Ottawa Tourism | Tourisme Ottawa


A collaBEERation worth celebrating!


Local brewery Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company has come up with a novel way to commemorate the great friendship between Canada and the Netherlands: They’ve partnered with Holland’s De Koningshoeven Brewery to create a new beer! It’s called Vrienden, which is Dutch for “Friends,” and features juniper berries and Canadian maple syrup.

The beer will be released to the public for the first time on Monday, May 10 at the House of Orange, a temporary name given to Bar 56 and Mercury Lounge, two nightclubs in the ByWard Market neighbourhood of Ottawa. They’re the site of a unique Dutch-Canadian cultural celebration from May 10-23, 2010.

Of course, the Canadian Tulip Festival (May 7-24) has its origins in the Second World War and a great story of friendship between nations. During World War II, the Dutch royal family took refuge in Ottawa when the Nazis invaded their country. Princess Margriet, the current queen’s younger sister, was born here in Ottawa in a hospital room that was declared Dutch soil for the birth.

Canadian troops played a pivotal role in the liberation of the Netherlands and when the war ended in 1945 — 65 years ago this month — the royal family returned home. They sent a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to the people of Canada in a gesture of friendship, thanks and respect. The tulips came to Ottawa and were planted in prominent places such as on Parliament Hill and along the Rideau Canal. In fact, a gift of tulips has been made every year since, an impressive tradition!

You can enjoy Vrienden at the House of Orange, or Beau’s other brews at the beer garden in Major’s Hill Park from May 14 to 24 during the Canadian Tulip Festival. Cheers!