Best Craft Beer Bar Buck-A-Shucks in Toronto
When it comes to oysters, nothing pairs better with them…
What happens when a hobby quickly turns into a flourishing small business? Well, at Cameron’s Brewing Company, you get yourself an award-winning, family-run, craft brewery with a 20-year old track record and legions of fans. Brewing their all natural ales and lagers since 1997 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, original founder, Cameron Howe, began his journey with the idea of introducing quality craft beer into the Ontario marketplace. Today, with over 140 brewing excellence awards under their belt, Cameron continues to put the emphasis on the same great taste and quality that made them famous, but with added focus on ESG and CSR. I talked with Nicholas Angle, Territory Sales Rep for Toronto North and Barrie on his journey with the brewery, from Brand Ambassador to his newest role. With his passion for all things craft beer and Cameron’s he’s sure to spread the love and excitement to OCB fans old and new.
Bev Nine to Five: What is your motto or mission statement at Cameron’s?
Nicholas Angle: Cameron’s is committed to brewing beer of exceptional taste and quality. Its brewing experts relentlessly pursue the development of new styles and the perfection of its classic ales and lagers using the world’s finest all-natural ingredients. By adhering to traditional brewing practices and using the finest ingredients available, along with our unmatched expertise, we are true beer artisans. As a brewery we pride ourselves on being both environmentally and socially conscious in our day-to-day practices.
BNTF: What is the most fun part of working for a craft brewery?
NA: I think the fun I have at the brewery is really being with the people who work here. We are a small brewery so I think you become closer to the people you work with than you would, say, in a larger place. No two days are the same and I was able to experience a lot more because of the different jobs I did around the brewery. Also, interacting with customers is always a super fun thing for me, when I started with Cameron’s I was just a brand ambassador then moved into the brewery and running the retail shop. Then I started selling to the LCBOs and running the tours on Saturdays and that has been super fun because I get to share my knowledge and love of beer with people, and maybe change a couple minds about what beer is and can be.
Q: How did you get involved in the beverage/craft beer industry?
NA: I got involved by working at the Beer Store actually, I was at a point in my life where I was trying to find something and a buddy of mine got me a job with the Beer Store Boutique. It was a different concept and really got me into not just knowing beer but being able to talk about it and know different flavours. I really found a passion for beer and wanted to know more. I started by taking different classes on beer and eventually was asked by the beer store to train other employees about beer when they went through their re-brand which was a very cool experience. After that I wanted to really become a part of the craft beer scene in Ontario and was fortunate to get in with Cameron’s and have been here now for a little over a year and a half.
BNTF: What is your current favourite Cameron’s brew? What is one you’re excited to tap?
NA: This is tough because it really depends on the day. If I am watching hockey or relaxing in the sun at a cottage I would say the Cosmic Cream Ale or our 12 Mile India Pale Lager is what I’m drinking. If I am just relaxing after a day at work or maybe after dinner I go with the Ambear Red Ale. Right now though I am a huge fan of our Where the Buffalo Roam Barley Wine that we just canned, its super delicious with the hints of wood and vanilla.
BNTF: What’s one thing that makes your brewery stand out from the rest?
NA: I think our simplicity of flavour is really what lets us stand out from the rest. I have to say our Brewmaster Jason Britton and our Head Brewer Curtis Jeffrey really do a great job at crafting beer that is interesting and yet beautifully simple and easy drinking. I think sometimes people are looking for beer that gets too complicated and need to remember that beer is a beautiful thing in all its forms.
BNTF: If you could describe the Toronto brewery scene in one word, what would it be?
NA: Complicated (haha)! It’s hard to keep up sometimes.
BNTF: What trends do you see in craft brewing/beer?
NA: I think we are slowly getting back to easy drinking beers, I remember when IPAs were all the rage and then Double IPAs. They seem to have gone the way of the dodo bird and we are getting into “sessionable” beer. I think even the craze on sours is going to be the same as well, and while I do enjoy a sour or an IPA every now and then you can’t really sit down and enjoy more than one I find. People I think are looking for beer they can have a few of and that’s why we are moving in the direction of more “drinkable” brews. That’s just my humble opinion though and I’m sure many would disagree with me which is cool, I always say there is a beer for every occasion and I think that is what makes beer special and amazing. The one thing I do see and I would very much like people to stop is being snobby with their beer choice or other peoples choice. Let’s leave being snobby to wine drinkers lol, beer is for everyone and I think just the volume of different styles and flavours is a great show of that, BJCP alone is nuts. I have so many people say they aren’t beer drinkers and I always tell them I’m sure I can find a beer for you, first time I went on a date with my now wife she told me she hated the taste of beer. She is now an avid beer drinker and her favorites are Stouts/Porters and Saisons. So either I’m really good and convincing or I’m right and you just need to find your own flavour.
Up next for Cameron’s is their limited release of their 2 Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wines “Where the Buffalo Roam Barley Wine” and “Early Bird Breakfast Barley Wine” brewed with cold brewed coffee and maple syrup as well as our “New Wood Brett Saison.” Watch out for their Summer Brewmaster 4 pack coming back with the 12 Mile IPL and One Eyed Grouse ESA (English Style Ale).
By: Susannah Kiernan, @susannahkiernan