In the first week of March, the steel external structure of the new microbrewery at 576 Knowlton Road will be completed. Brewing will begin in May. La Knowlton Co will open to the public in mid-June. How did this come about and what can we expect? Tempo visited the founders, Jim Allan, his son Nick and brewmaster, Toby Bouchard, to find out.

After decades in the printing business, Jim was looking for a new challenge. He could see the success of micro-breweries in many neighbouring small communities in Vermont and Quebec. At the same time, Nick had been thinking about running a microbrewery. Toby Bouchard had been looking for an opportunity to put his mark on a brewery. All three men saw how a brewery, located here, in Knowlton, could help fulfill their dreams and add to the vitality of the town.

The beers have been in testing since August 2018. Their brewing style will be beers that are refreshing, light and approachable. They will make four canned beers and between eight and ten draft beers for on-tap. The core of the offering will be a Cream Ale, a Wheat Ale, a Porter and an IPA. The public can consume beers at the bar or buy cans and refillable “growlers” of draft beer for home consumption. An at-home-party service with fridges, taps and kegs will be offered as well. The beer outlet will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week. In the summer, the restaurant will be open from Wednesday to Sunday. The brewery will also operate a wholesale business supplying specialty beer shops.

The restaurant and bar will be located at the rear of the building. The focus will be on serving foods that are sourced from local producers. There will be a traditional ceramic pizza oven serving artisanal pizza. There will be finger foods and also many salads. There are a number of managerial and staff positions that need to be filled before the opening. The hope is to provide a career for local people.

“Microbreweries have brought new life to many small towns,” said Jim Allan. “This is our home and I hope that we can add a lot here as well.”