Muskoka Springs enters alcohol business
MUSKOKA – A beer cocktail inspired by Muskoka summers and infused with Muskoka flavour is selling out at LCBOs across the province.
Old Tomorrow’s Honey Ginger Shandy is the first craft shandy in Ontario and was created with Muskoka Springs’ century-old pale ginger ale recipe.
“Old Tomorrow approached us a couple of months ago,” said Muskoka Springs owner Michael Billinghurst. “They knew our ginger ale, liked it and we began trials.”
Over the past couple of months, Old Tomorrow has brewed about 17,000 cans, said co-founder Pat Macdonald. As of this week, 100 LCBOs including those in Bracebridge, Huntsville, Port Carling and Gravenhurst have started selling the drink.
“Our shandy is a shout out to the Canadian summer, and what signals a great Canadian summer more than Muskoka?” said Macdonald.
A shandy, or shandygaff, is a traditional British combination of beer and ginger ale. With three per cent alcohol content, Old Tomorrow described their version as an, ”easy drinking pure refreshment, light and crisp – with an invigorating zesty flavour that refreshes and satisfies.”
Muskoka Springs’ ginger ale recipe is full of natural botanical extracts. Old Tomorrow has balanced that taste out with natural honey and lemon flavours, plus beer.
It’s a drink to enjoy dockside, chilled or over ice.
“Muskoka pretty much typifies what heaven is going to be like,” said Macdonald, who has been visiting the region for the past 20 years. “If you can’t relax up here, you can’t relax anywhere.” Macdonald and her family started up the Toronto-based craft brewery Old Tomorrow a few years ago.
The company’s focus is creating drinks that reflect Canada and its history. Case in point: Old Tomorrow was the nickname of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
Along with the shandy, Old Tomorrow has two other drinks – Canadian Pale Ale and Track 85 Lagered Ale.
For Muskoka Springs, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The Gravenhurst beverage company is about to roll out branding that promotes its ginger ale, maple cream ale, birch beer and old time orange as delicious mixers for alcoholic cocktails.
“This is our first time doing anything with the alcohol business,” said Billinghurst. “We are very grateful to Old Tomorrow for including us in their recipe and on their packaging.”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: muskokaregion.com