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46 North Brewing: Sudbury's 3rd craft brewery opened last month

Owners say they're trying to foster a craft brew culture in the city

With the opening of 46 North Brewing April 26, Greater Sudbury is now home to a third craft brewery.

The new brewery is located on Kelly Lake Road, just down the street from Stack Brewing, which pioneered the microbrew business here in the Nickel City, opening its doors in 2013.

It's also on the same road as Crosscut Distillery, which produces handcrafted spirits.

The other craft brewery in the city, Spacecraft Brewery, opened in the former Greyhound bus station on Notre Dame Avenue earlier this year.

46 North Brewing is owned by Graham Orser and wife Holli Bernier.

They say Greater Sudbury hasn't reached the saturation point when it comes to craft beer, and there's definitely room for another brewery.

“If Stack goes out of business, that's bad for us,” Bernier said. 

“We want the craft beer scene to grow together, and the better Stack does, the better we do, the better we do, the better Stack does. We're more in competition with Canadian and Coors Light.” 

Orser said he's actually received help from Shawn Mailloux, the owner of Stack Brewing, and Shane Prodan, the owner of Crosscut Distillery, as he's gotten the business up and running.

“They're great resources, and we're trying to create a craft beer movement not just here in Sudbury, but in all of Ontario,” he said, adding that he located on Kelly Lake Rd., alongside Stack and Crosscut, because it's one of the few areas properly zoned for alcohol production.

The couple, originally from southwestern Ontario, bought a camp on Nepewassi Lake in the Sudbury region about four years ago, and moved here about 18 months ago. While not originally from Sudbury, Orser has family in the area.

Orser worked for Blackberry for years in quality control, but made his own beer as a hobby. He said he applies the same standards of quality control to his brewing process as he did in the tech sector.

He said he had a “passion” for brewing, and when looking for a new career, he decided this is what he wanted to do. “I couldn't imagine doing anything else other than beer,” Orser said.

Craft beer is known for its quirky names, and 46 North Brewing is no different. So far, they've come out with four beers, with more to come.

One of them, an English ale, is named Nigel Ainsley John Coombes after Orser's lifelong best friend. He said Coombes is the most British person he's ever met, so it's an appropriate name for an English ale.

Another is a blonde ale called Nepewassi Blonde after the location of the family's beloved camp.

Not released yet — although it may be in the near future — is a beer called Supportive Wife that's named in honour of Bernier's support of the idea of opening a craft brewery.

Orser said he's also planning to sell homemade soda pop for kids and those who don't like beer.

So far, the response from the public has been great, he said. The first day in business, “we were completely inundated,” Orser said. “This place was completely packed. We couldn't keep up with the orders.”

While 46 North Brewing does have a bottling machine, they're still waiting on bottles and labels. So for now, people can come into the brewery for a taste test (or a pint) and fill up reuseable growlers to take home. 

The brewery's beer is also on tap at Taphouse Northern Grill and Pub (which, rumor has it, is also in the process of starting its own brewing operation). 

Bernier said 46 North draught will also be available at other local restaurants in the near future.

The brewery, located at 1275 Kelly Lake Rd., Unit 1, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. Phone 705-586-1870 or visit www.46north.ca.



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Heidi Ulrichsen

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