Ottawa’s Micro-Brews

Ottawa, and area, has quite a few micro-breweries, if you know where to look.  Luckily, I do know where to look so I’m going to help you out, and give you a few ideas of where to hit up.  A few things to remember:  the drinking age in Ontario is 19, and drinking and driving is just a stupid, idiotic thing to do.  Take public transit, walk, take a taxi or have a dedicated driver.

First up is our not-so micro-brewery breweries.  Mill Street was started up originally in Toronto in 2002, and opened up a brew pub/restaurant located in an old mill just off of downtown a few years ago.  It’s remarkably easy to get to by walking, and a wonderful walk along the way.  Head down Wellington street, past Parliament Hill, and the Supreme Court.  It’s the old stone building just across the street, on the banks of the Ottawa River.  It can get busy for dinner, but if you go around 3 or 4, for pre-dinner snacks and a pint, it’s easy to get a table.  I’m a fan of their Tankhouse and Organic beer.

3 Brewers (or Les Trois Brasseurs) is a new import in Ottawa.  Originally started in Quebec, they have very recently, within the past year, opened up two new brewpubs in Ottawa.  One is conveniently located at the corner of Sparks and Bank Streets.  This place is very busy for lunch – they open at 11:30, and are packed by 11:45.  But if you delay arriving until 1:00, the place has thinned out as the public servants return to work.  Their flammekueche are excellent (I love their Moulin Rouge and Italian versions) and so are the burgers.  They often have a seasonal beer on tap as well.

Lastly is another brewpub chain in Ottawa, the Clocktower.  There are 4 locations in Ottawa – one in Westboro, one downtown in the Market, one in New Edinburgh and one in the Glebe (with the clocktower, and where the brew house is located).  I like their Bytown Brown and their Clocktower Red beers.  They’ve also got delicious food.

There are a few straight breweries in and around Ottawa. Just out of town to the east is Beau’s All Natural Brewery Company (aka Beau’s) in Vankleek Hill (directions available on their web page).  They have tours, a patio in the summer, and celebrate Oktoberfest in October (because when else?)  Best part, if you’re here for Oktoberfest, is that they have a shuttle from Ottawa.  If you can’t get out their brewery, you can still support them by buying a pint in one of the many pubs and restaurants around town that carry it.  Try a Lug-tread!

Hidden just north of Westboro is the Kichesippi Brewery, at 866 Campbell Ave.  They offer free tours Saturdays at 2 pm. Bus 85 will take you close.

Because of course, there’s a brewery, Big Rig, owned by a local NHL player, Chris Phillips.  Located near the IKEA, in Ottawa’s west end, it does take a bit to get to.  Take bus 94 to Iris, or buses 93 or 96 to Pinecrest and walk towards the giant IKEA signs.  You can also take bus 67 to Greenbank/Iris.  There’s a restaurant attached to the brewery where you can enjoy some food with your microbrew.

Beyond the Pale is another small brewery located in Hintonburg (to the east of Westboro), at 5 Hamilton Ave.  They open at 12 on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.  All of the 90 series buses will take you to Tunney’s Pasture bus stop, the brewery is located a few blocks north.

Out in the south end is Broadhead Brewing Company, difficult to get to without a car, although bus route 116 will get you close.  I just found out about this company, and I’m eager to try their beer.  They have tours Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m, but they do mention emailing them to set up a tour.

And lastly, there’s Hogsback Brewing Company.  The trick with this company is that they don’t have their own brewery – they contract out to various local craft brewers.  So you can’t actually visit their brewery, although you can try their beers in many local pubs.

 There are other breweries located outside of Ottawa.  I haven’t visited them all, but a local newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen had a great review of 5 breweries located just outside of the city.

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