The best Canadian beer: Steam Whistle
The Steam Whistle Brewing focus on making a single type of beer. They decided to produce only one high-quality beer rather than making a bunch of ordinary ones. Their Premium Pilsner beer is produced using traditional brewing techniques and the finest ingredients. Besides water, they use only 3 natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, and yeast. The result is a light refreshing beer that’s also rich in flavor.
The brewery was founded by three colleagues that used to work together in a local microbrewery. When they were fired from their jobs they decided to pursue the dream of owning their own brewery. Originally the brewery was going to be called “Three Fired Guys Brewing Company”. The name wasn’t good though. After choosing the historic John Street Roundhouse to install their brewery they decided on a better name: Steam Whistle Brewing.
The Roundhouse belonged to the Canadian Pacific Rail. It was used as a repair facility for the steam locomotives that traveled across Canada. The Toronto Railway Museum is right next door. In the patio outside, old trains surround the building.
The building interior is impressive with huge glass windows filling the place with natural light. At the entrance, there’s a bar and a souvenir store where people pass the time while waiting for the next tour.
At the bar, I tasted the Steam Whistle beer for the first time. I loved it! After this visit, I started to order it at every chance I got. I found it in bars across Ontario and British Columbia. Although I tasted many beers all over the country, from famous brands and microbreweries, this one continued to be my favorite Canadian beer.
There are tours around the brewery for $10. The tour begins with each one of us getting a bottle of beer to drink while we listen to the explanations of the guide. I liked that. In other breweries, I visited they one give us the beer sample at the end. So that was a nice surprise. We move around the brewery with our beers in hand and every once in a while the guide refers to some information written in the back of the bottle. The tour is quick. In the end, we have the choice of taking another beer or a souvenir.
There are other options of tours like the 6 pack tour or the 12 pack tour. The tours run seven days a week. You can make a reservation or simply show up. When I visited, during winter time, I had no reservation and I waited less than 30 min. I imagine that during summer months when they are busier, it’s best to make a reservation.