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Best Breweries in Kitchener-Waterloo – WRX Top 5

Top 5 Breweries in Kitchener-Waterloo

Hello, and welcome to the latest WRX Property Group Top 5! This week’s topic is one that means a great deal to many a Kitchener-Waterluvian. Every October, the streets of Kitchener-Waterloo are abuzz with festive folk feasting on fine food and imbibing their fair share of carbonated brews, for every October, Oktoberfest comes to the Region.
Indeed, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is the largest such celebration outside of Munich (which is where it originated), and over 700,000 visitors (many a beer-lover among them) participate in the Region’s nine-day festivities. While Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest’s official venues are sponsored by Molson Coors Brewing Company, one of the world’s largest brewers, there is also a strong presence of craft breweries here in Kitchener-Waterloo that we will be highlighting today.
Because whether it’s the middle of Oktoberfest, or the start of summer, there are some great options here to enjoy craft beers. Let’s get started!

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5. TWB Co-Operative Brewing (Kitchener)

Together We’re Bitter Co-Operative Brewery, located at 300 Mill Street just southwest of Downtown Kitchener, is something of a hidden gem. It’s collectively-owned, and thus it is driven by the community and what it wants or envisions.
Though it’s a small-scale brewery, TWB has a lot of personality, and a wide variety of beers. Tours are available here, but it’s really all about the beers (which are typically served in growlers on the premises).
To highlight some of their options: Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a ‘Sloppy Santa’ or a ‘Wry Elf,’ October’s a perfect time for a ‘Pumpkin Rie,’ and any time is good for their oatmeal stout, ‘Oaty McOatface.’ TWB: the brewery with co-operative spirit!

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4. Waterloo Brewing/Brick Brewing Company (Kitchener)

Waterloo Brewing’s history stretches back to 1984, a distant time now shrouded in the mystique of the past (and recently reappraised from farce-status to Best Decade-status through the efforts of authentic period pieces like Stranger Things).
Back in the ‘80s, craft breweries weren’t nearly as popular or as prolific as they are today, so in many ways Waterloo Brewing was ahead of the curve. Their cans are even emblazoned with “Ontario’s First Craft Brewer.” Their beer is distinctive not only for its flavour and its history, though: you can usually recognize a Waterloo Brewing beer by the famous boar adorning their cans and bottles, and perhaps you’ve heard their motto “Pour the Boar.” They have four core beers (Dark, Amber, Pilsner, and IPA), as well as so-called ‘Seasonal Boars’ like the Raspberry Raider and Citrus Raider (lower alcohol-content beers with a sweetness suitable for summer weather).
Craftsmanship and quality ingredients are key components of Waterloo Brewing’s longevity and continued success, and they’ve won numerous awards over the years. Don’t be a bore, Pour the Boar!

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3. Abe Erb Brewing Company (Waterloo and Kitchener)

Like a friendly ghost, or perhaps a Jack in the box, Abraham Erb always seems to pop up in this blog when we talk about Waterloo. And here he is again! Very briefly, Abraham Erb is considered the founder of Waterloo; he helped develop industry and was very vocal in ensuring a good education was available to everyone, regardless of their economic status.
Abe Erb’s legacy lives on with this brewery and restaurant, but now it’s beer, food, and good times rather than schooling that his name’s associated with. 2014 was a good year for Kitchener-Waterloo breweries (as you’ll see), and it was at this point that Abe Erb opened its doors in Uptown Waterloo.
Since then, it’s also opened a newer location in Downtown Kitchener, right in Kitchener’s hottest technology hotspot (the Tannery Building). So clearly, they’re doing something right! Like many craft brewers, Abe Erb’s beers have some fantastic names (including Buggywhip IPA), but the flavour and quality is there, too.
With a fabulous menu, and great ambiance and entertainment, Abe Erb has fast become one of the best parts of the already great Uptown Waterloo.

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2. Descendants Beer and Beverage Co. Ltd. (Kitchener)

Descendants Beer and Beverage Company Limited is one of the new kids on the block when it comes to Kitchener-Waterloo breweries – they opened in 2014 – but they’ve already established themselves as exciting, ambitious, and one of the best in the city.
Their location at 319 Victoria Street North in Kitchener, right on the cusp of Kitchener’s Downtown core, contributes to the fact that their venue is almost always an exciting place to visit. They offer tours on Saturdays between 12:00 and 4:00, but perhaps the best way to enjoy beer here is by staying for a bite to eat.
The Descendants Bierhalle, fashioned after European beer halls like those you’d find in Munich, is open 7 days a week and has great options to feast on while enjoying one of their 3 primary varieties of beer (or seasonal fare).
Kitchener-Waterloo’s deep German roots (dating back to the times of good ol’ Abe Erb) are on display every time someone enjoys a pretzel and a beer at the Descendants Bierhalle. It’s a fantastic, adaptable venue, meaning it’s fun for a night out with the family, a birthday party, one of their weekly trivia nights, and much more.
You can purchase Descendants Beer to enjoy at home, too (it’s available in bottles and cans, which come with distinctive, entertaining designs, particularly ‘Reynard the Fox Gold Rye Ale’). There’s no dissenting: Descendants Beer and Beverage is delectable!

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1. Innocente Brewing Company (Waterloo)

At 283 Northfield Drive East, in the northeast corner of Waterloo (quite close to RIM Technology Park), is Innocente Brewing Company. Having just opened officially in May 2014, Innocente is also one of the newest craft breweries in Kitchener-Waterloo.
However, they’ve already catapulted to the top in terms of quality: indeed, they were voted the Waterloo Region’s “Favourite Craft Brewery” in 2016! And, perhaps even more prestigiously, they were recently selected as the #1 Brewery in Kitchener-Waterloo by WRX Property Group (recently as in right now).
Innocente Brewing Company’s Head Brewer (Steve Innocente) holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and has a Post-Doctoral Fellowship studying yeast – both of which seem quite appropriate for Waterloo, a city in many ways defined by its universities and technology/science focus.
You can take part in tours and tastings at the brewery (click here for more info) or just come to enjoy some of their fine craft beers and chat with their friendly, knowledgeable staff.
As for the beers themselves, Innocente Brewing Company has quite a few available on tap, with some available in bottles, cans, and growlers (there are currently 5 year-round beers, ranging from Pilsner to Ale, and 4 seasonal/one-off beers).
One of their seasonal/one-off beers is ‘Two Night Stand,’ a Double IPA that earned Gold in the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards. All of these accolades add up to two things: first, Innocente Brewing Company is very much worth a visit; and second, Steve Innocente’s yeast Fellowship is clearly paying off!

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So there you have it: the Top 5 Breweries in Kitchener-Waterloo! Each brewery we’ve covered is excellent, and of course, they all have their own unique varieties of beer. With most offering tours, and all of them set up for visitors to come and have a drink, the best way to experience Kitchener-Waterloo breweries is to visit, chat with the staff, and try out some new beers (perhaps with some food).
Written by Will Kummer
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