The Brewerywhere the magic happens

From start to finish everything happens here. From the raw ingredients to the high performance equipment, brewing takes passion (and patience) to get it right.

Equipment

Ken started the brewery back in 1999 in Oakville, Ontario. We then headed east to Etobicoke in 2008 and have been at our current facility ever since.

We really, really care about the beer that we produce. We are sticklers for quality and are extremely careful with the production of our beer. We use premium ingredients, traditional brewing processes and lots of hard work to create our award winning beers. We want to provide you with fresh, hand crafted, local beer that matches the best in the world. Not only are the majority of our ingredients Canadian, but we also strive to ensure that the materials used are environmentally friendly.

Our beers are craft brewed and prepared in small batches using a 20 Hectolitre brew house. We have four 40 Hectolitre Unitanks and 2 40 Hectolitre Bright Beer Tanks in our 11,000 sq. ft. facility. Our brewing equipment is custom engineered, stainless steel, high-tech and Canadian made.

While we are here working, our bottle shop is open for your beer grabbing needs! We also have a tasting area where you can sample some of our brews and Ken gives awesome tours on Saturdays (see Contact Us section for more info). We have regular brewery parties too, hope to see you at one soon!

We want to make the best beer you have ever tasted. Cheers to great beer!


So... how DO we brew beer?

Water

Water

Water is the main ingredient in beer. We use carbon filtered water in our beer at Black Oak, and adjust for pH and mineral content as required. The quality of the water has a huge effect on the flavour of the beer down the line, so we take our water profile very seriously. We also make every effort to reduce our water usage, including recapturing clean water used in the brewing process for brewhouse cleanup later.

Hops

The Hops

Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Golding, Saaz... it can get confusing, we know. Hops add flavour, aroma, and bitterness (measured in IBUs) to beer. Possible flavours and aromas include citrus, tropical fruit, stone fruit, floral, herbal, and earthy notes.

At Black Oak, we use hops grown all over the world, including (but not limited to) Germany, the UK, New Zealand, and the USA. We're always open to trying new hop varietals, and we strive to keep our beers consistent but also up to date on the latest hops available. We always use fresh hops, and unused hops are vacuum sealed and stored cold to maintain freshness.

Yeast

The Yeast

Brewer's yeast (scientific name Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a single-celled organism that produces alcohol and carbon dioxide (among other compounds) as a by-product of its metabolic processes.

There are many different strains of brewer's yeast, and different strains are used depending on the style of beer being brewed. Different strains of yeast can impart different flavours or aromas to the beer. We mainly use White Labs' California Ale Yeast strain here at Black Oak, although we do occasionally use Belgian yeast strains or lager yeast. Yeast can be reused between batches, but we set a limit on the number of generations that we reuse to ensure the health and viability of our yeast strain.

Barley

The Malt

Canadian 2-Row Barley is the primary malt that we use in our beer at Black Oak. Barley is trucked to our brewery and pumped into our silo, where it is fed directly into our mill. We crush the grains to expose starches that are later converted to the sugars that yeast require to make beer.

We also use specialty malts such as wheat and oats in our beers, which contribute to mouthfeel and head retention. Kilned malts such as chocolate malt or crystal malt add flavour and aroma to dark beers and IPAs. Roasted barley malts contribute a black/ brown colour to beer as well as aromas of coffee, chocolate, roasted hazelnuts.

Adjuncts and other Fresh Ingredients

We make every attempt to source ingredients locally here at Black Oak. For example, in the Triple Chocolate Cherry Stout we use Cherry juice from Cherry Lane in the Niagara Region and we source our cocoa nibs and chocolate powder from Toronto's own Chocosol Traders. For the Nox Aeterna Smoked Breakfast Stout we get freshly roasted coffee from Toronto's Propeller Coffee Co.

If you REALLY want to see how we do it... come by for a tour!