October is a mighty fine month. Fall arrives in full force and everything is beautiful, covered in fall colours. Here in Ottawa, we’ve another reason that October is, arguably, the best month of the year: October is Support Local month – a month-long celebration of local initiatives that make Ottawa great. This year, food is the focus, and on October 29th Dominion City Brewing Co. will cap off Support Local month with an amazing Pop Up Dinner, Makin’ it Grain.
For this one night affair, the brewery will be transformed from an industrial production space into an upscale restaurant. Harvest-style dining tables will be placed amongst the stainless steel brewing tanks, and guests will also be seated at Dominion’s beautiful tasting bar, made of reclaimed pine found in the Ottawa River. Artwork by local artist Eryn O’Neill will adorn the walls of the brewery. A delicious five-course meal will be prepped and served from a space that normally holds the brewery’s most necessary grain. One great evening of craft beer, paired with food prepared by some of Ottawa’s best, and artwork created specifically for the event – all in support of an amazing local social enterprise: FarmWorks.
FarmWorks is an initiative of Operation Come Home, an organisation whose mission is to prevent homeless youth from becoming homeless adults. FarmWorks provides homeless youth the opportunity to earn money growing certified organic produce, while developing meaningful skills and knowledge about farming, food, and agriculture. The produce they grow is sold through community supported agriculture (CSA) member shares from mid-June to mid-October. It seems only fitting that a local food event would support a local food initiative.
So, let’s talk about the event. Chef Stephen La Salle, of The Albion Rooms, has collaborated with David Wallace, butcher and owner of Around the Block Butcher Shop, and Sarah and Jess Carpinone, bakers and owners of Bread by Us, to create a superb five-course meal using some amazing local ingredients. Although the menu showcases meat, the chefs will will also offer a vegetarian main course and plenty of other meatless options. Each course will be paired with beer brewed by Dominion City Brewing Co.
The beer pairings for the meal will feature mostly speciality, one-off batches from the brewery. Of particular mention is the Makin’ it Grain team’s collaboration hopfenweisse, a hoppy German style wheat beer. The team spent a day at the brewery creating this brew, made from Canadian malted wheat and three different kinds of hops sourced from a single farm in Ontario, and Makin’ it Grain’s dinner guests will be the first to taste it!
Eryn O’Neill’s artwork, which will decorate the walls at the event, will also pay homage to the team’s collaboration for this event. She has created a series of a dozen paintings featuring scenes from the butchery, the bakery, the brewery, and the restaurant where the team spends most of their time. She visited each space, gathering images which she then used to create this series of original artwork. Each painting will be available for sale at the event and a portion of the sales will be donated to FarmWorks. A larger piece, featuring the bar taps at The Albion Rooms, will be raffled off to the guests at the dinner.
This unique celebration of local food, beer, and art, in support of a local cause, is bound to be a highlight of your October. Tickets to the event are $85 and are available through www.makinitgrain.ca. October is already awesome, but Makin’ it Grain is sure to make it stellar, so reserve yourself a seat at the table today!