Justin Van Leeuwen is an Ottawa-based event and portrait photographer who, in his spare time, takes pictures without people in them.
When I moved to Ottawa four years ago, there was a common element that I’d run into when going out: Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company.
The beer was unfamiliar to me, but I always jump at the chance to try a new ale; it was slightly bitter, full in taste, and stronger than your average on-tap offerings. It quickly became my beer of choice at bars and taverns, and even at home when I could find it for sale. Beau’s isn’t distributed through the Beer Store – we all know they don’t offer the best selection anyway.
I’m sure complex distribution methods through the LCBO also don’t help keep this popular local brew on hand. Many a time I’ve visited hoping to to pick up their clever four pack (Four 600ml bottles instead of the standard six-pack of ~300ml… they give me porn hands too) only to find them sold out.
When in stock, I started buying them by the case – if you’re going to drink, drink the best, right?
I’m clearly not the only one who has a passion for beer, or the local brewer, just check out my friend Travis Boisvenue’s short video documentary on the brewer:
An alternative is, of course, to buy the beer direct from the brewer in Vankleek Hill, which is an hour and a half drive from where I live – so that’s not an exciting prospect.
November saw the answer to all my troubles.
Beau’s launched their home-delivery service (currently in Ottawa only) at BYBO.ca and I was quick to place an *ahem* healthy order. Growlers were available (1.89L of yum) for “sharing” as well as cases of their classic Lug-Tread. Of course their seasonal “Bog Water” was also up for delivery; put them together and I had a great taster pack en route for the holidays!
A bit about the delivery. There’s an added altruistic bonus for those of us with a charitable edge: the delivery is provided by Operation Come Home, which employs at-risk youths and “prevents homeless youth from becoming homeless adults” – you can read more about the service here. So I get beer, delivered to my door for $15, that fee goes to help youth get out off the streets, gives them work *AND* I get a charitable tax receipt for $8.25?
Sorry, you had me at “Beer Delivery.”
It wasn’t all smooth for Beau’s and Operation Come home, as “acting on a complaint from another brewery ” the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario tried to shut down the service. But, in a surprisingly quick polictical move, the Ontario government made an exception for Beau’s and promised to look at the current laws. You can read a bit about the ordeal on their blog and I can promise you, I was equally distressed about the temporary shut-down as I was excited about the service in the first place.
It’s all ended well, I’m receiving deliveries on a fairly regular basis, my wife has taken to drinking beer too – it’s a bonding experience. I’m also not wanting for variety, Beau’s specialty brews are distinct enough that I have the spice of life all in a one-stop shop.
BYBO currently takes Paypal. Of course I sometimes receive payment from my clients via Paypal – which means I have a beer-balance! Maybe Beau’s isn’t the taste of choice for everyone, but for me, and my house, it’s the only choice we offer now.
Wow, thanks for the great feature, JVL! Also, can we get a signed print of that fabulous feature photo?