Vinexpo in 1991. It was certainly a far cry from the 75-plus wineries that there are today. And now, as of this summer, two breweries have joined Niagara-on-the-Lake’s beverage business. Silversmith Brewing Company is slightly further along in development, with two products on the market: a wheat beer and a black lager.">

First Draught: a black lager from a wine country brewery


Published:

It can be tough to remember what Niagara’s wine scene was like before Inniskillin’s icewine won the big prize at Vinexpo in 1991. It was certainly a far cry from the 75-plus wineries that there are today. And now, as of this summer, two breweries have joined Niagara-on-the-Lake’s beverage business. Silversmith Brewing Company is slightly further along in development, with two products on the market: a wheat beer and a black lager.

At events, some of the brewery’s staff members have promoted the black lager as a lost, East German-style that didn’t survive the sink-or-swim test of reunification. That’s not strictly true (the LCBO has a German schwarzbier on the shelves), but pale lagers vastly outnumber their darker counterparts in Germany. The style in general, and Silversmith’s in particular, is to add dark malt to a traditional lager foundation.

From the malt, this beer looks like black Turkish coffee. It tastes like dark chocolate and bread that is a shade away from burnt. The stronger, more open carbonation means that this black lager can be served at a cooler temperature than its English porter cousins. That — and the fact that it goes so well with dark, rustic bread and hot, salty pork — makes the black lager an excellent gateway beer into cold weather.    

In September, at the Savour Stratford Culinary Festival, the Silversmith Black Lager won the award for best alcoholic beverage. It’s not the Grand Prix d’Honneur, but between that well-deserved attention and a pair of interesting beers, Silversmith has a strong future ahead of it. It also can’t hurt to be surrounded by winemakers who, after a day of checking Brix or crushing grapes, like nothing better than a cold pint of beer. 

As kegs run dry, supply can vary, but the best places to look for a pint of Silversmith Black Lager are Wvrst, Tequila Bookworm, The Only, Thirsty & Miserable, Grapefruit Moon and C’est What.

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Coal-fired pizza is coming to Toronto

Coal-fired pizza is coming to Toronto

Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza, an import from Quincy, MA, is set to open on Front Street this June.
Posted 2 days ago
Lunch Pick: The Chase Fish & Oyster’s new seafood brunch

Lunch Pick: The Chase Fish & Oyster’s new seafood brunch

The Chase Fish and Oyster is doing brunch. Now that the weather has finally shaped up, the ideal prelude to a day at the water’s edge is a meal replete with the fruits of the sea.
Posted 3 days ago
Amsterdam expands the house that Boneshaker built

Amsterdam expands the house that Boneshaker built

They opened a larger production facility in Leaside and in 2013 added the sprawling BrewHouse on Queen’s Quay. This spring they completed a significant expansion to the Leaside facility, so I caught up with McOustra to talk about what this means for one of Toronto’s most important craft breweries.
Posted 6 days ago
In Season: Leafy spinach has the green goodness to balance a long weekend’s indulgence

In Season: Leafy spinach has the green goodness to balance a long weekend’s indulgence

The early days of summer in Ontario are well-suited for these powerhouse greens.
Posted 6 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleEdit Module