For my final brewery visit, I went to Bicycle Craft Brewery with my boyfriend, Matt. The brewery opened in September 2014 on Industrial Avenue near St. Laurent Boulevard. It is a beer-lover’s gem amongst the row of drab industrial supply stores.
Bicycle Craft Brewery is housed in an open-concept space, with a living/dining room seating area, a bar/bottle shop, and brewing facilities in the back. The living/dining room has a comfy retro couch and chair, a coffee table with plants and magazines, a long wooden dining table, art, photographs, and of course, a bicycle, with a leather bicycle growler carrier.
While we drank from our flights of beer, we sat on the comfy green couch, chatted, listened to great music, and read issues of Taps Magazine. It felt almost like we were at home, except that we could watch the brewers at work bottling their beers, and we’re also not fortunate enough to have kegs and giant vats of beer at home.
Since this is a small batch brewery, they quickly sell out of their seasonal brews. But we were able to try most of their mainstay brews, and a new winter brew that was released that day. The names of many of their brews relate to bicycle adventures. The brews we tried are:
- Crimson Cascade Red – an American Amber Ale, slightly bitter, with hints of caramel (Matt’s favourite)
- Base Camp Oatmeal Porter – smooth with hints of chocolate and coffee (one of my favourites)
- Velocipede IPA – tasty, hoppy, and refreshing with hints of citrus (Matt’s other favourite)
- Vinternät Liquorice Stout – a collaboration seasonal brew with Jacobsons Gourmet Concepts; delicious and smooth, with hints of sweet liquorice and chocolate (another favourite)
When we chose a few growlers to take home, the bartender sold us on the one remaining growler of Mr. Templeton’s Wee Heavy, a popular seasonal brew. As we tasted it back at home, we were blown away. For a strong beer (7.5%) it was smooth, sweet, and tasty, with hints of caramel. If only they had more!
I've enjoyed these visits to local craft breweries. I’ve been able to catch up with friends and family in warm settings, with good vibes and tasty brews. I will definitely be visiting these breweries again, along with some of my other favourites (Broadhead Brewing Company, Kichesippi Beer Company), and other Ottawa craft breweries that I've yet to discover.
Daphne is an aspiring writer from Ottawa. After completing a B.A. in Psychology at Carleton University, she decided to pursue her life-long passion for writing with the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College. Aside from reading, writing, and drinking beer, she also enjoys movies, cats, and wine.