Living in Ottawa requires an acceptance of Winter, even absent the warm embrace favoured by the hardy few who run, fat tire, skate and ski right through the darkest days of the calendar.
One of our favourite things about living here in Winter (and boy, do we ever have Winter!) is the pervasiveness of the outdoor rink (or 'ODR' for the uninitiated.)
From Orléans to Overbrook to Osgoode and and everywhere in between, Ottawans are used to seeing these hulking frames of wood and steel rise from grassy patches of open parkland in late October each year; ready and waiting to serve as a humble community gathering spot when the snowy cold covers everything else.
The thing you realize passing these structures, is that the real work, the only way they actually function, is through generosity and community spirit. Hours of hard work, given freely by crews of volunteers who might live next door to you, donating their time in the coldest, darkest hours of the season to build space for community to continue, even in the depths of Winter.
Unpaid and largely unacknowledged, the neighbourhood rink crew make possible that child's first ever double-blade skate, the neighbourhood teens' lone hour break from video games, or bragging rights at the local shinny championship. Ours would be a colder city without them.
We created Flying V IPA to celebrate them. Inspired by the ODR and the spirit of community that built them, we invite you to raise a glass with us to celebrate what makes this city great, all year long.
Grab a case and drop some off for your local rink volunteers (and keep the free hat!) However you choose to enjoy it, we wish you a cold, crisp and refreshing Winter outside.