Happy New Year ladies! 

Welcome to your first bi-weekly Inside Scoop of 2020. I’m excited to start the new year with you all and thought it would be fun to start the year with a big holiday beer round up because, real talk, we’re all part of this great community because we love good beer! Can I get a Hell Ya!

So, without further ado let’s jump straight in. 

Top 8 Ottawa Holiday Beers

Over the holidays I was home in Ottawa visiting my family and whenever I’m home I love to drink and support local breweries. There’s a great growing craft beer scene in Ottawa so it was hard to narrow down the list, but here it are my Top 8 Ottawa beers I enjoyed over the holidays.

  1. Tooth and Nail’s Indiscretion Winter Fruit Beer with Hibiscus & Spices. This delicious ale was brewed with cranberry purée, tart cherry juice, sweet orange peel, hibiscus, rosehips, cinnamon, cloves, and fermented with French Saison yeast and was the perfect festive beer—like Christmas in a cup!
  2. Beau’s DAVIDsTEA London Fog. All the goodness and comfort of an earl grey latte, in beer form! Beau’s teamed up with DAVIDsTEA to create a beer infused with earl grey tea, vanilla and lactose that is the perfect drink for when you’re not sure if you want to have another beer or a cuppa before bed.
  3. Halcyon Barrel House Echo Chamber Dry-Hopped Sour. For those who might be unfamiliar, Halcyon is a branch of the Beau’s family tree, run by brewmaster, Bryce McBain and while they both share resources they operate as separate breweries. This dry-hopped sour is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re a sour lover (like me!) you should definitely give this a try. Echo Chamber is aged in red wine barrels for 3-6 months, then blended and dry hopped with Idaho 7 and cryo ekuanot varieties. The beer is very tart to begin (my Dad’s face puckered like he was eating a lemon on his first sip!) but gradually softens to balanced acidity and the fruity tang throughout makes this a very refreshing beer!
  4. Stray Dog Brewing Co Shaggin Wagon. This NEIPA (New England India Pale Ale) is one of the beers Stray Dog are best known for and this hazy award-winning brew is bursting with juicy tropical notes of pineapple, tangerine and apricot with oats and wheat
  5. Beyond the Pale Brewing Rye Guy IPA. A little personal back story just for kicks–Beyond The Pale was one of the first craft breweries I ever fell in love with back in 2012 when I lived in Ottawa and this beer has been on their tap list from the start! There’s a reason this beer is still around all these years later–this IPA showcases all the piney, citrus goodness of the West Coast IPA style with a ton of rye malts. It’s the definition of an oldie, but a goodie.
  6. Dominion City Brewing Co Two Flags IPA. This IPA bills itself as being “assertively hoppy” and while this is definitely a hoppy brew–thanks to the 100% locally-grown Cascade hops from family farms in Ontario and Western Québec–this IPA is super well-balanced and highly sessionable. Two Flags is a great beer to enjoy any time of year but it’s green and cold can makes it feel especially festive when you’re sitting around the Christmas tree–just saying!
  7. Small Pony Barrel Works Mares in a Jam. This dark sour beer aged in oak barrels with raspberries is oh so good—it tastes like sour raspberry jam in a glass in the best possible way! And, as a side note, I also love that Small Pony has started distributing beer in smaller bottles (375ml as opposed to their usual 750ml bottles), perfect for when you only want one glass!
  8. Whiprsnapr Brewing Co Ok Lah! Ginger Coriander Cream Ale. This was a super interesting and refreshing cream ale with vibrant and rich, yet surprisingly balanced, flavours of ginger and coriander. It sounds a bit weird, I know, but trust me, it’s worth a try!

I hope you enjoyed this little beer round up! We’ll be back with our usual format in two weeks time but I wanted to kick 2020 off with a look back on some great 2019 beers! And now we want to hear from you–did you try any awesome beers this holiday season? Head over to @ladiesdrinkbeer to let us know!