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The Great Ottawa Beer Guide: 2013 Edition

By Chris Cline on September 4, 2013

Last August, Apartment613 ran its first ever local beer guide complete with a handy custom Google map to help people find Ottawa’s most important beer landmarks. Since then, the explosion of craft beer in Ottawa has continued unabated. In one short year, Ottawa has added several new breweries and brewpubs. Keeping our readers’ best interests at heart, we decided that an update was in order.

If you’ve been keeping tabs, you’ll notice some similarities to last year’s guide. Entries fall into four main categories: breweries, brewpubs, indie beer stores and a selection of the better-appointed bars and restaurants that place an emphasis on craft beer. It was easy to fill the first two categories; local breweries and brewpubs received a free pass into the guide. The third category was equally easy; there are only so many independent beer stores and corner stores that focus on craft beer, and they’re all on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River.

The last category was a bit more difficult. We wanted this map to include a curated guide to some of the better beer landmarks in the city. And while, at this point, there are too many local bars and restos serving craft beer to profile all in one place, some of them do a better job than others. The drinking establishments on the map are places that every local beer lover should know about. There’s something special about each one, whether it’s an emphasis on casks, a particularly knowledgable staff member, or a penchant for holding craft beer related events. We had a little bit of help in this category. The commenters on last year’s guide provided a wealth of information by telling us about their favourite places to grab a pint. Special thanks are also in order for local beer experts Katy Watts and Marissa Bégin, authors of beer blogs Sheltered Girl Meets World and The Beer Gypsy respectively, who were kind enough to let us in on some of their favourite places in the region to hoist a drink.

Thanks also to local GIS expert and digital resources librarian Rebecca Bartlett, who provided mapping advice and pointed us in the direction of the nifty new tool we used to put the map together. We hope you like it.

We’re already looking at new additions for 2014. The Toronto based Bier Market announced this summer that they’ll be moving into the former Zellers on Sparks Street, and if things continue at their current pace, there will be even more to talk about next year.

Without further ado, welcome to the 2013 edition of the Great Ottawa Beer Guide!


Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company
10 Terry Fox Drive
Vankleek Hill, ON
Why it made the list:
While not the oldest establishment on the list, many consider Beau’s to be the granddaddy of the region’s craft brewing scene. This point of view is hard to argue with: Beau’s quickly ingratiated itself by providing solid beers, great parties (their Oktoberfest is unmatched) and some smart marketing. Small wonder its brews are found on tap in most of the city’s watering holes. This year Beau’s launched their B-Sides Brewing Label, a venture that brings international brewing collaborations together with the aesthetic of an indie record label.

Beyond the Pale Brewing Company
5 Hamilton Avenue North
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Beyond the Pale exploded into Hintonburg in late 2012 and immediately started selling out of their stock on a regular basis. Their beers are so tasty that local beer lovers have learned to keep a close eye on their social media accounts to find out when varieties like Pink Fuzz and Imperial Super Guy become available. The brewery has gone through a number of expansions to keep up with demand, but it doesn’t seem that Ottawa’s insatiable demand for their brews will abate any time soon.

Broadhead Brewing Company
81 Auriga Drive, Unit 27
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Broadhead’s founders describe it as a scrappy little beer company that aims to do big things. Their role in the local craft beer scene has grown over the past year. While expanding their own line of beers, they’ve acted as mentor to the folks behind Turtle Island Brewing Co. as the upstart brews on contract in Broadhead’s facility.

Cassel Brewery Co.
715-C rue Principale
Casselman, ON
Why it made the list:
Cassel opened its doors in 2012, but it has quickly made a reputation for itself with its Golden Rails Honey Brown and White Fog brews. It’s also the brewery behind Beer Alert, an up and coming online service that will help keep craft beer lovers in the loop about upcoming releases.

Hogsback Brewery*
Ottawa, ON
*Not listed on the map
Why it made the list:
As of this writing, Hogsback doesn’t have a retail outlet or brewpub that is open to the public. It’s still brewing on contract at other breweries, so we couldn’t include it on the map. But that doesn’t stop it from offering its tasty brews through other channels, like the LCBO and on draft at various establishments around town.

Kichesippi Beer Co.
866 Campbell Avenue
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
So far, 2013 has been a huge year for Kichesippi. Not only have they been playfully experimenting with new brews, but they found time to launch an entirely new soda pop line, Harvey and Vern’s Olde Fashioned Soda.

Turtle Island Brewing Co.
*Not listed on the map
Why it made the list:
This is Ottawa’s newest kid on the brewing block, and its owned by none other than National Capital Craft Beer Week founder JP Fournier. If you happen to frequent 8 Locks’ Flat, Petite Bill’s, the Arrow and Loon or Brothers Beer Bistro, you may have already downed a pint or two of their tasty beers. Though it’s still brewing on contract at Broadhead (and thus can’t lay claim to a spot on the map yet), there are plans for a physical location in the not-too-distant future.


Ashton Brewing Company
113 Old Mill Road
Ashton, ON
Why it made the list:
Ashton Brewing Company is a brewpub that operates out of the reputedly haunted Old Mill at Ashton near Carleton Place. Those familiar with local brewing history will be happy to know that Lorne Hart, who once operated Hart Brewing Company out of Carleton Place, is heavily involved. For those who can’t make it out to Ashton, these brews are available on tap at Patty’s Pub (1186 Bank Street) and Quinn’s Ale House (1070 Bank Street) in Old Ottawa South.

Big Rig Brewery
2750A Iris Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Though Big Rig Brewery’s claim to fame is still its association with Senators’ defenceman Chris Phillips, it has done a good job of focusing on a diverse and ever expanding array of brews during the past year. It still feels like a slightly upscale sports bar, and it’s still a great place for IKEA and Terra20 shoppers to stop for a pint. It has also quickly made its mark at retail, with placement in LCBO outlets across the province.

Clocktower Brew Pub

575 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON
418 Richmond Rd.
Ottawa, ON
New Edinburgh
422 MacKay Street
Ottawa, ON
Byward Market
89 Clarence Street
Ottawa, ON

Why it made the list:
The Clocktower has likely been around for longer than many of our readers can remember. The head-start has allowed them to branch out to four locations, including a new Westboro spot with a massive patio. It’s the perfect spot for west-enders looking to while away the fading days of summer with a pint. They recently announced that they have growlers, so you can get your jug on when you stop in for a pint.

Les 3 Brasseurs

Sparks Street
240 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON
565 Kanata Avenue
Kanata, ON

Why it made the list:
Les 3 Brasseurs is a chain of resto-breweries with Canadian operations based in Quebec, though they are headquartered in France. The Ottawa location opened at Sparks and Bank during early 2013, and by all indications it is quite popular with locals. Even though it has long since settled into the area, you’d still be hard-pressed to snag a table without a lengthy wait. Construction soon began at a Kanata location, bringing the brewpub concept to the National Capital Region’s western suburb.

Les Brasseurs du Temps
170 Montcalm Street
Gatineau, QC
819-205-4999, ext. 1
Why it made the list:
If you don’t often venture beyond Ottawa city limits you may not be familiar with what is, in our opinion, one of Gatineau’s prime beer destination. Located in a historic building that once held an 1800s era brewery, it features a great patio and a wide selection of adventurous in-house beers. If you enjoy the vibe of Mill Street Brewery, Brasseurs won’t disappoint!

Mill Street Brewery
555 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Mill Street arrived in Ottawa from Toronto in 2011, taking over the historic LeBreton Flats building where the Mill restaurant had fizzled out some time earlier. It was a good fit that quickly became a hit. Expect to have a difficult time getting a seat due to the droves of people who flock there on a daily basis. Nevertheless, beer enthusiasts will want to try their tasty Ottawa-exclusive brews and enrol in the MBA program (Master of Beer Appreciation.)

Indie Beer Stores:

Bières du Monde
181 Rue Principale
Gatineau, QC
Why it made the list:
Bières du Monde specializes in independent beers from Quebec, and also hot sauce. It’s the perfect spot to pick up supplies for your Québécois-Louisiana themed crossover barbecue. Stop by for a daily beer tasting – they’re free!

Broue Ha Ha
867 Boulevard Saint-René Ouest
Gatineau, QC
Why it made the list:
Broue Ha Ha is one of a few boutique shops on the Gatineau side of the river selling only beer and beer-related products. They specialize in beer produced by Quebec-based microbreweries, but they also carry a small selection of international brews. Stop by for an in-store tasting, which are held frequently.

Dépanneur Rapido
43 rue Front
Gatineau, QC
Why it made the list:
Dépanneur Rapido was brought to my attention by some friends from Aylmer. They had become mesmerized by the wide selection of brews offered in this corner store’s surprisingly well-appointed “Beer Cave”. I looked into it and I can see why. The brews available here are mostly Québécois in origin, which is nice to see as many of these brands don’t make it across the Ottawa River. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Aylmer.

Marché Omni
50 rue Begin
Gatineau, QC
Why it made the list:
Marché Omni (formerly known as Marché Jovi) is a relatively easily accessible dépanneur that should appeal to Ottawa beer enthusiasts who are looking to get more acquainted with various Québécois styles of beer. They also had a pretty decent selection of branded beer glasses on our last trip.

Trappe à Fromage

114, boul. St-Raymond
Gatineau, QC
819 243-6411
200, rue Bellehumeur
Gatineau, QC
819 243-6411
Maloney Est
574, boul. Maloney Est
Gatineau, QC
819 643-9000
121 A, rue Georges
Gatineau, QC
819 986-5299

Why it made the list:
Trappe à Fromage is yet another Gatineau grocery store that make Ontario foodies salivate and beer lover jealous. This one also focuses on Quebec microbrew.

Pub or Resto:

8 Locks’ Flat
130 Lewis St
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
A good pint is almost always best enjoyed on a sunny patio on a warm afternoon, and 8 Locks’ Flat has arguably one of the best in the city. Located on the Rideau Canal near the Somerset pedestrian bridge, this is a pop-up restaurant that’s only open during the warm months. But they’ve made a commitment to carrying some of the best local craft brews. For example, they were among the first establishments to stock Turtle Island on tap.

Arrow and Loon
99 Fifth Avenue
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
The Arrow and Loon, located conveniently for Glebe residents at Bank and Fifth, has been a bit of a lightning rod for the local beer scene for a few years now. The bar features a wide variety of local craft brews, and is one of the few establishments to regularly offer a selection of cask conditioned ales. It often plays host to brewery launches and beer events.

Atomic Rooster
303 Bank
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Katy Watts likes the Rooster for its great beer selection, which often includes much of the Beaus Wild Oats series. It also plays host to a number of art and music events, so you’ll never be bored while you down your tasty brew.

Bistro L’Autre Oeil
55 Rue Principale
Gatineau, QC
Why it made the list:
Despite its name, this is more pub than bistro. In fact, Bistro L’Autre Oeil can likely lay claim to being the best pub for beer enthusiasts in Aylmer by a long-shot. Think of this as a more relaxed version of Pub Italia, with a beer selection that numbers in the hundreds, including many available on draught.

Black Sheep Inn
753 Riverside Drive,
Wakefield, QC
Why it made the list:
While the Black Sheep is almost universally revered as a music venue, it’s also a pretty fantastic place to grab a pint. You’ll find tasty craft brews from both sides of the provincial border on tap here. During the day, it boasts a fantastic patio overlooking the Gatineau River and Wakefield’s main strip.

Brothers Beer Bistro
366 Dalhousie Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
While Brothers Beer Bistro doesn’t make their own beer, it has quickly become something of a landmark for beer lovers in the region. The brothers serves a wide variety of brews from near and far, and they even use beer in every tasty morsel of food that they serve. A must for anyone looking for a top-notch meal with their pint.

Chez Lucien
137 Murray Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Along with a free jukebox stacked with wicked music, Chez Lucien offers great local and imported beers on tap. My personal fave is Blanch de Chambly, a fantastic witbier from Unibroue in Quebec. Like the Manx, the food is solid but expect to wait for a table on high-traffic evenings.

Corner Bar and Gril

777 Bank St
Ottawa, ON
344 Richmond Rd
Ottawa, ON

Why it made the list:
Katy Watts recommends the Corner Bar and Grill for its strong roster of local craft brews. They have been known to conduct local beer and food pairings during Ontario Craft Beer Week. A few recent staff changes ensure that the Corner Bar and Grill will be placing even more of an emphasis on craft beer in the future.

D’Arcy McGees
44 Sparks St
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Dig into D’Arcy McGees’ beer list, and you’ll find a solid array of local and international craft beers. They also have a rotating seasonal tap by Unibroue, makers of the treasured Blanche de Chambly witbier. To top it off, the pub’s general manager is a Prud’homme Beer Certified teacher. It’s little wonder that it comes with Katy Watts’ recommendation.

Elmdale Oyster House and Tavern
1084 Wellington Street West
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
When it was announced that the folks behind Whalesbone Oyster House would be taking over ownership of the Elmdale, reactions were mixed. Some looked forward to what the Whalesbone could bring to one of Ottawa’s most revered traditional taverns, while other lamented the loss of their local to the foodie movement. Apt613 always fell into the former camp, and so we weren’t surprised when the Elmdale was transformed into a truly special place to grab a pint and some fantastic seafood. The Elmdale now packs a killer vibe along with its carefully selected draft tabs.

Hintonburg Public House
1020 Wellington Street West
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
A relatively recent addition to the Hintonburg landscape, Hintonburg Public House follows a well established formula of tasty pub-grub and a strong selection of local beers.

Manx Pub
370 Elgin Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Known for its quality pub fare, the Manx attracts a fairly regular crowd of beer loving local musicians and artists. The Manx does not disappoint in this area, offering up a good selection of beers from Quebec and Ontario. It’s best to arrive early; the place is usually packed to the rafters.

O’Reilly’s Ale House
43 Gore Street East
Perth, ON
Why it made the list:
In the historic town of Perth lies O’Reilly’s Ale House, a quaint pub with a great selection of craft beer on tap. O’Reilly’s is focused on terrific locally sourced food and great live music. Marissa Bégin frequents O’Reilly’s for its beer selection and excellent food.

Patty’s Pub
1186 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Along with Quinn’s Ale House, Patty’s is one of the few places in the city where you will find beers by Ashton Brewing Company. Katy Watts recommends it for its coziness.

Pub Italia
434 Preston Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Pub Italia is another Ottawa beer landmark that has been around for years. Located in Little Italy, people come in droves for imported and trappist beers. There’s less of an emphasis on local beers, but brew-heads will definitely find something to like here.

Quinn’s Ale House
1070 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Along with Patty’s Pub, Quinn’s Ale House is one of the few places in the city where you will find beers by Ashton Brewing Company. This earns it the thumbs-up from Katy Watts.

Rochester Pub
502 Rochester Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
The Rochester is one of the better kept secrets among local beer enthusiasts, but the secret is slowly getting out. Katy Watts recommends it for its strong selection of Broadhead beers, which includes seasonals and even the occasional cask.

The Baldachin Inn/Harry McLean’s Pub
111 St. Lawrence Street
Merrickville, ON
Why it made the list:
Located in one of the prettiest villages in Canada, The Baldachin/Harry McLean’s Pub is definitely one of Merrickville’s hot spots. At night, Harry’s comes alive with live music, quality food and a better than average selection of craft beer. According to Marissa Bégin, their courtyard patio is one of the most beautiful in the region.

The Branch Restaurant & Texas Grill
15 Clothier Street East
Kemptville, ON
Why it made the list:
Marissa Bégin likes The Branch’s focus on authentic Texas style BBQ, great live music and quality craft beers. Located thirty minutes south of Ottawa, this is definitely worth the commute. The Branch features a selection of six draft beers and an assortment of bottles, making sure there’s no shortage of craft beer for the local enthusiast. Known for being a real ‘listening room,’ The Branch has hosted numerous remarkable acts including Juno nominated artists.

The Burbs Pub and Eatery
501 Hazeldean Rd
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Katy Watts tells us that The Burbs is most known for being one of the few pubs in Kanata where locals can go to grab a quality craft beer. At the time of this writing, The Burbs is the only Kanata pub that is selling beers by Beyond the Pale.

Union Local 613
315 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
These folks have a dangerous selection of beer taps. Literally, I’m always amazed that the servers pulling their draft tabs, decorated as they are with formidable looking kitchen knives, don’t lacerate themselves in the process. Fortunately the beer they’re pulling is always up to snuff. They seem to have a special relationship with local breweries, pulling in some of the special edition brews that you might be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

54 York Street
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
Vineyards has long been known as one of the most well-stocked wine bars in town. Its beer selection, which is nearly as wide, is more of a well kept secret. They claim to have the largest selection of beers in the city, and though we haven’t done the math, their online menu is hard to argue with.

Wellington Gastropub
1325 Wellington Avenue
Ottawa, ON
Why it made the list:
More bistro than watering-hole (some people take exception to calling it a true gastropub) this fantastic eatery takes beer seriously. Though they long been a favourite of craft beer lovers for their strong local selection and rotating guest tap, they recently took a step into serious brewing territory. This summer saw the launch of Stockpot Ales, an in-house brand brewed by Gastropub employees. It’s only available at the Welly, so be sure to stop in to give it a shot.

A fellow reader, John Brandsma, was kind enough to create a .pdf version of the post for your to keep. Download here

  • rasa masa

    Great article, one correction though. Les 3 Brasseurs is from France, not Quebec.

  • Great point Rasa, I should have been more clear in my wording.

  • François Levesque

    This is a pretty awesome list Chris. I think a trip to the Qc side is in order.

  • Geoff

    Stunned that the place with the largest number of micros is absent from your list: The Black Tomato

  • Jeff Collins

    There’s also a new valley gem called Whitewater Brewery, located near Forrester’s Falls about 45 minutes west of the Nation’s Capital.
    They brew on the premises and have 4 varieties available.
    Very much worth the trip!!!