Very belated update: so I found this post that somehow managed to get lost in my drafts and never make it to publication … So, I am going to share it with you now with the caveat that Smithworks is now known as Smithhaven and they are no longer new to town lol.
It is always great to see a new brewery set-up shop in your hometown. You, the always curious beer geek, gets the chance to try something new and the craft beer community gets just a little bit larger and a little bit more diverse. And if you are really lucky and very quiet someone somewhere will put down their Molson product and try craft beer for the first time.
Last week I visited Smithworks Brewing Company in my childhood hometown of Peterborough, Ontario. Smithworks is not located in the trendy(ish) downtown or in the gentrifying East City but unassumingly in a industrial part of town adjacent to the Lays Potato Chip factory.
From the outside the brewery is not much to write home about, a storefront in a brick plaza, but the tasting room inside is spacious, woody and adorned with all the requisite beer trappings i.e. Beer swag, a take-away fridge, a large bar and a smattering of ready-made food stuffs.
Chatting with the guy behind the bar I find out the brewer is Graham Smith and the brewery will be focusing solely on Belgian beer, not craft beers (ouch). The only beer currently being served and bottled is their hefeweizen.
When I hear a brewery is focusing on Belgian beer tiny alarm bells go off and my inner beer critic skeptically ponders why any sane person would try to out Belgian Belgium, I mean you are emulating beer royalty how can you ever hope to measure up?
But hey you gotta swing for the fences right?
The Smithworks hefe poured a nice straw gold colour with lots of white head and the familiar banana and clove nose. First few sips are nice, it is not too yeasty and the fruitiness is subtle without overpowering the beer. Light in body and clean on the finish. I only tried a taster so I can’t get into great detail but I have to say this hefe might be enough to win me back over!