At some point in the last three years I bought my last two-four of macro beer and didn't know it. I wasn't aware of it nor did I make that a conscious decision. It happened while I was still drinking rather heavily but I didn't plan on it nor could I have understood the transformation I was embarking upon.
I've been known as an outspoken, even cruel critic of macro beers as my baptism into craft beer finally took hold and I went through the evangelical phase with a gusto I used to reserve for when we'd bring out the dual funnel and I'd chug 4 Brava lights in under 15 seconds. I railed against pseudo craft in all it's iterations and heaped scorn on those who would indulge the perceived evil that was Goose Island or Mill Street. It was as though I took my dismissal of the better beer I had shunned for years in pursuit of the cheapest drunk I could find and channeled it into bringing that rage down on anyone I deemed not true craft beer.
I have struggled for most of my adult life with poor impulse control and made decisions that left me scrambling to live. I turned to beer because it fit my persona as a party guy who didn't give a fuck about anything and even as my personal Rome came burning down around my head, I continued to plunge head long into binge drinking that left me shaking my head when I'd wake up after another lost evening.
Since my journey into craft beer, I have developed my palate and continue to refine it every day. It was a pleasure to leave behind the bland and boring Old Milwaukee and MGD and explore hoppy IPAs, fruity Saisons and so on. But I still woke far too many mornings with a hole in my memory and some great beers drunk in the blackout that I would never see again. The quality and cost of my beers had changed but I had not truly left my old self behind, I was just hiding behind the façade of craft beer and continuing my destructive ways.
In May of 2017, I counted and posted every single beer I drank that month and was kind of flummoxed that the final tally numbered 150. No doubt a little spurred on by trying to raise the total and be cool about it, I nonetheless took action to be more conservative in my consumption and started to have less of my go to craft beers in the fridge and focus on trying to review everything I consumed but not overdoing it. There were indeed a few more moments of ridiculous behaviour but slowly I could feel the tide turning and as of the last few months, I haven't truly been outside the norm when it comes to consumption. A couple a night with perhaps 3 or 4 on my night off and that seems to be it for this old fella. The desire to slip into a beer induced haze has left me and all I feel the need for now is to experience every single nuance and subtle note my beer has to offer.
So how does this tie into my not buying macro beer anymore? Well, what I discovered was that while a large part of what I do is all about supporting the local craft brewers and encouraging others to do the same, it is also about drinking less and enjoying more. I shun events where the goal is mass consumption, regardless of the participating breweries. Let's face it, the only reason your going to a beer fest is to get snackered in the guise of trying all the beer. I don't want to beer shame people anymore (well except green beer, that stuff is so nasty), but I also wont buy it because it serves no purpose except to intoxicate as multiples of any beer seem to be the antithesis of everything I stand for. No one buys a single can of Pabst for the flavour, it's designed to deliver the 5% in a crisp and clean boring lager that has you reaching for another one so much you might just be DJ Khaled. So I don't buy macro anymore because it doesn't suit my needs, it gives me nothing to think about and certainly doesn't help me support my local community or engage in my favourite pastime of reviewing and talking about beer.
I am trying to be a little better about letting people enjoy the things they want without crapping on them and I'd like to think I am succeeding. I no longer have room in my fridge or glass for anything I don't want to explore and I am confident that I have seen enough broken mornings with the empties to prove it that I no longer need to purchase any of the big boys of beer. But drink what you want and I'll still be here doing my thing, bringing the best I can find and shining a light on things that maybe aren't quite right. I'll drink a 50 when I'm at the legion and maybe a Mill Street if that's what is available but if I'm given the option, I'll choose true craft every time, be the DD or have a nice full bodied Red Wine instead. The choice is yours and I will do my utmost to respect it.
27 March 2018
26 March 2018
The most difficult days for any tour of craft breweries are Monday and Tuesday. So many are closed for brewing, cleaning, taking care of outside accounts or just to have a day off. I begrudge no one a day apart from the masses and understand the economics of staffing versus sales and the need to maximize when you can be open. It was in this vein that I decided to take our traditional Toronto Day on Polkapolooza and move it to Day 2, which was Monday March 12th this year and what a day it turned out to be.
Starting out with a couple of Etobicoke breweries that we are big fans of and that followed in the tradition of taking way longer than I had budgeted for. Something we will visit at the end of this journey and hope to take advantage of for next years tour. Black Oak Brewing is fast approaching their 20th anniversary and as part of the original 2016 tour, we wanted to revisit and see the changes to the taproom and retail facility. Coming off a solid rebrand last year, we were interested in the return of Love Fuzz and Nox Eterna Stout as the clock passed 11 a.m. on that sunny morning. While we were chatting at the bar, Black Oak founder and Ontario legend Ken Wood came out from the brewing floor for a chat about all things crafty. Before you knew it an hour had passed and a short tour of the back with more talk of the past and future of Black Oak was had, with a sprinkling of side chats down the rabbit hole of taking on the big boys of beer in the fractured landscape of selling beer in Ontario. Saying our good byes, but not before a pic with the man himself, we grabbed a few beauties from the fridge and headed out on the road for a short drive to stop number two.
To say I spend a lot of time drinking, thinking or enjoying Great Lakes Brewery beer would be a massive understatement. One of my most visited and an original, longstanding Friend of Polk, we pulled into the parking lot to be greeted by our pal, the Ontario Beer Guy himself, Ken Pyper. he had just missed us at Black Oak and joined us at GLB and a few stops after to boot.
Hanging at the bar, having a few samples as we pondered the latest releases from Great lakes, we were soon joined by our good friend Troy Burtch, Marketing and Communications manager at GLB and lover of all things beer. He was kind enough to break a few gems out of the cellar and we were all too eager to enjoy them with him. A 2015 Imperial Bout Imperial Coffee stout and some Ezra appeared and we chatted once again about the trip we were on, stops we should try to make and the state of the Ontario Craft beer family. It's not all roses and sunshine, but this kind of inspired beer talk happens everyday in every place and I was so happy to spend another hour at one of my favourite breweries with some fine folks.
Another dozen beers found their way into our trunk and we prepared to skip across Toronto and make our way to another Original 2016 tour stop, the recently expanded and ever Friend of Polk, Muddy York Brewing. Having been here just a few weeks before to help celebrate their 3rd birthday, we knew a few delicious things were waiting in the bottle shop for us to buy and take home.
Walking through the front door, we were greeted with the tropical warmth and familiar smell of brewing taking place. A new batch of their delicious Haberdasher Hefeweizen was in the tank and I love that scent, malted barley is the new coffee in my mind! We grabbed a few samples before loading up another 6 pack and stealing a little of Jeff's time as we talked about our trip so far and even reminisced a little about our stop 3 years prior when Muddy York was still getting up and running and where they were now. It's so hard to pull our selves out of this cozy taproom but we knew the journey must continue and we said our goodbyes with an eye to returning as soon as we could for a longer stay.
A short drive later we pulled down a familiar alley, parked and made our way to stop number four on the day, the rising star that is Left Field Brewery. Coming off an amazing year with a string of releases that left Ontario banging down the door and ordering online to get their fix, Left Field as another Original 2016 stop that we make part of any Toronto visit because how could you pass up such great beer and atmosphere. A couple of short samples and a glance at a busy brewery on a Monday morning and we made our way around the corner for stop five.
As we go along, I am sure you may be asking yourself, "Why didn't they go to this brewery or that one?". Fair enough and the truth is many weren't open or didn't open until well after we had passed by. Have no fear, your intrepid travelers have noted the suggestions and consulted our handy map to make sure we can return and visit with every one of them later this year.
Eastbound Brewing company was where we paused for a few moments and grabbed a flight and a seat to rest up for the second half of this whirlwind day through the Big Smoke. We had visited back in November and it was good to return to a fridge with new beers and a tap list much expanded. While tempted by the scent of delicious food, we held fast for our dinner plans had crystalized and we were excited for that addition to our day.
Our 6th stop of the day was also the very first craft brewery I had visited perhaps 6 years prior but had no real recollection of as I was knee deep in the pit of darkness and over drinking at the time. Steamwhistle and the iconic Roundhouse sit in the shadow of the home of the Toronto Blue Jays and was pretty packed for a mid Monday afternoon, with tours and groups of thirsty folks filling the considerable tap room with joyous laughter, I had to get my mitts on a mug of the famous Unfiltered pilsner and was not disappointed. Fuller and tastier than the already amazing regular Steam Whistle, it's a fine excuse to spend some time sipping and marvelling at a Canadian Icon.
Our usual plan of lunch across the street at the Amsterdam Brewhouse was curtailed by our new plans for dinner, we made a short visit to the bottle shop and were surprised with a six pack to take home. Always a pleasure to hang out and enjoy the vibe, we made a promise to ourselves to come back soon and watch the planes land while we explore the food and beer this lovely spot on the lake has to offer.
By now, we were starving and ready for a sit down meal after two days of eating in the car on the run. Our good friend and one of my favourite writers of beer and other things, Robin LeBlanc lived not too far from our 7th stop so we were thrilled to pull up outside of her Cabbagetown walk up and have her take us to her favourite local pub for some food, drink and wide ranging catching up. The House on Parliament is a cozy pub that I wish I could transport to walking distance from our house. A good feeling from the moment we walked in was made even better by fresh Lake Effect IPA from GLB on tap and a filling meal that helped us slow down and relax during this jaunt across T.O. .
Getting to spend some time with one of our favourite people without the maddening crowds of a beer festival or brewery event was such a joy and we will be taking Robin up on her offer to host an overnight visit this summer. Fire up the smoker, chill the beer and get ready for Polk's night out! A pleasure as always, we now would make the sprint to finish our day with full bellies and a smile in our heart. Thank you Robin.
The final 4 stops were short and sweet due to time constraints as many closed before 10 p.m. and we didn't want to miss one. A lucky parking spot right across the street let us pop into Bellwoods brewery on Ossington with little trouble and we grabbed a few new to us beers as well as some old faves and looked longingly at the taproom and wished for more time to have a pint and some amazing fries but time waits for no man and onward we went.
Henderson Brewing had sent a few bottles my way since our friend Erica started working there and it was a good prompting to remind me we hadn't been there in quite some time. Despite the late hour, our Instagram friends Anthony and Emma were there when we arrived and it was nice to finally say hello in person. It was another example of how we need to better plan this tour because we arrived just before closing and had to keep our chat short. A hopeful promise to hang out this summer and we made our way back to the car for two more stops. Literally minutes down the road was another place we hadn't been in far too long and we hustled in to grab a few bottles as our time wound down in Toronto. Bandit Brewery has one of the best logos in Ontario Craft brewing and the beer has grown to match it. I was sad to say we couldn't sit for a flight or a pint but it was clear we had pushed ourselves and needed to head home for a rest...after one final stop.
Indie Alehouse is an uncompromising leader in the Ontario Craft beer world and the beer reflects that dedication and intensity. Spying one of the best Imperial IPAs in the province, Cockpuncher, available is shortie cans, I grabbed a couple and was happy to find a Belgian IPA and a stout for Kat as well. Another great place to eat, next time we will make room to settle down and nosh a bit.
The end comes quickly on Toronto Day and we felt lucky to have had friends meet us and spend a little time sharing our trip. The 39 breweries in the city had has actually grown by 2 in the week since we were there and that just means more trips and better planning will be necessary to make that happen next time. We've been to 30 of them and hope to complete the city before the summer hits or the 13 planned breweries open their doors and we will need a week just to explore Ontario's capital.
The craft beer scene in Toronto is split between a few different styles and certainly reflects the diverse city housing them. From simple taprooms to restaurants and brewpubs and the huge goliaths that lead the revolution from the front, it has enough stops that any day trip could result in something new for anyone to discover. The industrial chic still holds sway but the newer breweries are trying to stamp out their own look and brand to grab the attention of a very busy and crowded market place. The local community surrounding any brewery will be vital as the shelf space and options at the LCBO prove difficult for smaller operators to navigate. Appealing to the community closest to you and then the larger craft beer world is on display full force in this city of 2 million plus people. Something we will explore at the conclusion of our trip to be sure.
Another Toronto Day was in the books and we looked North for our next trip, 8 stops, 4 cities and over 600 kilometres on the road. I'll be back soon to tell you all about our Tuesday in Cottage country soon!
D.Polk in the Six - the short and sweet
1. Black Oak Brewing
Website - http://www.blackoakbeer.com/
Favourite Beer - 10 Bitter Years Imperial IPA
1st Impression - Your uncle's bar with better beer
2. Great Lakes Brewery
Website - http://www.greatlakesbeer.com/
Favourite Beer - Audrey Hopburn Belgian IPA
1st Impression - Legendary and growing
3. Muddy York Brewing
Website - http://www.muddyyorkbrewing.com/
Favourite Beer - Dereliction Double IPA
1st Impression - Pull up a seat, stay a while
4. Left Field Brewery
Website - http://www.leftfieldbrewery.ca/
Favourite Beer - Greenwood IPA
1st Impression - Go Jays...kids, dogs, moms, dads and great beer !
5. Eastbound Brewing Company
Website - http://www.eastboundbeer.com/site/
Favourite Beer - Let's go Exploring IPA
1st Impression - Queen Street Chic
6. Steam Whistle Brewing
Website - http://steamwhistle.ca/
Favourite Beer - Unfiltered Steamwhistle
1st Impression - Clean and crisp
7. Amsterdam Brewhouse
Website - http://www.amsterdambeer.com/
Favourite Beer - Double Tempest Imperial Stout
1st Impression - Scenic with beer
8. Bellwoods Brewery (Ossington)
Website - http://www.bellwoodsbrewery.com/
Favourite Beer - Jutsu Pale Ale
1st Impression - Nirvana
9. Henderson Brewing Company
Website - https://www.hendersonbrewing.com/
Favourite Beer - Rube Goldbeer
1st Impression - If DaVinci ran a brewery
10. Bandit Brewery
Website - http://banditbrewery.ca/
Favourite Beer - Juice Box Pale Ale with Ekuanot/Denali
1st Impression - That logo though...
11. Indie Alehouse
Website - https://www.indiealehouse.com/
Favourite Beer - Cockpuncher Imperial IPA
1st Impression - Uncompromising
22 March 2018
Any time we hit the road in search of great craft beer, we are always on the lookout for the new and interesting. We seek a taproom with personality and the stories we find when we stop and take a seat at the table. We want to talk beer with the people who make make it and those who drink it. We are not purveyors of a fine lifestyle, but rather your regular working folk who do some things with a little more enthusiasm than your average person would require. Live large and explore isn't just something we say, we live it everyday and Polkapolooza is that special time of year when we shed the coils of work and home to celebrate Ontario Craft beer.
This year's tour kicked off on Sunday March 11th with an early morning 230 kilometre drive to the northeast of Toronto and the beautiful town of Bowmanville. Manantler Brewing was our destination and we arrived just as the doors opened to sidle up for a flight to kick things of for the week. Often we stop in and grab some bottles to try at home, sometimes a few samples to split and others, like this one, we are joined by distant old friends and new ones we just haven't met yet. First through the door was Josh, a young guy who is quickly building a name for himself in both the craft beer and woodworking worlds with his beautiful creations. Our old pal Glenn was next to show up as we were close to his hometown and it was a welcome sight to see a fellow beer writer settle in across from me. Jen and Shannon were last to arrive but would remain with us all day as we raced the clock of early closings to make all of our stops on Day 1 of Rise of Polk 2018.
We ordered our flights and that's when Manantler's own beer saint Matt showed up and the bottles started to appear from behind a magic wall. Samples of past, present and future creations were doled out and the chat turned from where Manantler was, to where they are going in the context of a burgeoning scene in the region. Finding your voice and keeping the ball going forward is never easy in any business but when it comes to craft beer, the fickle nature of humanity is in full play.
The taproom has grown since our visit last year and you can feel the vision becoming a vibe as Manantler grows to fill and respond to the needs of their community. Laughing and joking while discussing his own journey, Matt was the epitome of a good host as we reluctantly said our good byes after what was supposed to have been a half hour stop gone on 4 times that long. A common theme this week and one we will be addressing at the conclusion of these look backs. I'm not one to stop a good time so we threw the timetable out the window for the sake of just that.
Ringing up a solid amount of beers to go with some lovely gifts, we turned next to a brew pub beneath one of my favourite smokehouse restaurants in the province. Sir Monty's Brewing is located underneath Stuttering John's Smokehouse in Courtice, Ontario and has an English pub like feel to it as you descend the stairs. Jen, Shannon and Josh made the trip with us and as we walked in I was greeted by a couple of other beer loving pals we had met briefly a few weeks before at Left Field in Toronto. Out for a bite and a pint, they wanted to say hello and welcome me to their region as the tour kicked of on day one. I loved being able to chat with people who love great beer as much as me and was greeted warmly as we headed for our table by another fellow beer lover who was following along on social media. Extolling the virtues of both the food and drink, he was an example of something that became a theme more and more as we travelled. People are proud of their local craft brewery and want nothing more than to share that with you. Local is quickly becoming a watchword and something we will encounter as we look back and then forward on this week.
Feeling the press of time, we split a few flights and found that the beer was promising with the Irish Red being the standout for both Kat and I. Only growler fills available, so we left with nothing but memories of meeting great people and a new brewery we will revisit when we can to see what changes as they grow.
Saying goodbye to Josh at this stop, we next made our way to two breweries in Whitby that we had spent considerable time in last year on the Beer Saints tour with our friends from all over Ontario. Brock Street Brewing is still awaiting their new downtown location as construction continues with it's usual delays and complications but their original location was full and rocking for a Sunday afternoon and we grabbed a few more cans to add to a generous gift Josh had delivered on their behalf earlier.
A short drive down the road led us to 5 Paddles Brewing and we once again stayed a little longer than planned as a few samples of their recent wares were tasted and discussed along with the purchase of some very anticipated IPAs and stouts. They have increased the space in the taproom by putting some retro movie seating and couches into the brewery proper and it was buzzing with folks enjoying an afternoon among the bright tanks and fermenters.
We next made our way to Whitby's newest addition and a big space with lots of possibilities. Little Beast Brewing has some very cool label art that incorporates their beast logo and will help them to stand out from the crowded sea of beer popping up in Ontario. Talking about the challenges of getting people out and visiting, we were soon joined by 3 more beer friends from the Society of Beer Drinking ladies on their way back from Ottawa and the room filled with excited chatter and raised glasses. Always good to get to see our friend Erica, however briefly, and we soon had to head out, with some tasty saisons to boot, and try to keep the day on track.
Town Brewing makes it 4 craft breweries in this town of 130,000 people and showcases the different philosophies and styles that help each stand out in the beer world. Known already for their fine beers, Town's sours and IPAs keep grabbing everyones' attention, and we took a seat to experience some samples of the beer and a much needed snack. The taproom was filled with people of all ages and the conversations were boisterous and happy as Sunday moved towards its closing. A place that would be at home in any city, we lingered to enjoy some tart treats and plan for the final leg of a 400 plus kilometre opening day.
Heading east toward home, we made an all too brief stop at Ajax's only craft brewery, the just turned one year old Falcon Brewing. Located in a strip mall like you'd find in any city, it had the feel of a neighbourhood bar with a bright, airy feel and a nice tap list. We grabbed a few bottles and made our apologies that we couldn't stay longer but our goal was in sight and the early closing times on Sundays made it impossible to sit and chat at every stop. So many people pop in and out of breweries every day and that is part of the larger story we will tell as the week goes on.
Jen and Shannon had beat us to our final destination and when we arrived at the 8th and final brewery, it was a bittersweet moment because we only had a little time left with these two who had stayed with us all day. Located in Markham, home to 329.000, Rouge River Brewing has quickly built a reputation for making great beer and pushing the envelope when it came to flavour. The Imperial Stout with coconuts was like drinking a chocolate bar through that tropical fruit and was outstanding and of course, the IPAs were spot on and deserved further reflection at home. The sun drew low in the sky and we knew the day was drawing to a close but we lingered a little at the bar having a little chat about beer and brewing with the guys from Rouge.
Hugs and promises of future trip around Lake Ontario were exchanged as our young friends headed home and we did the same. It always feels heavy when Day1 is done because you realise how much is out there and how little we can actually do with the time we are given to explore. It was a great way to kick off Polkapolooza and this growing region will be a hot spot for people looking outside the typical Toronto centric view we too often have.
Having said that, Monday would find us heading for the Big Smoke itself as I am not immune to the pull of Toronto and the 35+ craft breweries contained within. That story will come in good time but below I'll give you a snapshot of each stop and our impressions of each. Keep in mind, some of these were less than 15 minutes, while others stretched in an hour or more. Look all of them up next time you're out that way and experience it for yourself.
Polkapolooza Day 1 - Something Polk this way comes...the short and sweet
1. Manantler Brewing
Website - https://www.manantler.com/
Favourite Beer - Siesmic Narwhale Imperial IPA
1st Impression - Hanging out in a pal's rec room, but with better beer.
2. Sir Monty's Brewing
Website - https://www.sirmontys.com/
Favourite Beer - Irish Red Ale
1st Impression - A Fool and Flagon but less British
3. Brock Street Brewing
Website - http://www.brockstreetbrewing.com/
Favourite Beer - Black IPA from All Ontario Hops Competition
1st Impression - Bursting at the seems. Cramped and busy.
4. 5 Paddles Brewing
Website - https://www.5paddlesbrewing.ca/
Favourite Beer - In Your Face IPA
1st Impression - That punk bar you went to when you were cooler.
5. Little Beasts Brewing
Website - https://www.facebook.com/LittleBeastsBrewCo/
Favourite Beer - Dark Saison
1st Impression - Spacious and anxious.
6. Town Brewery
Website - http://townbrewery.ca/
Favourite Beer - Superfluos Sour Ale
1st Impression - If I had an older sister, this is where we would hang out
7. Falcon Brewing
Website - https://www.falconbrewingcompany.com/
Favourite Beer - Too soon to tell...
1st Impression - Your neighbourhood burger bar.
8. Rouge River Brewing
Website - https://www.rougeriverbrewingcompany.com/
Favourite Beer - Summer Pale Ale
1st Impression - Where the cool kids from high school ended up.
6 March 2018
|On the Road again!|
I live my life out in the open, large and loud with no filter except the ones on my pictures to clean up my days. I proudly enjoy my beer and shout from the rooftops my undying love for those who make it. Rescued from a fate surely locked in to an early grave, my journey from macro pounder to appreciator of the finer things in malted barley has been one of joy and exploration. For the third year in a row, we are taking that gratitude on the road in a week long road tripping, beer running trek of Ontario Craft Beer.
Polkapolooza was conceived in March of 2016 to celebrate Ontario craft beer and what it had come to mean to me. I conveniently selected my birthday week and we made 22 stops at breweries over 5 days and 1200 kilometres as we tentatively put our toes in the water when it came to beer road trips. Many day jaunts followed and we fell in love with time spent in a tap room, often surrounded by new and old friends talking about beers past, present and future.
|Always together! From 2017 Polkapolooza tour|
I chose Rise of Polk because I still feel like we have only scratched the surface for what we can become. a market share that hasn't yet surpassed 10% and so many people we can help see the light means our work has just begun. I join with my fellow beer lovers who share their pictures, stories, videos and reviews in wanting to make sure the next beer you have is one that may alter the course of your life. I do this because I am utterly convinced that craft beer not only saved my life, it changed it and me for the better. It helped me to come to terms with a life lived in the shadows, learn to express myself in a way I thought I had lost and helped me connect with who I truly want to be. That work isn't done yet either and as my 45th birthday rushes toward me near the end of the trip, I can hope the backend of my life will be filled with more happiness and positive experiences than I thought possible.
Follow along on Twitter (@DrunkPolkaroo ) and Instagram (Drunk Polkaroo) as we start my favourite road trip of the year. The stops for this year's tour are posted below, with any luck we will be able to make them all. I hope to see some of you as we pass by your town, come out and say hello, I've always got time for friends I just haven't met yet!
Day 1 (Sun Mar 11th) -
Something Polk this way comes (326 km)
1. Manantler Brewing
2. Sir Monty's Brewing
3. Little Beasts Brewing
4. Brock Street Brewing
5. 5 Paddles Brewing
6. Town Brewery
7. Falcon Brewing
8. Rouge River Brewing
Day 2 (Mon Mar 12th) -
D.Polk in the 6ix (169 km)
1. Black Oak Brewing
2. Great Lakes Brewery
3. Muddy York Brewing
4. Left Field Brewery
5. Eastbound Brewery
6. Steamwhistle Brewing
7. Amsterdam Brewhouse
8. Bellwoods Brewery
9. Henderson Brewing
10. Indie Alehouse
Day 3 (Tue Mar 13th) -
Polk goes North (575 km)
1. Muskoka Brewery
2. Sawdust City Brewing
3. Flying Monkey's Brewery
4. Barnstormer Brewing
5. Redline Brewhouse
6. Side Launch Brewing
7. Northwinds Brewhouse
Day 4 (Wed Mar 14th) -
Niagara Polks and Rec (256 km)
1. Brimstone Brewing
2. Niagara Brewing Company
3. Taps on Queen Brewhouse
4. The Exchange Brewery
5. Niagara Oast House Brewers
6. Silversmith Brewing
7. Lock Street Brewing
8. Kame and Kettle Brewing
Day 5 (Thur Mar 15th) -
Westward Polk (343 km)
1. Sons of Kent Brewing
2. Frank Brewing
3. Sandwich Brewing
4. Brew Microbrewery
5. Midian Brewing
6. Walkerville Brewing
7. Chapter 2 Brewing
8. Motor Craft Ales
Day 6 (Fri Mar 16th) (Also Polk's actual B-Day!!) -
Take the long Polk Home (478 km)
1. Refined Fool Brewing
2. Rusty Wrench Brewing
3. Strathroy Brewing
4. Storm Stayed Brewing
5. Toboggan Brewing
6. London Co-op Brewing
7. Anderson Craft Ales
8. Forked River Brewing
9. Railway City Brewing
10. New Limburg Brewing
11. Concession Road Brewing
Day 7 (Sat Mar 17th) -
Home Sweet Polk (102 km)
1. Cameron's Brewing
2. Nickel Brook Brewing
3. Shawn and Ed's Brewing
4. Fairweather Brewing
5. Grain and Grit Brewing
6. Merit Brewing
7. Rust City Brewery
8. Collective Arts Brewing
9. Clifford Brewing