The farm-to-table movement is sweeping across restaurants and kitchens across Ontario, and seeing farm-fresh, local ingredients as the star of each meal while supporting sustainable food production. What you may not know is that craft drink makers across Ontario’s Highlands are taking this one step further by incorporating local resources into mouth-watering beverages; something we like to call ground to glass.
Wander through Ontario’s Highlands’ rolling countryside, soak in breathtaking natural views, and discover the passion behind our producers as you delight your palate with local flavours during a visit to one of the following.
Naturally Flowing Spring Water at Cartwright Springs Brewery
Taking locally-made to a whole new level, this craft brewery uses the natural water from an artesian spring located on the property, just 15 metres away, in each and every brew. Take in the sight of the spring water flowing out of the ground at four litres per second beside Cartwright Springs Brewery before sampling the beer made from that very water. Other Ontario’s Highlands breweries use locally sourced grains in their beer, for a true farm to table product.
Suggested Food Pairing: Cartwright Springs Bewery is along a backroad and feels wonderfully secluded in nature, but don’t let your tummy worry as food is not far away. Onsite is a freezer chock full of pasties from The Great British Pasty & Pie Co., made just 15 minutes away in Arnprior.
Mineral-Rich Soil at Potter Settlement Artisan Winery
Located on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield, the area is certainly not known as wine-country, but the unique mineral-rich geology of the land creates the perfect terroir for flavouring grapes and is the secret weapon behind the award-winning wines crafted by Potter Settlement Artisan Winery. Book a tour and let owner, Sandor, walk you through the history of the winery as you sample these unique wines.
Suggested Food Pairing: If you have the opportunity to book a night at Black River Retreat, we have two words: do it. Not only will you get exclusive use of this wilderness property to soak away your worries in a hot tub or take a leisurely paddle in a kayak, but you’ll also have your own personal chef. We’d recommend bringing along some wine from Potter Settlement to make this an absolute perfect evening.
Locally-Milled Grains at Top Shelf Distillers
With barley, rye, and corn from Ontario growers being milled just around the corner at Dodds & Erwin into a fine flour-like powder for distilling, Top Shelf Distillers is passionate about sourcing ingredients locally for its fine spirits. Stop in for a tour to learn more about the distilling process, pick your favourite moonshine flavour, and sample their gin and vodka.
Suggested Food Pairing: With such a variety of spirits made, there are certainly a large number of cocktail combinations, but for a true Canadian pairing, we’d have to suggest grabbing a barbecue sauce from Shamrock Gardens in Almonte and firing up the ‘cue when you get home. As the name infers, the Maple Moonshine Barbecue Sauce has Top Shelf’s own maple moonshine in it.
Fresh from the Farm Ginger at Kings Mill Cider
Taking locally sourced seriously, the Ginger and Hopped Ginger ciders at Kings Mill Cider not only take a unique twist on a classic drink, but also use ginger grown only seven-kilometres down the road at Small Spade Farm. Nestled amidst rolling farmlands along a back-country road, this small home-based cidery celebrates local flavours in each and every bottle. If cider is one of your favourite fall drinks, Ontario’s Highlands has more than one you can explore for more farm-to-table goodness.
Suggested Food Pairing: We’re big fans of apples and cheese. For the perfect pairing here, we’d suggest upgrading your cheeseboard to a full-blown charcuterie board with just a couple extra stops – all within five kilometres of the cidery. Stop into the Buff Stuff Store at Ontario Water Buffalo Co. to pick up some summer sausage and buffalo milk cheeses, then head to The Apple Store up the road to finish your board off with Maple Dale Cheese.