Who are you and your current job?
Bryce McBain, Brewmaster of Halcyon Barrel House
What was the inspiration behind your brewery?
I was inspired by the idea of traditional farmhouse brewing, looking back to a time before stainless steel and single strain fermentation. With that in mind, I decided to pursue barrel fermentation with mixed cultures of yeasts and bacteria to reinterpret beer that could have been brewed in the past. I was also influenced by the blenders of Belgium, who purchase wort from lambic producers then ferment and blend their own beers. This ties into our barrel aging and fermentation. We end up with a lot of different tasting barrels that we blend together with the aim of a balanced beer.
Can you give us a tour of your beer scene?
I have a really hard time keeping up with all the new breweries and beers being released. I’m busy living and working in Vankleek Hill and don’t make it to many breweries. But I really like what’s happening at Stone City in Kingston, we’ve collaborated before and will again. Tooth and Nail in Ottawa are really good as well.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a brewery?
Give yourself lots of room, you’ll need it.