My husband and I recently hopped in the car and headed to wherever we might end up, as we do. Well, we ended up in the Blue Mountain and Collingwood area and it was awesome!
We only spent a day and evening in the area but we managed to pack a lot in.
Although the brewery has only been around for a couple of years (since May of 2014), it has already garnered a lot of attention in the beer world, and racked up some serious awards, the most recent being 2016 Brewery of the Year at the 14th annual Canadian Brewing Awards and Canadian Craft Brewers Conference.
The awesome staff brought samples to our table and chatted with us not just about the beer but also about the (short) history of the brewery, the origin of Side Launch’s name and more.
Our favourite beer was the Side Launch Dark Lager. We picked up a six pack of that as well as a variety six pack. We brought the latter to a friend’s house the next day and our host also preferred the dark.
[caption id="attachment_1047" align="alignright" width="222"] Here is the EMPTY jar of Beet & Horseradish spread because I immediately turned it into a magical borscht![/caption]
Next stop was the Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery. It wasn’t the easiest winery to find (thank you GPS) but after a stop at a little market on the side of the road where I picked up some local honey and an incredible beet & horseradish spread, at the end of a rocky dirt road, we eventually found the welcome sign for Coffin Ridge.
This winery was definitely worth going a little out of the way for. The views were breathtaking, the seating comfortable, and they had live music! To our happy surprise, we found that Coffin Ridge had recently started crafting ciders as well. We learned from the helpful staff that even though they only recently started to sell it, the sales of their Forbidden dry cider were starting to overtake their wine. We could see why, it was delicious.
I chose the wine flight, my husband chose the cider flight and together we sat on a comfy outdoor sofa to listen to some music and take in the views.
Next stop, Blue Mountain Village! This is where we planned to do a little shopping and have dinner. Blue Mountain Village was packed with people, even though it is summer and Blue Mountain is known for skiing (although you can take the ski lift up the mountain to take in the views).
I highly recommend stopping at Georgian Christmas, a shop that has, as the name would imply, a lot of beautiful Christmas decorations and flotsam, but also jewelry and non-holiday themed décor as well. Go Fish Go is another fun and quirky store.
There were so many restaurants and we were starving at this point so we pretty much went into the first place that would feed us. We ended up at Kaytoo Restaurant & Bar, and we didn’t have any regrets about our choice. My husband ate perogies, which were our waiter’s favourite, not that he needed any encouragement to order that dish! On another recommendation from the staff, I had the stir fry with peanut sauce and it was either the best dish I ever ate or I was just REALLY hungry. Admittedly it was probably the latter but either way, it was excellent.
After dinner, we sipped Americanos from the Royal Majesty Espresso Bar Bakery (which has a Bailey’s Irish Cream menu, btw) while listening to a live concert before heading home.
All-in-all a fabulous day trip! We wished we could’ve visited more independent businesses, restaurants, breweries and wineries so next time I will make sure to stay overnight.
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