The Ashton Brew Pub in Ashton has always been known as a great local place to wet your whistle with some fine libations but it’s has evolved over the years to become a true oasis for foodies and craft beer aficionados alike. In fact, Ashton Brew Pub was serving great barley nectar long before we called it craft beer.
I took an eager party of 6 on a crisp fall Saturday evening to test out Ashton Brew Pub’s menu. First, if you’re planning on attending during primetime dining hours and days, a reservation, even for a smaller group is recommended. This will improve as the pub will be opening a lower level dining area with about 30-35 additional seats in November. The pub has a brewing facility attached and offers a wide range of brews from amber ales to stouts and pretty much everything in between. And of course for the Irish (and those who want to be) there’s Guinness, properly poured in the correct glass at just the right temperature. And as a tip right from the Guinness brewery in Dublin, if you want the best taste experience of this black magic, make sure when you take your first sip your upper lip is completely immersed below the foamy head of the serving.
This pub’s food menu is packed with everything from light to meal size apps, to homemade soups and greens, great sandwich platters, solidly done mains, and of course traditional pub grub but done right. Two of our group opted for the boxty plates; a newer take on the traditional Irish potato pancake. The Ashton kitchen team does them almost crepe thin and stuffs them with salmon, pepper-steak, or chicken with the appropriate sauces and seasoning for each. Our table gave them two thumbs up for these delights. I opted for the BBQ steak salad, listed on the salad selection but leaning towards the feast region. A beautifully charred New York sirloin was delicately sliced and drizzled with a house sauce all served over a generous selection of a simple yet enjoyable plate of greens.
My wife’s choice of a pub standby, liver, didn’t miss the chef’s talents at resurrecting an old standard with flair. If you’ve always turned your nose up at fried liver, you’ve got try the Ashton Brew Pub’s take, cooked to order, served tender and moist, over a bed of mashed potatoes with a beefy, rich gravy. And in tribute to the Indian cuisine influence on British pubs, there’s a perfectly spiced Madras chicken curry served with house-made chutney over rice. And of course Ashton Brewery Pub has the perfect ale or stout to match your meal selection for added enjoyment. For the non barley crowd, there’s a modest but appropriate wine list with some great choices from California, Italy, and Chile.
It always amazes me that at any restaurant table of friends after the mains have been consumed, everyone will admit to be too stuffed for dessert until just one of them pipes up and orders something. At Ashton, you won’t be disappointed if you follow that leader, with choices such as caramel apple crisp or warm lemon cake.
Prices are reasonable and the large selection will let you match your budget with a truly satisfying dining and pub experience. My tab for 2 with a wine and ale and a shared dessert came to only $63 before tip. And my companions’ wallets sacrificed less. The atmosphere can be lively, but after all, that’s what a great pub is all about. The Ashton Brew Pub’s official address is 113 Old Mill Rd, Ottawa (but just look for the busiest facility at the crossroads in Ashton). You can reach them at 613-257-4423 or drool over their selections at their website; ashtonbrewpub.ca.