LITTLE CURRENT—The Manitoulin Brewing Company (MBC) has officially opened the doors to its retail operations, tours and outdoor patio in Little Current at the former Manitoulin Chrysler building on Highway 6.
“We officially opened on Tuesday, June 13, but we got the building last year (July) and have been doing renovations and brought in the brewing equipment in April,” explained Blair Hagman, MBC partner. “We’ve been working hard on this for years now and to finally see the doors open so we can share what we’ve been up to—it’s been incredible.”
The opening of the brewery also unveils their outdoor beer service ‘The Silo’ which has a partnership with food truck operators Jason Heaton and Dezi Oliver of The Trough.
“We know we wanted an experience for our customers,” said fellow MBC partner Joet Dhatt. “This patio, the combination of beer and food from The Trough and Silo will certainly offer something unique on the Island this summer. We are very excited.”
Beyond the beer patio and food service, the fully operational brewery offers full retail and beer to go in can and growler jug format.
“There’s been so much talk about what we’ve been up to—now to actually bring people into our location and show them who we are as a company has been very satisfying,” enthused MBC partner Nishin Meawasige.
The Silo is a unique feature of the brewery.
“We wanted to create a unique environment,” said Mr. Hagman of the outdoor patio. “Nishin had the idea for The Silo—he saw the idea in a photo for a bar. We tried to find one, but didn’t hear from anyone. One day I was driving to work along Highway 6 and saw a silo at a farm just outside of Little Current and I stopped and spoke to the owner about buying it and what we wanted to do. He agreed to sell it. In the spring we started to dismantle it at the farm to get it here, which was a bit of a challenge. Our carpenter Bud Spry did amazing work converting it into a brew house.”
On tap is Manitoulin Brewing Company’s Swing Bridge Blonde Ale, the Bridal Veil Pale Ale that was released earlier this year and MBC’s newest brew, Cup and Saucer English Ale. This month on tap will also be Duxbury Cider. “We will be rotating a guest brew on tap—featuring a brew from an Ontario brewery,” said Mr. Hagman.
“For the Cup and Saucer English Ale we focused on using maris otter malt,” explained Mr. Hagman. “It gives it a nice, light finish. The name fits with our marketing and branding theme of highlighting different landmarks on Manitoulin. It also works as ‘cup and saucer’ is associated with England.”
The Cup and Saucer English Ale is only available at the Little Current location and Mr. Hagman said there will be more brews launched exclusively onsite throughout the summer.
The Trough and Silo will have a 54 person occupancy with Manitoulin’s OneKwe building custom tables. Other local companies that were part of the new brewery were Corbiere Construction, which did the landscaping, O. Bond and Son Plumbing and D and H Electric.
Since Mr. Hagman and Mr. Meawasige started MBC in their garage five years ago, the company has grown to include a new partner (Joet Dhatt) and created seven new jobs. MBC brews can be found in 59 restaurants and licenced establishments across Ontario and Bridal Veil Pale Ale can be found at over 60 LCBO stores across the province, while the Swing Bridge Blonde Ale can be found at over 200 stores.
Brewery tours will be held Sundays in July, giving visitors an inside look at the brewery operation from production, fermentation, carbonations, canning through to The Silo for a drink on the patio.
The MBC, including The Silo, is open Sundays to Tuesdays from 11 am to 7 pm and Wednesdays from 11 am to 9:30 pm.