Tom Rowell is a craft beer enthusiast who lives in Ottawa. He blogs at The Microbrew Times, profiling craft beers from Ottawa and elsewhere.
The craft brewing industry has taken off across Canada with a large number of different breweries opening up in all provinces. From brewpubs, to local breweries, to larger companies that have large distribution ranges, there is a lot of variety and a lot of good beer to be found.
Brasseurs du Temps, also known as BDT in our acronym friendly town is one of the capital region’s best brew pubs and one that sometimes gets forgotten by capital area craft beer enthusiasts, especially those living on the 613 side of the Ottawa river. Tucked away into an old mill next to the Ruisseau de la Brasserie (brewery creek) in what was once known as Hull, this delightful brew pub combines a heritage exterior with a modern and bright interior, forming an excellent place to enjoy one (or more) of their dozens of beers. Recently I took the time to sit down on their riverside patio and sample four of their beer on a sunny day. At any moment they will have 12 beer available on tap out of their range of close to 40, so you can always count on something new being available. It’s just minutes away from downtown Ottawa, so this is a place that craft beer lovers need to visit.
Et la Lumiere fut – Pale Ale 5.5%
Et la lumiere fut is an excellent interpretation of a pale ale. It has a much stronger malt flavour than a lot of other pales, combined with some refreshing sweet honey notes. It feels a lot more like a sweet Vienna lager than a traditional English pale ale, but the balance is excellent. This extremely refreshing blonde ale isn’t particularly hoppy, but hop fans will note a subtle but noticeable hop punch on the finish adding a bit of citrus to the flavours.
This is a very tasty beer and one that will appeal to most palates due to the excellent balance and decently complex flavours. On a hot day on their riverside patio this really hits the spot.
Asticou Black IPA 6.9%
And now for something completely different, their Asticou Black IPA, a style that has so much potential in the craft brewing world. Asticou is a bit of a tricky beer to read, on the nose you get strong roasted malt and coffee notes, but when you actually take a drink those flavours fail to really materialize. The bitterness is really forward, almost like an imperial stout as you first take a sip but it then smoothes out into an almost watery middle and finish. You get a lot of flavours here, from dark chocolate, to pine, to citrus but fans of other black IPA’s will find themselves a bit let down.
I found it to be decently tasty but lacking a bit of balance and direction, it’s more like 3 or 4 different beer styles rolled into one, meaning the balance is off. Imperial stout fans would appreciate this more than IPA or Porter drinkers, definitely a beer for the brave!
Bouillon de la Chaudiere Weisse 5%
A simple and effervescent Weisse beer, Bouillon de la Chaudiere is what I would call an entry level craft beer. It’s got a very strong wheat and banana aroma to it, but it’s a bit thin at the start of a sip. This watery tongue progresses quite nicely into a decently spicy and banana flavoured middle and finish with the malt taste picking up noticeably as a sip progresses. It’s very refreshing, however ardent Weisse fans might be let down by this beer due to the thinness and strong carbonation. Another good beer for people who are unsure of craft beer as it is simple, yet refreshing.
Mille-neuf cendre Rauchbier 5.5%
This is a really interesting interpretation of the German classic smoked beers. When you get your beer you and everyone around you will know what you ordered as it has a very smoky aroma. This aroma doesn’t let you down as you take your sip with the strong flavour of wood smoke and smoked meat that progresses into a decidedly malty and smooth finish. It’s another extremely well balanced beer that has a decent enough hop presence to satisfy IPA fans.
This is a great beer for anyone who wants to be a bit adventurous but are worried about getting something too strong and bitter. The smoky flavour really brings out the malt, but BDT managed to keep it under control so it’s surprisingly refreshing at the same time.
Les Brasseurs du Temps is located at 170 rue Montcalm in Gatineau. Check out their website for hours and info.