Jamie and Benjamin Shillow moved from Toronto to Ottawa a couple of years ago with a plan to open a beer company. They had both worked in hospitality with Benjamin, as a certified sommelier, working such places Canoe and Auberge du Pommier. Jamie learned her brewmaster skills at the Niagara College Teaching Brewery and with that, the move was on.
For those who are observant in the Jewish community, Shillow at 1458 Cyrville Rd in Gloucester distinguishes itself as the first Kosher brewery in Ottawa. Ben is however quick to point out this project was mainly about creating good beer and not just because they were interested in a Kosher brewery.
The Shillow's do have a Rabbi who oversees operations, ensuring Kosher standards in terms of ingredients and production methods are maintained. I haven't had an opportunity to speak with the Rabbi but I look forward to learning more.
Shillow Beer Co. also participates in the Brave Noise project to fight racism, discrimination and sexual harassment in the brewing industry. Not only is this global project a great and noble idea, but the beer, a pale ale, also happens to be a very quaffable hot summer drink. Proceeds from the beer go towards the cause. Buy several and you'll feel good in more ways than one.
I encourage you to visit their website to read their code of conduct. It's heartening these days to see a company being so proactive.
Ben describes their session ale as being close in profile to Kolsch, the classic beer of Cologne, Germany. Across Canada, I've had many brews labelled “Kolsch” that were anything but, yet here I admit Ben's not far off.
Their refreshing Vienna lager is also true to type. Their dry-hopped lemon witbier is a perfect foil for chicken off the BBQ, fried foods or even a Peruvian ceviche at a backyard summer lunch. It's a good thing there's more to try.
Jamie makes twelve different beers with a few more seasonals thrown in throughout the year. When you visit their website and sign up for their notices, you'll be given 10 percent off your first order.
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