Manitoulin Brewing Company to open brewery this May

Nishin Meawasige and Blair Hagman toast to their brewing adventure with a Swing Bridge Blonde Ale. photo by Robin Burridge

Brewing operation to transition to Manitoulin in April

LITTLE CURRENT—The Manitoulin Brewing Company (MBC) has been hard at work, releasing a new brew, Bridal Veil Pale Ale, and getting ready to transition the brewing production to their new Manitoulin site in Little Current.

“The fermenters, hot liquor tank and brite tank will be installed shortly, we are just waiting to the epoxy floors to get finished up,” said Blair Hagman, who co-owns MBC with Nishin Meawasige. “Our brew house is also on its way. It is Canadian made from Newlands (a beer brewing system and equipment manufacturer). It is really exciting—we have been waiting seven months for it and it is one of the best brewing systems made in Canada.”

Mr. Hagman has been training on the same style of Newland brew house that the MBC has purchased.

“I have been travelling down to Toronto every two or three weeks to get familiar with the system,” said Mr. Hagman. “So when our system is installed, and we transfer full production to our brewery, it will be pretty seamless and we will be able to keep the same flavour profile for our brews.”

Currently, MBC brews are produced at the Brunswick Bierworks in Toronto, but as of the second week of April, production will be transferred to Manitoulin at the new MBC brewery in Little Current.

“I’ve been really lucky to train on the same style brewing system,” explained Mr. Hagman. “The hands-on experience has been awesome.”

The MBC launched its flagship beer, Manitoulin Swing Bridge Blonde Ale, in June of 2015. Mr. Hagman and Mr. Meawasige combined their passion for beer and love of Manitoulin, starting the MBC in their garage.

This past fall, the MBC launched its second brew, Bridal View Falls Pale Ale, at selected licences from Toronto to Manitoulin, with the ale to join the Manitoulin Swing Bridge Blonde Ale on LCBO shelves later this month.

The Bridal Veil Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale (APA) and features a beautiful aroma of cascade hops with a balanced malt finish.

“We hope to open the doors of the brewery (located on Highway 6 in the old Manitoulin Chrysler building) in May, once we have the first production packaged and ready to go,” said Mr. Hagman.

He noted that both MBC brews have been selling well, with the Manitoulin Swing Bridge Blonde Ale available across the province.

“It’s pretty cool to see on social media MBC being enjoyed across Ontario,” concluded Mr. Hagman. “It’s neat having people share photos and that they are enjoying the beer. We can’t wait to open the brewery and bring everything on-site.” Mr. Hagman hinted that MBC will be gearing up for summer with the opening of the brewery and launching new products on site.