Our Barn, originally raised in the late 1800s… Has surely seen a thing or two over the years. Today, as home to the Niagara Oast House Brewers, it serves not only as a facility to brew great beer, but also houses a number of spaces each with their own unique feel. These include our tasting room (aka. The Beer Shed), events space (aka. The Hayloft) and Niagara’s coolest outdoor Patio.
As one of Canada’s original producers of traditional-style Farmhouse Ales, the idea of Oast House has always been to follow the Niagara winemaking tradition of crafting a truly unique product that derives both its character and distinction from the land.
Whether it is the natural methods/ingredients (such as our native house yeast derived from the land, on-site well water, hop yards, or local wine barrels) that drive our signature farmhouse ales or the ripeness of the fruit that’s harvested from trees across the street, you will surely distinguish this “Niagara” in the glass. Furthermore, we also remain adamant that the most complex, flavourful beers in the world take not only great care and ingredients, but the proper time. We are so committed to this notion, that from day one, we have only ever traditionally bottle-conditioned our Farmhouse Ales and built Canada’s first permanent cellar for secondary fermentation.
To this day, the perpetual quest to channel Niagara’s truest terroir into our beer remains our passion.
Just a group of industry guys, made up of a brewmaster, a winemaker & a couple of sommeliers, who plied their trades around the world and then came home to Niagara. Once back and comparing adventures, it was quickly agreed upon that for all its greatness, the region had one rather ominous void… no interesting, quality beer! So ideas began flying and soon after the course was set for fulfilling a dream of creating a small batch, farmhouse-focused brewery in their rural hometown of Niagara-On-The-Lake. In 2010 a true brewery of this style did not exist in Canada, so it was felt important that the building express this unique vision. Luckily in early 2011 the iconic “big, red barn” became available and was purchased as the future home of the Niagara Oast House Brewers. Long one of the agricultural hubs of town, this building’s rich history includes its origin as a fruit basket manufacturer in the late 1800s, a fruit packing shed, the Niagara Township Fruit Cooperative, the original Farmer’s Co-op Bank (now Meridian Credit Union) and a long time John Deere Tractor & Farm Supply Dealership.
At Oast, we have always set out to brew the beers that we truly love to drink. For us, those were always yeast driven beers with great flavour, depth, balance, ageability and a little hit of good ol’ rustic, cellar funk! Not only were these characteristics clearly present in the traditional Farmhouse Ales of the Franco-Belgian countryside, but their agricultural pedigree contained many parallels to that of our Niagara Peninsula.
Although drinking them is great, it was the process of creating these traditional beers of origin that really inspired us. A fixation that included the 100% commitment to bottle-conditioning, the application of native yeasts from our land, the use of naturally filtered, artesian well water, barrels from our neighbour wineries, the planting and use of local hops, etc.
In essence, our approach is very simple and honest – let the soul of the land and all its components guide our beer. In Niagara we trust!