Two new local microbreweries preparing to open will be competitors, but their owners agree that when it comes to craft beer, the more the merrier.
“The whole Sarnia area becomes more of a destination if you have a bundle of breweries,” says Claudio Palleschi, co-owner of Point Brewing Company, which is planning for a January opening.
“It allows all of us to collaborate on things like marketing the area as a place where there are several microbrewery options.
“I see this industry as very different from most. While we’re in the planning process, we are getting tremendous help and support from the others in town.”
Palleschi of Point Edward, and his brothers-in-law David Kruger and Scott Dunn of Sarnia, have leased the former Brewers Retail Store on Lite Street in Point Edward and are converting it into a production area and 75-seat tap room, with additional patio seating.
“We’ve been looking to do this for three years and couldn’t find the right building until now,” said Palleschi.
Point Brewing Company will be surrounded by a rejuvenated shopping area that includes an expanded Sarnia Produce next door, Davy Jones Quality Meats, Sitara Indian Cuisine, Red & Ko artisan sandwich shop, and Cassie’s Cottage Bakery.
“It’s a secondary business district for Point Edward and we hope we can anchor it,” said Palleschi. “I’m not at all worried that the market will become saturated. People are just aching to get out there and socialize and experience friendship again.”
He and his brothers-in-law got started with home brewing equipment five years ago. They learned as they went and liked what they produced.
“We’ve been told we have a good product and think we can be successful doing this commercially.”
Myka Barnes has a similar story. She and a couple of silent partners are planning to open Two Water Brewing Co. in Corunna this month.
“We were brewing in the basement, drinking beer and doing our research,” she said. “My family and friends love going to all the microbreweries around. We wanted to bring one to Corunna too.”
Barnes and her partners are renovating space at the end of the plaza at 446 Lyndoch St.
They hope to open in late July with a 60-seat taproom and large patio. They’ve hired two master brewers and four servers and intend to launch with five to seven styles of craft beer.
It’s an awesome thing to get into,” said Barnes explaining why she doesn’t think the craft beer market is saturated. “It’s a money maker. Most people like to drink and in Corunna there aren’t a lot of licensed establishments.
“I think we’re going to bring a lot of business to Corunna.”