Local startup beer makers at Bell City Brewing Company have hit a couple of milestones this week.
In addition to landing tallboy cans of their Eureka cream ale on LCBO shelves on Friday, the brewers debuted their second creation on Saturday.
“We just started making our first deliveries on Friday,” Bell City’s Dennis Marijan said. “The Brantford LCBOs were, obviously, a priority and we delivered to all three of them. We are also in Simcoe and will start rolling out to a few in Niagara, Hamilton and Toronto.
“From there, we conquer the world.”
It’s been a little over 13 months since the Brantford-based brewers made their first public appearance at Grandelicious Food and Wine Show in Brantford in May 2013.
Marijan said the process has been slow, but is starting to pay off.
“It’s a relief to be in the LCBO,” he said. “It’s one of those major milestones. Not everybody goes to licensed establishments. The take-home market is very important. A lot of people would rather enjoy beer at home with their families.”
Bell City Brewing Company has been renting equipment time from Railway City Brewery in St. Thomas to create their brew.
Brewmaster Matthew Sakthivel has 24 years experience as an expert brewer.
With Eureka, which features Brantford’s Alexander Graham Bell on the can, hitting the LCBO, Marijan and Sakthivel launched Bell City’s next creation on Saturday.
“Lenoir is named after Etienne Lenoir, the Belgian inventor that created the internal combustion engine,” Marijan said. “It’s the second in our inventor series and I think we hit it out of the park again.”
The Belgian beer is 6.5 per cent alcohol and is a “very classic Belgian beer, golden in colour with fruit aromas.”
Marijan said it’s a lightly-hopped brew.
“Craft breweries tend to get a little crazy with the hops and bitterness sometimes,” he said. “This is a very drinkable beer. It’s smooth.”
Bell City launched the brew at Zander’s Fire Grill and Brew Lounge on Saturday, to coincide with the local restaurant’s second weekend with a new patio.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Marijan said. “Local helping local. The local breweries get a lot of support from local restaurants.”
During the past year, as Bell City Brewing Company was being born, Zander’s, as well as the Cedar House and Two Rivers restaurants in Paris, have been very supportive by keeping Eureka on tap.
That’s in addition to restaurants in Hamilton and Toronto.
Zander’s and Cedar House both ordered a keg of Lenoir.
The next milestone for Bell City, will be having a local base of operations.
“Our goal has always been to open our brewery in town, with a retail store and tap room,” Marijan said. “We are still on that path, it’s just taking time.
“We’ve bought some equipment from Railway City and are looking toward maybe the end of July to have it installed.”
Sean Allen is a reporter at Brant News. Connect with him on twitter @seanard.