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C M Y K 3 S M A L L B U S I N E S S M O N T H - S U P P L E M E N T T O T H E F R E E P R E S S - S A T U R D A Y , O C T O B E R 1 , 2 0 2 2 BY PAT REDIGER When Amber Saraillon and Morgan Weilgosz met while working at the Amsterdam Brewery in Toronto, their immediate connection led to a new business partnership. Sharing the dream of opening their own brewery, the two set about making it a reality. T hey decided to take a leap of faith by selling their homes and investing in themselves and their new venture. With that, Good Neighbours Brewing Company was born. As the first all-female and 2LGBTQS+ owned and operated brewery in Manitoba, and one of few in Canada, the duo is making history. After the initial move back to Saraillon's hometown of Winnipeg, the pair joined the Trans Canada Brewing Company team while working on plans of their own. With Weilgosz's extensive background in brew mastery and Saraillon's marketing skills, they had all the ingredients for the perfect brew – quite literally. After much planning and deliberation, they met with Sean Shoyoqubov at Oxus Brewing Company to discuss a contract to brew and distribute their beer recipes at his facility. "It was a nice way to balance launching a brand, allowing us to get our feet on the ground, and see if people were interested in drinking our beer before diving right in," Weilgosz says. In the spring of 2021, they used a C-can (a metal shipping container) to hold their first pop-up taproom featuring a Hazy Pale Ale and a Milkshake Kettle Sour beer, which are now a few of many unique options they now offer. Having 15 years as a brew master under her belt, Weilgosz has created numerous recipes and built a robust portfolio that she continues to expand. Inspired by the successful trial, they started working towards operating independently. "When looking into moving operations into our own facility, we really wanted to get into a neighbourhood rather than an industrial area. We wanted to be somewhere that people can walk and bike to that has a welcoming environment," Saraillon says. They decided on a spot on Sherbrooke Street, where they opened a taproom. One Sixteen offers all the Good Neighbour's brews on tap, with seating for up to 40 people and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Now, they have their eyes on the property next door. Having recently purchased the building, plans for a standalone brewery of their own have been set in motion. "People will be able to come in for a tasting or brewery tour in the intimate atmosphere it will offer, as well as the retail experience of buying beer to go," Weilgosz explained. As business continues to grow, so do Saraillon and Weisgolsz' charitable interests. "Giving back to our community is a big part of what we do," Saraillon says. Over the course of the last year, Good Neighbours has come up with creative ways to help others through their brand. The Our Community tap at One Sixteen features a new local group each month with one dollar from each beer sold is donated to that group. As part of a global collaboration initiative, they also led the Brave Noise brew this past March with women from all over the Winnipeg brewing community. The intent was to raise awareness for inclusivity and equity in the beer industry, with all proceeds from beverages sold (close to $4,000) going to the Winnipeg West Central Women's Resource Centre. With the holiday season fast approaching the business partners are launching a new initiative: the "Pay What You Can" Thanksgiving Dinner will be hosted at the One Sixteen taproom, where anyone is welcome to enjoy a warm meal free of judgement and free of charge. Saraillon and Weilgosz says these initiatives are a reflection of the company and its values. Considering the business' prosperity, Saraillon's advice to other young entrepreneurs is to take a chance. "Go after your dreams, be vulnerable, ask questions and really put the work in," she says. For Good Neighbours Brewing Co., success is measured through customer experiences. "There's a lot of pride when we do see our product out in the wild," Weilgosz says. "To see people enjoying our beer, there's no greater feeling." Good Neighbours Brewing living up to its name Photos by Darcy Finley Good Neighbours Brewing founders Amber Saraillon and Morgan Weilgosz say there's no greater feeling that seeing people enjoy the beer they brew. LOWER YOUR ENERGY BILLS AND REDUCE YOUR MAINTENANCE COSTS. Programs and incentives for energy efficiency upgrades in businesses. START SAVING TODAY

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