The Story Of Beer Brewing in the 1800s at Toronto's Pioneer Village Historic Brewery

Black Creek Historic Brewery recreates the techniques, tools and recipes used by brewers in 1860s Ontario. Our Brewmasters do everything by hand on a small scale. It's a great place to learn about beer because, unlike a modern commercial brewery, you can see every step in the process for yourself. And, no one else has a Brewmaster ready to welcome visitors in period costume.

In the 1860s there were 155 registered breweries in Ontario, and countless smaller operations. Black Creek Historic Brewery is the first in this province to replicate the brewing processes of that era, when there was no electricity or refrigeration, no stainless steel tanks or bottling plants.

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Pictures taken during a tour of the hops garden and historic brewery at Pioneer Village in August,2012 


A short history of Hops by Sandra Spudic, Chief Gardener at "The Village"

Hops, Humulus lupulus, is a vigorous herbaceous vine with rough twinning stems that have been in cultivation since the 9th century. The female flowers, or strobiles as they are botanically referred to, contain lupulin which is the flavouring sought after by brewers. The lupulin content and flower size varies between different varieties of hops. Currently ‘Cascade’ is the most popular variety being grown in North America for brewing.

Hops are traditionally grown using a roped trellis system but can easily be grown up a garden trellis in one’s backyard. They prefer full to part sun, a free and well drained soil, a generous top dressing of manure in the autumn and supplemental irrigation during dry summers.