mastered the art of making beer. Drop by their tasting room and sample a flight to see for yourself how they are elevating the brewery scene in Ontario.

Don’t miss: Hmm…so many good beers to suggest it’s hard to pick just one or two! The Prospector Ale is made using English and German malts and English hops for a unique take on an English pale ale.

Kings Mill Cider

The owners, Kees Morsink and Margaret Van Helvoort, recently won the People’s Choice award for their cider at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (2019).

Ah, cider! I left this one for last, but it’s definitely not least. In the craft alcohol world, cider is an old favourite making a heavy come back these days. In Hastings County, the award-winning Kings Mill Cider is elevating cider making to an art form. Here, Kees Morsink and his wife, Margaret Van Helvoort have spent the last six years perfecting their cider recipes to produce the highest quality of light, refreshing ciders.

The story goes even further back than six years – Morsink himself has been making cider for more than 30 years, and studied the intricacies of the craft at Cornell University. Stop by their super cute tasting room and sample one (or all) of their cider varieties, each more delicious than the last. From still to carbonated, and from sweet to dry, Kings Mill has the cider of your apple dreams.

Don’t miss: Ask to sample their mallo-fermented “scrumpy” cider for a deeper exploration of everything that cider can be. I loved their Russett cider, which features a delightful citrus-y flavour that’s a natural consequence of the fermentation process, and a pleasant surprise.

So many ciders, so little time…

Stories

Sweet Maple Escapes

Discover sweet places to stay for maple adventures in Ontario this spring.

Jigging Through Ice

You slip and slide your way across the ice, your arms laden with fishing gear, excitement building at the thought of the unscripted day ahead. Tucked amidst your gear is a warm blanket, a thermos of something rich and delicious, and a carefully packed cooler with goodies to keep you cozy all day. Ice fishing […]

Winter Just Got Awesome

Learn to climb or brush up on your skills with an epic ice climbing adventure at SOIceFest 2020 in Maynooth, ON.

Make a Toast (in Hastings County)

Tour craft drink producers for a chance to meet the makers, and get the inside story on what inspires them to make and sell their product. Oh, and sample delicious brews, too!

Ultimate Après-Ski Experiences

Meet up with friends after a day well spent on the slopes or on the trails. Discover these top places in Ontario’s Highlands to celebrate the Apres Ski!

Cheers to the Holidays

Get into the holiday spirit this month with these mixologists and craft drink producers in Ontario’s Highlands.

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

Embrace the Dog Days of Winter

If you can’t beat winter, join it with an epic dog sledding excursion through some of the most beautiful forests in Ontario.

Winter Jams

Warm up your winter with good music and good food, together, at the Sharbot Inn & Crossing Pub, in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

Shine at Giving this Holiday Season

Today’s craft markets are full of fresh, hip products made by creative and talented makers. This holiday season, go above and beyond by picking up handmade items with a story to tell at one of these Ontario holiday markets.

Discover Historic Accommodations in Ontario

Spend the night in historic accommodations to take yourself to way-back-when, and get into the spirit of the community you’re visiting. These inns have stories to tell of the people who lived and breathed inside their walls.

Cider Season

Find these cideries on your next road trip through Ontario’s Highlands to discover a refreshing way to toast the apple harvest with a cold cider.

An Ode to Poutine

Discover these chip trucks and their classic dishes, located throughout Ontario’s Highlands.

The Great Pizza-Off

Chow down on artisan wood-fired pizza at any of these gems across Ontario’s Highlands.

Before the Lake Wakes

Wake up lakeside with a steaming cup of coffee from a roastery in Ontario’s Highlands.

A Delicious Day Trip

Sip & Savour your way through the best food and drink spots in Lanark County.

The Perfect Scoop

Discover these top ice cream stops across Ontario’s Highlands to keep cool this summer on your road trip.

Exhale and Unwind

Experience a slice of farm life at Dwyer’s Farmhouse in the Ottawa Valley.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Discover these top ways to enjoy the strawberry season, when you let these farm-fresh berries shine on their own or in a variety of treats.

Farm Fresh Finds

Indulge your taste buds this summer with these 5 local finds at Farmers Markets through Ontario’s Highlands.

Valentine’s Day Treats

Treat that special someone this Valentine’s Day to a gift of sweets at one of these top places.

Moo-ve Over, Vodka

Discover Vodkow, the new beverage from the Dairy Distillery causing a stir in Almonte, Ontario.

A Day in Ormsby

Discover why Ormsby Ontario is worth exploring on your next road trip.

A is for Apples

Meeting cider kings and discovering great things in Hastings County.

Concerts with a Community

In September each year, the spirit of community comes alive all across Ontario’s Highlands when the Festival of Small Halls rolls in.

Roam If You Want To

Follow along with Chris from Travelling Mitch as he wanders through Haliburton Highlands and Hastings County on the Rustic Roamer Road Trip.

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

5 Senses of Nature

Leave the city behind and immerse yourself in the natural charm of Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Where Am I?

Discover the big things happening in the small towns along the Rideau Canal.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

The Rustic Roamer

I’m a Rustic Roamer. I wander to discover authentic moments, to embrace the spirit of locals, and to understand the stories of the communities and countryside that I visit.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Maple Mania

Discover one writer’s quest to discover what makes Lanark County so sweet with Maple Mania.

Life is a Highway

Two wanderers explore 135 kilometres of hidden gems in Hastings County.

The Ultimate City Escape

Explore these three ways to escape the city, slow down, and absorb rural life in Ontario’s Highlands.

My Hometown: Haliburton

After years of travel, read the story of why Emily returned to Haliburton to officially call it her home.

Journal of a Foodie

Take a journey through Ontario’s Highlands on a road trip that will satisfy your inner foodie.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

A Different Kind of Detour

Take the road less traveled through Ontario’s Highlands to these unique festivals that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Good Food, Great Company

The Good Food Tour, a delectable walking tour in Almonte the showcases a story and the local flavours.