Collective Arts Brewing
Combine creativity and craft beer at Hamilton’s Collective Arts Brewing. This Ontario-based grassroots brewery seeks to bring art, music and beer together by providing a unique opportunity for artists and musicians to get their work into the hands of beer-lovers everywhere.
In 2013, Matt Johnston and Bob Russell founded a grassroots craft brewery to bring together the things they were most passionate about: art and beer. Collective Arts Brewing has two breweries — in Hamilton and Toronto — and their brews are available throughout Canada.
The Collective Arts Brewing company mandate is to fuse the creativity of craft beer with the inspired talents of emerging artists and musicians. Johnston and Russell established two core guiding beliefs. First, that creativity fuels creativity, and second, that creativity in turn yields delicious pints.
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More about Collective Arts Brewing
As a brewery, Collective Arts seeks to increase creative awareness through the social experience of sharing and drinking craft beer. Along with their core lineup, every year, Collective Arts produces new annual craft brews along with a handful of seasonal flavors.
The most well-known brews in their core lineup are “Life in the Clouds,” a rich IPA with a juicy tropical flavor, and “Ransack the Universe,” an IPA with a light malt body mashup with hints of mango and citrus. Their “Stranger than Fiction” porter won the bronze award at the 2016 World Beer Cup, and the full lineup includes ciders, ales, lagers, sours, and other brews.
But along with a bold, original flavor, each Collective Arts Beer comes with something other brews don’t: art by an emerging art or musician.
Every Collective Arts label or can features a limited-edition work of art submitted through one of the brewery’s art initiatives. To date, over 700 artists and musicians from over 40 countries around the world have had their work displayed on a Collective Arts beer. The featured artists are chosen by guest curators and retain the full copyright to the artwork. As a result, the cans and labels are striking and distinct.
The artwork and artists displayed on their beer cans is as diverse as the flavors of their brews, a relationship in which one element informs the other and vice versa. One bottle may feature the bright imagery by Maia Faddoul, another the lush backgrounds by Catherine Hélie-Harvey, or the brooking darkness by Linus Edman, or sweeping atmospheric scenes by Cody Muir. Founders Johnston and Russell also believe that surrounding brewers with art aids in the creative brewing process.
In the summer of 2020, Collective Arts Brewing also announced the creation of a scholarship for a student in Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who hails from an under-represented background.
Beer isn’t the only thing Collective Arts Brewing has dabbled in, though. Coffee, gin, sparkling hard teas and maple syrup are among the other products available from this brand.
The company may be expanding to cities around North America, but Collective Arts Brewing is truly at home in Hamilton, where the flagship brewery is located. Guests can make a reservation for the beer garden on their website, taste different flavors in the taproom, or hang out on the patios by the shore of Lake Ontario.
Craft beer lovers in the greater Toronto area should pay a visit to their second location in the city, which features a full menu of tacos, empanadas and fried chicken.