great lakes brewery toronto

Toronto brewery near Adamson Barbecue struggling to get orders to customers

The Adamson Barbecue saga has undoubtedly disrupted the lives of many in Toronto this week, and while the restaurant's owner was arrested yesterday and charges were laid against him, a nearby brewery is still being impacted in the aftermath of the incident. 

Troy Burtch, the marketing and communications manager for Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke — which is located across from the BBQ joint — told blogTO the brewery's retail store has been heavily impacted by the situation since Adamson Barbecue owner Adam Skelly first opened for indoor dining in defiance of lockdown measures Tuesday.

"It drew a large crowd and it drew a lot of interesting people who were not here just to support small business," said Burtch, adding that the arrival of crowds completely "obliterated" street parking and resulted in cars parking all over the place — including on their property. 

After three consecutive days of Adamson trying to open and anti-lockdown protestors swarming the area, police have blocked off the road and are not allowing cars to come down onto Queen Elizabeth Boulevard from Royal York Road.

Any cars trying to get to the brewery therefore have to get there by Queen Elizabeth and Taymall Avenye, and they also have to go through a police checkpoint and confirm that they are there to support a local business. 

"The police have been great at making sure our customers are safe," said Burtch. "Police are asking what kind of beer are you going to buy just to have some humour with the whole situation."

But he explained that the timing of all this was extremely unfortunate because the brewery actually released 10 new beers over the past two days, so they were expecting to see a big increase in sales and foot traffic this week. 

Unfortunately, that didn't quite happen.

"People have seen the news, they know we're on Queen Elizabeth, so we have received a significant amount of correspondence… seeing if it's safe to come to the brewery… and we're getting more people saying 'I'll come later on when this is all boiled over,'" he explained.

"It's impacted us. We would've seen more businesses in the past few days if this was not happening in the neighbourhood."

Still, Burtch said he feels for all the local businesses that have been impacted by the restrictions and understands why some owners are angry, but Great Lakes is taking the approach of focusing on delivery and other services that can remain operational while protecting the health and safety of customers and employees.

Mostly, he said he's grateful to have such great customers who continue to support the brewery through these difficult times.

"The Great Lakes customers are just amazing and so we've received so much positive correspondence… People are spreading the word to support local businesses like Great Lakes," said Burtch.

"Our customers are just being patient, they're taking it all in stride and they're just the best customers we could ever ask for."

Lead photo by

Great Lakes Brewery 

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