Beets Me Why I Like This Beer #BrewedAwakening

By / Wine + Drinks / June 15th, 2018 / 14

This week I was up in Prince Edward County (PEC), Ontario, judging the All Canadian Wine Championships, something I’ve been doing since 2000, although it used to be held in Windsor.

While I always enjoy sampling some of our country’s best wines, I always take the opportunity to check out some local beer whenever I’m doing wine work. PEC, like just about every other part of Canada, has seen a huge growth in the number of breweries.

Two of the most interesting breweries in the area are Parsons and MacKinnon Brothers.

We did one of our evening judges dinners at Parsons, a very cool and casual “farm brewery” with a rustic beer garden serving authentic Mexican cuisine. Their core beers are Crushable Pilsner, Summer Saison, Westy (American) Pale Ale, Mousetrap Rye Pale Ale, and Grandpa Miguel’s Coffee Stout, but they have regular seasonals. Their creamy, hoppy Westy Pale Ale was my regular “after judging” pint at the Waring House Pub.

MacKinnon Brothers is a farm brewery as well, on land farmed by the family for over 2 centuries. They use the hops, wheat and barley grown on their farm. Like Parsons, MacKinnon’s core beers are far from mainstream. They have Crosscut, a flavourful take on everyday Canadian ale; 8 Man English Pale Ale; Wild Peppermint Stout; and Brothers House Ale , a collaboration with the Reid Brothers who own Kingston’s Red House Pub.

Red Fox Ale enjoyed at a cottage at Long Reach, Ontario

They also have a curious beer called Red Fox Summer Ale, which was a seasonal but is now available year round. Although it is essentially a basic ale hopped with Citra, they also add beets, which makes it red and adds flavour.

It’s a very clever concept, clever as a fox.


Craig Pinhey discovered good drink circa 1985 at Ginger’s Tavern/Granite Brewery in Halifax and has been writing about beer, wine and spirits for 25 years. A Certified Sommelier and BJCP judge, Craig lives in New Brunswick where he runs his own writing and consulting business and is the beverage columnist for Brunswick News. He is the only person to have judged all of the national wine, spirits and beer awards of Canada.

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