Cameron’s Brewing: reliable, consistent, delicious

Cameron’s Brewing: reliable, consistent, delicious

It’s always surprising how such good stuff can come from seemingly unlikely settings. 
When you go to a restaurant, for instance, and enjoy a great meal, there is a very good chance that even the exterior setting of the restaurant is going to be aesthetically pleasing. 
That’s all a rather long way to say that from a basic and unadorned cinder block building in a blasé commercial business zone of uninteresting architecture, comes some really delicious beer by Cameron’s Brewing

I always learn something new when I visit a brewery, so I encourage you to take a few moments and visit Cameron’s for a short tour and a tasting while you’re in Oakville.

Located on Invicta Drive in Oakville, everything outside the bottle at Cameron’s is efficient and simple—like many, many craft brewers, it’s manufacturing and that’s it; the aesthetic we expect are the four ingredients and the attention to detail for what’s in the bottle. 

For beer lovers, that’s all that really counts.

Post-tour, a tasting of Cameron’s beer (Photo/WREats).

While Cameron’s Brewing is not an official participant in A Taste of Oakville, their beer is likely to appear at many participating restaurants as a part of Oakville’s food and beverage scene. 
I’ve toured a dozen or so breweries, and although I am not a beer expert, by any stretch, I love the blend of hops, water, yeast, barley and other flavourings.

I always learn something new when I visit a brewery, so I encourage you to take a few moments and visit Cameron’s for a short tour and a tasting while you’re in Oakville.

The most interesting thing I learned this time? It was about aluminum, and the new move in Ontario toward canning, rather than bottling, beer.

Given that, the Cameron’s Brewing warehouse represents a point where brewing and realpolitik intersect: the company apparently purchased stacks and stacks of extra aluminum cans in advance of Trump tariffs which have seen prices escalate. That I found interesting.

Danielle Bairstow leads informative tours and tastings (Photo/WREats).

Cameron’s Brewing started in 1997, and it’s made a few changes in the course of the two decades or so – and change, when you think about, is very much what craft beer is known for: they provoked change in the industry, and they are constantly changing. 
Over the past several years, the brewery has re-defined itself and invested in infrastructure that includes everything from more tanks and equipment that has allowed re-tooling and getting beer into cans to improved packaging. That’s the manufacturing aspect.

As for recipes and beer flavours inside the can or growler, that’s the purview of brewmaster Jason Britton, who has been with the company for 12 years.

Cans against tariffs (Photo/WREats).

He oversees the production of about a dozen regular beers, from First Light Session Lager to Ambear Red Ale, along with a half-dozen seasonals and something they call interestingly “Early Bird Breakfast Barley Wine,” a creation that includes Ontario maple syrup and cold-brewed coffee. According to their website, it’s aged in a foeder (another point of interest I learned), which is a 600-liter barrel (that’s roughly three times as large as a regular barrel). The beer won a couple of awards in 2017.  
Britton describes the small craft brewer as a group of dedicated beer lovers who have created reliable and consistent products with adventurous styles. 
“Without that, you’re not doing a service to the industry or creating something the consumer can appreciate,” Britton says. 
“When Cameron’s first started, it was Cosmic Cream Ale. Over the years, we’ve developed seasonal programs where we’ve had smoked beers, rye beers, unfiltered beers and beers with fruit. Our portfolio has broadened allowing consumers to really experiment and try new flavours,” Britton says. 
As for the beer scene in Ontario, Britton continues to be amazed. “It’s changing daily and re-writing history in front of our eyes,” he says. “There are breweries popping up and new styles and flavours being created constantly.”  
That’s great for the market, whether Oakville or elsewhere in the province, and Britton sees the level of quality being raised over and over again. “It allows people to try products they wouldn’t have ordinarily tried.” 
Coincidentally, at the time of this writing, Cameron’s had just released their Crooked Nosed Stout which won stout bronze at this past fall’s Ontario Brewing Awards. It’s now available in their tap room for growlers and tastings and at restaurants and bars across Ontario.

Cameron, the name of the Scottish West Highland clan, translates to something like “crooked nose,” and therein lies the inherent playfulness that you find in craft beer folks.
“It’s a nice dry stout at 4.6 percent,” says Britton of Crooked Nose. “It has hints of cocoa and mild coffee. It has a real smooth character to it.”

Note: if you you’re so inclined, visit on January 24 for Cameron’s annual “Robbie Burns Cask Night,” between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

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