By JORDAN DUFF
If you’re taking the time to read this beer article, you’re probably already a fan of local craft beer, so I bet you’ll recall a small upstart nano-brewery that made amazingly flavourful brews in the kitchen of the Wellington Gastro Pub up until the Fall of 2014: Stock Pot Ales.
Gastropub servers by day, Adam, Nathan and Edwin, became innovative brewers by night, creating their liquid magic in the kitchen on a stovetop using a stock pot (hence the name). Brewing in 150L batches every Sunday, they took Westboro by storm.
However just as the nano-brewery began gaining momentum, they closed up shop and rode off into the sunset. When the news of the closure broke, many fans (myself included) felt their hearts sink and their livers breathe a sigh of relief.
Well, cheer up friends! It turns out the guys decided they would need to spend their time focusing on scaling up the operation to a full-blown brewery. Ottawa beer drinkers rejoice: They’re coming back, bigger, and better!
Reincarnated as Stalwart Ales and opening fall 2015 in nearby Carleton Place, the brewery is humming with activity and excitement. Though the name has changed, the full flavoured brews will deliver the same satisfaction we all love and remember. Old chums like Dr. Feelgood, Eddie Da Veto, Big PAPA, Fat Lip, and Bad Moon — plus new seasonals will all be available! In addition to the brews, the team has grown as the trio, adding Phil Kelsey, manager at Supply & Demand, to the mix.
After interacting so closely with their clients and then leaving on such a high note, I asked the guys how excited they were to get back into the local beer scene: “We can’t fucking wait! And we won’t be offended if you paraphrase that…” Nah. I think that captures it.
Starting a brewery is no simple task and involves taking on a great deal of investment, risk and work. The SA brewers insist the hard work is rewarded every few weeks once the delicious beer is ready for “testing.” The new 7BBL (barrel = approximately 100 litres) brewhouse, pieced together “MacGyver-style” will be a massive upgrade from the kitchen equipment used in the past. Plans are already in motion to have a canning line operating once the brewery opens.
Of course, while the beer is the same high-quality juice, the major change will be the location, as Stalwart will be located mere steps from the little Mississippi River in Carleton Place’s historic downtown. The brewery plans on being on tap throughout Ottawa, plus the Valley, while partnering with businesses and events in their new Carleton Place home.