Posted June 9, 2016

Ontario self-guided Brewery Discovery Routes bigger and better for 2016

Self-guided tours of craft beverages and local food across Ontario and its protected Greenbelt launched for Ontario Craft Beer Week 2016

As Ontario Craft Beer Week celebrates local beer across Ontario, self-guided Brewery Discovery Routes provide five complete itineraries for folks looking to get out and explore breweries, cideries, Feast On restaurants, and local attractions. Along the way, participants can indulge in the flavours of artisanal cheeses, lovingly prepared culinary treats using fresh, local ingredients, premium craft beverages, farmers’ markets and scenic outlooks.

First launched in 2015, the 2016 expanded version includes nearly 150 independent craft beverage producers and over 100 Feast On restaurants and additional points of interest across Ontario and its protected Greenbelt.  Some 250,000 maps will be distributed for free to residents throughout the province and all the routes are also available online at

“Brewery Discovery Routes are the full package, showcasing Ontario’s independent, craft beverage producers, restaurants, artisanal cheesemakers, shops and farmers’ markets. They are the backbone of the rural economy and tourism landscape,” said Greenbelt Fund CEO Burkhard Mausberg. “The experiences let you taste the difference local makes from drink to food.”

“There is a great story behind every brewery in Ontario,” says Cam Heaps, co-founder Steam Whistle Brewing and chair of Ontario Craft Brewers. “Ontario Craft Breweries are ideal places for visitors to learn about the local brewing process, tour historical buildings, sample premium, award-winning brands and meet the real people behind the real craft beer in Ontario.”

“In Ontario we’ve seen a major growth in brewery tourism with a new survey showing beer, burgers and gastropubs are the favourite destinations of 32% of food tourists,” said Beth Potter, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. “The Brewery Discovery Routes Map is a great new tourism product that builds regional connections to deliver an economic boost to the tourism sector in rural communities.”

While sampling is part of any brewery tour, participants are reminded to drink responsibly and establish a designated driver if touring the Discovery Routes by car. Most breweries, cideries and distilleries have bottle shops on site so visitors can take their favourite craft beverage home with them to enjoy.

The project was made possible with an investment from the Greenbelt Fund to support local food literacy and encourage Ontarians to enjoy local more often.

About Brewery Discovery Routes:

Brewery Discovery Routes is a partnership of fifteen Ontario organizations and tourism partners, including: the Greenbelt Fund, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Greenbelt Fresh, Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Ontario Craft Brewers, Ontario Beverage Network, Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, Ontario Craft Cider Association, Ontario Craft Distillers Association, Central Counties Tourism Durham, Grey Bruce Tourism, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Ontario Hop Growers’ Association and the Centre for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare

About the Greenbelt Fund:

The Greenbelt Fund changes the way we eat food in Ontario. Our innovative investments get more local food onto the plates of Ontarians. We work with businesses, institutions and NGOs to make Ontario’s farmers the first choice for consumers. The Fund’s work has generated a 13-fold return on our investments, permanently changed the food value chain, and improved local food awareness and education around the province. As a not-for-profit, the Greenbelt Fund is supported by public and private sources


Christine Mulkins
Ontario Craft Brewers

Erica Woods
Greenbelt Fund
Communication Manager, Greenbelt Fund
416-960-0001 ext. 306


Partner Quote Backgrounder

“The Saints & Sinners Trail includes 17 craft beverage producers across Bruce, Grey and Simcoe counties. We’re thrilled to partner with the Greenbelt and other industry leaders to promote them – and our amazing restaurants and natural assets – on one comprehensive map.”

Philly Markowitz, Grey County Economic Development,  519-376-3365


“With an already vibrant agricultural community it’s not surprising that Durham Region is quickly developing a reputation for harvesting award winning, craft beer and cider producers.  The Durham Brewery Discovery Route starts with a patio view of the Lake Ontario waterfront and leads visitors through the charming small towns, rural villages and past fields and farms.
You can meet the brewer or growers and discover their partners’ offerings like beer butter tarts, crunchy beer brittle, wholesome spent grain bread, apple cider doughnuts, cheesy ale soup and even brew school. So much to discover!”

Kristyn Chambers, Durham Tourism Co-ordinator, 1-800-413-0017


“We’re thrilled to partner with the Greenbelt Brewery Discovery Routes! With Feast On™ designated restaurants showcased along the routes, it assists both visitors and locals alike in finding places to eat that are committed to supporting Ontario growers, producers, winemakers and brewers. By dining at a Feast On™ establishment you are ensured an authentic taste of Ontario and are supporting our farmers and our economy!”

Rebecca Mackenzie, Executive Director, Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance,


“Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island is grateful for the opportunity to be included in ‎the Brewery Discovery Route Trail partnering with other great beverage producing Regions to showcase local flavours and culture. As the birthplace of Whisky in Canada, the Windsor Essex Region has a rich history is distilling, brewing and wine making. Today, the tradition continues with both the veterans and a new generation of craft brewers and distillers.  Try the Barrels Bottles and Brews Trail today!”

Lynnette Bain, Vice President Tourism Programs and Development, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island,


“ is a digital listing of farmers’ markets, U-picks, on-farm markets, nurseries and craft beverage suppliers in and around Ontario’s Greenbelt. It provides a quick and easy way for people to learn what is in season, and where they can find fresh local food. We are pleased to be included in the new and improved 2016 Brewery Discovery Route – this interconnected marketing product makes it easier for people to enjoy and support the many local offerings found in our rural areas.”

Andreea Nicoara, Greenbeltfresh/Communication Coordinator, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation


“As the leading organization representing craft cider producers in Ontario, the Ontario Craft Cider Association’s mission is to ensure that Ontario is recognized as a centre for cider excellence and innovation.  Using only 100% Ontario grown apples and pears, our cideries add to the rural economy across the whole province, growing the manufacturing sector and invigorating Ontario’s rural tourism industry with cidery destinations.  We are delighted to partner with corresponding associations on the Brewery Discovery Routes Map to help grow the impact of local food and beverage consumption across the Province and our protected Greenbelt.”

Brittany Tougher, Marketing & Communications, Ontario Craft Cider Association,


“The Ontario Craft Distillers Association is delighted to be a part of the Brewery Discovery Routes Maps alongside other premium, independent, craft beverage producers using local ingredients and investing in communities through Ontario. “Distilleries’ stores are where you can find and sample the smallest of small batch offerings. Exceptional expressions of local spirit terroir, not ready to be scaled up by the pallet – a brandy distilled from a neighboring orchard’s bushel or a whisky with a 5-grain Ontario mash bill. Canadian distillers are the third largest food quality grain purchasers, drink local!”

Charles Benoit, Founding Member and President Ontario Craft Distillers Association,


“The Ontario Hop Growers Association is a not-for-profit association of hop growers, families and enthusiasts who are interested in supporting the growth of the hop industry in Ontario. With the strong growth in regional craft brewers and more than 75 hop farms, we are delighted to highlight our partnership with the Provinces independent craft beverage producers and local food advocates.”

Hugh Brown, President, Ontario Hop Growers Association,


“Visiting farmers’ markets takes you to the heart of great communities throughout the Greenbelt. As well as being friendly and fun, our markets contribute to the success of Ontario farmers and launch many local food businesses. We’re delighted to be included in the Discovery Routes, and we look forward to welcoming you!”

Anne Freeman, Project Co-Coordinator, Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network,


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