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Ottawa brewery's act of kindness warms the heart

When someone stole the Waller St. Brewery's hand-crafted sign, fellow beer-makers Broadhead Brewing came to the rescue.

Broadhead Brewing came to the rescue when someone stole the hand-crafted sign that hung outside fellow beer-makers Waller St. Brewing.

Courtesy Chloe McIsaac

Broadhead Brewing came to the rescue when someone stole the hand-crafted sign that hung outside fellow beer-makers Waller St. Brewing.

I had planned to put together a humble list of suggested seasonally appropriate dark beers for a frigid February. But then I became aware of the touching story that took place this week between Broadhead Brewing and Waller St. Brewing. I think this anecdote fits right in and warms the heart on a cold day.

On Feb. 5, some selfish fellow climbed the railing along the exterior of Waller St. brewery and stole the large wooden logo-sign that hung on the heritage building. No ordinary piece of advertising, this was a hand-carved piece of art, gifted to the brewery by a relative of head-brewer Marc-André Chainey. It had hung outside the building since the brewery opened. Waller St. asked the public’s help in locating the sentimentally valuable sign, but, alas, it’s still missing.

Hearing of Waller’s plight, the bearded gents over at Broadhead Brewing Company wanted to help. As luck would have it, one of the brewers had a CNC router table at his workshop and was able to recreate a wooden version of the Waller St. sign. Broadhead presented the sign to the Waller St. crew to act as a placeholder until the original is found.

While this was a very kind act, my favourite part is that this generous deed was the first interaction between the two breweries. That said, Marc is already working on a second interaction with Broadhead: enjoying pints.

Luckily for those of us who love supporting the local scene, these friendly acts are not uncommon in the craft beer world. Broadhead’s Josh explained: “The craft beer community here in Ottawa is very collaborative and friendly.”

In fact, when they first opened, Beau’s Brewing owner Steve Beauchesne reached out to Broadhead to welcome them to the community and offer any required assistance. It’s an incredible concept to see co-operation between these businesses rather than rivalry. Ask any brewery for a feel-good story and they will have an industry tale of compassion. Waller St.’s Marc agrees: “It's a good example that competition does not have mean being one against the other.”

All around, heart-warming stuff. Now, if that doesn’t restore your faith in humanity, maybe these handsome porters and stouts will.

Broadhead Brewing – Dark Horse Stout
This stud provides a delicious malt roast and rich chocolate bouquet. Smooth and well-bodied, this stout is a safe bet for your next venture to the LCBO.

Waller St. Brewing – Moonlight Porter
Unlike most of the beers in this list, you’ll find the hop profile in this interpretation of the porter style more pronounced. This creates a crisp finish rather than a slow lingering on the palate.

Beau’s Brewery – Tom Green Milk Stout
One of the more widely available dark brews at the LCBO. Don’t be put off by “milk stout” – the lactose sugars create a subtle but delectable creaminess.

Dominion City Brewing Company – Lost Train Stout
Paying homage to the fabled beer train that resides somewhere beneath LeBreton Flats, this distinguished roasted brew carries just the right weight and keeps you chugging along.

Bicycle Craft Brewery – Base Camp Oatmeal Porter
Guaranteed to heat you back up after some time out in the snow. Nice robust flavours of dark chocolate and coffee are delivered through a smooth mouthfeel.

Stalwart Brewing – Bad Moon Rye Stout
Not only do the rye malts work as an ode to John Fogerty, they also provide a luxurious mouthfeel that perfectly balances the notes of morning coffee.

Whiprsnapr Brewing – UNF
Brewer Ian McMartin created this unromantically named beer especially for Valentine's Day. It’s impossible to miss the big notes of chocolate, vanilla, espresso and cherry. It’s essentially dessert in a bottle.

Muskoka Brewery – Winter Beard
I know, it’s outside the 100-mile diet. But it’s tasty and available at your local LCBO! Cranberry and chocolate augment the thick brew. Bonus: The higher ABV allows the patient fans to age a couple bottles for future winters.

Nickel Brook Brewing – Kentucky Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2015)
A long name, but it’s well-deserved since this is a big 12% beer. Hugely flavourful with the perfect amount of bourbon sweetness, it’s no surprise named this a top beer for 2015.

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