It’s that time of year again, Ottawa, when we celebrate our true patriot love and Canadian independence with beer, friends and fireworks. If you’re looking for something fresh this July 1, try Dominion Day hosted by local craft brewery Dominion City Brewing Co. at SAW Gallery Courtyard (near the Arts Court building at the corner of Nicholas and Daly in downtown Ottawa). DCBC believes this outdoor stone courtyard space is the perfect spot to throw a party celebrating old-school Canadiana, while at the same time being right at home with all of the awesome that makes up contemporary Ottawa. Plus, the space happens to be just steps from the Transitway (free all day on July 1) meaning nobody needs to worry about driving or crowds.
DCBC co-owner and headbrewer Josh McJannett explains concept for Dominion Day is a nostalgia-laden, craft beer-infused Canadiana funtacular. In addition to being the inspiration for the brewery’s name, Dominion Day also happens to be the name associated with Canada’s national day until it was rebranded by an Act of Parliament in 1982 to the more familiar Canada Day we all know and love. This is the first year Dominion City Brewing Co. had the chance to throw a bash at this level but Josh and his wife have hosted a backyard Dominion Day party for almost a decade… Sooooo after party? Jokes joke! I don’t want to be blacklisted from the event!
Tickets are $32 and available online via Eventbrite. The ticket includes a full patriotic package: access to the most hoser party on July 1; a delicious sausage from Seed to Sausage (vegetarian alternative available); a Dominion City stubby (served from an ice-filled canoe, obviously); as well as a Dominion Day souvenir. There will be a great line up of local musicians and artists and some of the city’s best chefs cooking amazing food for purchase throughout the day.
For all you do-gooders out there, all proceeds benefit the Ottawa Fringe Festival, Ottawa’s largest theatre festival which runs until June 28 at Arts Court.
For the beer-hounds, myself included, DCBC will be introducing four brand new beers brewed under the cover of darkness (nothing tastes better than secrets) and Dominion Day guests will have exclusive dibs on checking them out. The beers include:
- Picnic Blanket Raspberry Rhubarb Saison
- Devil’s Brigade Belgian-style Golden Ale
- Honey Bear & Friends Granola Porter
- Paper Salesman Pale Ale
Plus, they’ll have their four mainstay offerings and all eight Dominion City beers will pour on draught throughout the day. In addition they’ve lined up exciting casks from DCBC friends at breweries around.
Besides the sweet DCBC nectar, there’s a substantial food and drink lineup you can get you gluttonous mitts on. Serving restaurants will include The Rex, Town and Seed to Sausage. Ministry of Coffee & Social Affairs will be pouring hopped, nitro cold brew coffee for those in need of a pick-me-up. Culture Kombucha will be serving refreshing Ottawa-brewed fermented tea and Moo Shu Ice Cream has some incredibly delicious Dominion City-infused ice creams to keep your sweet tooth satisfied.
If you’ve got spare peach baskets in the garage, better start training for the Dominion Games! Prizes will available to those who complete their game cards with tasks including a maple syrup challenge, peach basketball (bonus points if you drain a deep three while calling out “Naismith”), washer toss, vintage tabletop hockey and more. To keep the adrenaline flowing, they’ve lined-up some of the best musicians in the city for this party, including the Adam Saikaley Quartet, Winchester Warm, G.Grand and DJ Hobo & Sweetcheeks. And Ottawa visual artist Eryn O’Neill will be displaying Dominion City-inspired works all day long.
I asked Josh if he could have any host for this party – living or dead but Canadian by citizenship – who would it be? He answered that the DCBC team is pretty pumped (I think he meant terrified?) that the ghost of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King will be at the party in spirit. Besides WLMK’s phantom, the other guest of honour will be Stubby: the sentient beer bottle. Consider him the #craftbeer version of Spuds Mackenzie.
I’ll turn it back to Josh to sum up: “If you love Canada, great food and beer, this is place to be. Stay on the right side of history and plan to join us. Dominion Day is for patriots!”
Dominion Day is presented by Dominion City Brewing Co and hosted by the Ottawa Fringe Festival at SAW Gallery (67 Nicholas St). Tickets are $32 and are available online. The afternoon session runs between 12-5 and the evening session goes from 6-11pm.