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One of our favourite watering holes is The Woolwich Arrow Pub, or The Wooly, as frequenters call it. One of our favourite nights to go to The Wooly is wing night – every Tuesday!

So on a cold wintery night, we walked down to The Wooly in search of (what we consider to be) the best wings around, and a cold pint. Or two.

The Wooly’s beer menu isn’t huge, but it includes local brews (Guelph area), beer from Ontario, Quebec and other beer-loving locales across Canada. This Tuesday, it had beer from the top two highest ranked Original 10 breweries on tap, according to a people’s choice competition taking place now from the Ontario Beverage Network (OBN).

To be considered an “Original 10”, the brewery has to have been “…founded between 1985 to 1995… and does not include breweries no longer in operation or now owned by Big Beer….”.

Number one on the OBN list is Great Lakes Brewery (est. 1987, Brampton), and second is Wellington Brewery (est. 1985, Guelph). Owen had Great Lakes Lake Effect IPA. I had an old faithful: Wellington SPA.

beer-and-wingsWhat Owen says about Lake Effect (on the right): From now on, I will always look for this beer at The Wooly. Served ice cold, it’s appealing even on the coldest winter night. With its high carbonation, I can only imagine how it will be on a steamy summer day. Lake Effect has a HUGE citrus taste, tangy mouth feel, hardly any bitter after taste and just the right amount of weight — not too heavy, and not too light. The cloudy yellow-gold colour is fascinating — looks great and tastes great. I give it a Six Pack rating!

What Angi says about Wellington SPA (on the left): Aaaaah, I love Wellington SPA. I hadn’t had it in years, but it’s like I’ve found an old friend. It’s one of Wellington’s oldies but goodies. And one of its most popular. Not surprising. It’s delish! It’s weighty, smooth, creamy, with just a hint of bitterness, and if you really pay attention, you can taste something like roasted marshmallow, which I think is girly-talk for what might be roasted malt. It’s just how I remember it. And perfect with The Wooly’s medium-sauced wings! I give it a Six Pack too!

What the breweries say:

Great Lakes Brewery: “The weather channel describes Lake Effect snow as a “mass of sufficiently cold air moving over a body of water creating an unstable temperature profile in the atmosphere.” Who cares. This beer, however, has nothing to do with that drivel. It was inspired by a summer spent drinking heaps of IPAs on a stoop on Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo, NY.” (Not very helpful tasting notes, but fun, like the beer.)

Wellington Brewery: “Our most popular beer is a refreshingly smooth pale ale that is deep gold in colour and notably full of flavour. With a balance of malt and hops that is patterned after traditional British pale ales, S.P.A. has an aroma of caramel and toasted grain followed by a delicate hop aftertaste.”