Bell City Brewing is an unimposing small brewery at the edge of the unimposing small city of Brantford. It has a range of beer from a range of styles, with new seasonals and one-offs popping up regularly.
We dropped it on a quiet afternoon in March, and we were the only ones there, so we were able to sidle right on up to the bar to chat with the bartender. It looked like a nice place to while away an afternoon, and we bet it could become a hang-out destination for local good beer fans. And there’s a great view of the brewery itself!
There’s a few Bell City year-round brews that will be familiar to LCBO-visitors, namely the charmingly branded Eureka! Cream Ale (get the inventor connection yet?) and Lenoir Belgian Style Ale.
At the brewery, we did the $5 sampling flights. The sign said the flight included four 5 oz beers, but they had five on tap while we were there, so each of them were included (bonus!)
It was March during our visit, so they were still into more wintry brews. We tried:
- Eureka Cream Ale (year-round) – They call it a pre-prohibition cream ale, and it’s both richer than some cream ales, and has a more hop-forward profile. The creaminess is still there, and it gives an overall smooth taste to this gently bitter brew.
- Raven’s Heart Belgian Stout (winter seasonal) – A winner for us at Hoppily Ever After. Rich, thick, and very roasty with a hint of banana and clove (the Belgian style elements shining through).
- Lenoir Belgian Style Ale (year-round) – Another really great brew. Those sweet-tangy Belgian yeast flavours in a lovely golden ale with a hint of clove.
- Elijah’s Real McCoy (year-round) – Perfect example of a kölsch – other than not being brewed in Cologne, Germany, of course. Light but more complex than your usual light lager (kölsch is a lagered ale).
- The Mad Mechanic of Belfast (one-off)- We got lucky with this one. It seems that it was rare enough that it’s not even listed on their site with other one-offs – and we do both enjoy Irish Red Ales. This one was malty for an Irish red, with a hint of the light bitterness you might taste in an English bitter, but well-balanced so as not to overpower.
On our wishlist: Cherry Brown Ale, a summer seasonal, and winner of Session Toronto 2015!
Where we got lucky with the one-off Irish Red Ale, we got unlucky with the food. They were just about to start serving food when we dropped by. They apparently do now!
Yes, that’s Bell as in Alexander Graham Bell. Also known as the “Telephone City”, Bell City Brewing plays up their namesake from decor around the brewery to their “inventor series” of beers.
Our Visit Date: March 20, 2016