Five years ago, Innocente Brewing Company opened its doors in Waterloo, Ontario.
Two months ago, my dog Victor walked through those doors. Innocente Brewing Company is pet-friendly (presumably dogs, but maybe someone’s brought a cat).
We’re in Waterloo, Ontario – the city next to Kitchener and near Blackberry home base Cambridge. In fact, I drive through both to get here, marveling at how built up the tech triangle (as it’s known in Canada) has become during the last two decades.
Speaking of decades, it’s been that long since I studied in the area, and today, I’m here with my dog to pick up nephew from his first semester at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University. Which is kind of ironic, considering it’s because of my nephew I have Victor at all – Victor was his dog first, and about eight years ago, when they couldn’t keep him, I took him so my nephews would know where he was.
Today, we know exactly where Victor is – in his Solvit Car Cuddler (affiliate link) in the car’s back seat – until I stopped at the brewery waiting for my nephew to finish his final exam.
Dog-friendly Brewery in Waterloo
Located in an industrial plaza (unit 8) at 283 Northfield Drive East in Waterloo, Innocente is half micro-brewery and half casual bar with metal chairs, cement floor, and a Friends set-like sofa with board games stacked beside it. Innocente has a drop-in vibe. Regulars pop in to pick up micro brews to-go from the self-serve fridge or settle in at a bar table for a brew at lunch.
But you’ll have to bring your own lunch. Innocente serves beer, and beer on tap, but no food other than meat sticks from jars. No menu means dogs are allowed inside. Good thing too – it’s a slushy winter day today.
Ontario is law crazy particularly regrading dogs and food – so much so dogs aren’t technically allowed on outdoor patios (though that is changing soon). However, in true Canadian style, there’s ways of getting around (or ignore) those laws and some restaurant owners have permitted, even promoted, dog-friendly patios. Curated KW compiled a list of 10 Kitchener/Waterloo dog-friendly patios here, and Kitchener resident Erik Erwin did one better (well, more extensive) here.
However, we’re in town during winter, so a warm interior is welcome.
Innocente Beer Selection
Innocente boasts “a hint of danger and devilish delight” in every brew, and cheeky names reflect their “sinfully goodness.” Several varieties are available year-round, such as the popular golden ale Fling and Charcoal Porter.
Seasonal recipes include my choice: The Way It Gose (only 3 per cent alcohol) brewed with key lime, sea salt and sour gose, a type of German beer. I’m looking forward to trying (at home) the Kitchener Weisse with Haskap brewed with haskap berry puree, which pours red and bubble gum pink.
Innocente opens at 11 am daily and closes between 5 and 9 pm. Tours & Tastings are available, pre-arranged, for groups of four or more.
Dog patrons, according to staff, are common and welcome. (University students, maybe).