Part three of our three-part Guelph, Ontario craft brewery crawl.
Our third and final Guelph stop was to StoneHammer Brewing. You may know them under their previous name, F&M Brewing (StoneHammer was the product line). Regardless, they’ve been making their brand of all-natural, hand-crafted, fine-brewed ales and lagers for 20 years.
In fact, it was StoneHammer Dark Ale that first sparked Josh’s love for craft beer, so he’d been particularly eager to visit and check it out.
StoneHammer is tucked away inside a quiet commercial-industrial park, designed for utility more than aesthetics. Not very pretty, but it does the job. Inside, it’s set up like a storefront rather than a bar/hang-out. A few fridges, a table with a register, and a tiny serving area. We weren’t lucky enough to get a tour the day we went, but there were tastings.
We came between any of their seasonals and one-offs, so it was just their five year-round signature pours up for sampling. Samples were free, so we tried a bit of each.
- Light Lager: We’ll be honest – neither of us particularly like light beer, nor do we drink it. That said, this one is certainly an improvement over the major commercial offerings.
- Pilsner: There’s not much to say about a pilsner – it’s simple, crisp, and either done right or done wrong. This one is definitely done right.
- Pale Ale: This is a brew you won’t get anywhere else. Yes, beer has a “terroir” just like wine does – the flavour of this one comes from Guelph’s unique municipal water, heavy on limestone, which gives it an almost savoury quality. Perhaps a bit of an acquired taste, but definitely worth trying.
- Dark Ale: Easily the best of all. It has a malty aroma and a toasty flavour that anyone who enjoys a dark beer will certainly appreciate
- Oatmeal Coffee Stout: One of the better blends of beer and coffee that we’ve tried. The oatmeal gives it a sweetness almost like a regular coffee at your favourite shop.
Stone Hammer is pretty much bells-and-whistles free. There’s a rack of t-shirts, but not much beyond that. But hey, look at that shelf of awards!
Visit Date: October 9, 2015