Ottawa ‘Pub Golf’ Craft Beer Course

CraftPubGolf.jpg

As relatively recent Ottawa transplants, Hugh and I often entertain friends and family visiting the city from back home. One of our favourite ways to give visitors a more local experience is through a rousing game of ‘Pub Golf’ (and narrated walking tour by yours truly between 'holes').  

What is ‘Pub Golf’?

Good question, I’m not sure the exact origins of the game, I learned about it from a friend who is originally from the Maritimes and it makes sense it would come from Canada’s eastcoast given its rich brewing history and drinking culture.

At its essence, ‘Pub Golf’ is a pub-crawl whereby groups of people move from establishment-to-establishment along a set route (or course in this case). It becomes gamified by assigning pars (number of drinks/sips),  water hazards (you cannot use the washroom or you’ll receive additional strokes) and penalties (a stroke(s) for spilling your drink, swearing, saying 'beer', etc.).

We usually play nine holes (because 18 is a bit much and we're working on portraying ourselves – at least on this blog – as a responsible, community-minded young professionals) and each hole is a bar, restaurant or establishment that serves alcohol.

Craft Beer Course

We wanted to share our latest course, because a) it was a lot of fun; b) we visited of bunch of places even we’ve never been; c) we toured Westboro, the Ottawa River, Downtown (including Parliament Hill), the Byward Market, Centretown, the Glebe and Lansdowne; d) we supported local businesses; and, e) drank some fantastic craft beer.

Here's the course (printable for your own uses) and a handy map.

Hole

Name

Type of Drink or Challenge

Par

Score

Hazards

1

Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery

Most Popular Beer

5

N/A

2

Kichesippi Beer

Four Beer Taster

4

3

Beyond the Pale

Pick for a Friend

3

4

Tooth and Nail

Flight (One Beer Per Person)

2

Water Hazard

5

Mill St. Brew Pub

Bartender’s Choice

5

6

3 Brewers (Sparks)

Beer Drop Shot

1

Water Hazard

7

Waller Street Brewing

Same As Stranger Next to You At Bar

5

Standing Room Only (No Sitting)

8

Clocktower Brew Pub (Glebe)

Third Tap on Left

5

9

CRAFT Beer Market

Your Choice

4

3 Brewers 'Triton'  

Three litres of beer that you pour table side. Perfect for 'Pub Golf'

We recommend starting fairly early in the day with a good meal. We kicked off our tour at Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery over lunch and ended at CRAFT Beer Market around mid-night. We used UBER to get to and from 'holes' that were further apart - or stretches without any touristy value - and walked the rest. Throughout the game Hugh and I rattle off facts about our stops and the city. Such as, "did you know that one of the owners of Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery is non other than former Ottawa defensemen Chris Philips? Perhaps we'll see him sitting at the bar!"

And before we get comments, this is by no means a comprehensive list of breweries and brew pubs in Ottawa - nor are they necessarily the best (although some certainly are!). We'd have loved to hit Bicycle Craft Brewery, Les Brasseurs du Temps, Lowertown Brewery, Dominion City Brewing and Broken Stick Brewing Company, and the out-of-town breweries like Beau's All Natural Brewery, but we had guests and we wanted them to see some of sights and trendiest neighbourhoods.

If this seems like a bit too much beer, you can substitute pints for half pints or samplers. We often have a 'ladies tee' - mainly for me -  which consists of a higher par and/or a smaller portion. The 'course' provided here is a template for you to modify as you wish. You'll likely end up modifying as you go to spend more time at a place you really like or to try a place you find enroute.

In closing, we have no stocks in Ottawa's brewing community, but we hope this post encourages you to try some of the amazing local breweries and brew pubs in the city - either as part of a Pub Golf game or simply on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Grab a growler or a triton and #neverstopbeingatourist!

Share your favourite local beers, breweries and brew pubs!