KAWARTHA LAKES-The Pie Eyed Monk Brewery is no longer just a pie in the sky idea for Aaron Young and his wife Jennifer.
Young says the couple has wanted to tap into the craft brewery market for a long time and when the historic C.L. Baker building became available they took a chance. “Jennifer and I have had the idea to do something like this for a lot of years. We were lucky enough to have some amazing partners that believed in our vision and here we go” Young told Kawartha 411.
Young credits his wife with coming up with the name, Pie Eyed Monk. “Pie is for pizza pie, pie eyed I don’t need to explain and Monk because Monks were the first to bring beer to an industrial level.”
The brewery is located at 8 Cambridge St. N in Lindsay in the C.L. Baker Building. Young says “It a pretty special piece of property” It was built in 1868 and Young says it was originally a grainery. C.L. Baker was a local business man who is reported to have built a number of buildings in the downtown. He also was the proprietor of the Baker Business College in Lindsay. The family is said to have once held a lofty place in local society.
Young has some lofty ideas for the new brewery, starting with the brewhouse. “The brewhouse is going to be counter sunk into the basement with a full view from the main floor looking down onto it so you can watch the brewers work,” Young says. The brewmasters were trained in Berlin and they plan to start with four beers each named after one of the partners. Jennifer’s is the Laughing Troll Lager Dale, The Dirty Bird is named after local real estate broker Brad Bird, The Downtown Brown after Don Brown and Murphs Daily Ration after Pat murphy.
The building will undergo extensive renovation but keep some of the main heritage features. The brick walls will be exposed on the main floor, which will be an eatery. A talented, local artist and friend of Young, named Mike Wills,has be brought on board to do a mural on the wall behind the bar and the bar itself will be a one of a kind piece. “The other really cool piece is the bar design. We commissioned a man by the name of Dan Kitchen who has been working along side us from a visionary standpoint to design what we want but also putting his touch on it, he’s come up with some pretty incredible designs.”
There will be 16 beer taps, a wood fired pizza oven has been imported from Italy and the group has purchased a commercial pasta machine so they will be making all of their own pasta. There are plans for a private dining room in the back with a private entrance. “For the people who want to do their own thing, we are pretty blessed to have some great musicians who have hit the big time so I’m hoping to be able to lure them in to come party with us but have their own space” Young remarks.
The second floor will house an event space that can hold up to 225 people while the third floor will be office space. Young says there will be an elevator installed to make it all accessible.
The craft brewery market has exploded over the last few years. There are now more than 200 operational brewing licences in Ontario.
The Ontario Craft Brewers association says since 1985, small brewers have created thousands of jobs in Ontario. As of 2015, there were well over 1,500 direct brewery jobs and over 6,000 indirect jobs (using a multiplier of four). They estimate the broader economic impact of small breweries is estimated to be roughly 600 million annually (2015).
Young says the Pie Eyed Monk will help the entire downtown. “Craft breweries really do drive a ton of traffic into the community, everybody downtown is going to win,” he says. Not everyone is going to want to eat here, there’s tons of other restaurants in the downtown and hopefully this will lure other restaurants to come into the downtown and customers will follow.”
The project is estimated to cost between 2.5 and 3 million dollars and will employ 30 to 40 people Young says. They hope to open in the fall.
Click here for more information: https://www.facebook.com/pieeyedmonkbrewery/
But Lindsay isn’t the only community brewing up it’s own beer industry. The Old Dog Brewing Company is under construction at 30 King St. East in Bobcaygeon.
Owner, Scott Nichol says he started brewing beer in his basement a few years ago and he really loved it. “I’m following my passion” says Nichol. “It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, it’s going to be a gathering spot”
Nichol was a professional actor for ten years, working as a bartender to make ends meet. He later got a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and went into banking but the hospitality industry was always calling to him. “I really missed that and I wanted to get back to it” he says. Nichol is originally from London Ontario but was enticed to set up shop in the Kawartha Lakes by a friend who has a cottage here.
Coincidentally Nichol says it was his ex-wife who came up with the name. “She said you’re an old dog learning a new trick so that would be a good name” He added the tag line, “you’re new best friend”
Nichol hopes to have the brewery open by Christmas.
Click here for more information:https://www.facebook.com/olddogbrewing/