Food & WinePROST!



Oktoberfest originated in Munich on Oct. 12, 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate the happy royal event held on the fields in front of the city gates.

Since then, it has become an annual festival and celebration accompanied by attractions, friends, traditional Volkfest (folk fest) food, and of course, a lot of German beer.

Oktoberfest attendees experience a 16-18 day festival loaded with amusement rides, side stalls, games and, most obviously, tons and tons of beer.  In fact, in 2013, a whopping 7.7 million litres of beer were served during the 16 days.

“It’s a huge fun fair and there is a bunch of food. At the beginning of the festival, there’s a huge parade where each brewery gets a float which has their first beer barrels on the back,” said Dave Bradly who experienced Oktoberfest and lived in Munich, Germany for seven years.

Dave now resides in Ottawa and at this time of the year longs to be hollering “Prost!” with his friends in the beer tents. 

“Prost” is German for “cheers.”

You will notice that Oktoberfest visitors like having a toast before drinking . . . a so-called “Prosit.” Alternatively, you could also say “Zum Wohl” (“To your health”).

On the first day of Oktoberfest, the decorated floats parade into the large fields where the beer tents are equally decorated and at the strike of noon, the first barrels are ‘cracked’ to start the celebrations. Oktoberfest is now celebrated around the world. Here are a handful of local breweries that we think are worth raising a beer stein & shouting out “Prost!”

Four Degrees Brewing Company 

Opened this summer and located in Smiths Falls, and with four beers on tap, we thought both the True North of 7 and True South of 7 are perfect for Oktoberfest. Both are named for Highway 7 which runs through the heart of Ontario.

Our Savvy Brew Crew member and sommelier, David Loan, describes True North of 7 as “a Helles Lager, defined as a mildly sweet, low bitterness Munich-style lager with very little foam and notes of honey. Indeed, it's slightly sweet. A perfect accompaniment to spicy food, with no bitterness, clean and easy drinking.”

True South of 7 is a red ale and has a little lacy foam on top. David describes it as a beer with “flavours of toasted wheat, caramel and medium bitterness. Lots of sweet malt notes and light effervescence. It’s refreshing a crisp and very session able!”

Waller St. Brewing 

Ottawa’s smallest brewery is also a speak-easy. “Hefeweizen is a German-style wheat ale, unfiltered and cloudy from the suspended yeast. Higher temperature fermentation increases the production of the flavour molecule (called an “ester”) isoamyl acetate, which tastes strongly of bananas. As a beer flavour, it can be challenging for some people. But many people DO love it, as seen by the amount produced these days by craft breweries everywhere,” said David.  Waller St.’s beer Hideaway Hefe lives up to its name: lager coloured, with light foam.

“The banana is strong from the beginning — more like over-ripe banana or even those yellow banana candies we used to get as a kid. There’s some yeasty brioche, here, too, along with cloves and bubble gum. It’s certainly an unusual beer,” said David.

Calabogie Brewing Co

Three friends and an ‘imported’ brewer, opened the doors to this brewery in the village of Calabogie, which has been so popular, they are expanding their production facility into Kanata this fall.

Calabogie crafts is a ‘Kölsch-style’ ale called Front Porch. Kölsch is a regional designation that only two dozen brewers can legally use.

This is why beers like Calabogie’s 4.2 per cent ABV (Alcohol by Volume), 32 IBU (International Bitterness Units) Front Porch are often called Kölsch-style — to protect the designation (much like French champagne). The ale-like lager pours a brilliant yellow with nice aromas of lemon with a slight honey malt note. There’s a good amount of biscuit malt base in the flavour with a complimentary herbal hop note ending with crisp citrus.

Kichesippi Beer 

Brand-new this summer, Commissariat Old Stock Ale celebrates a milestone birthday for one of Ottawa’s oldest cultural attractions — the 100th anniversary of the Bytown Museum. Kichesippi co-owner Paul Meek, explained that the inspiration for this beer “was a style that we feel would have been enjoyed back in 1917.  The Bytown Museum is a gem hidden in plain sight in our city and we hope this beer will help bring some well deserved attention to the museum.”

Commissariat Old Stock Ale is currently available in a limited run at the Kichesippi retail store, and it will also be available at special events at the museum especially in October when it celebrates its official birthday.

Tuque de Broue 

Does it take a family to make a beer? Founder Nicolas Malboeuf has involved in his entre clan at the brewery, including his mom. Located in Embrun, the beers are unique and are always made with local ingredients.

The flagship beer, Tuque Dorée Canadian Pale Ale, is intended to be served very well chilled. It asserts itself as a “Canadian Pale Ale,” a term that’s still being defined. Think about it as the craft brewer’s answer to Molson Canadian! As the name suggests, this is a clear golden colour. The head is thick and foam, with great retention. There’s a lot of flavour here, lightly bitter, a bit malty, and with a silky mouth-feel. With moderate alcohol (4.5 per cent alcohol by volume), this is a terrific session ale and a great argument for the Canadian Pale Ale style! Pick up a can at the LCBO or The Beer Store.

Savvy Company raises a glass of wine, craft beer & ciders too by featuring hard-to-come-by Canadian products at their Taste & Buy events and through their monthly deliveries too. 

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