Capital Pint by Travis Persaud is published every second Thursday at OttawaMagazine.com. Follow Travis on Twitter @tpersaud.
THIS AIN’T YOUR GRANDMA’S MARKET (but she would probably love it!)
Cass Enright had a brilliant idea – the type of idea that will eventually win him awards and take him around the world… or at least into the hearts of beer lovers. The idea? A farmer’s market, but for beer. Crazy? Maybe, at first glance. But think about it — replace all those fruits, vegetables, coffee and other carefully grown/sourced products with beer and their brewmasters. Not sounding so crazy after all, right?
Enright ran with the idea, and in May 2011 he held the first Brewery Market in Toronto. It spent its first successful year at the Wynchwood Barns, and then moved to the Evergreen Brick Works last summer. Visitors had a chance to taste a variety of craft beers, talk with the beer makers and take part in fun activities throughout the day.
On October 13, between noon and 8 p.m., at 1000 Wellington St. W., Enright is bringing the market to Ottawa! He, along with his Ottawa-based cohort Taralyn Marshall, took some time to chat with us about the event and Ottawa’s beer scene.
What is the Brewery Market?
Cass Enright: The Brewery Market is a new kind of beer tasting event. It’s one where we feature local breweries in a family-friendly environment at a unique, casual and relaxed setting. We also bring unique themes to the events to make it fun and interesting for attendees to discover and get involved in the craft beer scene. Further, all of our events help support local charities and that is great for the community.
Why come to Ottawa?
CE: We partnered with the Griffin Gastropub in Bracebridge, Ontario to co-host a small Brewery Market at their pub in July of 2012. But this is the first “true” Brewery Market outside of Toronto. We chose Ottawa as it has a burgeoning craft beer scene with a number of new and exciting breweries opening in the past couple of years, and this is something we wanted to celebrate. Further, Taralyn Marshall is a good friend of mine who recently moved from Toronto to Ottawa, and was keen on leading the charge to bring the event to the capital.
Taralyn Marshall: I know that bringing the Brewery Market to Ottawa was a very natural step. There was no question that Ottawa would fall in love with a Brewery Market. I moved to Ottawa in July, and was eager to bring the event to life.
Where does Ottawa fit in Canada’s craft beer scene?
CE: Ottawa has a unique spot in the craft beer scene as they are brewing many emerging, new styles popular in Ontario – hoppy and flavourful, often U.S. and British-inspired, but the city is also right next door to Quebec, where styles tend to be more Belgian- and French-inspired. It’s an interesting spot in Canada’s beer scene where multiple influences and tastes converge.
TM: Ottawa has one of the oldest brewing histories in Canada, and it seems like a tradition that Ottawans are intent on holding onto. I have yet to meet a person in this city who doesn’t drink, appreciate and love good beer. Supporting local brewpubs, brewing your own basement batch, or just knowing the latest beer trends are all par for the course. It simply feels like beer culture is woven into the fabric of this city.
What can people expect at the Market on Oct. 13?
TM: People can expect to be overwhelmed with the selection of beer that is going to be at their fingertips. Brewers (10 in total!) will be showcasing their harvest brews, and our featured restaurants will be there to complement with beer-inspired delicacies such as Kichesippi Crispy Cod on a Bun, and HogsBack Bacon Burger. The venue is unique, being the lot of the retired Wally Becker, and future home of The Eddy Condos. It’s going to be a fun day, in a unique, vibrant neighbourhood. We’re going to turn Hintonburg on its head. You can also expect to be chilly — so bundle up!
Any other special details?
CE: This is by far the largest Brewery Market held to date, with 10 breweries participating at the same time. We would love to follow up our Ottawa Brewery Market with one in Gatineau to celebrate the great beers being made by our friends in Quebec (but nothing is confirmed as of yet).
TM: Here are some extra details that may be of interest…
- Mill Street Brewery is going to be serving their Pumpkin Ale, and Oktoberfest as well as a special cask of something from the brewpub, as well as traditional favourites.
- Beau’s will be doing a sampling of their Greener Futures beers — a barrel aged beer club strictly for members, and hopefully some of their Oktoberfest beers (if they haven’t drunk them all!)
- We are crossing our fingers that Beyond the Pale will be able to sample their beverages for the first time! (pending licensing)