Throughout the year Trenton plays host to variety of events, but one of my favourite by far is Hops on the Water. A food, beer and cider sampling fest, it makes for the perfect excuse for day drinking and stuffing your face with local eats. We attended last year, but I wasn’t big into drinking beer or cider, so it was all a bit lost on me. This year, as in a few hours ago, was very different, though, as I for sure drank my fair share of beer and cider!
The event itself is priced very well if you take into consideration the amount of effort an event like this takes, and what you get. Tickets are $20 at the gate, or less if you buy in advance. With that, you get access to a large variety of Ontario breweries, food, and entertainment. It is a family friendly event, free of charge for those under 18! Dogs are also welcome if they’re well behaved in a crowded area, and I do mean crowded. There were some very well behaved pups that we said hello to during our loop around. The atmosphere was also top-notch. No one was belligerent or acting out, which is nice for an event that involves a lot of alcohol and a large crowd. It is the perfect event to sample local craft brews and welcome spring.
Onto the good stuff! The brews.
Over the past few weeks I have been patiently waiting for Wild Card Brewing Company to restock their Purple Sour Ranger. It may be the only beer, other than Signal’s Cherry Volt or County Road’s Cherry Gose that I could drink an entire growler of. This year it was made a bit differently, but it did not disappoint! I stopped in a few weeks ago to inquire if it’d be at Hops, and was so happy when they said it would be making an appearance. Purple Sour Ranger (I love the name so much) is a fruit aged kettle-sour made with blackberries. It’s the perfect drink for a warm spring day spent on the waterfront. I won’t ramble on too much about Wild Card because I intend to do an entire blog post on them soon, but they were my first, third, and last stop today. I can’t even count how many people asked me where I got “the purple drink”! It was very popular to say the least.
I tried out Waupoo’s County Cider Company’s Lavender Lemonade and was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it! Light in colour, and a punch of flavour, it is a new contender for my favourite cider. The Hard Way Cider Company may also be joining that fight with their medium sweet Rogue Apple cider I downed today. I am very much becoming a fan of cider and sour beer this year.
Some of the other breweries in attendance today were MacKinnion Brothers Brewing, Parsons Brewing, Signal, Skeleton Park Brewery, Prince Eddy’s, 555 Brewing , Longtooth Beverage Company, Kings Mill Cider, The Napanee Beer Company, Apple Falls Cider, Kinsip, and Midtown Brewing Company.
We found this year that this year’s food vendors were much better with regard to variety. Just to name a few who were serving up delicious snacks: Idle Wild PEC, Burger Revolution, Port Bistro Pub, Herberts Fries, and Guapo’s Cantina. We stuck with Herberts Fries and devoured deep fried pickles, but did end up eating half of a poutine from Burger Revolution that our group seemed to be sharing. Germs anyone?
The live music was spectacular, and had a few people up on their feet to show off some wicked moves. Moon Sugar and Wrought Iron Roots brought us their musical talents, with Mighty Mike giving us a hilarious busker show. For the littles, there was a very creative balloon artist, and I came across more than a few unicorn balloon hats that I was very jealous of.
I cannot wait for next year! It was a beautiful day spent on the waterfront with friends, good food, great entertainment, and a variety of drinks. We chatted with almost everyone we sampled from, and look forward to venturing out to their locations this summer.
Until then, cheers.