Beau's to use provincial funding for major upgrades to brewing facility
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Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. is set to make a better tasting beer thanks in part to funding from the province of Ontario.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs announced more than $1 million in funding this month for nine companies geared to creating local jobs and promoting Ontario food.
Under the agreement, Beau’s will receive up to $354,000 to upgrade vital manufacturing equipment as the company looks to expand productivity.
To apply for the Local Food Fund, Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne had to outline a detailed plan for growth at the Vankleek Hill brewery, which he said is undergoing a major $2 million expansion.
Part of the expansion is to switch from using sacked malt to storing the grain in two large silos that will be built on site.
He also put a down payment on a $600,000 bottling line that will ramp up production from 20 bottles per minute to 66 bottles per minute. That will be up and running in the New Year, he said.
And new bottle filler equipment means less oxygen goes into the beer during production – a major beer spoiler, according to Beau’s.
“I would say our customers will notice quite a significant improvement in the shelf life for the beer. So it will stay tasting fresher, longer mainly because the new filler will be much better at keeping oxygen out of the beer,” said Beauchesne.
He said he expects to be reimbursed by the full $354,000.
Five years ago, there were five employees on the company payroll. Within the last year, the number grew from 86 to 125 and Beauchesne expects to hire at least 25 more employees in 2015 with new funding.
“What it really does for us is it accelerates the growth,” he said.
“If this funding hadn’t been available, we still would have eventually able to do all these things we’re looking to do, but it would have taken us a lot longer.”
Ottawa’s Chefx, which delivers fresh ingredients and recipes from local chefs to your door, will also receive up to $27,930 from the Local Food Fund to include more Ontario produce on its weekly menus.