Over the past decade, London, ON really has been making a name for itself in the craft beer world. We all know (and love, obvs) the greats: Forked River, London Brewing Co-Op, Anderson Craft Ales, and Toboggan but who’s the new kid on the block? Let us tell you all about that.
Storm Stayed Brewing is the newest addition to the local brew scene… so new they haven’t even opened to the public yet! They’re working tirelessly to make this dream a reality and are doing it somewhere new, on Wharncliffe Road, close to Wortley Village in what once was the Cove Restaurant.
We had the chance to speak with Justin Belanger (one half of the business partner duo) to get the goods on what’s to come, why it’s exciting, how they differ, and when we can get our hands on some new craft tasties here in the Forest City.
When did you pursue and establish Storm Stayed and why is it important for the local craft beer scene?
We started planning for the brewery back in 2015, but didn’t get started in earnest until April 2016, when we started looking around the city for a location and contacting equipment providers.
London has a burgeoning craft beer scene with great breweries, and we look forward to joining the community. Our brewery will differ from the other local breweries by focussing on our taproom and a rotating selection of beers. The taproom has been designed with accessibility in mind and we look forward to serving everyone (of age) who enjoys a good pint.
We believe that our small batch approach will allow us to express our creative impulses, explore new styles, and deliver a variety of beers that satisfy a range of tastes.
What kind of brews will you be offering to the public?
We will be serving a wide variety of offerings. Our initial beers will be a Blonde Ale, an American Pale Ale, a Berliner Weisse (kettle-soured wheat), and a Porter. We will also be working on a rotating selection of experimental beers, which may involve fruit, spices, and alternative ingredients.
In addition, our taplist will include guest taps from other craft brewers. We’ve been shown a lot of support and help by the local brewing community, and we would like to showcase their products, and particularly, styles that complement our own offerings.
When can people expect the official opening to occur?
We expect our grand opening to be in the late fall of 2017. We are doing our best to open as soon as possible. That said, renovations, brewhouse installation, and licensing all take time—not to mention the time required to brew beer for public consumption once our equipment is fully operational.
The Old East Village has become a bit of a craft beer hotspot, what made you choose your location near Wortley?
The developing brewery district in the east end of town is fantastic and we visit that area quite often ourselves.
From the start, our goal was to establish a neighbourhood brewery. We feel that Old South offers us a great location—it’s close to a revitalizing downtown, close to Wortley Village and The Coves, and Wharncliffe Road is a major artery connecting different parts of the city.
We are also pleased that public transportation is convenient, with a stop right by our door.
What’s your beer recommendation for someone unfamiliar with craft beer?
If you are unfamiliar with craft beer and are looking to try some new flavours, the wide variety of new styles that are now easily accessible are awesome. There is no one-size-fits-all introduction to craft beer. It depends largely on what you like to drink and eat.
If you are currently drinking macro beer but would like to support local, a good option would be a smooth blonde ale or a cream ale. If you enjoy the tartness of lemonade, white wine, or dry cider, a sour beer such as a Berliner Weisse or gose may be agreeable to you. If you are a bold red wine fan, you would probably appreciate a rich imperial stout. A knowledgeable server should be able to make a suitable recommendation based on the current taplist.
Where did the name Storm Stayed come from?
Our name is a saying from the east [coast]. I’m originally from Prince Edward Island. It means that the weather is so bad that you’re stuck in place (stayed).
With frequent thunderstorms in the summer and our location in the Snow Belt, I’m sure most Londoners would be familiar with the situation. We’re hoping that our taproom will provide the sense of community that you find when you’ve been stranded with good friends and family during a storm.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any other tidbits thirsty Londoners should be looking forward to?
We’ll be working with local suppliers and artisans. The custom tables and bar that Miller & Company Wood Studio is building for us help to define our welcoming space. Smaller tables will allow for intimate encounters, while long family-style tables will encourage social interactions and can accommodate large groups. Our bar top is made from reclaimed Douglas Fir that was salvaged from the Kingsmill’s building, allowing us to share a unique piece of London’s heritage with our patrons.
In addition to beer, our taproom will also feature food by Emma Richard, owner of The Gathering Plate. This arrangement enables us to focus on making great beer and providing an inviting environment, while Emma keeps hunger at bay with wholesome foods prepared in the brewery kitchen—like a food truck in residence.
In the meantime, get excited, and hope for stormy weather!
Feature photo by Nicki Borland