The Hub October 2015 - Page 12

alcohol content, sales floor and employees or owners. The Brewers Association of America defines craft brewers as “small, independent, and traditional.” This means their annual production must be less than 6 million barrels, and their company must be 75 per cent owned by a craft brewer, not a corporation. Craft beer is generally made with traditional ingredients like malted barley; interesting and sometimes non-traditional ingredients are often added for distinctiveness. Goure doesn’t think the quantity is as important a factor when it comes to determining what is craft and what isn’t. “I think the most important thing is the product itself, how its made, marketed and enjoyed by consumers,” he said. “Anyone that is willing to put forth their time and passion into creating a unique product they can share with others is a craft brewer as far as I am concerned.” Local breweries often offer themselves as event venues, or are happy to give unique tours to show consumers the behind the scenes action of brewing. At the Walkerville Brewery, events have ranged from business meetings to open town halls during election season and theatre shows. Walkerville also offers 45 minute tours for $7.00 per person, and gives you the historical background of the brewery.Tour-takers can taste a number of samples and enjoy a full glass of one of the Walkerville Brewery’s offerings. Lajoie uses the brewery tours as one way to get to know a new city. “One of my favourite things to do when I'm visiting a new place is to check out the local breweries,” said Lajoie. She’s lived in Windsor, Ottawa, Kitchener and London in the last few years, and has scoped out the craft brew scene Ontario-wide. “Whenever I’m in Windsor I go to Rock Bottom for their beer - they have a huge selection of Ontario brews.” The first craft brewery in Canada was founded in Vancouver in 1982. Ontario was not far behind, with the Brick Brewery in Waterloo Brewing up a batch at Craftheads Brewing Company in Windsor