Town takes another step forward toward adding craft brewery

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town of Amherstburg already has a craft distillery and could soon have a craft brewery.

Those two amenities could also be at the same site, now that the town has moved the process of a zoning change forward.

Craft beer may soon be coming to Amherstburg thanks to Lonsbery Farms Brewing Company, a business that is planning to partner with and operate out of Wolfhead Distillery on Howard Ave. Karl Lonsbery, a proponent of the craft brewery, said while they are seeking approval for the ability to create beer, wine and mead, the focus will be on beer.

“One step at a time,” he said.

Lonsbery already works with Ryan Bezaire in running the stills at Wolfhead and is working with the AGCO to get licensing for the craft brewery. He hopes it will be up and running by Christmas.

“It’s out of our hands at this point,” said Lonsbery.

Wolfhead Distillery co-owner Tom Manherz (right) conducts a tour of the facility Nov. 15. Wolfhead is looking to partner with Lonsbery Farms Brewing Co. to add a craft brewery at the Howard Ave. business.

Wolfhead Distillery co-owner Tom Manherz (right) conducts a tour of the facility Nov. 15. Wolfhead is looking to partner with Lonsbery Farms Brewing Co. to add a craft brewery at the Howard Ave. business.

The craft brewery could be a nice complement to what is already at Wolfhead, he believes, adding that there are cross-marketing ideas as well. He and Wolfhead owner Tom Manherz envision a “one-stop shop” for alcoholic beverages there at some point.

Lonsbery added he is only aware of one other facility in Ontario that offers craft beer and craft spirits at the same location.

“We want to make it a destination,” he said.

Councillor Rick Fryer said the town will help in any way it can while Councillor Diane Pouget said she had no objections.

“I wish you the best,” she said.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the zoning passed for Wolfhead allowed for spirits but not a brewery so the amendment to the zoning will help expand what can happen at the Howard Ave. site. DiCarlo said craft breweries are starting to become more popular and Amherstburg stands to reap some benefits.

“There’s one other that I’ve heard from,” he said. “Obviously I can’t talk about it but craft breweries are something to explore.”

DiCarlo said the town has a lot of wineries and that a craft brewery will fit in well with the town. He added it is a clean industry that uses the sources of ingredients that are around them.

“It’s a great business in that it helps out other businesses around them,” said the mayor.

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