Clocktower Brew Pub  - Patrick & Sean

Clocktower Brew Pub - Patrick & Sean


Clocktower Brew Pub
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Sean Rutherford, Vice President// Patrick Fiori, Brewmaster
Neighbourhood: The Glebe
575 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON K1S 5L7
613-233-7849

For other locations visit clocktower.ca


Clocktower is very involved in the communities of each of their locations, like Taste in the Glebe and Westboro Fuse. Community involvement is the cornerstone of their business and marketing strategies.

They have 6 beers on tap: the flagship Kolsch, CT Red, Wishart's ESB, Oyster Stout, Bytown Brown, and Raspberry Wheat (made with real raspberry puree). Each beer is unique in taste but mild enough that you can easily enjoy two or three. Clocktower doesn’t try to overdo it on hops or alcohol content.

They also feature seasonal beers throughout the year. In a given year Clocktower can go through as many as 15 different seasonal beers and many of them are partnerships with local businesses like the current Beerista coffee-hopped ale - using Equator Coffee beans of which the chief roaster guided them on the steeping process.

The Pumpkin Ale is probably the most popular seasonal and people get super excited about it. Clocktower also creates Pride cans every year for Pride Month and they're one of the best sellers.

Clocktower also offers a blended beer that is hugely popular with regulars called a "Brown Berry": it's Bytown Brown and Raspberry Wheat mixed together and it's delicious!

The Kolsch and CT Red are available in cans at the Beer Store and LCBO as well as the retail store at the Bank Street location.

Patrick Fiori (left) , Sean Rutherford (right)  Photography  @rothbauerphoto

Patrick Fiori (left) , Sean Rutherford (right)

Photography @rothbauerphoto

Tell us a little about yourself.

Patrick:
I have been involved with brewing for over 10 years.  I have a MSc in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt university in Edinburgh, Scotland. I enjoy well made, high quality beers whether they are classic styles or new innovative beer.

When you aren't busy making sure Ottawa is provided with delicious food and beer what do you do for fun?

Sean:
My life is busy with family and work, which is always a great balancing act. I am a happily married father with 4 amazing kids and a very organized wife that makes my home life very easy. We try to be a fit family, so working out is part of our life, which we want to positively influence our children. I am an avid runner, which allows me to temporarily escape and zone out to relieve any stresses of the work day. I have run a variety of half and full marathons. Looking forward to this race weekend in May where I run another half marathon with my brother-in-law.

Patrick:
I'm busy looking after my litter of kids, smoking meat, and obstacle course racing.

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You are launching a 7th location and another beer, how does Clocktower make sure there is time for family?

Sean:
Our teams work hard and work smart. Working longer hours in today's business world does not always mean you are getting more accomplished. If we provide a structured work week for our leaders and teams that addresses business needs then we'll always have fresh, invigorated and positive people to interact with our guests and brew our amazing craft beer.

Patrick:
Over the years we have put together a great team that all come together to give our guests a great experience and makes sure we all lead well-balanced lives.

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With Clocktower Brew Pub & Craft Brewery being around for over 20 years, tell us what it’s like to be Ottawa's original craft brewery?

Sean:
We have a responsibility to not only brew great beer, but also serve upscale Pub Food as we are a full-service concept, not only a Craft Brewery. It feels great to be such an iconic part of Ottawa's Craft Beer scene, but we have to be inclusive and collaborative with other Ottawa Craft Brewers. Growing the entire Craft Beer segment is very important, not only within our business, but within the Ottawa region. Patrick and his team of brewers make the art of brewing approachable and consistent. As we try to introduce Craft Beer to a guest who has never enjoyed one before, it is extremely important to serve a great drinking brew. If we turn off one guest, it hurts the craft industry as a whole.


Patrick:
It means a lot. We feel proud to be part of a fast growing industry and to enjoy a bit of a grandfather status is pretty cool. We love to see other breweries do well. At the end of the day we produce high-quality approachable beers that have stood the test of time and changing tastes.

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The beer scene has changed drastically in a short time, does this keep you on your toes or do you find the craft scene creates collaboration and awareness?

Sean:
We love the ever-changing and evolving scene as we appreciate all the creativity and innovation that is displayed by so many Craft Brewers out there! With our seven consistent offerings we stand by our tried and true consistency that our guests have come to expect and love.  Our eighth offering, our Seasonal and rotating Craft Beer, gives Patrick and his Team the opportunity to utilize their creativity to introduce a variety of different products that may push the boundaries.

Patrick:
We don't need to change what we are doing, in some ways it is more important that we stay consistent while the industry changes around us. The craft scene is very collaborative and friendly, we are all eager to help each other out.

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What was the inspiration for the name Clocktower?

Patrick:
Our original location on Bank Street has a Clocktower on it and we thought that was cool.

How is Clocktower's Old English Style brewing process different than others? / What makes Clocktower unique?

Patrick:
We use open top fermenters. There are only a handful of breweries in Canada that do. They are very different from modern fermenters and produce a very different beer. Also, the yeast strain we use is very particular to open top fermenters and creates a very distinct profile. It is perfect for English Style Beers. Open-top fermenters also help unwanted gases like sulphur escape the beer rather than get reabsorbed. It also helps promote fruity notes which are beneficial for our British Style of ales.

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What is your favourite part of doing business in Ottawa?

Sean:
I was born in Ottawa and have been here all my life, but I have also been in leadership position of other brands that have taken me across Canada, so I have conducted business in numerous cities to compare. Ottawa is a small- big city that offers a great opportunity for growth within numerous business sectors. We see this within our six (soon seven) Brew Pubs throughout Ottawa - we serve a variety of guests who fit into different demographics, come from different cultures, and have a wide range of jobs. In a nutshell, my favourite part of doing business in Ottawa is the PEOPLE that I meet every day. It makes every day different and enjoyable.

Patrick:
Hands down the people. We have met and had the pleasure of working with the most interesting people. Whether it is our customers, our breweries, or our many local business collaborations.  

What was the inspiration for the name Clocktower?

Patrick:
Our original location on Bank Street has a Clocktower on it and we thought that was cool.

How many people are employed by Clocktower?

Sean:
By the time we open our seventh location on Rideau we will have 200+ great team members. We are very proud to be a consistent employer in Ottawa.

How many people does the Clocktower pubs serve each week (or Month)?

Sean:
Let's not make it easy for your readers, we will provide our yearly Guest count and let them do a little math :) We serve close to 800,000 guests per year!

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What is new and exciting with Clocktower?

Sean:
So much is new! Our new menu and our new full-time No.7 IPA just launched April 10th, we are partnering with 7 other local Ottawa Craft Breweries to feature one of their great Craft Beers in our Brew Pubs, we will be launching our 'New' Vintage series Craft Beers paying homage to our 22 years of history in Ottawa's Craft Beer scene, we have introduced our Brewmaster Dinner, held in our newly-renovated Bank St. Tap Room - a culinary collaboration with our Executive Kitchen Manager Matt McFarlane and Brewmaster Patrick Fiori featuring 5 of our unique and approachable Craft Beers paired beautifully with a 4-course dinner.

We are also improving on our 'Green' initiative by going straw-FREE, changing our take-out programming to friendly compostable products and making sure our business decisions always incorporate leaving a minimal negative impact on our environment.

Patrick:
From the beer perspective, we will be introducing a series of beers called our Vintage Series. They will highlight some of the most interesting, popular, and innovative beers that we have done in the past 20 years.

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Some of your beers involve partnerships with other Ottawa businesses. How important is it to Clocktower to promote and and partner with other local businesses?

Sean:
We are extremely proud to be part of the fabric of Ottawa's business community and hold the highest regard for others who show a loyalty to Ottawa as well as give back where they can. It is important to create a culture of inclusiveness within our business community and we are proud when others succeed.

Patrick:
It is extremely important. We are very much a neighborhood pub and getting to know our business neighbours and helping them succeed is part of who we are as a business.  

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If you could serve Justin Trudeau one of Clocktower's beers, which would you serve?

Sean:
Fun question - I would serve him a our Raspberry Wheat! Our rich and smooth red hue would pair nicely with his Liberal roots and I would draw a little inside joke by indirectly awarding him a "Raspberry" - we all know how this award is won!

Patrick:
I would serve him the Kolsch. It is all-inclusive and although it wants to be serious, it is relaxed and always has its shirt sleeves rolled up.

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