I almost pass by Old Credit Brewing Co. on the drive up, but the large beer silo in the back of the building gives it away and I make a sharp right turn into the small parking area. Tanks peek out of the tall windows beside the front entrance.
Aldo Lista, owner of Old Credit Brewing on the corner of Mississauga and Queen in Port Credit, welcomes me at the counter of the retail store—where he sells his three signature beers: the Pale Pilsner, Amber Ale, and Holiday Honey—before leading me on a tour of the brewery.
“We’ve been in business for 20 years now. Here, we make ice beers. Very smooth,” Lista says. Ice beers take three months to ferment and mature before bottling, and are kept in tanks at -3 C. In the fermentation room, I touch the bottom of one of the six tanks, where ice crystals have formed on the outside.
Before moving to the maturation and packaging rooms, Lista offers me samples of the beer. I happily oblige. The Amber Ale is ruby-coloured with a hint of fruit and a slightly stronger flavour than the Pale Pilsner. The Pale Pilsner is medium-bodied, smooth, and light, with an almost buttery taste.
“Most women who don’t like beer don’t like the aftertaste, but this one is very smooth and there’s no bloating,” says Lista. No bloating? I’m a fan.
Holiday Honey, a beer that was once seasonal, is now available year-round by popular demand. I eagerly bought a bottle to try after the tour. It’s the first “honey” beer I’ve tasted and I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t overwhelmingly sweet and the bitterness of the hops gives it a nice balance.
“All our beers have won awards in Canada,” Lista proudly announces. Gold, silver, and bronze medals line the walls inside the retail store. “We do some festivals in the area in the summer and people really love it,” he adds, referring to the many beer festivals in the GTA, such as Ontario Craft Beer Week and Toronto’s Festival of Beer.
Even U of T is a customer, with orders from the Faculty Club on the corner of Spadina and Willcocks.
The question is, with a microbrewery just a 15-minute drive from the UTM campus, when will the Blind Duck start serving local craft beer? I give Old Credit Brewing two pints way up. With hops.