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Beyond the Pale aims to expand Ottawa’s selection of craft beers

Iain Brannigan | Fulcrum Contributor

IT STARTED WITH a simple idea: to make good beer.

Last November in the increasingly popular Hintonburg neighbourhood of Ottawa, Shane and Al Clark and Rob McIsaac opened Beyond the Pale, a microbrewery that has managed to create quite the hype.

In less than a year, they’ve developed a craft brewery that competes successfully with other established microbrews in the National Capital Region such as Big Rig and Hogsback. They’ve done this with a range of products including Rye Guy, Pink Fuzz, and The Darkness, and in the past few months, they’ve produced some “hoppier” beers like Imperial Super Guy.

McIsaac told the Fulcrum that since their opening late last year, they have already released nearly 15 beers and intend on developing many more in the coming months.

Beyond the Pale supplies its products to an increasing number of bars and there is a growing stream of walk-in customers who stop by to sample beer, fill up a growler, and chat with the owners.

The company’s serving space has room for only four stools and is open for sales from Thursday to Sunday. The rest of the time, they’re brewing.

They have seen a consistent increase in sales since the spring and have nearly doubled their capacity thanks to some help from local craft brewery Beau’s, All-Natural Brewing Company in addition to an expansion of Beyond the Pale’s physical operations.

Inspired by Beer

The three founders share a passion for beer and are pleased to contribute to Canada’s craft brew scene.

“The Canadian craft beer market is quite a few years behind the American market,” McIsaac said.

While the brewers are fans of just about any craft brew they can get their hands on, the trouble is the availability of different Canadian craft brews. With such a large market and a limited number of microbreweries supplying this market, it becomes very difficult to get certain types of craft beer. The folks at Beyond the Pale are working to change this.

Future Beers

In the next month, an American Pale Ale and a Grätzer will be released as part of a beer launch at the Union: Local 613 restaurant on Somerset Street. Beyond the Pale also plans to be a big presence at the National Capital Craft Beer Week, August 9—17, with some exciting new cask ales as well as other selections on tap.

The partners plan to continue making varieties of beer that are different from the typical craft beer brewery offerings. While Beyond the Pale’s journey as a microbrewery has only begun, its first six months have shown that business is good, customers are happy, and these folks are working hard to provide quality craft beer for Ottawa residents.