This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into Ottawa’s food production community—what it’s like now and where it’s heading. Read on for a guest post from Steve Beauchesne on craft beer, or read Jeremy Colbeck on sustainable farming co-ops, Chris Penton on farmers’ markets, or Francis Bueckert on local coffee roasting.
Steve Beauchesne is the co-founder (along with his father, Tim) of Beau’s, a family-run, employee-owned, Canadian craft brewery. Since its start-up in 2006, Beau’s has won more than 125 national and international awards for beer-making, marketing and packaging design, sustainability and business practices, and has raised more than $2 million for charity, community, and the independent arts.
Steve certified Beau’s as Canada’s first-ever B-Corp brewery, founded February 1 as International Gruit Day, and successfully lobbied to have some of Canada’s old beer laws changed to recognize the rights of craft brewers. He’s shared a beer with three prime ministers, two premiers, and one governor-general. He has also been privileged to make beer with Margaret Atwood, Tom Green, and a monastery in the Netherlands and has presented beer to two princesses (so far).
Steve was the recipient of a 2019 Clean 16 Designation honouring outstanding contribution to clean capitalism; received an Honorary Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from George Brown College; was selected for the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce “Top Forty under 40” and was recognized by the United Way with the Community Builder of the Year Award. Steve is Vice Chair of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association and a founding member of the Canadian Craft Brewers Association.
Apt613: What is the current landscape of craft brewing in Ottawa?
The sense of community is threatened because we can’t spend time together.
If you care to make a prediction… Where is craft beer going in 2021?
More focus on retail channel and online/taprooms should result in more releases in LCBO and custom small-release beers.
Where in your wildest dreams could craft beer go in your lifetime?
One out of every two beers consumed is craft.
What is the best innovation to take place in brewing since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?
Online selling and home delivery.
Who is the future of craft brewing in Ottawa?
The fans. It’s always been about the fans.
Tell us something you wish somebody told you when you started your career in craft beer.
The reward is in the struggle, not the achievement.
Back in 2015, Apartment613 took a look at the future of Ottawa across several different sectors. In 2021, we’re bringing the series back, asking experts, artists, and community leaders to shed some light on their local field or industry, as it stands now and where they think—or dream—it will go over the next few years. Every week we’ll profile a different cultural sector in Ottawa, leaving no niche unexplored—from social justice to theatre, bars to sports, to the future of the municipality and its natural environs. Keep an eye out for a new batch of posts every Tuesday on Apt613.ca.