From the outside, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company, or BrewCo as some of the locals call it, doesn’t look like it belongs. Located on the corner of 2nd and Park street, in Kenora Ontario, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is housed in the century old former fire hall building. Since opening the door’s of the brew pub on the July long weekend in 2013 (without any of their own beer ready for consumption, may I add), the brewery has brewed over 820 batches.
I’ve been to the BrewCo many times but up until this past summer I had only been in the winter. Although the quality and service remains the same season after season, there is something to be said about visiting the brew pub during the warm summer months when the large fire hall doors are opened wide letting the sounds of the city drift in over the gentle Lake of the Woods breeze.
During the day the BrewCo is a great place for work meetings and lunch dates. With free wi-fi and a wrap around bar located in the center of the room, it’s a great place to get a little work done while enjoying a pint. At night the atmosphere changes a bit; the lights are dimmed and it isn’t unusual to stumble upon a live show or community event.
Speaking of community, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is known for their commitment to giving back to the city. On Friday afternoon between 4 and 6pm, the BrewCo hosts a weekly Charity Beef on a Bun event for $5, $2 of which go directly towards the local Women’s Shelter, Saakaate House. In addition, each month one of their craft beers is chosen to serve as their Charity pint. When purchased, $0.25 from each pint is donated to one of the six local charities chosen for the year.
Boasting 6 flagship beers and countless other seasonal creations, some of which can now be found in liquor stores across Manitoba and southern Ontario, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company isn’t just about great beer. For something a little stronger, visitors are encouraged to visit the Whiskey bar, located upstairs. They also recently created their own coffee, which can be found at The Broken Paddle Coffee Roastery and Kitchen, an extension of the BrewCo family.
Now we can’t forget about the food!
Some of my favourite dishes on the LOWBrewCo menu include the Pulled Pork (the house made kettle chips give it that extra crackle), London Calling (Sultana Gold beer battered local walleye), and the Chicken Fingers ‘N Fries (served with Honey Dill dipping sauce, something that’s hard to come by outside of Manitoba/North Western Ontario).
On my last visit I was also lucky enough to enjoy the Winter Bites menu, a community initiative to get Kenora residents out to local restaurants during the gloomy winter month of February for a fabulous 3 course dinner. If you get a chance to pop in before the end of February enjoy some other local treats like Walleye Wings (an inventive take on Chicken wings using the lesser used pieces of the locally caught walleye), Bison Mac ‘N Cheese, and one of their mason jar desserts.
If you get a chance to visit Kenora, stop by Lake of the Woods Brewing Company for a meal, a pint, or some souvenirs. There’s nothing like a fresh growler of Sultana Gold during a long weekend (I myself track down the LOWBrewCo Tall Cans in my local Toronto LCBO when I’m craving a taste of home).