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Photo: Philippe Ha/Apt613

Spark brewery opens in Chinatown

By Jordan Duff on January 24, 2020

2020 already looks bright with a new brewery opening in Chinatown—welcome Spark Beer!

The brewpub opened early January in a red-tiled building on Somerset. Founders John and Andrea fell in love with beer on a trip through Portland in the early 2000s. Post-trip, they purchased a copy of Charlie Papazian’s The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and, after a few messy homebrew attempts, making beer became an obsession.

Photo: Philippe Ha/Apt613

The owners are from the neighbourhood and had been waiting for the right location to open in Chinatown. Although the building doesn’t scream “brewery!” to the average passersby, the couple immediately envisioned the warm comfortable tasting room.

“There is a look to most breweries that we wanted to consciously avoid while still making it approachable and fitting for our beer and food,” explains John. “Being part of Chinatown is exciting and we can’t wait to work with our neighbours.”

We all know that you can’t start a fire without a spark, but this brewery’s name is a nod to it’s electric-powered brewhouse rather than The Boss’s 1984 finger-snapping hit “Dancing in the Dark”. Still, the owners are fired up (see what I did there?) about a stone hearth pizza oven that they were surprisingly able to secure just prior to opening. It isn’t installed yet, but the promise of beer and pizza pairings is not far off.

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2020 already looks bright with a new #brewery opening in Chinatown—welcome @spark.beer! . The #Ottawa brewpub opened early January in a red-tiled building on Somerset. Founders John and Andrea fell in love with beer on a trip through Portland in the early 2000s. Post-trip, they purchased a copy of @charlie_papazian's The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and, after a few messy homebrew attempts, #makingbeer became an obsession. . The owners are from the neighbourhood and had been waiting for the right location to open in Chinatown. Although the building doesn't scream "brewery!" to the average passersby, the couple immediately envisioned the warm comfortable tasting room. . "There is a look to most breweries that we wanted to consciously avoid while still making it approachable and fitting for our beer and food," explains John. "Being part of Chinatown is exciting and we can't wait to work with our neighbours." . Hit the 🔗 in bio to read on about Spark Beer's upcoming plans, which include a stone hearth 🍕 oven! . 📸 @chowmein.champagne | #apt613

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Stylistically, the brewery promises interesting mixed-fermentation beers so will have fun and funky brews on tap alongside multiple American-style IPAs.

“Spark Beer is a 100% independently owned brewery,” says John, “It’s a family and neighbourhood-centred business. We want everyone who works with us to feel like a part of the creation of not only great beer but of a fun, easy place to be.”


Spark Beer (702 Somerset W) is open seven days a week just down from the Royal Gateway at 702 Somerset St West. Visit spark.beer for a beer list and opening hours.