Whitby’s 5 Paddles Brewing has this brewery thing down. They’ve got a cohesive brand (paddles & canoes!), a cool place to hang out, and a really creative – and apparently constantly changing – beer list.
With the reused/industrial chic style that’s very popular right now, blended with their paddle-heavy, canoe-friendly, wood-burned style, the 5 Paddles tasting room seemed like a really popular place to hang out (we can understand why). We dropped by at the Happy Hour on a weekday, and it was full of people who apparently just came from work.
The beer widely ranged in terms of tastes and flavours, but there was a definite Belgian influence on a few. We tried a bit of everything on offer, and here are our results:
- Belgian Midnight Paddler – described as a “Royal Canadian Quad” it’s about halfway between an Imperial Stout and a Belgian Quad. It’s got the roastiness of a stout, and the sweet tanginess of a Belgian abbey ale. Rich with a chocolate-y flavour, and quite an alcoholic kick (it’s 10% ABV)
- Minotaur in a Canoe on Fire – the winner for Josh, it’s part of “the Dark Knights of Durham” series (a collaboration with Manantler , Old Flame, and Brewer’s Pantry), and it’s an Imperial Coconut Baltic Porter. The coconut is strong (as is te alcohol, at 8.4% ABV), and the Baltic porter part means it’s also sweet. Josh describes it as boozy, yet somehow still light enough to drink in hot weather. Jessica found it a bit too sweet-strong for her tastes.
- Italian Backyard – a basil-ale. It’s a rich yet light and refreshing ale with a green and herbal flavour. Unfortunately, neither of us could really discern the basil part of it per se, but both enjoyed this as a sessionable ale.
- Home Sweet Home – Jessica’s winner, and one that’s apparently a regular on 5 Paddles’ taps. It’s a wheat ale, but unlike we’d tried – honey malt and vanilla blend to make a caramelly taste reminiscent of a Werther’s Original.
- Brother Ian’s Belgian 4 – A Belgian single, unfiltered, with a fruity lightness and a hint of sourness. A beer that both of us at Hoppily Ever After could agree on.
We just wish we lived a bit closer so we could explore their seasonal and one-offs throughout the year!
Wishlist: drop by for (or have someone pick up) some Halloween brews when that season comes along.
There’s a cheese board, but that’s about it.
5 Paddles Brewing is a place you come for the beer!
In addition to their little bottle shop, currently full of Belgian Midnight Paddler bottles, they’ve got the usual glasses and t-shirts – AND, some neat wood-burned stuff like a lot of the decor in the brewery.
Visit date: June 22, 2016