Northwinds Brewery Toronto

Northwinds Brewery blows into Toronto

As they make plans for an eventual brewhouse and restaurant in the Collingwood area, fledgling beer company Northwinds Brewery is bringing a sampling of their of beers to Toronto-area restaurants and bars.

Founded by Geoff Conway, a Prud'homme certified graduate of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling in London who took home the gold at the 2013 Ontario Brewing Awards in the Homebrewer IPA category, Northwinds Brewery is Intended to "celebrate the Georgian Bay lifestyle" by being "bold and adventurous" like the area it hails from.

Joining Conway is Northwinds' head brewer, Andrew Bartle, a graduate of the inaugural class of Niagara College's Brewmaster and Brewery Management Program who has experience working at breweries in Canada, the United States, and Denmark.

Conway and Bartle tell me that when creating the Northwinds portfolio, they'll be crafting both sessionable and heavier eclectic beers, but that they will focus on a predominantly North American style.

First up is Corduroy Rye India Pale Ale, "a full bodied beer with a hefty addition of hearty rye malt and loads of hops" that will be on the market as of September and, while it's their first offering, that doesn't mean it's going to be the one they hang their hats on.

"Our main goal is to be a brewhouse and eatery" Conway tells me, explaining their desire to change up styles frequently. "We do not intend on having a 'flagship' or 'signature' beer."

The Collingwood brewhouse location is still under wraps while they finalize details, but they're optimistic the doors will open sometime in 2014 when they'll work to collaborate with local producers and businesses to provide seasonal menus, craft brewed beers, and other local selections showcasing the region.

Until then Northwinds will be contract brewing their beer in order to offer Ontario's beer fans a taste of their brews (and, one would assume, build up some capital to finance said brewhouse).

As is frequently the case when new brewers are finalizing accounts, the folks at Northwinds were hesitant to say publicly where you'll be able to find their beer just yet, but it's a fairly safe assumption that Toronto's more beer-focused bars will be the target of Northwinds first efforts when the beer starts flowing early this month.

In addition to maintaining accounts here, collaborating with Toronto's brewers will be part of Northwinds' ongoing strategy and Conway tells me that in addition to pouring eight Northwinds beers at a time at their forthcoming brewhouse, they'll also have two rotating guest taps (in addition to cask and barrel-aged options) so that Ontario craft brewers might have a place to showcase their beers in Collingwood.

For more information about Northwinds Brewery, including the other styles of beer they plan on brewing in the future, check out their website.

Ben Johnson also writes about beer on Ben's Beer Blog.

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