Dividing up the microbreweries of Ontario into tiers is not something that can be done haphazardly. The biggest question was what criteria should be used. After the bare minimum amount of thinking, the following list was made.
Year-round beers: How many beers are in their year-round portfolio? What is the quality of the beers?
Seasonal beers: How many seasonals are produced? What is the quality of the beers?
Consistency: Are their beers consistent in taste or do you get the occasional bad batch? What is the likelihood that a new beer will be a solid offering?
Availability: Is the brewery widely available in bars throughout the province? Are they consistently stocked at the LCBO/Beer Store?
Extras: Do they promote craft beers at events of all sizes? Do they make cask beer? Are furthering the Ontario craft beer scene?
The breweries will be compared to each other and will have to fight for supremacy, MMA-style. Each brewery will be assigned a ranking out of five for each category, then given a total mark out of twenty-five which will be used to divide them up into tiers. A 5/5 rating in one category does not mean that there isn’t room for improvement or that their beer is just as good as the best breweries in the States, but merely that they are the best in Ontario for that criterion. Hopefully that all makes sense.
Come back Monday to find out which breweries end up at the bottom. In the mean time, remind yourself about what defines a craft brewery.