This past weekend, among several other events, was the first Ottawa edition of The Brewery Market. For those that don't follow the Toronto craft beer scene (and drool), The Brewery Market is almost a farmers' market ..for beer! Local craft breweries sell cups of beer, sometimes offering a special cask or draught, and beer fans have an opportunity to chat up brew masters all in support of a charity (for this edition, proceeds benefited the Ottawa Riverkeepers). If the beer wasn't enough to get you outside in October, a few local restaurants were also on hand to make sure the beer had some great food to compliment it.
With 9 breweries on site (Beyond the Pale did not receive their license in time) and most with 2-3 (or more!) taps there was no shortage of beer to try. Among the more interesting brews were Mill Street Brewery's cask White Cap, Cassel Brewery's Lil' Red Steamer and Beau's All Natural Brewing Co.'s selection of bottled Greener Futures and Oktoberfest selection.
On the food side, there was no shortage of delicious treats. I loved the oh so crispy Yardbird from Union Local 613; it's cooked in a number of warm spices then dipped in buttermilk before being coated in a cornmeal/flour mix, deep fried and served with the creamiest cole slaw I've ever eaten. It was also good to see Hintonbrew, a basement brewery that is still in the planning stage, collaborate with The Merry Dairy to produce delicious frozen custard made from their Timber Raft IPA.
Although I had to cut my visit to The Brewery Market short, I had a fun afternoon spent eating, drinking and chatting with fellow craft beer fans. I really enjoyed my conversation with Lon, brew master from Big Rig, who told me about some upcoming beers he's going to brew for the holidays (you won't want to miss them!). Organizers have hinted that the next Market may be in Gatineau - here's hoping we don't have to wait too long.