Spreading from the rocky shores of Georgian Bay to the rich wilds of Algonquin Park, Muskoka offers a unique and unforgettable iconic Canadian experience. There is no end of things to do, sights to see, and new memories to create when you’re staying in cottage country. Settle in at one of the hundreds of choices in accommodations – with your choice of luxury all-inclusive hotels, quaint inns, friendly B&Bs, or rustic cottage rentals. Looking for something closer to nature? There are many parks available for tent, trailer and RV camping. Once you’ve settled in, head outside to enjoy a morning of fishing, an afternoon of golfing, and an evening of sightseeing aboard a historical steamship. In the winter make sure to cruise through the snowy landscape on snowshoes, skis or snowmobile. If the outdoors isn’t for you, then stay in and enjoy a relaxing spa, catch a play at a charming theatre, or enjoy live music at one of the many intimate venues. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to end your day lounging on the dock in a Muskoka chair, watching the sunset while enjoying one of the area’s many delicious and locally brewed beers. No matter what the season and no matter what your taste of adventure is, you can find something for everyone here. Muskoka: once discovered, never forgotten.
Darren Smith, a young economics major with a head for business and a passion for craft beer, opened Lake of Bays Brewing Company in 2010. His underlying premise was a simple one: beer drinkers deserve the best. Lake of Bays draws its look and feel from nearby Algonquin Park and with a tip of the hat to the hardworking and hardy souls who settled the northern frontier. The brewery produces four year-round beers: Crosswind Pale Ale, Spark House Red Ale, Rock Cut Baysville Lager, and Top Shelf Classic Lager, along with four seasonal releases, and a series of one-offs exclusive to licensees, called the Wild North Series. The tidy state-of-the-art brewery, located in the tiny town of Baysville, offers tours, a tasting bar, beer patio, and a retail shop where you can purchase packaged product.
In June of 1996, Gary McMullen and Kirk Evans officially kicked open the doors of Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge, Ontario. The journey started with Gary’s love of brewing his own unique beers, a hobby that quickly became his career when he left his job as an aerospace engineer. Gary enlisted his good friend and fellow Muskoka native, the late Kirk Evans, to bring the idea of opening a microbrewery to life and Muskoka Brewery was born. Muskoka Brewery’s authentic, allnatural creations are almost entirely unfiltered. They’re made with natural ingredients, no preservatives and handcrafted to final perfection by the entire Muskoka brewing team. “We make beers we love to drink, and there’s a real passion behind our story and our trade,” continues Gary. “We’re expanding and experimenting more year after year, and we’re looking forward to driving the next step in craft beer recognition and appreciation.” Tours of the brewery start at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30pm every Thursday to Saturday and the retail store is open seven days a week.
The newest addition to the craft beer scene in Muskoka, Sawdust City Brewing Company is dedicated to the art and science of creating exceptional craft beers. In addition to five year-round brands, they also brew seasonal offerings, exciting limited batch brews, barrel-aged and experimental beers. The 20,000 sq. ft. facility is located on Gravenhurst’s main street, and includes a 24hl Canadian-made brewhouse, canning line and barrel-aging room, along with a 1200 sq. ft. retail store and saloon. The retail store sells cans, kegs and growlers, Canadian-made merchandise and local products. In the Saloon you can belly up to the spectacular 24-foot, live-edge bar milled from a 100-year-old naturally felled pine tree, honouring the long history of logging in Muskoka. Or, you may choose to relax at one of the handcrafted communal tables or barrel-based high-tops with a view of the brewery through large windows. The Saloon features 12 draught lines, tasting flights, an exclusive ‘Mug Club’, and tutored tastings and live music. Visitors are invited to purchase lunch and dinner at the gourmet food truck permanently located next to the brewery entrance and taken inside to be enjoyed with a draught beer. Tours are available everyday, live music on Saturdays and cask tappings every month.
Griffin Gastropub – Bracebridge
Located down a small pedestrian walkway in downtown Bracebridge sits a small pub with a larger-than-life atmosphere. The building was originally built in the 1930s as a law office. 80 years later, it has become one of Muskoka’s favourite hidden gems with mouthwatering Canadian/fusion cuisines, talented musicians and an extensive selection of Ontario craft brews (the largest in Muskoka). This charming pub is the perfect place to sit back and relax while enjoying some craft beer, homemade pub food and regular live music.