What is a brewery to do when the opening of your much anticipated second location is being repeatedly delayed by unforseen circumstances?
The answer, it seems, is to go ahead and just open a third location while you wait. At least, that’s the approach that Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery has opted to take.
As I first reported for blogTO way back in August of 2014, Bellwoods Brewery is working to take over space at 950 Dupont Street in the former Hamilton Gear and Machine building.
As you can probably guess if you’ve seen that space in the year and a half since that post went live, progress appears to be decidedly behind schedule. And so, today, thanks to what they are politely calling “landlord delays,” Bellwoods Brewery has announced their up-til-now secret plans for opening a third brewery.
Located North of Eglinton (yep, there’s stuff there!) in the former Ace Bakery Building at 20 Hafis Road, Bellwoods Brewery Three, or Two? or… whatever…is being constructed largely to handle the increased demand for Bellwoods’ beer that they had hoped the Dupont location would assist with. As such, the plans are perhaps decidedly less sexy than the grandiose designs for the glass-box-with-event-space they have planned for Dupont and instead, seem geared much more toward being able to make more beer efficiently.
The new brewhouse will be a 30 barrel system that they plan to use to brew one or two days per week. “This frees all of us up for barrel work, lab work, packaging and other fun stuff,” Clark says. “It will also take a ton of pressure off of Ossington by freeing up those tanks for more barrel blends, longer term ferments and other special projects.” Presumably, this increased capacity also means a few more bars and restaurants will be able to carry Bellwoods beer on tap, too.
The new Bellwoods location will have an onsite retail shop, but no brew pub. Sorry. You’ll have to continue to line up on Ossington for now.
According to Bellwoods’ website today, work on the new brewery starts next week, equipment begins to arrive next month and, fingers crossed, beers will start rolling out of the new facility this summer.
Until then, Clark and the Bellwoods team, who are currently focused on “sub grade plumbing and slab work,”clearly seem content to take things at this brewery one step a time.
Photo credit: Dennis Talon