I recently returned from a trip to Berlin, Germany. One of the many things I loved about the trip was people eating outside, enjoying a drink and the company of friends, heck maybe even in a Beer Garden. Well, I just discovered a Beer Garden in Collingwood! It’s family friendly, has lots of entertainment, and is where you can often find an amazing vegan food truck!
The Collingwood Brewery is known for brewing fantastic craft beer in Collingwood. The water comes from Georgian Bay. They often source local hops, and their spent grain goes to a local farmer. Besides the brewery, the site includes a retail store, the Tap Room, and the Beer Garden, which opened last summer.
Located beside the parking lot in front of a few large silos is the Beer Garden. It’s well equipped with picnic tables, Muskoka chairs and benches. It’s also ready for any weather with umbrellas for the hot sunny days, gas heaters for those cool evenings and winter wood fires. There is a large stage and programmed event calendar with live music, movies, open mic night, paint night and weekly events including Babies + Brews and Craft Beer Yoga.
Make sure to visit the Tap Room and store to get some fresh beer! Check out their offering of core beers or sample some small-batch freestyle series which is only available at their retail location or via Canada Post delivery. You can find that eclectic freestyle series rotating seasonally through the LCBO.
I was here during the Sunday afternoon’s open mic, but the main attraction for my visit was food from Vegan Co. The side of their truck says, “we make plants unhealthy”, and I couldn’t wait to dig into the menu. They offer various sliders, a burger, tacos, and fries galore with 5 different taste sensations. I opted for the Impossible Sliders, Jerk Tacos and Big Mac Poutine. Taking a seat at one of the picnic tables it was great to meet some new people, and enjoy the entertainment until the food arrived.
I started with the Impossible Sliders. I am a big fan of Impossible burger, I personally like this brand better than the competitor for taste and texture so I was excited to bite into these gems! Topped with “cheddar”, lettuce, pickle, tomato, onion, and Smash sauce, these two sliders were the perfect bite. They were grilled to perfection with crispy toppings. I could eat these all day. Other options include peanut butter “bacon” sliders with a Dr. Pepper jelly, filet-no-fish sliders, and a peri-peri burger which is also gluten free.
Next up were the Jerk Tacos. Normally they offer Buffalo “chicken” tacos, but as I arrived late in the day, and they were sold out of “chicken” they offered me a jerk version. Jerked soy curls served over corn soft tacos with a dill slaw, pineapple, and mango aioli. With a little bit of heat these tacos pack a punch, and were balanced with slaw for crunch and finished well with the sweetness of the mango and pineapple. You can also order this combo over fries as a jerk poutine with gravy and “curds”.
Speaking of poutine, I am so glad I ordered the Big Mac poutine. I devoured it, and even considered whether I should order a second to take home with me for later. Fresh cut fries, crispy and delicious, topped with gravy, “curds”, lettuce, pickle, onions, and Mac sauce. The first bite is a flavour explosion – that Mac sauce, crisp iceberg lettuce and the perfect pickle leave you wanting more and more. All the fresh cut fries’ sides are gluten free including the Big Mac poutine, jerk poutine, poutine, and fries with or without gravy.
A couple of options I will have to return to try includes the beast fries – Old Bay fries, “bacon” bits, “cheese” sauce, caramelized onions, and mash sauce; and Buffalo fries – Buffalo sauce, “feta”, creole ranch and green onion. I don’t think that you can make a wrong choice with any of these offerings!
They even have a kids meal with a choice of an Impossible slider or “chicken” strips, served with fries and a juice box. As mentioned this is a family friendly Beer Garden that the whole family can enjoy.
Check Vegan Co.’s schedule for their location and events, but you can find them in the Beer Garden at The Collingwood Brewery for most of the summer. The Collingwood Brewery is located at 10 Sandford Fleming Drive in Collingwood.