Beerhogger celebrated his birthday BEERFEST (thirty)SEVEN at Better Bitters Brewing Co (more commonly known to me as Nickelbrook in Burlington. The owner John welcomed our group with open arms, catered food for us from The Raging Olive (a local restaurant with awesome middle-eastern food and they carry Nickelbrook brews on tap), gave us the most informative tour of his brewery and gave the best b-day present of all time: OPEN BAR for BEERHOGGER and friends!!!
The tour was a blast and we learned from John that Nickelbrook is named after his kids (Nick and Brook). They also BREW an unbelievable non-alcoholic root beer which took him years to perfect with his kids - seriously - the best root beer ever - I didn't know it used to be brewed and Nickelbrook has brought this tradition back to life. Better Bitters deserves major credit for having the greatest variety of creative beers, which they clearly put in a lot of passion and are not afraid to experiment with different spices and recipies. Their most unique beers in our opinion were the Green Apple Pilsner, a Sour Cherry Ale, a Cuvee which is flavoured with herbs and cellared in oak barrels, a variety of organic beers (my favorite was their Organic White beer which was puts Hoegaarden to shame), and their maple porter - hands down, the best maple beer I've ever had. They also offer a rare gluten-free beer (we brought some home for our friend who has a gluten allergy and hasn't had a beer in 7 years as a result; Beerhogger's worst nightmare but so glad to hear that this will not have to go on any longer for those with this allergy). Our gracious hostess Lauren kept the beers flowing all night while we enjoyed the evening in the brewery/party room. She and John even made us beer-floats with vanilla ice cream (I was skeptical of this at first - isn't there a Simpson's joke about beer smoothies at Duff Gardens?) in their maple, sour cherry, apple and of course root beers. All were incredible! A very unique experience and we've never had this on any of our brewery tours before!
Thanks again John for rocking the beer world, keeping your awesome brewery going despite the hard work and not compromising on your high standards and quality - your passion for beer is obvious and your beers are outstanding! You have definitely impressed our crowd.
John's brewery has been going strong for 20 years and he also has a wine making and home-brewing store on the facility. I look forward to drinking Nickelbrook for life and to seeing the continued creativity as this brewery grows even more over the next 20 years.