In just a few short months, commercial beer brewing is expected to end a near-century hiatus in Brandon with news that a new startup craft brewery is on the verge of beginning planned construction in the city’s Downtown.
The newly formed Black Wheat Brewing has purchased a recently constructed building at 402 10th Street, where it intends to now setup a full from grain-to-glass operation within the 4,000 square foot space.
When open the microbrewery will include a full brewing facility complete with a two vessel brewhouse, keg washer and quality lab according to Winnipeg entrepreneur Ted Birch, who along with Gloria Birch and two local investors make up the ownership group of Black Wheat Brewing. Part and parcel to the brewhouse will be a 75-person capacity tasting room, to be followed in the spring with a patio sized for 25 more.
On tap and made available primarily in keg and can form will be a signature Black Wheat Dunkelweizen beer amongst a selection of 3-4 flagship beers, making use of a variety of ingredients that will extend varieties available well beyond wheat. All varieties would be available at the tasting room and for purchase at the brewery alongside a selection of small batches and test batches. Takeout of seasonal brews would also be an option via Growlers and Crowlers, though not yet permitted as per COVID-19 regulations at the time of this post.
Flagship beers are intended to be distributed at local Liquor Stores with product also made available to local bars and restaurants.
Brewmaster Umber works on the first test batch of Black Wheat signature beer earlier this month (submitted)
According to Birch, whose son Tyler makes up one half of the pair behind Winnipeg’s Barn Hammer Brewing Co, the Wheat City is well overdue for an establishment built on the craft brewery trend.
“There has been demand for years in Brandon for a microbrewery to open,” he offered in an email interview with eBrandon this week.
“With the hype from Winnipeg opening many microbreweries, dozens of people from Brandon drive to Winnipeg just for the experience. We are excited to provide that experience to Brandon finally.”
Ingredients are to be sourced locally as much as possible.
A list of breweries in the Province counts no fewer than 20 in Winnipeg as well as Neepawa’s Farmery. Brandon isn’t without its brewer history, though you’d have to go back nearly a century to the days of Brandon Brewery and Empire Brewing Company with the latter shutting down in 1931 as the last brewery in operation in the city.
Previous rumours circulated in the community pegged a microbrewery at the location for early 2021. According to Birch, Black Wheat Brewing in fact expects to begin construction as soon as next week as it works toward a hopeful October 2020 opening pending necessary licenses.
Between eight and ten are planned to be employed.