It's no secret that, having started the Ottawa Beer TAP Society about 3 years ago, my goal has been to open up a brewpub to share my passion with others. Over the last few years, and more so during the last twelve months, I have been preparing to take the hobby that I've come to love to a whole new level and I am now on the path to brewing my beer on a commercial scale.
The name has now been incorporated both federally and provincially (my hope is to start in Ontario then expand from there) and significant work has been done to create a logo that will be both simple and effective at communicating the mission of the brewery. With the hard work and enthusiastic help of artist friends (Preston and Agata) we have almost finalized what will be our initial image.
I have submitted a proposal to the NCC to lease a heritage site as our brewpub. The decision process is a long one, and estimated opening date for the pub/brewery would be some time in 2014. In the meantime, I plan to work closely with local brewing friends to brew my initial offerings on a contract basis, which basically means that my beer is brewed on a commercial scale, using my own recipes and ingredients. This way I'll be able to build the brand so that the brewpub opens with a recognized name attached to it. Exciting times!
Next step is navigating the licensing. The AGCO is apparently very easy to work with in this regard, and starting with contract brewing apparently makes the process even quicker and easier. Will report back on that in the near future. Fingers crossed!
As far as initial brands going to market is concerned, the Ottawa Beer TAP Society has given me a lot to think about. Based on candid feedback from our members, I have come up with a short list of what I'd call the best of the last 3 years. Next beer and food pairing will act as somewhat of a think tank, showcasing the top 6 scoring beer that make sense to offer during the summer months, with the best scoring ones from that event topping the list of beer that I'll look to for my first 2 or 3 releases. With the candid feedback of fellow craft beer lovers, I'm sure the first few beer we come to market with will be great successes!