After a year of my quest to visit all the Breweries in the Ottawa region, somehow Beau’s Brewery remained unchecked. While not the first brewery in the Ottawa area, Beau’s was undeniably integral to the success of craft beer industry in the region. Its flagship beer, Lug Tread, has been luring the good people of Ottawa from Coors to Craft since 2006. Now that Beau’s has been chosen as the official beer of Ottawa 2017 there’s no better time to visit. (Ottawa 2017 = The Capital’s year-long extravaganza to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday). It seems fitting then, as well, being a pretty important beer in Ottawa’s history that my first brewery blog be written about Beau’s. How exciting!
We visited Beau’s during Febrewary, a month devoted to the celebration of beer! They had me hooked on the name alone. During 5 celebratory weeks in the depths of winter Beau’s releases a beer a week! Now if that doesn’t melt away some of your winter blues… well maybe you’re more of a wine drinker? Febrewary includes a multitude of events and bus tours; all kicked off on International Gruit Day (Feb 1st).
For $15 on Groupon our day at Beau’s was a steal. Included in the Groupon was a bus to and from the brewery, a tour around the facilities, lots of delicious beer to sample, and a gift bag. Our gift was a 750ml bottle of beer and a cool bottle opener- which was pretty much valued at $15 alone. So yeah, it's a really great deal for a very fun day. At the brewery they had super delicious food for $5, glasses of beer for $5 (if you can decide which beer you want to commit to), a contest to win T-shirts and lots and lots of great merchandise for sale. Time wise the bus left downtown Ottawa at 11am and we were back around 3pm. There are also buses from Montreal. Even when visiting Beau’s with your own wheels, everything above except the gift bag and bus are the same (free tour, tastings, etc…)
The only downside of the entire thing is that the brewery is located an hour from Ottawa in Vankleek Hill. Granted, after sampling 14 different beers, the bus ride didn't seem so long on the way back.
Our tour of Beau’s’ expanding factory was interesting and informative. Beau’s Brewery was born in 2006 when the family converted their winding-down textile factory into a brewery. Talk about foresight! Just over 10 years later Beau’s has gone from selling their organic craft beer to their local community to distributing it all across our great big country! Besides being organic and brewed in a factory powered by green energy, Beau’s supports a number of fantastic local and international projects. Seriously, they aren’t paying me to write this. (But if they wanted to send me beer, I wouldn’t say no). What struck me about Beau’s and what I’ve noticed when visiting other Ottawa breweries, is how supportive they are of each other. Beau’s is hoping that being chosen as the beer of Ottawa 2017, after enjoying said beer, people across the country will be inspired to support the craft breweries in their own communities. Pretty cool.
With so many beers to try, Beau’s was a dreamland for people obsessed with checking their beers in (and earning well deserved badges) on Untappd. In case you’re wondering, my favourites from this Febrewary visit included Dark Helmut, 80 Shilling and Ravishing Patrick Rude. Golden Vox is my go-to Beau’s mainstay.