A guide to beer in and around Ottawa
If you’re visiting Ottawa, and work up a thirst while touring the region, you may want to indulge in a local pint. Here’s a guide:
Sidle on in to a one of Ottawa’s many drinking establishments (we’re really partial to pubs, you know!) and order a Beau’s. That’s short for Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company, a great family-run brewery that just celebrated its 4th anniversary in July. Their signature brew, Lug Tread Lagered Ale, is deliciously refreshing and has won several awards, including Best Beer in Ontario at the Golden Taps Awards. They’re located in Vankleek Hill, about an hour’s drive east of downtown Ottawa, and at dozens and dozens of great bars and restaurants in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and now even Toronto. They provide the beer at the annual Ottawa International Jazz Festival and many other events. Check out their seasonal beers as well, including Bog Water Dirty Brown Ale, Beaver River, or Night Märzen.
Heritage Brewing has been around since 2000 and features a Premium Lager and a Traditional Dark Lager. Their seasonal beers are great, too, including the fun Maple Bush Lager, made with maple sap instead of water. It’s only available at the end of spring and sells out every year. Delicious, with a hint of maple flavour. Their brewery is at 866 Campbell Avenue in the west end of Ottawa and they share it with the Scotch Irish Brewing Company. Scotch Irish is known for their ales, including a very hoppy Sgt. Major India Pale Ale.
The newest beer in town was launched in April/May of 2010. It’s named after the original aboriginal moniker for the Ottawa River and the Kichesippi Beer Co. currently brews a pale ale known as Natural Blonde. This beer can be found at several Ottawa locations, including Whalesbone Oyster House, The Manx, ZenKitchen and D’Arcy McGee’s.
The HogsBack Brewing Company launched only a handful of weeks earlier than Kichesippi. Brewed in small batches, and made from all-natural ingredients, HogsBack Vintage Lager can be enjoyed at the Black Tomato and the Fish Market Restaurant in the ByWard Market neighbourhood and the Wellington Gastropub in West Wellington.
You might also enjoy a visit to one of the three Clocktower Brew Pub locations for some of their original brews—the original is at 575 Bank Street in the Glebe, the second location is on 422 Mackay Street in New Edinburgh and the newest location is at 89 Clarence Street in the ByWard Market neighbourhood.