Beer Wine & Spirits: Westport Brewing Company

Westport Brewing Company
Photo credit: Westport Brewing Company []
Posted on: January 15, 2023

Westport Brewing Company opened in 2018 and I wrote an article back then showcasing the new brewery and the new brews that they were making as well as getting a restaurant up and running. Well, here we are 5 years later and the place now has a patio overlooking Upper Rideau Lake, a great variety of menu items to select from as well as a whole range of beers made by the Brewmaster/Manager, Alex Trickey. I went out for lunch and sampled a number of the brews while Alex gave me a tutored tasting. They went exceedingly well with the Montreal smoked meat sandwich on rye with house lager-honey, the mandatory dill pickle, and some tasty kettle chips, all for $16. The owners Kevin Quinlan and Tamara Philips have given Alex free rein on coming up with the beers, and it is no wonder as they entered the annual Ontario Craft Brewer’s awards in November 2022 and came home with 2 silvers and a bronze! His American Pale Ale entry was ‘Upper Rideau Blonde,’ and his India Pale Ale entry ‘Dock Days’ also won silver, while his ‘Rideau Lakes Red Ale’ took home a bronze. Not bad for a first time entrant, and youngest competitor at 23 years old! He was quick to say that all the competitors had a good time and camaraderie was high among all the brewmasters. “Everyone wants their friends to win too, and even though it was my first time competing, they made me feel right at home,” he said. 

Alex was an engaging host telling me that his family in the area has local roots because they are relatives to Benjamin Tett who established the Bedford mill in the early 1800s. While his post-secondary education was in Media Studies, Alex said, “I have always liked working with my hands and having fun making batches of home brew, but Covid hit and I was looking for a job. I knew the brewmaster, Tyler, who wanted to move on, so I began shadowing him in all aspects of professional brewing at Westport, and took courses on beer making.” Alex was no stranger to the process, though, as a home brewer who liked to create beer recipes and try them out. He was learning all the way. After working with Tyler and becoming thoroughly engrossed in learning the process of commercial craft brewing and creating new recipes, he seamlessly took over the reins with the blessing of the owners who had confidence in his abilities as well as in managing the operations.

To accompany lunch, I went with the Sample Flight consisting of the three award winners and I selected a style of craft beer that I love but this one with a twist, ‘Open Flame Ginger Bread Stout.’ I also noticed another one on the board which I just had to try, a sample of his ‘Starboard Sour’ coming in at a tame 5.3%abv for a Sour-style, consisting of blackberries, blueberries and lime. This is a great refreshing summer beer that will return next June. I can hardly wait!

The following are 473ml cans at $3.75. Westport Brewing Company also carries Cottage Crowlers, 32 ounce cans for $9.00.

Upper Rideau Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.7% IBUs: 16 A clean and well balanced light ale with a sweet, malty aroma.

Lakeside Lager 
ABV: 5.1% IBUs: 22 A refreshing golden German lager with less hoppiness than Czech versions and a pleasant bitterness that finishes dry.

Rideau Lakes Red Ale
ABV: 6.9% IBUs: 38 A complex brew using Maris Otter, the base malt for all English style beers, as well as other malts to boost the flavor profile with sweet caramel, chocolate notes, a touch of cleansing bitterness and a smooth finish.

Dock Days IPA
ABV: 6.9% IBUs: 6 This hazy golden IPA has a bold citrus and floral aroma, smooth mouthfeel and a pleasant sweetness with a subtle dry finish. With minimal hop bitterness but a citrus profile, the toasted malts give a tip-of-the-tongue sweetness reminiscent of creamy, smooth flaked oats to balance out the body of the beer making it a summer or anytime dockside brew.Open Flame Gingerbread Stout
A more sessionable offering, created for holiday gatherings spent around friends, family, delicious treats, and warm fires, this Gingerbread Stout is focused on showcasing a touch of  real ginger and seasonal spices.
When next you go to Westport for shopping, do drop in at 41B Main St or call ahead during this holiday season (613) 273-2739 to be sure of their hours.

Column by Brian Preston

The Travelling Sommelier, Portland, ON at

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Author: Hometown News