The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – Feb. 26, 2014
The craft beer movement is in full swing locally with numerous microbreweries, nano-breweries and brewpubs set to expand or open this year.
The trend is continuing with the announcement that Jack’s Gastropub in Kingsville will be offering their own house brews.
Trevor Loop, co-owner of Jack’s Gastropub, and Doug Sinclair, a partner in the craft beer expansion, explained that following a decision to sell almost exclusively Essex County wines and Ontario craft beers, the duo decided to venture into brewing their own beer.
“We’ve been really tying into the local craft beer market as well too,” said Loop, referring to the decision to sell local wines. “The beer movement seemed to be something that naturally followed suit … our whole objective is to stick with craft beers as well.”
With the LCBO stocking more Ontario and Quebec craft beers at various locations, local bars have been able to access a wider variety of craft beer than ever before as breweries are regularly driving down Highway 401 to deliver stock.
“As the LCBOs have become more receptive to a lot of these crafts, the ones three to four hours away, when they’re sending vehicles to deliver to the LCBOs they’ve now started to pick up accounts in the community which has opened the door for us,” said Loop. “When we first started this three years ago it was really tough to get beer further past … London.”
Sinclair said he craft beer operation would take cues from the wine industry and provide a story that people can feel, touch, enjoy and “get the whole experience.”
Jack’s Gastropub will see two house taps installed in the coming weeks. The restaurant has obtained a brewpub endorsement on their liquor licence and is awaiting a federal manufacturing permit.
“We’re going to initially start off with two house taps, and because it’s a brewpub endorsement we’re restricted to just seling by glass within the licensed area,” said Loop. “We won’t be a microbrewery but we’ll be a brewpub.”
Sinclair explained that a small batch concept for brewing will allow for them to offer unique beers and not to get pigeonholed into a set style.
“It’s a small batch concept, so if we have a beer that people love we’ll make sure that we have that available, but we also want to be able to come out with things that people don’t know about, and continue the growth [and] education … introduce new fun things to people,” said Sinclair, who owns a farm with his father that will be used to grow local inputs for the beer.
Sinclair’s farm has a chestnut orchard, an experimental hop yard, grows raspberries, blueberries, herbs and is making a foray into malts.
“Our focus is going to be similar to what our menu focus is,” said Loop. “We’re not out to produce the perfect pilsner … we want to be creative with it and have fun with it and produce unique, interesting beers that taste great.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.