June 2013

Manitoba Chamber of Commerce

Issue link: http://publications.winnipegfreepress.com/i/141831

Contents of this Issue


Page 50 of 55

MIDWEST T wo brothers have brewed up a crafty plan to reclaim their Neepawa farming roots and build a better beer at the same time. Six years ago, Chris and Lawrence Warwaruk launched Luxalune Gastropub in Winnipeg. Since then they've expanded their brew selection to 170 beers from around the world. Now they've taken their interest in craft beers to a new level. In December, they launched their own Farmery brand premium lager, painstakingly created from ingredients they grow themselves on their 160-acre farm near Neepawa. "We wanted to make sure the ingredients and the process that gets into the bottle is unique," Chris says. A lager is expensive to produce since it's fermented for 26 to 28 days, compared to six or seven days for an ale, but Chris says it pays in the long run to spend more time to make a better product. "People will appreciate the value in it once they have it — not only because of the ingredients we grew on the farm, but because it's very drinkable." The project takes them back to their family farm after a bitter experience. "Our parents went broke on the farm. We were virtually told to pack up and our suitcases were at the end of the road. So for us to actually go back to farming, it was only under the circumstances that we could make it viable," Chris says. "After seeing our parents struggle for 20 years trying to claw out of a hole that was created by high interest rates in the '80s only to get buried with it, it's rewarding for us," he adds. "We don't give up, and if we just tweak the model a little bit, we can be successful." Right now, the Warwaruks co-brew in a craft brewery in Muskoka, Ont., with barley grown on their land along the Yellowhead Highway. They also grow their own hops, which they'll harvest commercially for the first time this year. "The project is going to come to full fruition when we actually build a brewery on the farm. Then we will become North America's first estate brewery where we can give you a tour of the brewing plant and the facilities. We will give you a sample from the tasting room and open up the barn doors to show you the barley in the field and the hops on the vines," Chris says. "We hope to give people tours this summer. Whether it's a full brewery or just a malting house or tasting room, it will be something. We're really encouraged and excited about it." MIDWEST HAMIOTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MINNEDOSA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEEPAWA & DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RIVERS & DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE So far, the brothers' Farmery lager has had a fantastic reception. "It's not as light as domestic brands because it has 100% barley malt and we put a little bit of wheat malt in the recipe," Chris says. "We use three kinds of hops, and each variety contributes a different taste profile to the beer — a little bit of dryness in the beginning, some bitterness in the middle and a definite crisp bite on the end that doesn't linger. It's very clean and refreshing." Farmery is sold in every Manitoba Liquor Mart in the province. A few dozen restaurants, beer vendors and pubs also carry the craft lager. "Being based in rural Manitoba, we want every corner of Manitoba to have the opportunity to support the brand," Chris says. "We have to get to a point where there's enough mass support so we can continue. There has to be that level in order to survive." The brothers are grateful for support they've received in the Neepawa area from folks who understand their experience on the family farm. "We're not scared to tell our story because there's thousands of farmers that went through the exact same process. We're capturing support from those people that still remember their dad on the farm. I think it really resonates with them," Chris says. "We definitely have generations of grain farming on the Canadian Prairies. In our product, I think that really comes through. With our lager, you can taste hard work and the quality of the ingredients. It's from our hardworking hands and from the support of the community too." www.farmery.ca WASAGAMING CHAMBER OF COMMERCE NEW & NOTEWORTHY >> The Minnedosa Chamber of Commerce supports Rockin' the Fields — an annual music festival set for Aug. 2- 4 at Lake Minnedosa, with acts including Trooper and Headpins. The festival has operated as a non-profit co-op for the past 10 years. Organizers are focused on financial stability, sustainability and old-fashioned rock 'n' roll. See www. rockinthefields.ca. >> The eighth annual Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival is tuning up for a series of six concerts Aug. 2 - 8. Fans are invited to take in five chamber concerts at the Onanole Community Centre and one jazz concert at the Marina, Main Beach, in Wasagaming. See www. clearlakefestival.ca. >> The Wasagaming Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Woods Super Mart to its membership ranks. The full-service store in Onanole has an in-store bakery, meat counter and all the extras you'd find in a larger centre. The chamber also notes that the Clear Lake Golf Course has a new restaurant — Duff's Steakhouse opened on Mother's Day in the clubhouse. MBiz June 2013 35 MBiz June 2013_final.indd Sec1:35 6/21/13 3:26:31 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MBiz - June 2013