Exploring breweries along the Rideau Canal

Le Boat, Le Beer: Savouring the Rideau Canal, one brew at a time

When you’re basking in the sun on a luxury cruiser enjoying a beautiful summer day, your mind will naturally turn to thoughts of where to find a good craft beer. A cold brew can be the perfect complement to the boating life, and when you cruise with Le Boat on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you won’t have any trouble finding the perfect micro-beer to add to your boating adventure. 

 

Ontario is home to more than 80 innovative brewers, and local, small batch breweries can be found around every curve of the waterway. Here, you can savour the hundreds of unique brands from Ontario brewers, based on traditional brewing styles from Pilsners to ales, bitters, stouts, along with fun and innovative styles. 

From Kingston to Ottawa, the breweries along the Rideau Canal will give plenty of opportunities to refuel and stock up on a good brewskie, and there’s no better way to explore the waterway than from the deck of a Le Boat luxury cruiser.  Le Boat has more than 50 years under its belt creating exciting boating vacations on historic canals around the world. 

In Canada, Le Boat’s fleet of 24 cruisers sleep up to 12 and are so easy to drive, you’ll be on your way after a short instruction from Le Boat’s experienced staff. From Le Boat’s headquarters in Smiths Falls, you can north or south on the 202-kilometre Rideau Canal, passing through 26 lock stations while you explore and sample beer from dozens of breweries at the same time. 

This summer, make sure your boat is the party boat and experience everything the Rideau Canal, Le Boat, and Ontario Craft Brewers have to offer.

(Just a reminder before you hit the water: No open alcohol is permitted while the boat is moving. Please drink responsibly and recycle your cans & bottles. )

 

Smiths Falls to Kingston

Heading south on the Rideau Canal gives you a chance to explore small community breweries as you cruise. This is a completely different experience from the northern route, where you can tour more than a dozen breweries in the city of Ottawa. When you head south on the Rideau Canal you can savour at a more leisurely pace –visit a new brewery almost every day! Stop at these locations along the Rideau to whet your appetite for flavourful craft beer with a local perspective. 

Sip & Savour Perth 

Detour down the Tay Canal from the Rideau waterway and explore the heritage town of Perth, where you can tour two fun breweries (and a distillery, too). Located within walking distance of the docks at Last Duel Park, Weatherhead Brew Co. offers good, quality brews including their signature Pilot IPA, while Perth Brewery is your go-to for more than a dozen different flavours and beer styles. 

CCs on the Rideau 

This will be one of your first stops south from Smiths Falls (after Perth), and a good way to whet your appetite for craft beer. Moor at the docks right outside the restaurant and savour one of their local brews as a teaser for the rest of your trip down the Rideau.

Westport

Plan to cruise to the cute village of Westport and tour Westport Brewing Company, just a short walk from the municipal docks. Try their Lakeside Lager and pair with charcuterie board or traditional hot pretzel. Be sure to stop-in and pick up a 6 pack to bring back to your boat to enjoy on the top deck of your Horizon Cruiser.

The Opinicon Resort & Restaurant 

Just a short stroll from Chaffey’s Locks is The Opinicon, a resort with over 100 years of history. They serve local brews and local fare at their on-site dining room, pub or pool side patio and the resort is a picture-perfect throwback to your typical 1960s summertime retreat.

Kingston Breweries

Choose from seven breweries in the city of Kingston, many within walking distance of the waterfront.  Kingston Brewing Company,  Daft Brewing, Varsity Brewing, and Stone City Ales are all a walkable distance from the LaSalle Causeway. Other Kingston breweries are accessible via public transit or taxi.  For more info on Kingston Breweries, visit their website https://www.visitkingston.ca/a-guide-to-kingstons-breweries/

Smiths Falls to Ottawa:

From Le Boat’s home base in Smiths Falls, boaters can cruise south on the Rideau to Kingston or north towards Ottawa. Both directions will offer plenty of opportunities to visit local breweries and stock the spacious fridge on the boat.  Before you head out, plan to visit Smiths Falls’ own brewery, 4 Degrees Brewing Company, where you can learn all about the history of the area and sample unique brews before you set off on the water. 

After Smiths Falls, the nearest breweries north on the canal are located in Canada’s capital, the city of Ottawa. Here, you can tour 15 craft breweries, many of which are within a short walk or bike ride of the canal, while others are accessible via public transit or taxi. 

Day Trips and Tours

If you’re looking for a guided tour of the local brewery scene, book a Brew Donkey day trip that will take you from brewery to brewery in their fun bus. If you’re looking for a self-guided experience, try the Backroom Deals and Muddy Wheels self-guided virtual trail. 

The Breweries

  1. Mill Street Brewery
  2. Lowertown Brewery
  3. Ridge Rock Brewing Company
  4. Stray Dog Brewing Company
  5. Nita Beer Company
  6. Flora Hall Brewing
  7. Big Rig Brewery
  8. Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.
  9. Kichesippi Beer Company
  10. Beyond the Pale Brewing Company
  11. Vimy Brewing Company
  12. Waller Street Brewing
  13. Overflow Brewing Company
  14. whiprsnapr Brewing Co.
  15. Evergreen Craft Ales