What is the Best Beer in Saugeen Shores?
Updated: Apr 1
I really like beer. It's something I'm known for, which I'm sure is not the best quality but it's a fact nonetheless. I should say, I'm no beer sommelier (if that's actually a thing), but I can judge a beer based on personal enjoyment which has to count for something!
Having a love of beer and moving to Saugeen Shores, I thought it would be fun to see the local craft beer offerings and find out for myself which I like best. There are two craft breweries around here: Outlaw Brew Co. in Southampton and Three Sheets Brewing in Port Elgin. Outlaw is the more established of the two, founded in 2014 and located right at Highway 21 and High Street. Three Sheets on the other hand started up just last year as the pandemic struck which, as they note on one of their cans, is an interesting time to start a craft brewery.
I decided I would pit these two breweries against each other and try their similar beers at the same time and judge which one came out on top. The beers were judged on the following (entirely scientific and factual) criteria:
Aesthetic (i.e.: can design)
Chuggability (which is an important test in my case)
What activity can I see myself doing while knocking this back?
Each criteria was scored on a 1-10 scale with each beer getting a final score out of 40.
And so my night began, starting with the lagers.
Lagers are usually my go-to beer variety. They're inoffensive, light and crisp, and get the job done. I was really pleased with the overall taste and drinkability of both these brews. The 21 Lagered Ale had more of that classic lager taste while the Idle & Coast had a bit more hops and a bit more character to the palate.
While it's your choice what to do while enjoying your beer, I'd take the 21 Lagered Ale to any campfire any day, it's nice and relaxing and would definitely add to the experience of hanging out with your friends and family. On the other hand, the lower ABV on the Idle & Coast lends me to think I'd bring a bunch of cans in a cooler to the beach and just sip all day.
India Pale Ales (IPAs)
Where lagers are my go-to, IPAs are the exact opposite. I am usually loathe to drink them, they're usually a little too hoppy for my taste and are harder to drink. I'd definitely put a handicap on my scores here especially if you're an IPA lover.
Despite my reservations, The Sheriff surprised me. I liked it more than New Wave because it's a little less strong and I found it more drinkable. That being said I think there's a place for New Wave in my fridge because it could pair well with a meal. It was at this point during my tasting that I noticed on the side of the can that Three Sheets provides pairing suggestions which I thought was inventive and gave a new take on beer that I hadn't seen before.
I'd enjoy The Sheriff during a BBQ, maybe with a steak or some other red meat, and I'd order New Wave on tap at The Wismer House with dinner.
These two really blew me away, as you can see from their high scores. They've vaulted into my top beer rankings and I'll keep them on the roster as long as they're available.
Across the board these two were nothing short of excellent. They tasted terrific, were highly drinkable, and the ABV was just right where I felt I would be able to enjoy quite a few without going off the deep end.
I'd have the Bronco during a round of golf, especially if I were having an unlucky round and wanted to loosen up and calm my nerves. Road Closure is my go-to party beer now, and it's what I'll take to the first party I attend once I'm vaccinated and everything is safe.
It's special to have two premier craft breweries in my town. It says a lot about the hard-working, original character of Saugeen Shores that they boast such a varied and delicious array of craft beers to enjoy. I'd go for anything from these two breweries over a Corona or a Budweiser any day of the week. If you're from the area, I highly recommend checking these out, and if you're not then rest assured I think both Outlaw Brew Co. and Three Sheets Brewery will be available at an LCBO or liquor store near you before long.
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