With our second anniversary now behind us, we wanted to take this time to thank everyone so much for their tremendous support since we opened our doors. From our humble beginning on our small 7bbl brewhouse (which we still use), we tried to pump out as much great beer as we could, while trying to get our name out to our local community. At times, we struggled to keep up with inventory, often leaving our accounts and customers wondering where their favourite beer was.
Entering into our third year, it’s going to be very exciting for us and for our community of beer drinkers. We’ve got big plans, which are coming together nicely.
After a long wait and a lot of paperwork, we’ve put the final pen to paper to confirm that Rainhard is expanding. In August we’ll be taking over the unit directly behind ours at 100 Symes Rd., knocking down the wall, and putting in a new 15 BBL brewhouse, along with a handful of 30BBL fermenters!
We’ve been pressed right up against our capacity for a long time – generally we keg on Thursday mornings and ship all those kegs out to licensees in the afternoon, except the few we keep for our taproom – and this summer will be no different. But once we have our new brewhouse up and running in the fall, we’ll be able to take some of the pressure off and bring a few more LCBOs and licensees on board.
THE BARREL PROGRAM
We’ve also been very busy behind the scenes, and anyone who has frequented the Rainhard tap room over the past 4-6 months would have noticed our growing collection of barrels. Red wine barrels, white wine barrels, bourbon barrels… all in effort to grow our barrel program. It’s been festering in our minds for quite some time, and we are really excited for what our future holds with our expanded program. Once we are up and running with the new space and brewhouse, our next priority will be a big one: installing and filling up our two foeders (basically very large 15BBL oak barrels) that are on the way over from Italy! These should be fun, and something that will act as the base for many of our sour beers, while blending with our more experimental small barrels.
We’re currently in the process of developing a house yeast.
If all goes according to plan, our house yeast will be a dual-strain made up of a yeast that throws out a touch more flavor and aroma, and combining it with the power of a neutral new world yeast. We first experimented with our new yeast in our Total Clarity IPA (released for the 2017 Aleyards Spring BBQ), which was actually 100% fermented with the new expressive strain. While it showed promise, it was a touch too yeast-forward, and interfered with our hop profile. We have since followed up by introducing the two strains into a test batch of Kapow (currently on tap at the brewhouse). If the strains get along, we’ll get a little more character and depth in the finished product, and if it complements and enhances the hop profile as planned, we’ll maintain it as our house culture. If not, we’ll go in a different direction to find the specific subtle character we’re looking for, the goal being to be working with our house yeast by the time the new 15 barrel brewhouse goes in.
Here’s to a great 2017 Brew Year!!
Jordan, Derek, Chad, Mat, and Dan
We had a pretty good April. The first Aleyards Spring BBQ on April 22nd was a huge success, inspiring us to do more. And last week, Rainhard Brewing took home three more awards from the Ontario Brewing Awards! All repeat winners:
Gold – Sweetback’s Milk Stout (Gold Medal, 2016 OBAs)
Silver – Lazy Bones IPA (Gold, 2016 CBAs)
Silver – Hop Cone Syndrome Double IPA (Silver, 2016 CBAs)
(Currently in the fridge and on tap we’ve got lots of Sweetback’s and a little bit more Hop Cone Syndrome, but we’re fresh out of Lazy Bones.)
But that’s no reason to rest on our laurels. We’re hard at work preparing for our second anniversary party – yes, Rainhard Brewing Co. will be turning 2 years old on May 27th. It’s been a long and very rewarding two years, with dozens of beers, eight awards (and counting… the Canadian Brewing Awards are being held May 20th), our first LCBO listing, the launch of our barrel program (expect a lot more from that this year) and a lot of man-hours turning this former refinery into a home away from home for our many now and future regulars.
So come celebrate as we enter year 3 of Rainhard Brewing on May 27th. Joining us once again will be Fool Hearts, playing between 12 and 6, and the very, very tasty Gourmet Guyz food truck. We’re also prepping some very special beer releases for this event… to be announced. More details released closer to!
It’s been a long time coming, but Kapow! West Coast IPA is now on the shelf at select LCBO stores! Starting small but planning to add more stores to the list. You can get it right now at the following stores:
Aleyards Spring BBQ at Rainhard Brewing
Saturday April 22nd, Noon – 5pm – Free Admission
Well. It doesn’t always feel like it, but spring has officially sprung. What better time to officially christen the “Aleyards” with a BBQ? We’ve licensed our parking lot and invited our neighbours Shacklands and Junction Brewery to join us for what amounts to a miniature outdoor beer festival. We’ll be pouring a couple rare items on cask and Shacklands and Junction will be bringing some of their own favourites.
But that’s not all! The Michael Herring Boogaloo Band, a Rainhard regular, will be playing some sweet jazz tunes. We’ll also be joined by our crowd-pleasing food partners: Young Animal will be serving his addicting Trinidadian Doubles and the Junction’s Cut the Cheese will be bringing back his famous Armed ‘N Citra Pulled Pork sandwiches for one day only!
More details to come!
The winter lull is officially over and the events are piling up. So let’s get right to it.
Evergreen Brickworks – 11AM-5PM, Monday, February 20th
Family Day is the unofficial launch of our events season, with the first Brewer’s Backyard of the year at Evergreen Brickworks, where we’ll be pouring some beers alongside the folks from Great Lakes, Halo, Henderson and Junction from 11AM to 5PM. Free attendance.
BEER & OLIVES
Rainhard Brewing – 5-9PM, Thursday, February 23rd
For the first Rainhard event of the year, we’re teaming up with Three Sisters Kitchen to pair our newest beers with their artisanal olives and tapanades. A special preview release of our Sour Brown Ale Aged in Oak with Raspberries and Cherries will be available on tap only. Tickets includes one 12oz beer or two 5oz samples, olives, tapanade and chips, and live music by John Showman and Friends.
LOVE CHIX MAKE IT RAIN
Love Chix – 6PM-close, Saturday, February 25th
We’ve teamed up with the Junction’s Love Chix to bring you a beer dinner. 3 of our regular brews and one surprise one-off will be paired with an inspired a la carte menu. Tickets get you free samples and all you can eat!
CLOSED FOR A PRIVATE FUNCTION
Saturday, February 26th
TRASHED & WASTED
Wychwood Barns – 6-10PM, Wednesday, March 1st
A charity event in support of Second Harvest, Trashed & Wasted is a food and design event featuring all repurposed trash and food waste. For this great event, we’ve brewed a beer using leftover bread from Blackbird Bakery and we’re working with Paradigm Architecture to create a unique bar out of found and repurposed items for the event.
See you there!