What makes Skeleton Park Brewery different from other brewers?
Unlike many craft breweries, we're not on some quest to push the boundaries of beer-making, or to recklessly brew what's never been done before. Instead, we exhume dead beer recipes and resurrect them using traditional ingredients and modern brewing methods. The Kingston area was once a hotbed for brewing before prohibition. Our brewmaster scours local archives to uncover long forgotten beer recipes, then recreates them in small batches using the same ingredients that 1800s-era brewers used. Our Heritage Series represents the most beloved brews made by Kingston breweries over a hundred years ago. They're literally a taste of history. Not sure if that makes us as special as other breweries, but we're pretty sure that's what makes us different. Read our manifesto.
What's with the name? Is Skeleton Park an actual place?
Yes! Skeleton Park is actually the local nickname for McBurney Park (map), a public outdoor space located in the Inner Harbour neighbourhood of downtown Kingston, Ontario. The park is situated on an area of land that was once Kingston's main cemetery. It was known as the Upper Burial Ground from 1819 until 1850 when it became the Cataraqui Cemetery. It is estimated that up to 10,000 people (many of them immigrant labourers who likely died from Kingston’s cholera, diphtheria and typhus outbreaks) were buried on the property prior to 1864 when it was closed after reaching capacity. In the late 1880s, city officials decided to replace the old cemetery, which had fallen to disrepair, with a public park. When it came time to exhume the dead, officials found—to their horror—that many of the bodies had been buried in shallow graves (due to Kingston’s limestone bedrock), and the wet soil had prevented their decomposition. Instead, they removed or simply knocked down the cemetery’s headstones, and left it as the mass grave that remains under Skeleton Park to this day. The first batch of beer we ever brewed was in the Skeleton Park neighbourhood, and so the name just stuck.
What is meant by "Tradition. Celebration. Respect."?
These three words have become a mantra of ours. “Tradition” stands for the rich brewing heritage of our hometown, Kingston, that we’re helping to carry on, and the beers we make in the same tradition as the pre-prohibition local brewers did over a hundred years ago. “Celebration” is about honouring both the brewers and brews of the past, and how we revel in the excitement of the beer that we make today, to their time-tested standards. “Respect” is about acknowledging the discipline, expertise and craft of brewing great tasting beer while we nod to the past with our eyes firmly fixed on the future. Read the Skeleton Park Brewery Manifesto.
What’s the significance of the animal skeleton that appears on your packaging?
The skeletal dog illustration in our visual identity system symbolizes the past and the future of Kingston’s Skeleton Park. Centuries old, McBurney Park (a.k.a. Skeleton Park) began its life as a burial ground for thousands of Kingston's local citizens and immigrant labourers. Today, the park and surrounding area is a vibrant downtown community, enjoyed by locals who gather to play, skate, picnic, sing... and exercise their pets!
From where does SPB source their ingredients, and are they natural?
In any of the different beer styles we brew, there’s really only a few ingredients: Water, malted barley (or malt for short), hops and yeast. We use Canadian 2-row malt as the base for our beers. However, the traditional styles of beer we make require specialty malts that we import from international sources, such as the floor-malted barley we use for our Bohemian Pilsner, for example. All of our ingredients are natural, and we do not add preservatives to any of our beer.
What is the significance of the years 1783 and 1855 that sometimes appear with your Heritage Series beers?
In 1783, Kingston officially became a city. In 1855, the Hamilton-Toronto section of the Great Western Railway was completed. If there was a final nail in the coffin for the survival of independent breweries after prohibition, that would be it. The few that remained couldn’t compete with Molson and Labatt’s cheaper, mass-made products now compounded by their newly found distribution network in the railway. In a nutshell, 1783 - 1855 is the period within which we derive the inspiration for our Heritage Series beers.
Where is Skeleton Park Brewery beer brewed?
Most of our beer is brewed right here at Skeleton Park Brewery in Kingston, Ontario. Our brewhouse is physically connected to our taproom, which means the beer you’re tasting during your visit was brewed just metres away from where you’re drinking it. When we need to brew larger quantities, we call on our partners down the street, Spearhead Brewing Co. Like us, they’re a proud Kingston-based craft brewer, but with a larger brewing and packaging capacity that enables us to meet the higher volume needs of retailers like LCBO. They make great beer of their own too.
Where can I buy Skeleton Park Brewery beer?
There are many places you can buy Skeleton Park Brewery craft beer:
Visit our brewery in Kingston, Ontario, where you can sample our brewed on-premise craft beer in our taproom or on our outdoor patio, and buy some to take home from our retail beer store. We always have freshly-filled squealers and growlers available, as well as chilled 473ml cans of our full range of brews. Find us here.
You can shop our entire range of fresh brewed craft beer right here on our website for home delivery. We offer free delivery in the greater Kingston area; low, flat-rate shipping across Ontario, and free shipping for orders of $75 or more. Shop now.
Our Amber 6.6 ale and Proper English Ale are available at select LCBO retail stores throughout Ontario. You can also order Skeleton Park Brewery beer to your favourite LCBO store online using their Ship to Store feature, or just ask a store employee.
Many of our beers are also available at bars and restaurants throughout Kingston and Ottawa, including Craft Beer Market in Lansdowne Park. Be sure to ask for Skeleton Park Brewery by name!
Can I submit an idea for a new beer?
Certainly! We tend to look to the past for our brewing inspiration, but we know that inspiration can come from anywhere – and we’re big fans of collaboration too. We’ll never pass up an opportunity to hear from someone who cares enough about the beer we do make to share their ideas on the beer we don’t. Email your ideas for new brews to our brewmaster.
How can I get Skeleton Park Brewery beer in my province or territory?
You can order Skeleton Park Brewery beer through your provincial or territorial government’s liquor and alcohol commission or agency.
British Columbia: BC Liquor
Manitoba: Manitoba Liquor Control Commission
New Brunswick: New Brunswick Liquor Corporation
Newfoundland and Labrador: Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation
Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation
Prince Edward Island: Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission
Quebec: Société des alcools du Québec
Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
Northwest Territories: Northwest Territories Liquor Commission
Yukon: Yukon Liquor Corporation
How can I get Skeleton Park Brewery beer in my bar or restaurant?
Our taproom patrons always ask us where they can find our beer on tap – and we love to tell them! If you’re a licensee interested in serving Skeleton Park Brewery beer to your customers, call us at (613) 417-0375 or email us here.
How can I get updates on new beer releases and news about Skeleton Park Brewery?
Subscribe to our Brewsletter and we’ll email you occasional updates on product availability, upcoming releases, exclusive offers and merchandise, and events happening at our brewery. You can unsubscribe at anytime, and we’ll never share your contact information with anyone else.
To subscribe, use the form that appears at the bottom of this page, or email your full name with subject line “Subscribe” to: brewsletter_at_skeletonpark.ca
My SPB favourite beer is gone! Will it ever be back?
Our Heritage Series beers (Amber 6.6, Proper English Ale and Bohemian Pilsner) are available year-round, although occasionally our inventory gets depleted, and if so, just be patient, and they’ll be back in stock again soon.
Our Seasonal Brews (like Sol Juice IPA or Autumn Fyre) are available during certain times of the year only, so if you’ve missed out, they’ll likely be back again next year.
Don’t miss out on your chance for our Brewmaster’s Limited Edition releases (like Belgian Tripel) as these are only ever brewed and released once in a while, or once ever! Quantities for our Limited Edition brews are limited and when they’re gone, you may be waiting a long time for their return (if they’re ever brewed again).
Our Brewery, Taproom and Retail Store
Where is Skeleton Park Brewery located?
Our brewery, retail beer store, taproom and patio are all located at 675 Arlington Park Place, Unit 3, in Kingston, Ontario. We’re just west of Gardiners Road near the intersection at Taylor-Kidd Boulevard. Find us here.
Is food served in the Skeleton Park Brewery taproom?
At this time, we do not serve food in our taproom. That may change, and when it does, we’d love to let you know – subscribe to our email Brewsletter for updates (use form at the bottom of this page).
How are you protecting customers during COVID-19?
All of our Skeleton Crew are adhering to all local and provincial health and safety guidelines. The crew will be wearing masks when serving you on our socially-distanced patio, and in our reduced capacity taproom. Hand sanitizer is available, and you will be required to wear a mask when entering the building and visiting the restrooms.
What is available to buy in your Kingston brewery retail store?
Plenty! We have freshly filled squealers and growlers of cold craft beer, as well as 6, 12 and 24-packs of chilled 473ml cans—even 30L kegs—to take home. Our Brewmaster’s Limited Edition releases are also available for purchase in our store. Plus, you can buy official Skeleton Park Brewery merchandise, including hats, mens’ and womens’ t-shirts, glassware, and beer totes, as well as gift cards for the craft beer lovers in your life. For payment, we accept most credit cards, Interac direct debit and good ol’ fashioned cash.
How can I apply for a job at Skeleton Park Brewery?
When it comes to hiring, we are (understandably) very picky. Working at Skeleton Park Brewery requires a well rounded understanding of craft beer and brewing, a keen interest in local and Canadian history, and an honest enthusiasm for serving other human beings – SPB fans, craft beer lovers and casual customers alike. If you think you meet these basic criteria and would like a kick at the can, email us.
Online Orders, Shipping & Delivery
If I place an order for local delivery, when will it arrive?
Locally, we deliver throughout the greater Kingston area from Tuesday through Saturday, and orders placed by or before 3:00 pm will be delivered on the same day. Orders placed after 3:00 pm can be expected to arrive on our next delivery day, usually in the afternoon.
Which forms of payment do you accept online?
Through our online store, we currently accept payment via ShopPay, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, American Express, MasterCard and Visa.
If I order online, can I pick up my order at the brewery store in Kingston?
Yes. At checkout, simply choose the option “Pick up” under the Delivery Method. Then, proceed to complete your order with payment and we’ll prepare your items for pick-up at our brewery retail store in Kingston. Be sure to watch for updates by email at the address you’ve provided during checkout.
Do you ship internationally or overseas?
Unfortunately, we do not ship internationally or overseas at this time. If you’d like to order our beer to your country, please work through your local liquor agency or importer.
Which carrier(s) do you use for shipping and deliveries?