A few weekends ago we headed off on a quick trip to Montreal from Ottawa to run some errands. Or so we thought...
What was supposed to be a quick little drive to Montreal and back turned into a bit of a meandering road trip, complete with a stop at the Fromagerie St. Albert (they even have a cheese curd jingle!), followed by one of my new favourite places, Beau's All Natural Brewing Company in Vankleek Hill, ON. Some of you might remember Beau's from the CEOT v2 launch party back in February - they provided party-goers with fresh cold pints of their Lug Tread Lagered Ale, and good times were had by all!
As a consumer, it's so very easy to distance yourself from the process of how the things you buy (including food and drink) actually become things - this was a great chance to see the process of making beer first-hand and understand how much time, effort and love (and science!) goes into that pint you just poured for yourself. So it was great to not only be able to pick up some Beau's Beer directly from where it's made, but also to get a guided tour of how Beau's becomes Beau's, from the giant tanks for brewing to the (very) cold room, to the delicate "beer gun" process of filling each and every bottle they ship!
We got to try Lug Tread at it's varying stages of brewing - as "green beer" (not the Irish kind!) that was just a few days into the brewing process, beer that was much further along, and the delightful finished product. Our tour guide, Steve, who is one of the driving forces behind Beau's (along with his mom & dad, sister, brother, and all kinds of other friendly faces) walked us through the entire process. This place is definitely a family affair, and well worth a visit on a sunny Saturday (or any other) afternoon. And it doesn't hurt that you can pick up any of their brews there, including Lug Tread or Bog Water (and rumour has it, since they're now the Official Beer of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, there's a new beer in the works as well!).
Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. #10 Terry Fox Drive (you can't miss the giant sign!) Vankleek Hill, ON www.beaus.ca
(Cross posted from the CEOT Blog)