Years ago (it almost feels like a decade), Cousin Scott got into craft beer. He would bring growlers filled with his favourites and new local craft beers we could all try. Scott knew everything about the beers and the brewery he was supporting, and we quickly could see that Scott truly had a passion for amazing beer. We even made the comment that one day, Scott was going to own his own brewery because he is that passionate about beer, and good times. Well, these discussions continued and continued and myself and my two brother in-laws started believing in the dream too. We all had an amazing passion for craft beers and good times and we thought why not spend our time hanging out and making amazing beer! We are 3 brothers and a cousin in Waterloo, Ontario who have a love for Craft Beer with a dream to make delicious fresh craft beer one day for the masses, our friends and family.
The Adventure Starts - Garage Brewers 2020
The first system we started learning on was a small Grainfather bundle system which made about 20L of beer in each batch. It came complete with everything we needed to make beer like the pros, counter flow wort chiller, conical fermenter, glycol chiller to optimize our fermenting process, we were set. Our first brew was an event. We even took full advantage of the yellow heating element band in the Grainfather connect (that’s another funny story you should ask us about). What we all learned from brewing our first beer, Cousin Day IPA, was that we didn’t just like drinking it, we loved brewing it. We enjoyed the challenge, the science, the creativity and time hanging out having Sunday funday in the garage making Canada’s next greatest beers. One of the best days early on was a visit from the “OG” Original Gangster nor Original Gravity, Mr. Jim Brickman, the founder of Brick Brewing. He always has amazing stories to share and amazing intuition and knowledge. When Jimmy says “I like” after trying our Cousin Day IPA, it put smiles on our hearts, and energy in our passion to learn more about the art of brewing and making amazing beer.
I still remember the day like yesterday when my brother-in law had a transport truck pull up into our neighbourhood and back up on an angle into the driveway. It was the day our discussions and dreams started coming into reality and our brew gear got upgraded. The next step in garage brewing for us really. If the gear was any bigger, we would have needed a retrofit on the space, really. This was a special day, the day our brewery dreams started here on Schooner. It was this day pallets of brewing equipment were dropped off in Jody’s garage and we began our quest to make amazing craft beer on mid-sized professional gear. Later, we had professional brewers actually tell us our gear was better than what they were brewing on. The pallets of equipment that arrived that day, came with instructions thankfully, as none of us had any experience with assembling this next level brewery equipment except for the Google videos we watched over and over dreaming of the next phase of our brewing adventures.
The summer of 2020 we spent every Sunday brewing and experimenting and learning. We played our brewing music and started at 10 every Sunday and went until we were done. The neighbours on Schooner would walk past the house and wonder what was going on as our production and batches grew. I could see the guys walking by mouthing “WTF” while walking their dogs. After a few weeks, they started asking when they could sample the beer as they seemed to figure it out and the word got out. I’m sure they thought, these guys are running a major operation out of the garage. We had a full production going and near the end of the summer decided to get full uniforms too, just for fun. The best feeling was when we sampled our ‘green’ beer because it was soo good and it wasn’t even ready yet… we have to thank our awesome Schooner neighbours John and Bruce, Mike for your honest feedback of our beer along the way.