Inside Mill Street’s First “Hopped&Confused” Party

Although they opened their doors way back in 2012, last weekends “Hopped & Confused” was the first big event Mill Street held on the grounds of their 140-year-old former grist mill brewery. The event was a dream come true for beer lovers: Two nights of beer, music and food.

Even though it was pouring hard on both event days, heaps of fans of Canadian music and beer made sure the concert sold out. The partying crowd was rewarded with long pauses from the rain, gourmet food (such as Ribs, Funnel Cake and Corn), local brewed beer and an amazing lineup.

Most of the 1700 guests on Friday were coming to see headliners The Sheepdogs take the stage, many dressed with band merch or self-designed T-shirts. Alex, wearing a shirt with a sheepdog on it, said “The Sheepdogs are one of my favorite Canadian bands and it’s just amazing that they got them for this event!”.

Jane, 25, added that she was “mainly here for the beer. They brew the best beer— I’d say – and I always love the atmosphere here. When I heard they were having a festival, I just had to come! The event is just great, I love it.”


The other bands that night rocked the stage just as hard as The Sheepdogs, including the indie rock band Wintersleep, Ian Blurton’s latest brainchild Public Animal and Toronto rock group Towers.
The party continued on Saturday evening and again the rain couldn’t stop the crowd from partying in their ponchos to the first set of Brothers of North. The front of the stage was packed for Kingston rockers The Glorious Sons and Poor Young Things from Toronto. Monster Truck tapped a cask of the Ottawa brewed Portage Ale before hitting the stage in front of an audience ready to rock. They played a head-banging set.

Showcasing over 15 Mill Street beers on tap, Mill Street was making it a hard decision on which beer to drink. A definite must on those two nights was the exclusively brewed “Hopped and Confused White IPA.”

“White IPA is a style that I first tried on the west coast while vacationing with my family and fell in love with it,” says Joel Manning, Mill Street’s Brewmaster. “The combination of the bright, citrusy west coast hop varieties combined with the floral flavours of European hops give it a very cosmopolitan flavor. Ours is made with five hop varieties from four countries. It is a very pretty beer that punches above its weight so it is easy to forget that this is a real IPA at seven per cent abv.”


The Mill Street Crew is more than happy with the outcome of their first event and their guests’ feedback. Catherine Oppedisano, who fronts their Marketing and Social Media announced she “can’t wait to make this event an annual thing.”

You definitely don’t want to miss the upcoming events at Mill Street Brewery! To keep up with the brewers, follow the Mill Street Brewery on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series will provide a unique look at some of your favourite summer events.We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. Your city! Your festivals! Your summer! Like a good sunscreen, Ottawa Life has you covered.