Restaurants Reviews and Such Uncategorized

Lake of the Woods Brewing Co 242 Hargrave St

Lake of the Woods Brewing Co, on the main floor of the Hargrave Street Market is one of those places that has become a bit of a hangout for me. While I’m always on the lookout for new, and different spots to eat and drink, I always appreciate a place that can become a second home.

Lake of the Woods cocktail
Mango-Peach Hard Seltzer from Lake of the Woods Brewing Co.
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When I look for a place that I will want to visit regularly there are two things that I look for. The first is a good variety of product. The second is staff that make you feel welcome.

Some places that fit the bill on this are: Thom Bargen Coffee, Bodegoes in City Place, Hildegard’s Bakery, and X-Cues. Lake of the Woods Brewing Co is the most recent one on this list.

Soup of the day sign at Lake of the Woods Brewing Co
As a cold soup, it’s certainly a step up from Gazpacho.
Lake of the Woods Brewing Company: A Cozy Space

Lake of the Woods Brewing Company has three locations. One in Kenora, Ontario. Another in Warroad, Minnesota, and it’s Winnipeg location, which is the only one I have visited.

Located on the Carlton side of True North Centre, Lake of the Woods is a cozy space. You can enter off of Carlton through their patio, or through the main entrance to Hargrave Market.

As  you enter through the Market door, the bar is located directly to your right. Off to your left there is a merchandise area. Lake of the Woods offers a wide variety of branded merchandise, including several good clothing options. At the far end, to your left there are about 15 seats, in addition to 6-8 at the bar.

There are several tables out in the patio. The patio is a great spot to sit and watch construction on the Wawanesa Insurance building. You also get to sit and watch the neighbourhood dogs go by on their walks.

Home-Brew from Lake of the Woods Brewery Co

My first visit to Lake of the Woods was as part of a Downtown Biz Patio Tour. During the tour we sampled a beverage and were given a tour of the brewing facilities. The Winnipeg Brewing space is locate right at the top of the escalators in the Hargrave Street Market Food Hall.

Beer Menu

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One thing I like about Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is that they offer a wide variety of beverages. There are about 10 beers on rotation at anyone time. They offer half a dozen or so beer cocktails. If you want something non-alcoholic they offer a home made root beer (pictured below).

On top of that they offer a couple of hard seltzers. I tried one, and really enjoyed it. I see a non-alcoholic beer on the website, but I haven’t given that a try.

Of the beers I have tried, my favourites are: The Beer with No Name(Raspberry-Ginger), Wrong Side of the Tracks(Double Chocolate Milkshake Porter), and Wish I Was There(Pineapple-Coconut Session).

Lake of the Woods doesn’t serve food. This is part of their agreement with Hargrave Market. However, you can order anything you would like from the second floor food hall and bring it into the bar to enjoy with your beer.

Some of the food hall restaurants even have an arrangement whereby you can order food when you order your beer and you’ll be informed when it’s ready(I haven’t tried this yet).

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Friendly Faces to Greet You

The other thing that is important to me before making a place a regular haunt is finding out whether or not you feel welcomed by the staff. This is definitely the case at Lake of the Woods.

One thing I like to do when I visit new places is see how the staff treats everybody.  The friendliness that I experience is also what I observe anytime people enter the bar.

View into Lake of the Woods Brewery
A side view of the Lake of the Woods Brewery in Hargrave Market

The staff know my name, and no that it is Donald not Don. It’s even go to the point where there was a discussion as to which Cheers character I most resembled. We decided that Frasier was the most likely.

As much as I like to be welcomed into a place, I also appreciate being left alone to enjoy my beverage with whatever book I happen to be reading. This is also the case at Lake of the Woods Brewing Company, where that balance between welcome and interruption always falls on the side of welcome.

Several of the glasses used at Lake of the woods come with a panic line marker on them. This is an indication that you might want to consider ordering another beer. A lack of beer has never caused me to panic. I do though like, unlike so many bars/lounges, I’m not being asked if I want a refill when my glass is still 3/4s full.

Lake of the Woods Brewing Company is a place I will keep coming back to again and again.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.