Beer. It only gets to you in so many ways. You make beer and provide it to your community. You make beer and ship it to another community. You ship beer in and provide it to your community. There are not too many other options for the beer trade whether you are talking about 1810 or 2010. Today we are talking about the late 1700s and early 1800s.
The community I happen to live in now, Kingston Ontario, is a lucky choice if you are interested in the history and beer in Ontario as it is where Ontario began. Actually, it was all the Province of Quebec when it began as a British governed community in 1783. At that point, Quebec then ran all the way west and included Ohio and Michigan. The people who first settled here were wealthy Mohawk Valley NY land owners, their slaves, their Mohawk allies and their Loyalist tenant farmers evicted from New York state during the American Revolution. Not the British. This is a community started by battling Yorker farmer warriors.
Allen Winn Sneath in his book Brewed in Canada states that the first brewery in what by then was called Upper Canada was the Finkle's Tavern, founded a few miles west of Kingston in Bath in 1800. The Ontario historic plaque indicates it was built earlier, in 1786 when the area was still Quebec. Sneath's book has a photo from the collection of beer writer Ian Bowering. What did they do before then? For the first years of Kingston we are likely looking at locally made home brewed ales, maybe some casks of strong ale being brought in for the wealthy but mainly lots and lots of rum if you go by the ads in the available newspapers. In a way, the tastes of Kingston echo of the community led by Sir William Johnson who died suddenly in upstate NY in 1774 just before the Revolution. He left his affairs to his son John who went on to lead led the Loyalist defense of upstate NY in the Revolution and then because the Superintendent of the resettlement here, the first colonization of the Great Lakes basis under British command. William Johnson was in the habit of importing good strong beer. It's likely his son, John, continued the practice.
Kingston was still a strong ale town in 1890 according to this article from that year in The New York Times. The town was filled with farmer warriors who would have immediately grown their own grain crops as soon as they hit the shore. In that clip from the Kingston Chronicle of the 3rd of March 1820 above, the first commercial brewer in Kingston, Thomas Dalton, seeks out local grain to make his extra strong bodied ale, even using a nationalist argument to encourage drinking of Canadian beer over West Indian rum.
So, good strong ale was likely being both brewed and brought into Kingston soon after its founding in 1783. And with it came the genesis of the Ontario craft beer trade that continues today.