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Ottawa Beer Guide: The National Capital Region’s Breweries and Brew Pubs



Ottawa Brewery: Beyond The Pale‘s brewmaster Shane Clark walks past a pint of Pink Fuzz, their grapefruit wheat beer that has become one of their best sellers (Photo: Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio)

Here are just a few of the growing number of spots in Ottawa that brew beer and serve food. Sounds like the perfect business plan.

OTTAWA BREW PUB: Ashton Brewing Company
Art Hodgins is well versed when it comes to Ottawa’s drinking scene. He currently owns Quinn’s and Patty’s Pub and has owned a number of other watering holes in the past. The Old Mill at Ashton, about 30 minutes west of Ottawa, is his first foray into brewing, though. Colloquially known as the Ashton Brew Pub, the quaint English-style pub pumps out a number of brews, which are made on-site and served at the bar. The Vanilla Stout and HopStravaganza are worthwhile choices. They also sell growlers, so you can enjoy their beer at home.
• The Old Mill at Ashton, 113 Old Mill Rd., Ashton, 613-257-4423, ashtonbrewpub.ca
Map and reviews

OTTAWA BREW PUB: Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery
Well known for its co-owner — Chris Phillips, defenceman for the Ottawa SenatorsBig Rig brought in an equally formidable brewer to head up the brew pub’s liquid creations. Lon Ladell spent some time at the renowned Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in Victoria, B.C., and brings that vast brewing knowledge to the capital. The six mainstay beers fit the vibe of the pub well — easy-drinking styles with amped-up flavours. And Ladell shows off his brewing prowess to a greater degree with specialty brews that come and go quickly.
• Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery, 2750-A Iris St., 613-688-3336, bigrigbrewery.com
Map and reviews


Ottawa Brew Pub: Big Rig‘s brewmaster Lon Ladell serves up flavourful brews

OTTAWA BREW PUB: Les Brasseurs du Temps
More than just a brew pub, Les Brasseurs du Temps is a monument representing the National Capital Region’s brewing history. Philemon Wright, the founder of Hull, created the region’s first brewery in 1821, and in 2009, Les Brasseurs du Temps returned the site (just five minutes over the Chaudière Bridge) to its original glory. Their full repertoire of beers tops 20 styles — Diable au Corps, La Messe de Minuit, and Dumduminator are favourites among the ones we’ve tried. While you’re there, be sure to wander down the winding hallway at the middle of the pub, which acts as a little museum telling the story of the area’s brewing history.
• Les Brasseurs du Temps, 170, rue Montcalm, Gatineau (Hull sector), 819-205-4999, brasseursdutemps.com
Map and reviews

OTTAWA BREW PUB: The Clocktower Brew Pub
Established in 1996, The Clocktower was keeping Ottawa stocked with locally made beer well before the new wave of craft brewing emerged. They flex their brewing muscles with one-off cask offerings at their Glebe location and limited-edition seasonals at all five of their locations around the city, including the ByWard Market, Westboro, New Edinburgh and Elgin Street.
• Original location: The Clocktower Brew Pub, 575 Bank St., 613-233-7849, clocktower.ca
Map and reviews


Ottawa Brew Pub: The Clocktower‘s brewmaster Patrick Fiori surrounded by the pub’s five mainstay beers

OTTAWA BREW PUB: Mill St. Brew Pub
These guys are based in Toronto, but they know how to make some pretty good beers, so we won’t hold it against them. The Mill St. Brew Pub at LeBreton Flats has been perennially packed since it opened in January 2012. The owners have taken great care to ensure their new pub boasts a true Ottawa vibe, brewing a number of beers with locally sourced ingredients, including Ambre de la Chaudiere, Portage Ale, and Valley Irish Red. The brewmaster for the Ottawa location is Adam Rader, while the head brewmaster for Mill St. is Joel Manning, who travels  to the capital regularly for appearances at special beer and food pairing events.
• Mill St. Brew Pub, 555 Wellington St., 613-567-2337, ottawa.millstreetbrewpub.ca
Map and reviews

The capital is brewing up something special, with new Ottawa microbreweries popping up all the time. Here are some veteran locations that just focus on brewing beer – either available to buy onsite or at a number of pubs and bars throughout Ottawa and beyond.

OTTAWA BREWERY: Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.
Beau’s is often credited as the brewery that revived the craft beer scene in Ottawa — and they’re not even located here. Based an hour east of the city, in Vankleek Hill, Beau’s treats the capital like its hometown (it was their first market and remains one of their biggest), and residents are proud to reciprocate. Lug•Tread Lagered Ale is their flagship, with four seasonals released throughout the year, but that’s only the tip of the mash tun. Their Wild Oats Series explores challenging and little-known styles of beer, their Pro-Am Series features beers designed by amateur brewers who team up with Beau’s.
• Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co., 10 Terry Fox Dr., Vankleek Hill, 613-678-2799, beaus.ca
Map and reviews

By the end of each week, Beyond the Pale routinely sells out of whatever they have on their shelf. It’s an indication of just how good their stuff is and how quickly this Hintonburg brewer has become a hometown favourite in Ottawa (they had to expand only four months after opening). The Darkness (oatmeal stout) and Imperial Super Guy (high-octane version of their rye-based India Pale Ale) are two of our favourites, but the little brewery tends to release new styles on a whim. Their growing lineup is versatile and imaginative. Following them on Twitter or Facebook is a must to keep up.
• Beyond the Pale, 5 Hamilton Ave. N., 613-695-2991, beyondthepale.ca
Map and reviews


Ottawa Brewery: The guys at Broadhead Brewing keep busy creating their own beer, as well as hosting HogsBack Brewing Co. and Turtle Island Brewing

OTTAWA BREWERY: Broadhead Brewing Company
Self-defined as scrappy underdogs, Broadhead gives hope to any home brewer who dreams of opening a full-fledged brewery. Years ago, four friends began brewing six different beers in cramped confines, including their smooth Long Shot White wheat ale. Today Broadhead is housed in (slightly) bigger surroundings and has added a rotating seasonal to its lineup. The owners still might feel they’re fighting to keep up, regularly pulling 10-to-12-hour workdays, but their expanded space plays host to a couple of smaller breweries that are brewing here on a contract basis. The underdogs are moving on up.
• Broadhead Brewing Co., 81 Auriga Dr., Unit 13, 613-695-9444, broadheadbeer.com
Map and reviews

OTTAWA BREWERY: Cassel Brewery
Within the borders of Casselman, about 30 minutes east of Ottawa, sits Cassel Brewery. Launching with their flagship beer (Golden Rails, a honey brown ale), Cassel slowly created a full lineup, including Black Express (stout), White Fog (wheat beer), and Hopper Car IPA. And they’ve taken some tantalizing chances with their one-off beers. For example, Maple Rye, released in the spring of 2013, was brewed using maple sap instead of water. They’ve stated that they look to Beau’s as their example, and a beer like this reveals they’re moving in a promising direction.
• Cassel Brewery, 715-C Principale St., Casselman, 613-816-2317, casselbrewery.ca
Map and reviews


Ottawa Brewery: Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.‘s founders Steve and Tim Beauchesne along with Beau’s master brewer Matthew O’Hara

OTTAWA BREWERY: Covered Bridge Brewing
Located down the street from Canadian Tire Centre, Covered Bridge‘s malt-forward lineup puts a new take on old classics.
• Covered Bridge Brewing, 6-119 Iber Rd., Stittsville, 613-915-2337, coveredbridgebrewing.com
Map and reviews

OTTAWA BREWERY: HogsBack Brewing Co.
Let’s get this out of the way first — no, they don’t have a brewing facility in Ottawa. Their flagship Vienna Lager is now brewed on a contract basis outside of the city, and their seasonals are made at Broadhead Brewing. But HogsBack‘s owners are determined to find a suitable building in Ottawa so they can create a new brewery destination in the city. Aporkalypse, an oatmeal bacon stout, was such a huge hit that we’re hoping they bring it back. If not, we have their Kilty Bastard (Scottish red ale) to fall back on.
• HogsBack Brewing Co., 613-986-2337, hogsback.ca
Map and reviews


Ottawa Brewery: Kichesippi Beer Co. ensures they remain local by only selling their beer within the National Capital Region

OTTAWA BREWERY: Kichesippi Beer Co.
Ardently local, Kichesippi takes great pride in keeping its brew at establishments in the greater Ottawa area. Natural Blonde is its flagship, and its Kichesippi 1855 amber ale (named after the year Ottawa was incorporated) captured gold at the 2012 World Beer Championships. They also have an IPA series, called Wuchak, with four distinct IPAs released quarterly.
• Kichesippi Beer Co., 866 Campbell Ave., 613-728-7845, kbeer.ca
Map and reviews

OTTAWA BREWERY: Turtle Island Brewing
Started by JP Fournier — the man behind National Capital Craft Beer Week and the Ottawa Beer TAP Society — Turtle Island Brewing is known for two main beers, Dark Honey Brown and SMASH Cherry Ale, and such seasonals as their squash pumpkin porter and imperial maple stout.
• Turtle Island Brewing, turtleislandbrewing.com
Map and reviews

OTTAWA BREWERY: Whitewater Brewing Co. Started by three friends who fell in love with the Ottawa Valley — just over an hour northwest of Ottawa in Forester Falls — Whitewater Brewing Co. crafts four distinct brews: a blonde ale, English style ale, IPA, and an oatmeal stout. Well-situated for a post-kayaking pint, or for a day trip to enjoy the Ottawa Valley scenery and grab a growler to go. And when you visit, you can find out if two of the owners really are both Chris Thompson!
• Whitewater Brewing Co., 22 Fletcher Rd., 613-717-4769, whitewaterbeer.com
Map and reviews

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