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Innovation & Job News

Toronto-based historic brewery brings its first product to the LCBO

Three years ago, Mike Arnold of the Oakville-based craft brewery Trafalgar was at a small beer festival at Black Creek Pioneer Village. "I thought to myself, why isn't there a brewery here? Any town in this time period would have had its own brewer." As it turned out, Arnold's brainstorm dovetailed with a desire by the tourist-attraction village to expand its reach to a more adult audience.

Arnold and his colleagues hired local craftspeople to painstakingly recreate authentic period brewing equipment, and in 2009, the Black Creek Brewery was born. The historic brewery's single employee, Ed Koren, serves as both exhibit at the historical site, working away while visitors stop in and ask questions, and as brewmaster for the budding craft brewery. Though the batches he brews onsite are historically accurate and have a shelf-life of only three or four days, the parent company Trafalgar has been working to translate some of those recipes to a modern market.

Recently, Black Creek Brewery, working with Trafalgar, launched its first entry into the LCBO -- the Black Creek Porter, based on traditional recipes from the late 1800s. "Its been a real success, we're adding five or six stores a week," says Arnold, noting that six weeks after its launch, the Porter is now available in 80 LCBO outlets.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Mike Arnold, Trafalgar Brewery/Black Creek Historic Brewery
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