Tapping the craft beer boom

Tapping the craft beer boom

The Sleeping Giant Brewing Company opened its doors in June 2012 in a converted equipment rental shop in downtown Thunder Bay with help from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. It was a much-needed helping hand that’s paid off. The first year in business, the company sold 27,000 “growlers” – a growler is a half gallon container – of three types of beer. Having doubled its sales every year since then, in 2016, Sleeping Giant is on track to sell 200,000 growlers of 18 different varieties of beer – including its bronze Canadian Brewing Award-winning Northern Lager. “We simply couldn’t have succeeded without the NOHFC grant,” says co-owner Matt Pearson who sees more growth ahead. It’s a similar story at Lake of the Woods Brewery. With funding from the NOHFC, it opened in 2013 and today it sells its six flagship brews in retail outlets all across Manitoba and Ontario and is set to start exporting to Minnesota. Business is so good, Lake of the Woods is looking to add a second brewery in the next six months. “We simply couldn’t have opened without help from the NOHFC,” says president Taras Manzie.

Who
Craft Breweries (Thunder Bay and Kenora)

Where
Northern Ontario

Program
Enterprises North Job Creation Program