Waterloo has a reputation for celebrating beer in style. Frilly lederhosen style, to be precise. Each year, Kitchener and Waterloo – the former Berlin area of Southwestern Ontario, hosts the epic German Oktoberfest festival – a 9-day-event filled to the brim of your frothy stein with Bavarian cuisine, polka music, community, pretzels – and a fantastic collection of craft brews. While the party ends every October – what carries on throughout the year is a unique community of local beer enthusiasts and a dynamite collection of cutting-edge craft breweries. At The Barrel Yards – we want to share our favourite local Kitchener and Waterloo craft breweries, so you can celebrate them as much as we do. Read on for our top 5 best Waterloo region craft breweries to raise a pint to.



Being less than a 10-minute walk from The Barrel Yards, the Abe Erb Brewing Company is high on our list of Uptown Waterloo craft breweries – and our favourite spot to start our local brewery pub trail. Newly reopened, with a fresh vision, industrial style with a side of local history, delicious eats, killer take-out – and of course, a palatable beer menu that you’ll be thirsty to get your hands (and lips) on. Be sure to soak in Abe Erb’s rustic bar created with the charred beams from the St. Jacobs barn that burned down in 2013, antique, local windows transformed into walls, and barrels from the Seagrams Museum while you enjoy their full food menu and mouth-watering craft wine and brew selection.



Voted Waterloo Region’s ‘Favourite Craft Brewery’ in both 2016 and 2020, Innocente Brewing Company is a small family-run craft brewery located in North Waterloo, offering devilishly delicious craft beers, growler refills, local events, tours and tastings, and plenty of witty engagement. Order online and take advantage of their free shipping as shared on their Facebook page with the code KWDELIVERY for free local home deliveries in Waterloo Region and Guelph (on orders of 24 cans or more) or swing by in person with your fellow craft brew connoisseurs and your favourite take-out snacks, which you’re welcome to enjoy inside while sampling sinfully good brews.



Close by in our KW region is St. Jacob’s Block Three Brewing, offering up a plentiful, hoppy beer menu filled with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a light, refreshing citrus flavour, caramel malt Belgium ale, or a traditional take on a historical Belgian table beer – Block Three Brewing Co. has just what your craft brew taste buds are craving. Order online, as well as take their highly-recommended Virtual Group Tasting Experience, where you and your brew crew can enjoy a tasting flight of curated beers, delivered straight to your home, where one of the Block Three Brewing Co. staff will guide you through the tasting, answer questions, and suggest delicious food pairings. If you’re looking for a live in-person event, keep an eye on The Village Biergarten, where you can enjoy Block Three Brewing Co.’s craft brews on one of the largest outdoor patios in the area, serving authentic Mexican cuisine in the heart of St. Jacobs Village.



Descendents Brewery owners Lee and Robin were influenced by their time spent living in Berlin, where they found inspiration through their experiences within the city’s bier halles, bier gartens and craft beer microbreweries. Returning to the Kitchener Waterloo region, they set about building their own concept craft brewery, European-style bierhalle, beer store, and event venue, all in one unique, inclusive package. With something for everyone, Descendents Beer offers an online beer shop, a full bar with craft beer, cider, spirits, wine, soft drinks, as well as a kitchen menu offering vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and meat options. Keep an eye out on their social feeds in hopes of catching their food and event features – with our favourite being the Los Rolling Tacos food truck, which we think pairs perfectly with Descendants Beatrix Kiddo Belgian Blonde Pale Ale.



As Ontario’s first craft brewery – the Waterloo Brewing Company has been delivering a progressive, sustainable mindset, and tantalizing, high-quality craft beer since originally opening its doors in Uptown Waterloo in 1984. With a fantastic food menu to accompany your craft beverages, the Waterloo Brewing Company invites you to shop online to stock up on their craft brews, lagers, ciders, ales, and cocktail features – or join them up close and personal at the Taphouse Patio. If you haven’t had a chance to enjoy a refreshing Grapefruit Radler on a bright, sunny day, our Barrel Yards team highly recommends making a reservation in your immediate future.


Whether you’re in the mood to raise a glass (or a growler) of rich and heady lager or a light and easy-drinking IPA – the Waterloo region has your craft beer aficionado needs covered with a versatile collection of local, award-winning breweries. If you’re planning to embark on a craft beer tasting adventure, we suggest you explore the Ontario Craft Brewers website in-depth to educate yourself on all that our beautiful province has to offer your discerning taste buds.


Interested in booking a tour of our luxury apartment rentals in Uptown Waterloo? Reach out today! Thanks for joining us on our craft brew pub tour recommendations – and we’ll see you next time on The Barrel Yards blog!