Waterloo beer-tasting a success at McCloskey’s; multiple craft beers on tap for New Year’s Eve

McCloskey's general manager Dan Riitano (left) and Waterloo Brewing's Nick Glynn, with a few of the taps at the bar increasingly known for its selection of craft beers. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — Waterloo Brewing hoisted a glass — or three — at McCloskey’s Dec. 15, as Eastern Territory sales rep Nick Glynn presided over a beer-tasting event for about 25 people at the 22 Victoria Street venue.

Glynn’s presence on behalf of one of the largest Canadian-owned breweries (the very biggest names all being foreign-owned these days) coincided with the recent installation of several Waterloo taps at McCloskey’s.

“I don’t think you’ll find a bar around the area with this selection of craft beers,” said Glynn, who outlined Waterloo’s award-winning offerings with explanations of their flavours and the food-pairings to best accentuate the tasting notes of each particular brew.

“Any time I can do tastings, it’s a good way to spread the word. Describing a beer always makes a big difference,” observed Glynn, after leading the group through contemplative gulps of Original Dark, Classic Pilsner, Traditional IPA, Authentic Amber as well as the refreshing Laker Lager that pours under the in-house name ‘McCloskey’s’ at the local establishment. “Plus, I don’t think anyone was complaining about the free beer,” he jokingly added.

As for that ‘McCloskey’s’ lager, it’s a classically “simple” but smooth and refreshing beer, “like a sports-bar type of drink,” he said. “It’s a two-row malt lager … nice and crisp.”

You’ll find it alongside the other Waterloo taps at the McCloskey Hotel’s craft-beer bar, in addition to offerings from Muskoka Brewery, Beau’s Brewing and Steam Whistle.

Bar manager Dan Riitano said his clientele have expanded their palates as a result of the greater variety. “With eight taps up here, I’m selling more draft beer since I’ve had more selection,” observed Riitano. “And now I’m selling craft beer to pretty much everybody,” said the veteran bartender who has similarly broadened his available liquors.

The connection with Waterloo Brewery — a marketing name for Brick Brewing Co. — was forged last August when Michael ‘tic’ Houston of Finch recommended McCloskey’s to Glynn. Houston’s annual ‘Barnstorm’ party, held on his rural North Stormont property, has had a sponsorship relationship with the brewery for the last four years.

Glynn also touted the Brick Brewing Co.’s 2016 roll-out of premium beers Landshark Lager and Margaritaville Classic, under a 10-year Canadian brewing rights agreement with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Enterprises.

Riitano said he hopes to have the Waterloo rep back at McCloskey’s for another beer-taster early in 2017.

In the meantime, bar patrons can check out the craft beer selection at McCloskey’s as the venue celebrates New Year’s Eve with live music by The Amanda Keeley Band.

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