Whether hidden in the woods, at the end of a farming road, overlooking a lake, or on main street in a town with a population of 2500, the beers that come out of our backroad breweries are legendary. And don’t even get us started on the handmade juicy burgers (including many veggie options) that pair oh so well with these suds.
The guys and gals behind the breweries and burger joints in the Ontario’s Highlands region near Ottawa put their heart and soul into each creation. The main ingredient, the little something that makes each pint and every bite so satisfying and delicious, is that passion and dedication to excellence.
But let us just say that even though they share this passion, each brewery, restaurant, ale house, and food truck has a unique touch of their own. Here’s our list of 10 burg and brew pairings near Ottawa that are truly one-of-a kind.
1.The Brew: Whitewater Brewing Company, Cobden & Foresters Falls – This brewing company has two locations – Lakeside and Riverside – and both are spots that value the farming heritage of the Ottawa Valley and source locally farmed hops. Their Farmer’s Daughter Blond Ale is a true homage to their roots and a perfect sipper in the summertime.
The Burg: Whitewater Brewing Company, Cobden & Foresters Falls –Feel your taste buds explode with some of their recommended pairings and indulge with the Whitewater Burger, featuring a mouth-watering Spanish onion chutney and a smokey bacon aioli (yum), or with a veggie option like their Coliseum burger, starring a tarragon marinated Portobello mushroom on local brioche.
2. The Brew: Cartwright Springs Brewery, Pakenham – Dedicated to creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable operation, this brewery was built 15 metres from their own natural artesian spring, which is instrumental in the beer making process. Their Honey Lager incorporates local honey and with floral and tangy notes, is a refreshing brew for the summer.
The Burg: Lumbertown Ale House, Arnprior – This spot is passionate about local beer and fresh food. The barbecue sauce on both their Pioneer Burger and The Elk Rancher even features a local stout, and the fresh summer flavours along with the crunch of cucumber on their Rustic Quinoa Burger make for a great pairing with a refreshing summer brew.
3. The Brew: Weatherhead Brew Co., Perth – This brewery is named after an early settler, Samuel Weatherhead, who escaped a close call with pirates in the mid-1700s before setting in Port Elmsley and establishing a depot controlling trade along the Tay Canal from Rideau River to Perth. The Pilot IPA is Weatherhead’s maiden voyage, reflecting the namesake’s tenacious and determined spirit and sure to inspire your thirst for adventure.
The Burg: O’Reilly’s Ale House, Perth – Bite into a Vegan Beyond Meat burger and let the crispy onions and coconut chipotle mayo combo delight your taste buds, or indulge in the sweeter side of the region with an O’Reilly’s Burger, featuring both maple braised bacon and maple barbecue sauce.
4. The Brew: Calabogie Brewing Co., Calabogie – With a riverside patio, this brewery offers not only refreshing beers but also beautiful views. Their Front Porch Kolsch-style beer is, as you can probably guess, an ideal sipper for front porch lounging, but also is a star on many docks and other summer scenes.
The Burg: Redneck Bistro, Calabogie – Pull up a chair at this spot, also nestled along the shores of the Madawaska River, and enjoy the zing of a Redneck Burger, which not only features sautéed onions and a garlic mayo (one of our fave creations), but the patty itself is rolled in peppercorns for an extra kick.
5. The Brew: Perth Brewery, Perth – These folks are all about community. Their Last Duel Lager not only pays homage to Perth’s history as the setting for the last fatal duel in Canada, but also offers drinkers a satisfying and thirst-quenching drink for when you just want a beer.
The Burg: Wildfire BBQ & Smokehouse, Perth – Add a bit of southern flair to your life with the Wildfire Crunch Burger, topped with juke and pork rinds.
6. The Brew: Stalwart Brewing Co., Carleton Place – This brewery specializes in good times and their zingy hops of their Dr. Feelgood brew is just that – a good time in a can bringing fruit, citrus and resin to the nose and palate.
The Burg: Hamburger Hut, Carleton Place – As the name suggests, this spot specializes in burgers. Embrace a little grandiose moment when you bite into their Pretentious Burger, or skip all the veggies with a Vladimir Poutine Burger.
7. The Brew: Square Timber Brewing Company, Pembroke – This brewing company reflects the soul and personality of the Ottawa Valley in its hand-hewn ales and lagers. The big aroma and delectable stickiness of their Big Pine IPA makes their version of a west coast IPA unique to the Valley.
The Burg: Charlie D’s, Barry’s Bay – Ok, at about 45 minutes from Square Timber, this one is a bit of a drive, but we couldn’t leave Charlie D’s off a roundup of burger spots. Serving up a variety of delectable Angus beef burgers alongside veggie options, and poutines with incredible personality, this is way more than a chip truck.
8. The Brew: 4 Degrees Brewing Company, Smiths Falls – Along with a passion for their community the five owners of this brewery bring over 30 years of friendship and a good amount of beer drinking experience to their craft. Embrace the small town vibes this group loves so much with one of their lifestyle beers: Livin’ North of 7, an easy drinking Helles Lager, or Livin’ South of 7, an amber-hued red cream ale.
The Burg: CC’s On the Rideau, Rideau Ferry – Located on the shores of Lower Rideau Lake, lies this friendly spot where you can enjoy a pint alongside one of their Canadian chuck burgers (with no filler), like the Lock Jaw featuring BBQ sauce, bacon, cheese, and drunken onion rings.
9. The Brew: Braumeister Brewing Co., Carleton Place – This Bavarian-inspired brewery was dreamed up when sitting in a beer garden in Austria and offers a new experience for beer lovers to enjoy not only quality beer, but quality conversation. Their Biergarten Blonde is a German-style lager sure to transport you (or at least your mind) all the way to the beer halls and gardens across Austria.
The Burg: Jolly Hog Food Truck, Carleton Place – On occasion, this food truck is parked at Braumeister, making the search for a good burger and a good beer even easier. Embrace a love of legumes with their Chickpea Burger, full of peppers, onions, and herbs, with ever-changing toppings, or just try to contain your joy as you bite into a Jolly Moo beef burger with caramelized onions, maple whisky smoked cheddar, scape mayo, and more.
10. The Brew: Crooked Mile Brewing, Almonte – This is a brewery that encourages you to embrace a slower pace, take the long way home, and savour every sip of their delicious beer. Relish every mouth full of their Highland Hillwalker, a deep amber ale that feels like a friendly greeting along a long trail.
The Burg: The Greene Mill, Almonte – This spot takes ‘food truck’ to a whole new level, combining high quality local products with fun street food twists. Enjoy one of their unique burger specials, or their classic handmade Mill Town Burger atop one of their incredible ‘Art-is-in’ Dynamite Burger Buns.
Come wander this summer to stock up on local brews and bite into a unique and delicious burger creation. We’ve even mapped it all out for you on our Backroad Burgs & Brews Map. As always, if you’re wanting to enjoy any of these great brews on the spot, make sure you have a designated driver and enjoy your beverages responsibly!