Sleeping Giant Brewing: a beer journey north
There are many things I love about craft beer. In addition to the purity of ingredients and variety of flavours, I love their labels. Names such as Church-Key Brewing (Campbellford, Ontario), Los Muertos Brewing (Puerto Vallarta), Highlander Brew Co. (Algonquin) and Black Oak Brewing Co. (Oakville) are so much more evocative than plain old Bud, Coors or Labatt’s Blue. Their labels reflect their personality and terroir. One of my latest beer obsessions is Sleeping Giant Brewing, a new Ontario craft brewery located in Thunder Bay .
The beer is named after the iconic land formation in Lake Superior off the shores of Thunder Bay. And although I couldn’t see the Sleeping Giant rock formation in-person (I was hanging on to the edge of a sailboat in the middle of a Lake Superior storm) I spent enough time kayaking, sailing and exploring the area, that the Thunder Bay region quickly joined my list of the world’s favourite destinations.
Stunning Landscapes Inspire Great Canadian Craft Beer
Given Thunder Bay’s stunning natural landscape such as Agawa Lake and Agate Beach, authentic local cuisine and a culture that celebrates outdoor adventure, it’s no surprise there is a great local beer — Sleeping Giant 360 ale. It’s a taste of Canada’s heritage in a chilled mug.
Sleeping Giant Brewing is Growing in Popularity
I’m not alone in my enthusiasm. Sleeping Giant brewery opened officially in June 2012 and has already drawn a loyal fanbase. The brewhouse produces three brews, each handcrafted with local ingredients. 360 ale, an american Pale ale, and amber ale are available year round, while Elevator wheat, a light-bodied american wheat brew sweetened with a touch of local honey, and the hearty Skullrock Stout are available seasonally.
You can purchase Sleeping Giant in two-litre growlers at the brewhouse Thursdays to Saturdays or sample it at select restaurants and bars in Thunder Bay where it’s served on tap.
Thunder Bay Tourism offers maps, hotel and tour planning services.
Lake Superior Visits, operated by the multi-talented historian, local expert and photographer, Lois Nuttall, this well-established tour company provides services for groups or individuals.
Ontario Tourism is the official visitors’ information site for travel including destinations, accommodations, festival and events, camping, golf, fishing, dining and more.
Ontario Craft Brewers is a valuable resource for beer lovers and offers recipe, tasting notes and a brewery map to plan your own beer journey.
Epic Adventures is a company I can’t say enough good things about. Owner Michael Elliott has a passion for, and knowledge of, the great outdoors and will make sure your experience is truly epic. He’s the quintessential northern guide – offering hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, GPS instruction, orienteering/geo-caching, road cycling, cross-country skiing (back-country, classic, skate) and snowshoeing.
Porter Airlines flies direct from Toronto to Thunder Bay.
For more on outdoor adventure around Thunder Bay, Ontario, check out the post on Thunder Bay Rocks