Winter cheer with craft beer

2015 is the year to drink more locally-made beer. With more than 12 craft breweries in the area where you can drop in and try the latest concoctions, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You’ll find many more beers than at your local pub, on the shelves of the LCBO or even at The Beer Store. The best part is that you can grab an assorted six pack of cans or bomber bottles to share your new sudsy discoveries with friends on a wintery weekend. Here’s what is in store:

Feb15_Savvy_Kichesippi's Don Dort

Kichesippi Beer Co.|   

866 Campbell Ave

New this year, the cool gang at Kichesippi is offering Kich Staff Picks, a series of limited edition beers brewed to styles selected by each of the brewery staff. The brewery’s driver, Derek Hill, has given it a personal touch by producing all of the illustrations. December kicked off the series with Phil’s London Porter, a traditional British porter chosen by long time employee Phil Ware who is always cracking English jokes around the brewery. In January, Brewmaster Don Harms is showcasing his German roots and beer schooling with Donny’s Dort, a traditional German Bavarian style beer. New beers will be tapped at the brewery every two months. Available only at the brewery in growlers ($17.50) or cans ($2.75).

Feb15_Savvy_Whiprsnapr BOAT BEER PIC

Whiprsnapr Brewing Company 

14 Bexley Pl, Unit 106, Bells Corners

Opened three months ago, this brewery is growing quickly. With names of beers like Ok Lah! Ginger Cream Ale, Inukshuk Canadian IPA, Root of All Evil –a pre prohibition lager, F’n L British IPA and the January’s seasonal with its edgy name, Tell Your Relatives To Get the F Out, brewery owners Mike Feagan, Ian McMartin and Dave Howard are excited for 2015. “We have even made beers with hops that our brewer Ian McMartin grew on the side of his house” shares Mike. Now how about that for being local. Beers range from $8 to $10 for a screamer bottle, plus deposit.

Feb15_Savvy_Beyond the Pale

Beyond the Pale Brewing

Co 5 Hamilton Ave in Westboro

The tasting bar at this brewery is tiny with a big team of 13 people working away making impressive beers. Pink Fuzz is a way to get your ‘daily dose’ of Vitamin C with bushels of pink grapefruits used in making this wheat beer. It is hands down a fan favorite. “January is going to be an amazing month for us,” excitedly reports brewery co-owner and beermaker Shane Clark. “We are releasing a Scotch Ale aged in Bourbon barrel… it’s going to be the best beer we’ve made.” And there is a move to bigger digs too. The brewery will be opening its doors in March in the City Centre. These are just three breweries in Ottawa’s west end. There are many more cropping up everywhere in and around the national capital.

Getting cabin fever? Take a roadtrip!

Head west to Ashton Pub and learn about the ABC (Ashton Brewing Company that is) beers. Onwards to Perth Brewing to create your own 2-4 of small-batch beers, with over 13 to choose from. Or follow the Ottawa River further to Whitewater Brewing Company in Forrester Falls.

Head to Fiestibière d’Hiver

Back again for the fourth year, the Gatineau Winter Beerfest will be held at the Canadian Museum of History on Friday, January 30, and Saturday January 31. Part of the Winterlude activities, hundreds of beers from Québec and Ontario will be enjoyed along with live bands in the spectacular setting of the Museum’s Grand Hall.

Stay put and beers will be delivered!

Subscribe to our Savvy Hip Hops craft beer of the month club ( and you’ll always be well stocked with local brews from every corner of the province. In January, our subscribers will receive a Taste Case of beers from Beyond the Pale, then the February blahs will be melted away with a case of Beau’s All Natural FeBREWary specialty beers. It’s like having your birthday every month! With deliveries of hard-to-find beers arriving at your home or office, you are sure to get some winter cheer with craft beer.