FEATURE: Watson’s Mill Craft Beer – Organizer Isabelle Geoffrion

Watson's Mill Craft Beer Festival
You've probably heard the rumblings that the mill in Manotick is hosting a craft beer festival with a few of our favourite local breweries and a some visiting ones too.  To get a better idea of what's happening at the mill we touched base with Isabelle Geoffrion, manager at Watson's Mill.

What is the Watson's Mill 2013 Craft Beer Event?

Watson’s Mill is a unique working grist and flour mill, located in Manotick, in Ottawa South.  It is a beautiful industrial heritage site, and special events like the upcoming Craft Beer Tasting event of July 12th, help keep the Mill operational and help fund a number of great public programs year round.

This year’s annual Beer Tasting event has been revamped to showcase the craft brewery movement in the Ottawa valley and the sophistication and maturity of the palates and tastebuds of the connoisseurs and the enthusiast.  Ottawa has some of the most passionate citizens of craft beer, from the Barley's Angels to Members of the Barleyment to Ottawa Tasting, Appreciation, and Pairing Society.  Watson's Mill has the privilege and opportunity to bring these local brewmasters and enthusiasts together under one roof for a night of craft beers and food tastings, live Jazz music, and an interactive brewmaster panel discussion.  

All the proceeds of the event will be going to help keep Watson's Mill running as local community museum in Ottawa.  A year ago, the community said "Yes" to ensuring that Watson's Mill and its history be around for another 100 years when we raised $0.5 Million to help put a new roof on Watson's Mill.  You can imagine the upkeep on a century old working industrial mill and staffing it as a working museums requires a lot funding, this is where events like the Craft Beer event helps.

What does the $30 ticket price include?  How large is a beer sample?  How much are additional sample tickets?

With their $30 admission ticket, participants get: an event program, 5 tasting vouchers that can be redeemed at any of the participating breweries’ booths.  We currently have 10 breweries participating, 9 with beer! And we are still waiting on a couple others.  They usually bring 1-4 types of beers from their product line.  Additional sample vouchers can be purchased for $2 each.  Beer samples are typically about 4 ounces. (the size of a juice glass at an old-fashioned diner!) There is a live jazz band (the Swamp Water Jazz Band, from Manotick), incredible appetizers from Indulge Kitchen & Cocktails (this is a new upscale restaurant in Riverside South, featuring Chef David Godsoe—he will be on-site for the event, as well!)  We will have a brewer’s corner, where guests can ask master brewers their favourite beer questions and engage in a lively discussion.  And we are also introducing a People’s Choice activity this year—at the end of the night, the “winning” brewery will be invited to come back in the fall, to do an exclusive pairing dinner with Indulge at Watson’s Mill.  Of course, as this is a fund raising event for Watson’s Mill, we will have a raffle with prizes from businesses in Riverside South and the participating breweries.

Of note, Turtle Island will be LAUNCHING their product line at our site that night!!  We are very excited about this, as we will be the first to taste their beer!

What is the Brewer's Corner?

This is a fun activity where guests can ask their favourite beer questions to the participating master brewers during the panel discussion.  This will happen at “half time”, during the jazz band intermission.

Will the newer brewery's, Turtle Island and Mad Hatter, be serving beer? 

Turtle Island: yes!!  Mad Hatter: not yet…!

Where can tickets be purchased?

At Watson’s Mill: in person: we are open 10-5 every day.  The address is 5525 Dickinson Street, Manotick.  Or by phone with a visa card: 613-692-6455. Or at Manotick Office Pro:5541 Manotick Main Street. Manotick. ON Telephone: (613) 692-3269.

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