Happy Brew-th Day! Ottawa craft breweries come of age

Two local breweries are celebrating birthdays: Bells Corners’ Whiprsnapr Brewing has just turned two, and Hintonburg’s Beyond The Pale is now four.

By Jordan Duff

At four, BTP is now one of Ottawa’s craft beer greybeards (just don’t tell them that). They opened at the onset of the city’s craft beer explosion and they rode that hoppy wave as it washed over the 613. Now industry vets, they are the ones offering sage advice and helping new breweries get started – paying it forward after all the help they got when they first opened.

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BTP co-owner Rob McIsaac says their new brewing facility at City Centre has been a game changer. It just doubled in size to allow for more BTP brews. Plus the LCBO is selling their Pink Fuzz and Aromatherapy brews at 29 locations. They are planning to open a tap room soon at the City Centre location.

To celebrate their big day, BTP is throwing a carnival-themed party on Dec. 3 at the Horticulture building at Lansdowne.

“We’re excited about throwing a carnival, and figured, who wouldn’t want a carnival for their fourth birthday?” McIsaac said. “We’re bringing in some live circus acts, we’ll have games, and costumed carnival folk. There will be some beer-themed carnival food – think beer cotton candy, beer popcorn, caramel apples, and more.”

The people behind Beyond the Pale do have a reputation for throwing a good party, so expect an all-out jam under the big top. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Now, on to the younger birthday brewery.

Whiprsnapr’s head brewer, Ian McMartin, says they’ve already passed many milestones. Volunteer group Wrecking Crew is still helping them brew, sample beer and eat pizza. They’ve upgraded their brew house to a 20-barrel system to meet the increased demand now that they are available at the LCBO, the Beer Store and some grocery stores. The team has grown, with a new brewer, driver and sales representatives.

They are also giving back to the community through fundraisers like last month’s Haunted Brewery to support local initiatives like DIFDFAMSAC and several local cancer-fighting charities. They are also now working with the Algonquin College’s School of Hospitality and Tourism providing advice to students.


This article originally appeared in Metro News.

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