Reblog! Cartwright Springs Brewery Interview for Apt 613

Once again we teamed up with the good people over at Apt 613 for their Foodie Friday section. Here’s our interview with the soon-to-be Pakenham brewery, Cartwright Springs:


Just shy of an hour west of Ottawa is the small community of Mississippi Mills, home to about 12,000 residents and soon to be home to 1 brand new brewery. Cartwright Springs Brewery, opening in 2015, is named after the fresh water spring the brewery sources locally to brew its beer. The CSBeer team currently consists of André Rieux, Eduardo Guerra and Hien Hoang. Right now, the brewery is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds so they can build a tasteful tasting bar. had the chance to chat with the fellas behind the brewery and get the details on this campaign.

Brew Brahs: Water is a crucial ingredient in beer, tell us about the fresh water springs you’ve named your brewery after.

Andre: Finding the springs was actually a big deal for me.  I had shivers.  It was many months later that I actually was able to make beer with it. Best beer I ever made and it’s not because I got better at making beer overnight. I’d love to take credit for the success but I was finally using the right main ingredient.

The type of water sourced by different breweries is often best suited to certain beer styles, is there a specific style that will be taken to the next level by your quality H2O?

: Ottawa actually has good water for making beer and the breweries are able to make excellent beer with the city water.  I believe that our spring water is a bit of a luxury for us though.  We consider ourselves very lucky.  All our beers will be made with our spring water exclusively, following the same successful model as some other very famous and successful breweries like Beaus and Creemore. Oh… actually, we will have one or two beers that will not use water at all.  Our seasonal Maple Porter will be made exclusively with maple sap… Yah –  We’re not kidding! Great results, obviously limited quantities since the process of doing this is very labour intensive.

Tell us about the Kickstarter campaign you guys have launched. How can people get involved and what’s the end goal?

: Hien is the brains of this project.  He saw that people wanted to help.  It’s easy.  Go to our kickstarter campaign site, pick a cool reward that suits you and enjoy the pride in being part of our project.

Paint us a picture of what you have envisioned for this tasting space?

Eduardo: We’ll love to have a relaxing and inviting space where one can chill out and taste the different beers we offer… we envision a few chairs and couches with a coffee table, etc., a la Lodge style!!!

Andre:  Our tasting area will hopefully be able to blend in with the natural environment where the brewery is located.  Spring, stream, forest… The brewery is industrial but we would like the place where we welcome our guests to be comfortable and natural.

After watching your excellent video on the construction of the building, we have to ask, was there a flying drone involved in the filming!?

Eduardo: Absolutely! Master-pilot Hien is responsible for the trick-flying of the drone for the video and a few of the nice fly-bys that didn’t make it to the final cut. But he’d probably release those in the director’s cut version later!

Historically, many communities had their own brewery to serve the local residents. Currently, there is certainly a movement in Ontario away from mass-produced beer and back to local. What kind of support have you received from the community?

Andre: Our community is very excited about having our brewery here. People are proud and they show it with overwhelming support!

Eduardo: The Mississippi Mills, Pakenham, Almonte, Arnprior, etc., have been great in supporting us from the get-go. This help has come from neighbours lending a hand, or lending tools, through the long process of building the brewery and it’s come from visitors just showing up to our doors and expressing how happy they are to have us there. It’s been great!

Can we get any details on this Chiflado beer?

Eduardo: Brew master Andre can tell you about this one :-)

Andre:  Haha… Yah… It’s a funny story actually.  I had communicated to Eduardo that we had enough of one thing in one text message. Then I sent him the shopping list in another text message.  Well, it seems that the first text stuck and so he only bought what we already had plenty of.  What do you do?  Well… try something new. The Chiflado turned out better than we expected and it taught us something that we can use for other recipes. The name means Crazy in Spanish:  The situation is the name.

What’s the team’s go-to brewing tune?

Eduardo: Any good beat with lots of bass to keep us going, we listen to Hot89.9 often.

Rapid fire! Pour a cold one and throw back the first answer that comes to mind. Annnnnnnd Go!

Favourite North American beer?
EduardoPump House’s Cadian Cream Ale – I’m drinking one now!

Favourite local brew?
Eduardo: Right this moment, I am thoroughly enjoying our own Cartwright Springs Brewery (CSB) APA, but before that, I was enjoying Cassel Brewery’s Hopper Car IPA.

Spiderman or Batman?
Eduardo: I don’t think either would make great drinking buddies, so Cat Woman!
Andre:   Whahaha… Eduardo… that’s so funny!

Food that pairs with any style of beer?
Eduardo: Tender, southern style BBQ ribs!

Perfect Winter beer?
Eduardo: Any Cream Ale or Stout.
Andre:  Our last Stout turned out nice with roasted coffee aromas. The kind of aromas that will still be perceived over the smoke of a nice roaring fire. That’s my pick.

Who has the best fashion sense in the brewery?
Eduardo: Hien, very GQ-ish!
Andre: It’s easy for Hien to dress nicer than us at the moment because we spend most of our time in construction clothing! The award, in my opinion, goes to Thuy, Jen and Celia. They are the super fashionable ladies that helped us at the Almonte Food and Drink show.  Our booth was super popular, not just because of our beer!  :)

And finally, when will you be opening your doors to the thirsty masses? Are there any events coming up that you’ll be pouring and mingling at?

Andre: We will make sure everyone who follows us via Facebook or our website knows about our next event. We hope to have a fun grand opening party early in spring.

Cheers and thank you to the gentlemen at Cartwright Springs Brewery for taking the time to chat! Don’t forget you can support their efforts here.

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Review: Two Flags IPA

BrewerDominion City Brewing Co.
Brewed in: Ottawa, ON
Percentage: 7%
FoundDominion City Brewing Co.


If you haven’t sampled Ottawa’s DC/BC yet, you’re missing out. The brewery aims to brew tasty beer, while raising a pint to the history of Canada, paying homage to its British colonial past. When I first purchased this IPA, I was nervous: I love a good IPA and I liked the guys at the brewery, so I didn’t want to be disappointed. I wasn’t. What struck me about this IPA was its balance. Typically, North American IPAs are the liquid delivery of a t-shirt cannon packed with hops to the face. British-style IPAs tend to be more malt-forward and less fun. This beer manages to satisfy both styles with a strong malt foundation and flavourful hops.

This brew builds murky amber brown with a strong white bubbly head. The sweet sugary nose is countered with a sharp tropical fruit hop profile. The tasting card notes burnt sugar with pineapple and I would agree. Though it warns that the beer is assertively hoppy, the delivery is smooth and the balance is exceptional. This harmonious beer doesn’t overwhelm with hops nor does let the malts run the show. A new go-to beer for sure.



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Interview: TWB Brewpub

Before we became Brahs, we were students. Students in the traditional sense, but also students of life and of beer. We were lucky enough to meet the brew guru – Bruru –  Culum Cannally through fate and circumstance. Culum, a beer wizard, sent us down the homebrewing path that would ultimately lead us to starting a lackluster blog. Culum is one of the founding members of an exciting new startup in the Kitchener-Waterloo region – Together We’re Bitter Brewing Cooperative. He was kind enough to answer some questions. Do yourself a favour and read about this awesome upcoming brewpub, and contribute to their amazing kickstarter.

title_pageQ. What was the impetus for the name “Together We’re Bitter”? Shouldn’t you all be hoppier together? *rimshot*

A. Hoppier Together was actually our first choice of names but we did a name search and found out that there was a co-op frog farm outside of Moonbeam that already had the name. As a side note, there’s big money in frog farming

Q. Your business format as a cooperative is very unique; can you explain how the concept works?

A. A co-op is structured similar to other corporations with the exception that its members elect the board of directors and not a group of Monopoly Guy-looking, fat cat shareholders. So co-ops work on a different values system. Instead of basing all their decisions on what will make shareholders richer co-ops focus fundamentally on the triple bottom line. It’s just a better way to structure a business. But you don’t have to take my word for it, visit any credit union or your local MEC and bask in the glow of a more democratic business model. Or better yet get some Gay Lea whip cream and Camino chocolate and taste the awesomeness of the co-op.

Q. TWB was a driving force behind Craftoberfest. For those who aren’t familiar with Octobers in Waterloo Region, give our readers the low-down on what you guys were working to accomplish?

A. Let’s just say that for me Craftoberfest is the glorious backlash that has resulted from the shame we locals feel every time we sit across from an Oktoberfest newcomer at a festhallen and see the look of disappointment on their faces as they force themselves to swallow another gulp of SABMiller’s piss warm chango.

While we would like to take credit for Craftoberfest, it was really the inception of Bill McTavish the proprietor of the craft beer hub Imbibe and soon to open Boathouse. Our Communications Director, Alex Szaflarska and KW Craft Beer Club’s Ryan Ward also helped plan the 3 week long celebration of local craft beer and food. My favorite event was the opening night. There were over 20 Ontario craft breweries in attendance sampling a lot of their mainstay and seasonal beers.

Q. 5 years ago, Grand River Brewing was the only craft brewery in the Waterloo Region: Now there’s Innocente, Descendants, Block 3, Abe Erb and TWB joining the party. What has the support been like from the other breweries?

A. Innocente and Block 3 have been very helpful and given us some great advice. In fact, we have been overwhelmed and heartened by the support of the craft beer community. I gotta mention the help that Jason Fisher at Indie Ale House has given us from the get-go. Not only has he been a trove of brewing business knowledge, he’s been very generous with sharing his knowledge. And Jeff Broeders’ beers are great to boot. Finally, Cam and Russ, our friends at Royal City in Guelph are making excellent beer and are exceptionally nice people. In addition to reaching out to us to help us avoid the pitfalls of starting a brewery, they have allowed us to brew with them so we can get our feet wet (literally and figuratively) in pro brewing.

Q. What brew will TWB offer that will satisfy those pretentious beer nerds (guilty party included)? How can people get involved?

A. Perhaps this is a good time to mention the Kickstarter campaign since that’s what it’s all about. We are crowdfunding the People’s Fermenter. If we make our goal we are going to have a 10 hectolitre fermenter just for our experimental beers. We were advised that the bank doesn’t look too fondly on purchasing equipment that will be used for play and not business so we thought we’d bring it to our craft beer sisters and brothers and see if they think it’s worth it.

We’re particularly stoked about the Capybara Club. It’s a growler only available through our Kickstarter that will allow the holder access to our one barrel pilot experimental beers. The feedback from the Capybara Club members will influence what gets brewed for the People’s Fermenter.

I am also asking people who are not in the financial position to contribute to spread the word and lie to their friends and family and say they contributed. We are also encouraging children to go into their parents’ wallets and use their credit card to get an awesome t-shirt that will make them the coolest kid in school.

 Q. Tell us a little bit about the diverse team you’ve assembled?

A. There is not enough space to sing the praises of the awesome team that I’m so proud to be part of. Starting a brewery ain’t easy and starting a co-op ain’t easy but as frustrating as it can be at times we all share immeasurable comfort knowing that together we’re bitter. As for what each member brings to the team aside from being all around awesome people and their desire to make the world a better place though co-operation and bitchin craft beer. Well we’ve got two crackerjack industrial tradespeople (Ben and Greg) who will be planning, building, and maintaining the brewery. A social butterfly and social media guru (Alex) bringing us closer to our community. A designer, musician, and web developer (Rob) who was the artist behind our website and that awesome video of ours on Kickstarter. And finally, the level head that keeps us organized, on task, and constantly moving forward, our president (and my partner) Lindsay. In addition to their many varied skills every member of TWB also brews beer.

1530818_573907792663190_2113674632_nQ. Culum, explain to us your journey from home brewing on the side to making the decision to brew professionally

A. My brother-in-law gave me a book that contained only one piece of sage advice. It said if you are planning to start a brewery and haven’t brewed a beer, brew a beer first. I took that to heart and my partner got me a one gallon all grain kit. I brewed it, waited a month and the beer was gone in less than a night. The beer was decent and fun to brew so I immediately went out and bought a 10 gallon cooler and an 8.5 gallon pot and endeavored to teach myself to be a professional brewer. I started by brewing a least twice a week for a year. I also read every book and article and listened to every podcast about brewing that I could that I could get my wort burnt hands on. More importantly, I made every brewing mistake one could possibly make. For instance, I brewed in my small galley kitchen (above the most awesome neighbors anyone has ever had) and one day after brewing my first stout it looked like a shit wind had blown through the house.

Q. Rapid Fire! Throw down the first answer that comes to mind:

Q. Best beer you’ve ever had -  A. The next one.
Q. Beer that inspired you to homebrew? – A. Bell’s Two Hearted
Q. Favourite hop - A. A tie between Amarillo and Nelson Sauvin.
Q. Favourite Oktoberfest-style beer? – A. Hands down Rickard’s Lederhosen.
Q. Favourite bitter - A. I’ve gotta go with Theakston’s Best Bitter.

Q. Any timeline for the good people of Kitchener until they can start sampling your fine wares and visiting your brewpub?

A. I don’t want to jinx us, but we’re really hoping to be open for Summer 2015. A lot of things have to fall into place for that to happen but we keep pushing forward as fast as we can.


Thank you to Culum for the interview! He and the gang are great people doing great things. Follow and support TWB Brewpub at their website and on twitter @twbpub.

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Interview: Bicycle Craft Brewery

Back in September of this year, Ottawa added another craft brewery to its steadily growing stable. Bicycle Craft Brewery is located at 850 Industrial Ave., Unit 12 and offers several delightful craft beers, including our favourite, Base Camp Oatmeal Porter. And in case you’re wondering, yes – there is a bike rack outside the brewery. There’s also plenty of parking if you’d prefer to drive. BCB was kind enough to entertain our delusions of being beer-journalists and to answer our interview questions:


BB: What inspired your brewery’s name – why “Bicycle”?

BCB: The name came very naturally to us because we enjoy riding our bicycles to get around the city and also to discover new places when we travel. To us, the bicycle represents the vision of our brewery – simple, traditional, and down to earth.

BB: On that topic, what’s the furthest you’ve ever cycled for a good brew? Which beer was it and, most importantly, was it worth it?

BCB: The most memorable was not so much the distance but the challenge in getting there. A co-worker of Laura’s recommended a very small pub in Brussels that he insisted we should visit on our honeymoon. With only a small hand-drawn map on a scrap piece of paper and the phonetic spelling of the possible name (the co-worker couldn’t remember the exact name of the spot) Laura and I spent the better part of the afternoon working our way through the smaller streets and alleys of Brussels looking for the pub. We eventually found it and, yes, it was totally worth it! Not only did we discover some awesome places in Brussels that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise, we found a very local watering hole that served some fantastic Belgian brews.

BB: How did you end up choosing your locationover on industrial? Are you able to cycle to work?

BCB: When we were searching for our location, we knew we wanted to be on the east side of downtown, in a location that was accessible to our customers and still within the zoning regulations of the city. This was the perfect spot! There are a number of great communities nearby, including Riverview and Overbrook, we’re close to the bike path and public transportation, and we can also cycle to the brewery ourselves.

BB: Brewing is often described as a combination of art and science, which is mirrored by Laura and Fariborz’s backgrounds of Fine Art and IT. How do your diverse skills influence your beers and your business?

BCB: The combination of art and science has really worked well for us. Where I see the technical and chemical aspect of brewing, Laura sees in the art in it which is reflected in our choice of ingredients and brews. We’ve each been able to add our own qualities to the brewery – for example Laura works with local artists to ensure they get exposure in our tap room and have the opportunity to sell their art, whereas I have been able to rig up our fermenters so that we can monitor and adjust the temperature from home or from a mobile device. We always work together to come up with the next brew and most often brew together too. I think our diverse backgrounds are what makes our beer unique and exciting – a combination of the artistic flare for the original and the science that makes it succeed.

BB: Fariborz, you were born and raised in Iran; with beers like Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch in mind, are there any Middle Eastern flavours you’d like to incorporate into future brews?

BCB: Middle Eastern flavours, particularly Persian flavours, are unique, delicious and robust. We are certainly looking to experiment with some of these treasures and are working on formulating a recipe to release in the new year that everyone will have to try! If all goes according to plan, it will be one that pays homage to Iran and some of the more traditional flavours. Stay tuned for our special release!

BB: Which one of your brews would be a good “training wheels” brew for converting newbies to the way of Craft Beer? 

BCB: Our Belle River Blonde is a great start into craft beer. It’s light, refreshing, easy on the palate and doesn’t overwhelm you with overly complex flavours. A newbie to craft beer will notice that there’s more to it as well. Whether it’s the choice of malt or the late addition of noble hops, this brew can entice a new craft beer fan to keep coming back for more.

BB: Which of your brews is the best behaved on brew day? Which are those  more mischievous “tough brews”? 

BCB: Our best behaved is our Base Camp Oatmeal Porter starting with crushing the grain. It’s faster and easier because the flaked oatmeal goes straight in the mash. There’s also a lower hop content so the boil usually runs smoothly and clean up is a breeze.  Although our Velocipede IPA uses the most malt and the most hops of all of our brews, it’s worth the extra time that goes into brewing it. From regulating the mash temperature to timing the hop additions down to the second, this brew definitely takes more effort but as our flagship brew, it’s a keeper.

BB: Rapid fire! Clear your mind and throw the first answer that hits you back at us…

BB: Favourite local brew?
BCB: Cassel Brewery’s Hopper Car IPA

BB: Favourite international brew?
BCB: Warsteiner Dunkel

BB: Best bar experience?
BCB: Au Bon Vieux Temps, Brussels

BB: Best bike-in location for a roadie?
BCB: Pink Lake Lookout in Gatineau Park (for a roadie – not as far or as full of spandex as the Champlain Lookout!)

BB: Passenger preference: Double pegs or handle-bar seating?
BCB: Option #3 – rear rack behind the seat

BB: Favourite brewing tune?
BCB: Road to Hell, Chris Rea

BB: Ever reenact a scene from Cocktail at the tasting bar?
BCB: Not yet but there’s a first time for everything!

BB: Where can the good folks of Ottawa see you guys next? Which festivals will you be pouring at or attending in the near future?

BCB: You can find us in a number of fantastic restaurants and pubs in Ottawa, including the Black Tomato, Rochester Pub and the Loft Board Game Lounge just to name a few. After the fantastic event at the Brewery Market on October 25th, we recently poured some samples at an Eco District event on November 5th and hope to be involved in the exciting festivals that are headed our way in the new year.

A big thanks to the folks over at Bicycle Craft Brewery for taking the time out of their busy schedules to chat with us! If you haven’t been, it’s a fantastic space and you can check it out this Sunday at a beer and cheese pairing.


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Review: Scie Trouillarde Double

BrewerLes Brasseurs Du Temps
Brewed in: Gatineau, Quebec
Percentage: 7%
FoundLes Brasseurs Du Temps

Weather is turning from pumpkin weather to stout weather so I figured I better sample this brew ASAP. If you’re a fan, you’re running out of time too – BDT had only a few left in the shop.


The name of this brew, Scie Trouillarde, is a play on “Citrouille” (translation: pumpkin) as well as a fear of saws… That’s all I got. The colour of this brew is surprisingly dark with a reddish brown hue that pairs with an autumn landscape perfectly. The creamy beige head fades as a sweet malty nose sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon shines through. I have a hard time picking out any discernible scent of pumpkin but, then again, I rarely sniff pumpkins and my palate may be lacking in the legume realm. The ale is full bodied and smooth with a slight sweetness that transitions into the subtlest spice finish. It’s really a balanced beer: strong but not heavy. The flavours of pumpkin and pumpkin pie are obvious without being arrogant. One of the best pumpkin brews I’ve had the honour of tipping back.


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Review: Monster Mash

Brewer: Barn Door Brewing Co.
Percent: 7.5%
Found: Blair LCBO
From: Nobleton, On

It’s Halloween and we like to drink festively, so we’ve selected this Bobby “Boris” Pickett-inspired brew to pair with this special holiday. Bonus point: It’s from a Ontario new brewery!


The beer builds dark reddish brown with a thick beige head. The nose is super malt-forward with a big bready aroma. It’s liquid smooth across the palate and it lives up to the label’s guarantee of a balanced mouth feel. The brew’s sweet malty notes are accented with dried fruit. Despite the hop-monster depicted on the label, this beer leads malt-first: it’s got depth. While I wouldn’t settle into an evening of Monster Mash (even on this most appropriate of days), it’s a big burly sipper for a cold fall day.


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Review: 19 Original Colonies Mead

Brewer: Rogue Ales
Percent: 6.6%
Found: Hunt Club & Merivale LCBO
From: Independence, Oregon


Beautiful light golden colour shines through my glass as this pale murky honey mead settles. A faint nose of flowers and spice as the jasmine and honey say hello as I lower my nose to the surface of the mead. Subtle flavour with a sparkler of mouth-feel (champagne yeast?) are present as I take my first sip. In classic Rogue style, this beer takes “local” to the next level: It’s brewed using honey from their own bees (yes, they have bees), their own farmed hops (they have a farm) and “free range” water. The free range water may be a bit of hyperbole but this brewery clearly goes the extra mile to promote local. It’s a nice brew, that leans towards subtle in comparison to the few meads I’ve experienced in the past. It’s an interesting treat but lacks the body to become a go-to brew. That said, Rogue had earned my trust through consistently solid offerings that I’ll try almost anything they put out – though probably not that Donut Bacon one again.



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