If you’re a parent, particularly one still in the trenches of diapers, daycare and and crackers in the car seats, the concept of “date night” with your partner might seem like a hazy, distant memory. Between work, kids and other commitments, it can be hard to find the time, and, let’s face it, energy. But let’s say the stars align and you do have a free evening (and babysitter), where do you go? The standard dinner and a movie is great, but if you’re searching for something different, experiential and local to do, look no further than Oakville’s very own craft brewery.
Cameron’s Brewing Company, located in a tucked-away industrial park on Invicta Drive, is an award-winning craft brewery founded in 1997. If you’re a real “beer geek”, you can read about the many awards they’ve won here. Suffice it to say, it’s a definite player in the Ontario craft beer industry, which is growing in popularity every year.
As my hubby definitely qualifies as a beer geek, I jumped at the chance to attend a recent “Cask Night” for review purposes. Cask Nights are usually held the last Thursday of every month, and give members of the public a sneak peek into the brewing process, a chance to sample Cameron’s signature beers, enjoy some delicious food and mix and mingle with other beer lovers in a relaxed, cool vibe setting. I must say, prior to attending this event, I had almost forgotten what a cool vibe felt like.
The night we attended happened to be in late January, so fittingly, Cameron’s decided to pay tribute to the great Scottish poet Robbie Burns, who’s birthday was commemorated that week. Upon entering, we saw that the brewery was decked out with Scottish national flags and men in kilts with bagpipes slung over their shoulders were walking around. We were handed 2 drink tickets each and tickets for the food. As we were right at the bar, we got our beers first. The beer menu had about 7 or 8 different options- not being a beer connoisseur myself, I indicated that I preferred a lighter beer and was advised to try the cream ale, while hubby went for a dark lager. We took our pints and went for a walk around the brewery to check out the scene.
When I say, around the brewery, I mean it literally. We were up close to the vats, the cylinders and could see the processing machinery. Not that I know much about beer making, but there were friendly Cameron’s staff mingling with the guests, explaining the process to those who inquired.
As it was of course, Robbie Burns Night, the traditional “tapping of the featured cask” that evening was enhanced by a ceremonial Scottish bagpipe ushering it in, along with a silver platter of what else, haggis!
I did actually sample the haggis. What does it taste like? A lot like the French-Canadian delicacy, creton, in my opinion. Kinda salty and smooth. Not bad on a cracker! Hubby refused to try it though, so we soon followed our noses to a separate part of the brewery, where Whole Foods of Oakville was the host food vendor that night.
It turns out that Cameron’s actually invites a different restaurant to serve food at each Cask Night. What a great way to try out different cuisines and local establishments! Whole Foods did a great job at pairing the dishes with the beers on tap, and we left absolutely stuffed.
The night was a perfect mix of good food and drink, casual entertainment and conversation. Want to catch the next Cask Night or other special event? Be sure to check out their event calendar page and follow them on social media.
- I received two complimentary passes for review purposes. Opinions expressed are my own.