The scene has been played out innumerable times over the years. Two longtime friends sitting around, drinking pints and coming up with what they determine to be a “can’t miss” business idea. But unlike so many others, this conversation proved to be more than just your run-of-the-mill drunk chat. One conversation led to another, and a plan began to take shape.
The guilty parties in this case are Shane Clark and Rob McIsaac along with Shane’s father, Al Clark. Shane is a realtor, but more importantly an accomplished home brewer. He is also a BJCP beer judge. Rob brought a couple of Ivy League degrees (Economics & MBA) and both startup and sales experience to the team. And Al, also an MBA, and a longtime manager in the public service, brought a certain level of both management experience and conservatism to balance his loose cannon counterparts.
Underfunded and overambitious, we set out to open a different type of craft brewery that focused on retail sales and customer experience. We hope our customers are enjoying it thus far. (We sure are!) Along the way we’ve learned that nothing goes exactly as planned. But operating a small business is a labour of love, and Ottawa has an amazing culture of craft brewers and craft beer lovers.
This is how we brew
Watch this, share it with your friends and then come and drink our beer. In that order. Brewing beer is hard work, so we often look like people who’ve been up for more than 24 hours brewing beer.
So, to spare your eyes we decided to make this animated video that shows you how we make our tasty beers. But actually though, come to the brewery, we’re incredibly handsome and we’re great with our hands, our beer is proof of that.
Great Local Beer
Beyond the Pale was started as a small neighbourhood brewery by three local guys who grew up, went to school, and currently reside in the neighbourhood. Equipped with an old 400L brew system and a belief that there was room in the market for somebody wanting to make a variety of full flavour, unique beers, we embarked on our journey in early 2012. The concept was simple: make a variety of beers that WE wanted to drink and create a tasting opportunity for our customers to come into the brewery to decide what they liked, and buy to go.
During our first year of operation we released over 20 different beers, underwent one expansion, and our MO remains the same as it was in the beginning. In addition to the retail store our beers can also be found in over 30 local bars and restaurants.
You can be sure when you pick up a glass or bottle of our beer that you’re drinking a fresh local product. We work that little old brew house like a pack mule to crank out as much beer as possible. Nearly all of our beer is sold to customers within a week of leaving our brite tanks. That’s freshness that’s hard to find elsewhere.
So come drop by the brewery at 5 Hamilton Ave N in Hintonburg. You better believe that we are as serious about brewing beer as you are about drinking it! Strollers, bikes, dogs, and even non beer drinkers are welcome into the brewery to see what we’re all about.
People often ask if it’s amazing to have your own brewery. The answer, of course, is a resounding YES! A big part of the motivation for opening BTP was to do something fun. It’s more work than we could have imagined in those early days, but we do our best to have fun with just about everything we do. We want people to have fun with our beer. Whether it’s tasting with us at the brewery, drinking at home with friends and family, enjoying a pint at one of our great licensees, or joining us at a festival to spin the Wheel of Cask. From beer names, to beer styles, to general brewery tomfoolery and shenanigans, BTP is all about fun. And at the end of the day, who couldn’t use a little bit more fun in their lives (or glass!)?