Travel to Ontario in August for Craft Beer Week
Beer, food, friends - could anything be better? During this year's National Capital Beer Week, visitors staying at hotels in Ottawa won't have to go far to taste the best craft beers in all of Canada. What's more, foodies can get to know the region's culinary scene during intimate beer pairing dinners, brewmaster's receptions and entertaining classes so that they can try to make some brews of their own at home.
The full event has special programming from August 10-18 and, for a mere $20, visitors can gain full access to two days (Aug. 17-18) of festival events at Marion Dewar Plaza, which is located just outside of Ottawa City Hall. Along with dozens of beer and food tents, one of the best parts about the event is what goes on at the main stage, where local brewing experts and chefs lecture about their philosophies.
Whether attendees are from Ottawa or out-of-towners, they can participate in the first annual National Capital Homebrewing Competition and compete for the coveted title of Best in Show. This official competition has been registered with the Beer Judge Certification Program and the American Homebrewers Association, which will likely attract hobby brewers from across North America to participate.
The winners will receive a hefty handful of prizes, including the chance to brew a large batch of their beer, $500 in travel expenses, a one-night stay in beautiful Vankleek Hill, Ontario and dinner with the masters at Beau's All Natural Brewing Co.
Pick the best brew
Along with Beau's, a number of other award-winning microbreweries will participate during this year's festival, including Flying Monkeys, an eccentric beer maker that concocts some of the strangest libations the brewing world has ever tasted. The Smashjezebelhoneybomb is a sweet and refreshing ale and perfect for the hot summer months - never mind figuring out how to say the name out loud. Of course, visitors can also stick to the Smashbomb Atomic IPA or the old standby, Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale.
What to eat
The only way to improve upon a cold glass of beer is to use it to wash down a delicious meal. Tickets are currently on sale for a lovely evening with Stephen Beaumont, a premier Canadian food writer and undisputed guru of beer-and-food pairings. During this intimate dinner, visitors can learn about which brews go best with which flavours.