As part of the month-long Apt 613 Support Local campaign, Kichesippi Brewery offered a tasty twinning of beer and pizza on Saturday, Nov. 19. Ottawa Magazine’s Chrissy Shannon checked out the digs — and sampled the local fare.
Nestled in a nondescript warehouse near the Carling exit of the Queensway is the headquarters for Kichesippi Brewery, Ottawa’s largest commercial microbrewery. For those unfamiliar with the name, Kichesippi (in all its variant spellings) is the Ojibway name for “The Great River.” You may have heard tell of appearances made by characters from The Trailer Park Boys during the brewery’s Oktoberfest event; in addition to the big bash this fall, Kichesippi has hosted a variety of events, including Jim Bryson concerts. And, among other proclamations in the past year, Mayor Jim Watson dubbed April 15th “Kichesippi Beer Day in Ottawa.” The warehouse is fronted by an attractive showroom manned by friendly staff where public consumers can buy pints or growlers of freshly brewed beer.
I bought tokens for the beer/pizza deal that was offered as part of the Apt 613 Support Local campaign (an ongoing event series that highlights local businesses through unique, entertaining events). This gig, called Beer and ‘Za, brought together natural mates: Kichesippi Brewery played host/tour guide while The Flatbread Pizza Company brought its mobile services to feed pies to the masses.
Making my way behind the storefront façade, I entered the belly of the brew lab. The production space, about 5,000 square feet, is packed full of fascinating brew equipment. Concrete floors and exposed industrial ceilings set the stage for an exciting tour. The curious crowd was quickly rounded up.
Starting from locally prepared barley malt, we were shown all the steps that go into K Beer, including the mashing, fermentation, conditioning, filtering, and carbonation. It’s a constant process at Kichesippi — new batches are always on the go because there are no preservatives or additives, so Kichesippi brews have a three month shelf life. There are three Kichesippi to choose from: the 1855 dark malt, a brew which acknowledges the incorporation date of our fair city; the Natural Blonde all malt pale ale (hints of spice, citrus and caramel); and the new ‘Logger’, my favourite, which tips a hat to those lumberjacks who stamped their legacy on the Ottawa Valley.
After the tour, we headed to the receiving dock to grab a slice from The Flatbread Pizza Company, a unique on-the-go pizzeria. Hailing from no fixed location, owner Mark Snyder operates an Italian wood-burning clay oven on wheels and delivers delicious thin-crust pizza to events such as festivals and weddings. For this event, Snyder created a bacon-jam, asiago, and potato pie, sans tomato sauce, to complement the beer.
To no real surprise, the crowd went wild for the beer and pizza, with folks lined up at the taps to order growlers. Chris Sheppard, the brewery’s affable manager, promises more public events (in addition to the free Saturday tours) in the future,
Kichesippi Brewery, 866 Campbell Ave. www.kbeer.ca