Ottawa: A Craft Beer Capital!

Ottawa: A Craft Beer Capital! in Travel Tuesday

Despite being our nation’s capital, Ottawa often has a bad rep of being “the city that fun forgot”, but in recent years, this usually sleepy city has started to wake up and develop a thriving craft beer community.

The Ottawa area is now home to over a dozen craft breweries and plays host to several beer-centered events year-round. From festivals that play host to local brewers such as Brewfest and Festibière, to events that combine fitness and craft beer like Yoga on Tap and the Ottawa Craft Beer Run -- there’s something for every beer-lover!

Here are five breweries to check out next time you’re in town:

1. Tooth and Nail Brewing Company

Located in the trendy Hintonburg neighbourhood, Tooth and Nail is a local favourite with award-winning beers on tap that will cater to all tastes. Those who like something a little dry and hoppy will love the Rabble Rouser IPA, for something a bit more full-bodied and chocolatey, try the Fortitude stout.

2. Flora Hall Brewing

Flora is a recent, but welcomed, addition to the Ottawa craft beer scene. Located in a converted automotive repair garage, the brewery is a sleek and stylish place to grab a pint and a bite from their seasonally-inspired menu. Flora’s West Coast IPA is a crowd-pleaser, but they also have several sour beers from the more adventurous palate.

3. Dominion City Brewing Co.

Their tag line is “makers of very good beer” and they aren’t lying. It’s a bit of a trek outside the downtown core, but definitely well worth the trip! Many of the names of their beer are a nod to Ottawa’s political side, such as the “Unparliamentary Language” IPA, the “Filibuster” IPA, and the “Peace, Order & Good Government” dry-hopped kettle sour.

4. Beyond the Pale Brewing

This Hintonburg brewery quickly grew to be one of Ottawa’s bigger craft breweries – now selling their beers across Ontario. Their Pink Fuzz wheat beer is one of their best-known brews, with subtle hints of grapefruit and a crisp finish. Definitely a summer favourite in Ottawa! Their patio is a great place to hang out in warmer weather and enjoy some BBQ courtesy of SmoQue Shack.

5. Beau’s Brewing Co.

Okay, so it’s technically not in Ottawa (it’s about an hour away in Vankleek Hill), but Beau’s is nevertheless a staple of the Ottawa craft beer community. They pretty much started the craft beer trend in Ottawa back in 2006 with the launch of their signature beer, the easy-to-drink Lug Tread lagered ale. Ottawa locals look forward to the annual events put on by the brewery such as Beau's OktoberfestWant to experience even more of Ottawa’s craft beer

Want to experience even more of Ottawa’s craft beer community?Hop on a Brew Donkey Tour! You get bused around on a school bus to breweries around the Ottawa area. Tour includes all the samples, a meal and Suzy Q donuts! They have several different tour options that can take you around the downtown core or way out to Perth.


(Some photos courtesy of the author’s twin, Chloe Desrivières)

Emilie Hayes has been a Policy Analyst with CIFB since 2015. Her work focuses mostly on federal issues for small businesses, but also does some work with the City of Ottawa.