As Ontarians’ beer-drinking tastes grow increasingly locally oriented and our local options for beer keep growing, it seems something like the natural progression of the province’s current beer trends that a brewer would eventually go the extra step and make a beer that is not only made here in Ontario, but is also made entirely from ingredients grown right here.
Well, one new brewing company has opted to do precisely that and, in doing so, The Ontario Beer Company has perhaps shown why no one else has done it thus far: it’s really really difficult.
Founded by two people with some background in the province’s beer-making scene, OBC is the result of a partnership between Duggan’s brewery founder Mike Duggan and the guy responsible for the great beer coming out of the nano-brewery at Get Well, Brad Clifford.
The duo first met when Clifford, then a fledgling homebrewer, was a regular at Duggan’s Brewery on Victoria (RIP). He started helping out around the brewhouse and actually took part in brewing an early ancestor for their beers to come when they used all Ontario malt and local hops to brew Duggan’s #12, perhaps the first “all Ontario beer.”
Sometime after Duggan’s closed down, Clifford set up the nanobrewery at Get Well and the duo partnered up a few more times to brew an all Ontario pilsner, stout, and an ale. A commercially available all-Ontario beer was something they had discussed for a while but it took considerable planning to actually make it happen.