Who doesn’t love a good road trip?! Car snacks, a perfectly curated Spotify playlist, a few good friends (and maybe a few too many OnRoute bathroom stops!)

This year we wanted to highlight some of the great breweries that are right in our backyard. In our first installment we brought you the SOBDL Craft Beer Road Trip Guide to Niagara–if you missed it you can check it out here

Over the coming months, we’ll be bringing you guides for some of our favorite local road trip destinations so you can start daydreaming about your next beer getaway!

Today we’re taking you to Hamilton!

Hamilton is one of the most underrated cities in the GTA and an easy day trip from Toronto. Plus it’s one of the rising stars of the Ontario craft beer scene with an ever-growing list of — dare we say — world-class beer. 

Grain&Grit Beer Co

Grit&Grain is the realized dream of couple Joe and Lindsay Mrav (and their hard working head brewer Alex Sporn). With Joe’s love of homebrewing and Linsday’s eye for design, everything about this brewery, from the beers to the branding and tasting room design, will leave you feeling deeply satisfied. 

Because G&G are a small batch brewer this means everything they produce are special releases and quantities are limited so you’ve got to get ’em while you can or suffer the FOMO (are we still saying FOMO?!).

Collective Arts Brewing

Collective Arts Brewing is a grassroots craft brewery that fuses the creativity of craft beer with the inspired talents of emerging artists and musicians. If you’ve ever seen their beers you probably know that they feature limited-edition works of art on their cans and labels. Make sure you stop by their beer bottle gallery where they showcase every artist they’re worked with over the past four years. 

One of the things we love most about Collective Arts is that they’re constantly pushing the envelope and working to make sure the liquid on the inside of their cans and bottles is as diverse and creative as the artists they profile. Their flagship beers are always amazing plus they often collaborate with other award-winning international breweries to create unique and exciting beers.

Now, we know this is a brewery round-up, but if spirits are more your thing Collective Arts also have a range of spirits, RTD (ready to drink) cocktails and hard teas!

So, whether you love craft beer or good cocktail we know you’ll love Collective Arts as much as we love this OG Hamilton brewery.

Fairweather Brewing

One thing all our favorite Hamilton breweries do really well is branding, and Fairweather is definitely one close to our hearts. Having a strong visual identity is so important in today’s saturated craft beer market and we love Fairweather’s distinctive and cohesive approach. 

After nearly a year of renovations, Fairweather opened its doors in May 2017, in a revitalized warehouse in west Hamilton. 

Fairweather Brewery believe in making great tasting and creative beers and they’ve certainly done just that. Whether they’re exploring bright hoppy IPAs, rich, silky stouts and porters, elegant, classic continental lagers, or fruited and oak-aged beers, Fairweather know how to make unique and well-crafted beers.

Go in for a glass, pick up some bottles or fill up your growler but just be sure you don’t miss this brewery next time you’re in The Hammer. 

MERIT Brewing

If you love sausages and craft beer MERIT Brewing is your Valhalla. 

MERIT is brought to you by Tej Sandhu, Aaron Spinney — former head brewer at Sawdust City Brewing Co — and Jesse Vallins — AKA the Sausage King. No seriously, he’s been awarded Toronto’s Sausage League Championship no less than three times!

MERIT consider themselves 5th ingredient brewers which means beyond the usual 4 ingredients (grain, hops, yeast and water) they always add an additional ingredient to every batch — whether that’s fruits, herbs, spices, teas, or just a good story. The other thing we love about MERIT is that they really do have something for everyone. So, whether you’re looking for the perfect easy-drinking drop or want something that will satisfy even your most discerning hophead friends have got you covered!

Clifford Brewing Co

The Clifford Brewing Company was launched in 2015 by brewer, Brad Clifford. Brad began his brewing career as an award-winning home-brewer before opening Clifford Brewing Co and venturing into commercial brewing with similar success.

Two of the original Clifford beers, Pinball Wizard APA and Clifford Porter, were first brewed under contract for bars and the LCBO while a site was secured in Hamilton for the brewery. After many years of commercial craft brewing on a smaller scale, Clifford expanded to contract brewing before opening their 10,000 sq./ft. production facility and taproom in 2018. These days, along with their Porter and Pinball Wizard, there are a number of new beers in regular production available only at the brewery–all delicious!

Brux House

If you love Bar Volo in Toronto you’ll love Brux House in Hamilton!

Inspired by the European beer belt, Brux House is the place to go if you love eclectic food paired with good drink.  

Brux House boasts an exciting, ever-changing menu with Executive Chef Fraser Macfarlane giving classic cuisine his creative culinary slant using quality and local ingredients. Throw in an extensive tap list featuring some of the best local and imported craft beer and ciders, cocktails and wines and you’ve got a recipe for a great meal.