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Since 2010, I have been preparing and hosting the Ontario Brewer Podcast series for the Ontario Craft Brewers Association. These podcast feature interviews with Ontario brewers on a range of different topics.

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It’s not the same when there is no brewery…

Posted June 13, 2012 | 3:57 pm, by Mirella

I’m off to do some consulting for a new Ontario craft brewery today. The brewery is called Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. and it’s in Thunder Bay. I’m very excited to visit a new brewery and no matter how many breweries I’ve seen, I never get tired of brewery visits. Every brewery is different, every brewer is different and, as a result, every beer lineup is different. In the world of brewing, few things are more exciting than tasting a new beer in the company of the person who brewed it, at the location where it was brewed. It’s a fantastic experience.

While prepping for this visit, I started thinking about all of the new “breweries” that have opened in the past few years that I cannot visit. I can’t visit these new breweries because they aren’t physical breweries; they are brands that are contract brewed. In many cases, the people behind these brands are passionate about beer and decide to launch a new brand with the dream of one day opening a brewery. They will then either create a recipe or hire a brewer to create a recipe and then they will have an existing brewery make their beer on contract.

While the resulting beers are often quite tasty, as a craft beer enthusiast and beer geek, a huge part of the appeal of craft beer for me is how tangible and accessible it is. It’s the fact that I can drop by for a visit and have a chat with the brewer about the ingredients and techniques that she or he has chosen. I can sneak a peek at the brewing equipment and, if I’m really lucky, I can taste an unfinished version of the beer straight out of the tank. I would imagine that all of these experiences might be possible with contract brews, but I have yet to come across a similar opportunity.

Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great that people who wouldn’t otherwise have the means to launch a brand have the opportunity to add to our beer landscape. Without a physical brewery, though, it’s just not as exciting somehow…

One comment

  1. Way to go to the new brewerists!!!Very excited for them, and hope all goes well!!

    Comment by irene juvshik on June 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

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