Sawdust City Beer Co. begins building brew house in Gravenhurst Monday morning
GRAVENHURST – They looked like silver bullets – or at the very least giant kegs of beer that hold 5,000 litres each.
And that was just fine with everybody early Monday morning, as Sawdust City Beer Co. arrived in Gravenhurst to set up shop in the old Canadian Tire store on the main street.
Three large transports rolled into town at 6 a.m. to begin a morning of unloading pipes and big shiny vats that looked like space shuttles.
Overseeing the big move by some 10 people involved were the beaming proponents behind the company, brew master Sam Corbeil and president Rob Engman.
“It’s a happy day,” said Corbeil, as he helped drag in the four cone fomenters, four brew house vessels, a bright tank and hot washer – the brand new guts of the operation.
The 10 pieces made in P.E.I. are the heart of the brew house operation, which will be situated along the east wall of the old CTC, next to Muskoka Road, where the indoor garden centre was located.
They were lucky to have bay door right there to haul everything in.
Straight back on the far south wall from is where the “canning” line will be set up. So as the beer comes out of the vats, it will be bottled or put into the various serving containers. Then just off that in the right corner – looking at facing south from the old front doors off Peter Street – will be the cooler, where the beer will be stored.
Just in front of the bay door (front left corner) where they offloaded this morning, will be the sampling room and retail store with windows overlooking the brew house. The main front doors will remain.
And somewhere over where the old auto service bays were will in about three years be a restaurant, just under the second storey offices just above it.
But in the meantime, there’s a lot of work to do.
Doug Burley, who set up the other two Muskoka brew houses Muskoka Brewery in Bracebridge and Lake of Bays in Baysville, had his team on the job beginning the setup.
Corbeil said they hope to have their first pour by Easter Sunday, April 20, and definitely by May 24 for the “big summer beer-drinking season.”
It’s been a long project – dating back to 2010 – and one that from start to finish, he said, could cost upwards of $3 million.
They’ve already made a name for themselves the past few years in the local market, brewing their beer at the Black Oak brewery in Toronto.
With the help of company accountant Colton Proveau and jack of all trades Andrus Heyduk, it was all hands on deck, as dollies were pulled inside, floors were being swept and a mini excavator was digging up the brew house floor to prepare the site to lay down the below ground and above ground plumbing.
It’s all an exciting time for everyone involved and it was all being videoed.
“It’s just one of the steps,” said Engman, adding there are always a few delays like those that put them a few months behind schedule.
But they’re inside now, and ready to go ahead with the real building of the brew house.
And there wasn’t a SawdustCity beer in sight – just coffee and donuts Engman was sent out to bring back for everybody.
Burley told Engman: “The first coffee’s on me – the first beer’s on you.”
Check out their blog at sawdustcitybeer.blogspot.com/
For more of the move, see TODAILY photo gallery below and click onto to photos to enlarge.
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