What were the challenges for your business in 2022?
In our wildest dreams (or nightmares) we never expected that we would come out of the pandemic and immediately get walloped by a natural disaster. On May 21 an EF2 tornado ripped through downtown Uxbridge and our brewery was in the direct path. Our roof was torn clean off, and the inside of the brewery, along with 18 staff and customers, was hammered with rain and debris. Unbelievably, no one at the brewery or in town was seriously hurt.
We’ve been without a brewery since that day, although after doing some contract brewing we have moved our tanks over to Market Brewing, about 30 mins drive away, and our brewing staff is producing our beer there. It’s an extraordinary relationship and we’re eternally grateful for Market’s generosity. We have a reefer truck near our brewery where we’re storing our beer.
We have had to work extremely hard to keep up our customer relationships without having our usual constant presence in town. We have sold cans at our local Farmers’ Market and have cleaned up our beer garden and are selling cans to go and pints out there until it gets too cold. We have no power at the building, so we’re pouring cans into recyclable cups, playing music on a Bluetooth speaker, and having a portapotty. Luckily, people still seem to love visiting us.
Our community has been extremely supportive and we’ve got several LCBO SKUs and a great network of licensees, so the beer is still flowing and people are still loving it.
Dealing with the ups and downs of the pandemic was not easy by any stretch, but in hindsight, it was nothing compared with the stress of losing our building, drastic changes to the way we work, dealing with insurance, and trying not to lose the momentum we’ve been building for 6+ years.
What are the upcoming projects for your business in 2023?
Rebuilding the brewery! We hope to have a roof on our building before the snow flies, and once that’s done, the interior work gets underway. We hope to reopen by April, with some fun improvements to the building and our beer garden. We look forward to once again offering fun seasonals and the stellar front-of-house experience we’re known for – plus @foundry.pi wood-fired pizza, the return of our live music community, and the best in local art – when we reopen our doors in 2023.
Are you heading to the Ontario Craft Brewers Conference & Suppliers Marketplace 2022? Come get your free copy of Homebrewing and Industry 2021 at the Can Management & Keg Management booth.
In collaboration with the Ontario Craft Brewers Conference & Suppliers Marketplace 2022 x BaronMag