Real Fresh Beer!

Try Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. for great beer and food.

"Lake Life in a Bottle".

Lake of the Woods Brewing Company beer is "like lake life in a bottle," says owner Taras Manzie. The lake country brewery, which opened in 2013 in a transformed 102-year-old fire hall in Kenora, Ontario follows traditional beer-making techniques applied on a cottage-sized scale.

The setting itself is worth the visit. The designated Ontario heritage building has the fire hall's original white tile walls, spectacular original tin ceiling, firefighters' masks hanging on hooks, a firemen's pole, and a 67-foot red brick tower with the original bell. Manzie's favourite features are the big fire-truck doors. They let in a lot of natural light and in summer open to a large street-side patio, "bringing the outside inside," he says.

Taras Manzie in the transformed firehall, noew the LOWBREWCO Tap Room
Taras Manzie in the transformed fire hall, now the LOWBREWCO Tap Room

But while the building is impressive, it's really all about the beer, of course. Sultana Gold, the flagship beer named for a Lake of the Woods gold mine, accounts for about half of the brewery's sales. The aptly named Firehouse Amber Ale is also always on tap. Seasonal brews include Forgotten Lake Wild Blueberry Ale flavoured with local wild blueberries, Sasquatch black lager, and Bizzi Bee Honey Brown ale flavoured with Manitoba honey.

The 10-hectolitre brewery is located in the fire hall's old ambulance bay. Through a series of large windows, brewpub guests can see the large copper brewing tanks at work. Tours are available on request.

While sampling a beer or two, try a lunch, dinner or snack option from the pub menu. Shorelunch BLT is an excellent choice, with Sultana Gold-battered walleye on garlic toast with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Not your mother's Mac N' Cheese has four kinds of cheese, including tangy goat cheese, finished with kale and tomato and topped with breadcrumbs and herbs. Nachos with buffalo chicken and blue cheese, or fire hall fries with jalapenos and lime aioli, are delicious evening snacks.

The delicious Shorelunch BLT goes well with a pint of beer
The delicious Shorelunch BLT goes well with a pint of beer

Manzie says they're working on a few more beer-themed items to add to the menu, including beer nuts, beer-glazed caramel corn, beer ice cream, and Sasquatch Black Lager Chocolate Cake. "The Sasquatch cake with beer ice cream paired with an amber ale to drink make an excellent dessert," he says.

One of the LOWBREWCO flagship beers

If visitors want to take a brew back home or to the cottage, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company sells 1.89-litre "growlers" through an on-site store and also through retailers from Toronto, Ontario to Brandon, Manitoba. A canning line will open for summer 2015. "Cans are a much more portable vessel, and they don't let in light or air, which means our unpasteurized beer will last longer," Manzie says.

Take home a growler of the three flagship craft beers.

Lake of the Woods Brewing Company opened in 2013, reviving a company name familiar to many Kenora old timers are long-time cottagers. In the past two years, the company has expanded its brewing capacity twice to keep up with demand. It's time to come try the beer for yourself. Order a Sultana Gold and a Shorelunch BLT, then sit back, take your time, and soak in the lake life vibe.

Location: 350 Second St. South, Kenora
Phone: 807-468-BEER

About Jay Whetter

Jay Whetter is a journalist and magazine editor based in Kenora, Ontario. He has also written a children's book called "The Adventures of Geo the Pebble." He likes quieter outdoor pursuits like canoeing and hiking, and loves to discover amazing new places. To contact Jay or order a signed copy of his book, email or call 807-468-4006. His Twitter handle is @KenoraJay.

Recommended Articles

New Restrictions on What You Can Bring into Canada

Keep up to dates with the changes.

A Beginner's Guide to Ice Fishing in Canada

(With a few tips for the seasoned fishermen too!)

8 facts you didn't know about moose

Just how big is a moose anyway?

Renew Your Outdoors Card, Online!

It's never been easier to buy your Ontario fishing license and Outdoors Card

Curious as to which fish species are in your favourite lake?

Use this interactive map to find out.

Canada's Gemstone Capital: Mining Amethyst in Thunder Bay

Purple is our favourite fall colour. ;)

White Otter Castle: The Incredible Story of the Mansion in the Middle of Nowhere

Imagine single-handedly building this massive structure in the middle of the wilderness?

10 Facts About Lac Seul

How many of these did you know?

Late Season Ice Fishing

One of the best times to ice fish in Ontario!

Giant Pike on Ice

Tips & techniques for catching big pike through the ice.

Reference Guide to the Towns & Cities in Northwest Ontario

Small towns with big hearts

10 things to do in Dryden

See the famous "Dryden Buck"!

Big fish or Bigfoot?

How many of these quirky Northern Ontario roadside attractions have you seen?

Provincial Campgrounds Full?

Book a site at one of these amazing campgrounds!

5 Interesting Facts About Wolverines

Solitary, hungry, and vicious! Learn more about these amazing creatures.

6 Road Trips from Minneapolis to Northwestern Ontario

From fishing and wildlife sightings to culture, good eats and of course sunsets, there’s lots to discover.

3 of the best places to see the northern lights

Where will you be when you see the sky dance?

Big Fish on a Day over 100 Years Ago

Not your average brook trout

Rent an Ice Hut in Sunset Country

Make the most of winter in Northwestern Ontario with a unique ice fishing experience

Want to fish the English River System?

Try the Minnitaki Chain of Lakes