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Kichesippi Beer Co. opened its doors only 3 short years ago and chose to celebrate the occasion by throwing open the doors to the brewery facility on April 28th and inviting the beer-adoring public to come eat, drink and be merry. Kids, dogs and adults alike invaded the brewery and embraced the beautiful sunny day.
The Ottawa Streat Gourmet food truck, which has been making appearances at special events throughout Ottawa, was serving up two tempting options: a chili & Monterey jack grilled cheese sandwich and a pulled pork sandwich served with apple slaw. Pascale, of Pascale’s Ice Cream, was also tempting visitors with her offerings of ice cream sandwiches, cream soda floats (with Harvery & Vern’s soda) and popsicles.
I asked the attendant at Ottawa Streat Gourmet to choose for me. I watched as patrons eagerly bit down into their sandwiches, seemingly happy with whatever they ended up with. In the face of such a stressful proposition – I simply asked to be surprised with the favourite. I ended up with the chili & Monterey jack grilled cheese.
It was delicious. This was the vegetarian option and the chili had a nice, long lasting spicy note that really made me crave another sandwich!
As for Pascale, I waffled between the chocolate ice cream sandwich with beer nuts and pretzels and the cream soda float. In the end, I summoned my inner child and ended up with the cream soda float. I hope to see it (and her) at a few more events this season as I think this could become my favourite summer treat.
We can’t, of course, forget the beer. The retail store appeared to be doing a brisk business while the taps never stopped flowing and the glasses (er… biodegradable cups) never appeared empty. Beyond their standard offerings of Kichesippi Natural Blonde and 1855 there was the new Heller High Water and a few remaining kegs worth of the Wuchak Polaris IPA. Glasses of Harvey & Vern’s soda were also being poured – both for the kids in attendance and those of us being on our best behaviour in the afternoon sun.
The beer was fantastic. I only order local beer whenever I can and had been taking advantage of the Chances R 3 season patio during exam season. Having ordered a few pints of Kichesippi 1855 I decided to sample two of the new offerings. The Heller High Water, easily recognizable by its light straw colour, may become one of my go-to summer sippers due to its light malt flavour and slight floral hint. The Wuchak Polaris is very likely gone by now as they had very little left but it is also a tasty beer with an upfront hoppy flavour that I feel I discovered too late.
I have been cutting back on pops and sugary drinks due to both their chemical laden recipes and their effect on my waistline, but the all-natural ingredients in Harvey & Vern’s made bending the rules acceptable for the afternoon. I highly recommend both the ginger beer and cream soda – the only two available at the moment – and look forward to being able to pick one up once the bottling line is fully functional and I want a special treat.
Costs were also very reasonable. Patrons purchased tokens in $2 increments and used them to purchase beer, soda or food. Beer required two tokens, soda required one and the food prices varied with Ottawa Streat Gourmet requiring three tokens and Pascale… well, she played by her own rules. The most expensive item on her menu was $5 and you could pay with whatever combination of tokens and cash you could come up with.
There is no way the fine folks at Kichesippi could have imagined how well the Ottawa beer scene would have developed in only three short years. I am glad I was able to join in and celebrate their birthday and I look forward to additional festivities in the years to come!