04 Jan Tracing Our Path: Recap of 2018 at Muskoka Brewery
HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE January 4th, 2019 – Sometimes kicking off the year means taking a look back. We took some time to reflect and put together this list of accomplishments as inspiration for 2019, our twenty-third year in action. We couldn’t do this without a team that truly reflects our Values: Resolve, Thirsty, Caring, Authentic, and Unique. Our year-round team of 110 full-timers to 130 in the summer make it all possible as we paddle towards the common goal of becoming Canada’s most trusted and iconic beer brand. Venture off the beaten path back in time with us through Beer, Spirits, Community, Industry Innovations and Environmental Commitment.
The 2018 Moonlight Kettle lineup gets underway! Every month we brew a new beer uniquely crafted by staff trios, company-wide.
Hibernating Grizzly Grisette · Bang for Your Buck Dry-Hopped Sour (inspired Ebb & Flow!) · Is There Life on Märzen · Hit Me With Your Best Pot Oolong-infused Belgian Witbier · Berry Springer Milkshake IPA (Won World’s Best Specialty IPA!) · Middle of Noir Blackcurrant Berliner Weisse · All Eyes On Yuzu Pale Ale · Camp-Out Pils Dry-Hopped Pilsner · Yes, I’m Single Hop Red Ale · Caught Red Cranded Cranberry Saison · Pair of Wize Guys Weizenbock · Gingerbrewed Man Gingerbread Brown Ale
Oops, did you miss this? Here’s how to avoid making the same mistake in 2019 and a look at our new lineup.
Canadians love few things more than cracking open a fresh beer. One of those things? A creamy, delicious ice cream cone. Instead of making thirsty fans choose, Muskoka Brewery and Kawartha Dairy collaborated to create the best of both worlds – the ice cream-inspired Salty Caramel Truffle bock.
Lights, camera, action. A proud partnership and sponsorship of the arts at Hot Docs begins with Muskoka pouring at the Hot Docs Ted Rodgers Cinema.
Summerweiss Tropical Wheat launches. This evolution of our original Summerweiss German Wheat is now made with real mango and passion fruit juice for the refreshing taste of the tropics, born from Muskoka.
We ramp up our recycling efforts by clearly marking blue bins and ensuring that our staff’s plastics and papers are properly sorted.
We compost our staff kitchen biodegradable waste.
An opportunity for growth and expansion! Working with the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, we work to advocate for changes to the Small Beer Manufacturer’s Tax Credit to help craft breweries like ours grow. This, on top of a substantial grant awarded by the Ministry of Economic Development, allows us to re-invest in our largest capital expansion in 23 years, creating new jobs and expanding markets along the way.
Docker Gin & Tonic with cucumber and lime is born, our first pre-mixed cocktail in a can. Made with Porter’s Tonic from our Canadian partner in Calgary and our Legendary Oddity Gin, this all natural beverage achieves less than 10 g of carbs and sugar with a calorie count of 160 per tall can.
Time to stretch out. Just in time for the long weekend, our taproom doubles in size as part of our $5 million investment back into the brewery.
We announce our continued commitment to the community with the Community Venture Fund in support of worthy causes, close to our hearts. It’s about committing our time, our attention and our efforts on this beautiful place we call home.
Berry! Berry! Berry Springer wins a World Beer Award as the World’s Best Specialty IPA.
Short can four-packs of Mad Tom IPA, Cream Ale, Detour and Craft Lager become available in fully recyclable wraps.
We kick off the inaugural Venture Fest in support of the Community Venture Fund near our 22nd Anniversary, raising another $2000 for causes close to our hearts.
The Venture Collection is launched with a Chardonnay Barrel-Aged American Blonde Ale 750mL bottle. For every bottle sold, $1 is donated back into the Venture Fund.
The Green Team crafts a charter: We are Muskoka Brewery’s Green Team. Our commitment is to continuously improve our brewery’s environmental footprint and make our mark by sustainably brewing beers that support our local communities. The beer we brew today will protect our planet for the beer drinkers of tomorrow.
We win an Elsie award for Environmental Commitment from the LCBO, recognizing our efforts to support fresh waters with the Evergreen Fresh Water Grants Program.
Trail Day with Muskoka Conservancy where we helped to clean up the UpJohn Nature trail.
We focus our efforts on finding ways to reduce water use – i.e., we now turn off the Hot Liquid Tank before every weekend. By doing so, we are saving anywhere between 400-800hL of water!
Quite the phenomenon to see our July Moonlight Kettle, All Eyes on Yuzu, create international buzz from fans of Japanese Olympic figure skater, Yuzuru Hanyu.
Kawartha Dairy mixes it up with a beer-infused ice cream, Pralines & Cream Ale.
The mini-est camper you’ll ever see. Our Venture Pack now carries twelve short cans of Detour, Cream Ale, Craft Lager and Mad Tom IPA.
All of our plastic cups are sourced from 100% recyclable materials.
We switch to online pay stubs (decreasing paper use).
We reuse good-one-sided paper to create recycled notebooks.
Five beers get five star status, each placing among Canada’s Best in the World Beer Awards. Give it up for Cream Ale, Cool As Cuke, Summerweiss Tropical Wheat, Twice as Mad IIPA, and Hit Me With Your Best Pot. Including Berry Springer scoring the World’s Best in Style for the Specialty IPA category, we took home three golds and three overall wins among Canadian submissions.
Special delivery! Dockside Draught reaches 93 home taps around Muskoka.
Ontario Beer Awards: GOLD for Hazed & Confused- American IPA category, SILVER for Shinnicked Stout -Flavoured Stout category, and BRONZE for Cool as Cuke – Vegetable Beer category.
Official Beer Sponsor of Tough Mudder in Ontario! Many beers were poured for thirsty road-warriors.
For nine years running, Harvest Ale returns as our fall seasonal and for a second year in a row it’s made with 100% Ontario ingredients!
Through the Freshwater Grant program, a number of Muskoka team members volunteered to plant trees, shrubs, and wildflowers along the Ottawa River to improve water quality and local fish habitats.
Muskoka team partnered with Evergreen Brickworks in support of Swim Drink Fish to test around Toronto Island.
Our new leading-edge canning line and keg filler nears completion. With improvements in automation, we approach 250 cans per minute and up to 1000 kegs over three days. This installment requires an almost doubling in production space and the majority of our $5 million investment in capital.
Ebb & Flow enters our core lineup as our nod in agreement that it’s time for an easygoing brew that doesn’t skimp on flavour at 2.4% alc./vol.
From the vaults, Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout returns with a selection of vintages from 2014 to 2017.
Muskoka Spirits introduces Pink Peppercorn Gin, made with hibiscus, Brazilian pink peppercorn, juniper berries, orris root and heather tips. Complex and inviting, the spicy and sweet elements play perfectly together to deliver an exotic, light peppery taste.
Craft Beer takes the stage at Mirvish Theatres as we partner to provide a selection of our creations at their four theatres in downtown Toronto. “A big win for craft beer,” says Todd Lewin as most large scale venues are wrapped up in macro-brewery contracts.
New toilets in the Docker women’s washroom now decrease water use.
Used corrugated pallets are now being picked up by Woodbridge Pallet and being diverted from the landfill.
Malt bags are re-purposed as kindling bags by The Old Mill Firewood Supply in Bracebridge and as produce bags for Eat Local Muskoka, our local food co-op.
A 7.7% Brut IPA is added to the Venture Collection for which every bottle sold donates $1 back into the Community Venture Fund.
With the recent expansion at the brewery, we double our space for a new seasonal event, Winter Village. Thanks for coming out! We raised $1000 for the Community Venture Fund through drink tickets sales.