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A Hopping Good Time Exploring Craft Beers And Charcuterie

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Microbreweries are making a name for themselves in Ottawa.

Great food and drink in my opinion help make the soul of a city. I’ve dipped my feet in the food scene here in Ottawa thanks to C’est Bon Epicurean Adventures but now I need to explore the “drink” scene and what better beverage than craft beers. My friends Erica Hargreave, Debra Schroeder, Jantine Van Kregeten and I went to The Black Tomato to meet up with Paul Meek, owner of Kichesippi Beer Co. 30 Days In Ottawa is getting it’s pub on!

The Black Tomato

Located in the ByWard Market, The Black Tomato is in the heart of all the action and super easy to find, even for a new comer to Ottawa. With over 20 beer on tap I’m confidant we choose the right place to try some of Ottawa’s best craft beer.

The Black Tomato bar

We sat down with Paul from Kichesippi Beer and got a brief overview of his history and the history of his brewery. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in the beer business, travelling the world but his heart and soul were in Ottawa so he left the big leagues to apply his knowledge and experience in crafting a truly local brewery. He and his family named in Kichesippi, which means “The Great River” which is what the Ottawa river was known before the city was founded in 1855 and the name changed.

Paul Meek of Kichesippi Berr Co

History covered it’s time to taste some beers. The Black Tomato does beer tasting flights of 4 so we were each allowed to select 4 different craft beers to try. Not being a major beer expert I left my selection up to the very capable hands of the bartender. If you go in a group like we did this is really cool because you can all order different beers so you can in essence try them all if your friends are willing to share anyway Smile

The 4 beers I was given were from 4 different breweries – Beau’s, Hogsback, Kichesippi and Broadhead Brewing. All four companies and beers are local and unique.

My flight of beer with Paul Meek

To go along with our beer we needed some food. We are in a pub after all. The Black Tomato prepared a lovely charcuterie plate for us that was as good as their selection of beers is varied.

Charcuterie Plate at The Black Tomato

Time to taste. Now I should be up front and disclose that I actually am not a big beer drinker. I usually have only one or two by the time my friends are on their 4th pint. Of the 4 I tasted the one I would probably order the most would be the Beau’s Lug. It was light, clean tasting and crisp. A very easy drinking beer in my books. I could easily see myself on a sun drenched patio enjoying a pint of Lug.

beer flight tasting

They were all fantastic though and I’m sure all my craft beer buddies in Vancouver are jealous of me. Erica, Debra & Jantine had their favourites including one that was a bacon beer. Bacon makes everything better.

If you are into craft beer and you are planning on being in the Ottawa area in August you should check out Winter Brewed Festival from August 9th to 17th. They have 2 days of beer gardens scheduled just outside of Ottawa City Hall, I couldn’t see that happening in Vancouver.

The Ottawa and Capital Region has a long and vibrant history of craft beer going back over 200 years. This was just a teaser or a taster. I encourage you to try some local microbrews at a pub of your choosing and then if you like them check them out online. If they are like Kichesippi Beer Co. they offer public tours so you can see how the beer is made first hand.

Like food, beer is best enjoyed with good friends and great conversation. I had 3 great friends to enjoy all the beers from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, Hogsback Brewing Company, Kichesippi Beer Co., and Broadhead Brewing with.

the gange with Paul Meek

I’m only 4 days into 30 Days In Ottawa and I think I’ve only scratched the surface. I wonder what I will discover next Smile

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About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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