This year I rang in Canada’s 151st birthday from the nation’s capital. While avoiding Canada Day in Ottawa is my usual MO, I just couldn’t say no to a day spent at the Experimental Farm (yes, you heard right, it’s a farm right in the middle of the city!) drinking new, seasonal brews from one of my fav Ontario breweries.
Dominion Day is hosted by Dominion City Brewing Co, a brewery local to Ottawa and one whose beer is seriously worth the hype. Admittedly I was introduced to them as a result of my brother working there, but I promise this post is no way biased or sponsored. 😉Any one who knows me knows I’m a sucker for good branding and killer design, and the DC packaging knocks it out of the park. Their branding caught my eye when I was first introduced a few years ago. Now, with cans heavy in their rotation, the designs have only gotten more fun and eye-catching. But don’t worry, this is a book you CAN judge by its cover because what’s behind the branding is just as thoughtful, creative and kick-ass.
They hosted the annual event in the grounds next to Ottawa’s Experimental Farm, so it was easy to sneak away, beer can in hand, to check out the dairy cows, alpacas, sheep, pigs, and goats while taking in the sounds of live music distant in the background. Local food vendors dominated the grounds and, of course, Dominion taps were at the ready as well as “Friends of” and “Come from Away” stations offering beer options from Toronto, Guelph, and other Canadian locales (like one especially close to my heart, Halifax’s Stillwell).
Every year, DC prepares a handful of brews specially released on Dominion Day. I made sure to sample a few of them, trying not to stick to my known favourites. The Beginning of the Long Dash Grisette and Glace Noire Black Currant Ice Cream Stout were on my hit list, and my biggest regret of the day is not snagging the Ciudad Paloma Sour. Oops.
Picnic Blanket Raspberry Rhubarb Saison was the stand out for me though, from the can design which piqued my interest a few weeks ago on Instagram, to the taste which was a perfectly refreshing balance of fruit and beer. While I probably wouldn’t be able to drink more than one can, it was definitely my favourite thanks to its unique flavour and, as is often difficult to find with fruity ales, the taste of beer being the dominant flavour.
Other thoughtful details? Being smack dab in the middle of a 45 degree day, the good people at DC encouraged people to bring their own water bottles with filling stations smattered around the grounds, plus there was a misting tent for much-needed cool downs and beer and shaded areas were a plenty.
You’ll have to wait until next year to get in on the Dominion Day fun, but next time you’re in Ottawa be sure to pop in to their brewery for some sweet snacks and a flight. You won’t be disappointed.