Lake of the Woods Brewing Company to expand space, product lines
Coffee roasting, cold brewing and distilling lie ahead for Kenora brew house
Kenora's brewery is well known for its beer, but the owners of the Lake of the Woods Brewing Company hope to diversify their products in the coming months.
The three-year-old brewery will expand into coffee roasting next month, creating what's called 'cold brew' coffee, and then branch into distilling.
Brewery president and CEO Taras Manzie said expanding into new products makes sense, as he needs a larger facility to just keep up with the demand for beer.
"We've been contract-brewing beer in cans for the last few months," he said.
"So, we brew at full time capacity here, and then the two that we have that are available in cans are brewed in the GTA."
Manzie said he's hoping to finalize a new location for a larger brewery by the summer.
Denise Lysak has been charged with setting up the roastery that would sell local coffees and 'cold brew.' Cold-brew coffee is steeped in small batches in room-temperature or cold water for several hours. The result is a potent drink that drinkers claim goes down smooth.
"What we're finding here at the brewery — and we think it'll translate in terms of coffee — is that people want to know what those input ingredients are. They want to know where it's coming from, how it's being made, and we'll be able to deliver on that," Lysak said.
While he'll have local coffee perking in a month, the goal to have a new brewery and distillery open could take two years, Manzie said.
Having a distilled product will be welcome in a northwestern Ontario town that's big on whiskey, Manzie speculated.
"There's a real big buzz about single malt Canadian whiskies. But you need three years for a whiskey to be declared a Canadian whisky," he said.
"We would probably start with a clear, so most likely a vodka."
He said the distillery would be built along with the new brew house.
The current brewery is in the old fire hall on 2nd Street in Kenora.