SRED Unlimited Brewery Road Trip – August 2022
SRED Consultant David Reti
“What I found most interesting was that every one of these businesses are using SR&ED refunds to help grow their business, but each of them is doing it in very different ways.” – David R.
Part 4 – Four Fathers Brewing
I knew the Four Fathers location was the largest of the breweries we’d be visiting, but was still shocked at the massive grounds. Four Fathers was started when four fathers met at their sons’ hockey game and hit it off. Their love of craft beer caused them to start creating their own in an old barn on one of their properties. It was such a hit, that they decided to do it full time and formed the Four Fathers Brewing company. Unfortunately, none of them were in town for our visit, but they did arrange for a tour of the facility for us at least.
Upon walking in, you arrive in a large merchandise area, with the kitchen to the right and the restaurant straight ahead. It’s a large, open space, with the bar on the right and a small sound stage right along the back wall. There are enclosed sitting areas, a “pilot” brew system through glass on the left and a large patio out in back. Beyond the patio is a disc golf course that the fathers installed for their love of recreational sports.
But that’s just the start of things! We scanned the QR code to pull up a menu and ordered our drinks while we were taken on yet another behind-the-scenes tour of the rest of the brewery. The pilot brew system alone was almost as large as what we had seen at either of the previous breweries. That’s where they do their weekly brews and experiments. They also do a lot of their “scratch” brews here. See, the Four Fathers have this massive list of beers they want to try, which they call their “scratch list.” Every time they make one of those beers, they “scratch it off their list.” These are limited run experiments. So, if you ever find a Four Fathers can with “scratch series” on its label … grab it!
A short ramp up takes you into the REAL brewhouse, which was massive. Apparently, the entire facility used to be a washer and dryer manufacturing plant. Large vessels line the hall beyond which is the canning area beyond which is the storage area. And that’s just one side. On the other side, the company has installed pickle ball courts. Right now, it’s just for employees as they are not legally allowed to let the public in. But they are installing showers and, in future, hope to make the entire zone accessible so that people can grab some brews and have a game. This is clearly aimed at people who are more active than our group; we were happy to just sit outside and relax with our cold ones.
And that was only about half the whole space. Clearly, there’s lots of room for expansion and what comes next for the Four Fathers… only they know.
Both the size and attitude were really just amazing. This is a group of people who love beer, hanging out and being active together, and they have created space to share those loves with others. And this is the atmosphere that surrounds you when you walk in.
Our tour guide was fantastic and we got back to our table just in time for our drinks to arrive. We ordered our dinners and everyone enjoyed the food as much as the brews. We decided to do what everyone else was doing and just got into some great conversation over some great food and cold beers. We didn’t even notice the time go by. At 8:30 though, we realized we were supposed to have been back home already and we hadn’t even left!
With our designated driver at the wheel, we jumped in the van to get back on the 401, a little tired, but very, very happy at such an awesome day. The only question left to be answered is “when can we do this again?”