We’re a community that’s rightly proud of our local craft beer scene.
Whether you have the thrills for the pils, are an eternal hoptimist, best when bitter or a total sourpuss, our amazing breweries in the region have that perfect beer to cure your ale-ments.
Many breweries in Waterloo Region have had to start new business initiatives in response to the provincial and regional state of emergency and changes in AGCO policy.
But don’t worry, be hoppy because local providers have started to offer pickup and/or delivery options to remind you what life used to be like, especially as we head into what would normally be patio season. If your beer stock is starting to dwindle, check out these local options.
This information was up-to-date at the time of publishing, but things can change quickly. We encourage you to confirm with the brewery, we’ve linked to their online storefronts below, about their pickup and ordering processes.
Abe Erb has locations in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and Ayr — and now they’re online too. You can order growlers and cans of their beer for delivery and pickup. They offer next-day delivery to KW addresses only, and delivery is free for orders over $50. If you want to get out of your house for a brief moment, you can select the contactless pick-up option and head on over to the uptown Waterloo location for them to place your order in your trunk.
Order a can or two of their Settle Down coffee pale ale and debate with yourself about the appropriate time to enjoy this beverage, because it has coffee in it and might make your mid-day meetings a little more exciting.
Although not a brewery, Arabella Park Beer Bar is known for having one of the widest tap ranges in town. They aren’t letting a little physical distancing get in the way of helping people try a range of new brews.
Arabella has created a multi-step process: 1. Order online 2. 40 minutes after ordering, drive up and park at their Belmont location 3. Pop your trunk and have your new beers safely stored for when you get home. That 40 minute turnaround time is pretty darn appealing. Arabella is also selling growlers if you’re craving that draft-life.
Their beer list will change, but right now the Either Way riesling (orange wine lager) by Merit is calling.
Your favourite St. Jacobs microbrewery is also online! Visit their web store for free local deliveries over $50, available in Woolwich and KW. As of their latest Instagram post, the retail beer-to-go store is still open from 11:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m., if you want to briefly pop in before retreating to your home.
They have classics like Fickle Mistress available for order, but why not lean into the social isolation aesthetic and grab at least one bottle of The Loneliness, a Russian imperial stout, or go full moody and grab the aptly named Nothing is Exciting Anymore, a pale ale with lactose. Also, their once-a-year release of Sugar Bush Brown is coming out soon — a brown ale brewed with 2020 maple syrup from a forest near the brewery. We didn’t get to attend the Maple Syrup Festival this year, but we can drink a beer in memory of it.
While the Counterpoint tap room is closed, you can still get your favourite brews via their online store through delivery and same-day parking lot pickup. Counterpoint has partnered with Eco Courier KW to offer same-day, emissions-free shipping to KW addresses. There’s no minimum order and free shipping over $60.
Grab a bottle of The Red Violin or Late For Band Practice and pour it in a nice pint glass. We suggest finding a random playlist, playing it at an almost uncomfortable level, all while trying to speak overtop of the music to your roommate/cat trying to remember what bars used to feel like.
Order online and they’ll bring it to your trunk when you arrive. If you want a beer that isn’t listed online, they suggest giving them a call and they’ll see what they can do. Mystery beers? Sounds intriguing.
They also have free delivery for orders of over 12 cans to a wide range of locations (KW, Stratford, Wilmot, Tavistock, Guelph, Cambridge, Puslinch, St. Jacobs, Elmira, Fergus and Elora) on a set delivery schedule. So buy a few cans of the Victoria Park hefeweizen and try to remember a simpler time when you went outside, walked in the park, met up with friends and had just a normal level of anxiety.
The Elora bottle shop is still open if you want to pop in to grab your beer. However, the brewery is also offering free local delivery for orders over $40 via their online store, using the code LOCALDELIVERY. It takes 2-3 business days from the time you order for it to be delivered, but that just gives you more reason to look longingly out your window all day, singing “All By Myself.” Local delivery includes Elora, Fergus, Guelph, KW and Cambridge. Not sure if your little township is included? They’ve gone super high tech and made an online map to show delivery limits.
Elora’s online shop is filled with all their cans and bottles — including their newly tall canned Elora Borealis citra pale ale. Be sure to also check out the Queen of Quarry grisette, brewed in collaboration with Queen of Craft. Ten cents from every can of Queen of the Quarry will be donated to Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis.
Innocente made the news for being one of the newest local manufacturers of hand sanitizer. Way to be innovative and community-oriented! Although their first run was available to the public, the next batch will be provided to hospitals and health care providers, only
They are also still brewing beer which can be purchased via their online store, in their retail store and via curbside pickup. They’re also offering free delivery in KW if you use the code KWDELIVERY in their online shop. According to their Instagram, free local shipping is available on minimum orders of 24 units and has expanded beyond KW to include Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding townships.
Princess Cafe obviously isn’t a brewery. However, they are known for having unique beer offerings in-house — compiled of a wide range from Ontario breweries. Although the Cafe is currently closed and no longer offering take-out food, the new AGCO regulations changed that briefly. For one magical Saturday on Mar. 28, Princess Cafe had a pop-up beer takeout window as they sold through their stock.
It’s unlikely that the pop-up beer window will return, but Princess Cafe just launched a new project — mystery six-packs. Six local brews curated from six different breweries, and you also get a brownie and a $10 gift certificate for the Cafe, all for only $40. Not sure if this is a one-off, but the mystery packs were available April 4, and there was a line up (with appropriate physical distancing measures) around the block. This is unlikely the last beer-related project for them, so keep an eye on @theprincesscafe.
Red Circle has launched home delivery for orders above $35 for customers in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph. Deliveries run 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. every Wednesday-Friday.
You’ll get to remember and reminisce on the outside world as you enjoy a pint of Belmont Village blonde ale or the Iron Horse Trail IPA. They also offer a 12 or 24 mix pack option — they’ll choose an assortment of Red Circle’s core beers so you’ll get to try a little bit of everything. Or if you’re confident in your beer order and need 30-50L of it? Order a keg.
Red Circle also has online coffee bean delivery available — so you can be ready for that early morning wake-up.
Short Finger is not only delivering beer — they’ll also deliver the supplies you need to brew your own at home! By now, you’ve probably read a think piece about using this time productively, so why not find a new hobby in homebrewing? (Real talk: it’s okay to not feel or be productive while the world faces a pandemic. But you’re not here for intense criticism of our society’s obsession with productivity, you’re here for the beer, so let’s carry on.)
So, Short Finger! They are delivering to KW, Cambridge and Guelph right now with their contactless Red Truck delivery, which is as quaint as it sounds. Porch drops are happening in KW every Friday and Saturday. Make sure you order before 10:00 A.M. on delivery days or else you’ll be waiting a week. And last rule — put at least one growler in your order to qualify. Short Finger has asked that you try to spend at least $20 per order so that they can keep putting the freshest of beer into the thirstiest of hands.
TWB has launched an online store with same day delivery in KW from Tuesday — Saturday. The $10 boxing fee is waived if you spend over $60, which won’t be hard when you look at the delicious options for contactless delivery.
TWB is offering select bottles, growlers (1-2L) or go full out and get a keg (20-30L). That’ll keep the party going — the party being you, your roommate and your friends you’ve convinced into a less-than-sober Zoom call.
TWB is serving up their classics, including the Ale-X Juniper Rye, Birds and Bees blonde ale and we can’t miss an opportunity to talk about Oaty McOatface, their oatmeal stout. You can even order some locally made Milbank cheese to be delivered alongside your beverages.
Wellington’s Cry If I Want To sour IPA might be just what’s needed on a Thursday evening (or Tuesday morning; you do you). Bored isolating at home? Go explore Wellington’s online shop. They are offering free delivery to KW, Guelph, Cambridge, Elora and Fergus for orders over $75. They’ve also launched the adorably-named Welly Walk-up Window at their Guelph storefront. Pre-order your beer online and pick it up from the window with limited contact.
Their online store also has beer soap for sale, and that’s just darn cute and timely.
In addition to their well known local gin line (including pink gin!), Willibald recently launched their own beer. Their online store has cans, growlers and once again, full bottles of gin. Pair that with the food they have available for order and you’ve got yourself an evening. Seriously, they have a DIY pizza kit and fresh pasta available for delivery alongside those great adult beverages. Now that’s a party! Free delivery in Waterloo Region for orders over $40.
Also, a shout out to Willibald for recently creating hand sanitizer. Their first release, a spray, was available free with a limit of one per household on Mar. 25. They also recently launched 500ml bottles of WHO-recommended formula hand sanitizer on Apr. 4. Bottles are $9/bottle and a limit of two per household.