By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
When Ed Madronich started looking for a place to base his new craft brewery within the Greater Hamilton Area, he knew Dundas would be a great location.
Madronich, owner and operator of Flat Rock Cellars winery in Jordan, was well aware of the Valley Town’s long brewing and industrial history – and how the Desjardins Canal helped build it into a larger and busier business area than it’s neighbour Hamilton.
So when he heard the Valley City Manufacturing buildings at 64 and 65 Hatt St. were available, he started working with owner Bob Crockford. Now a rezoning application will come to city councillors to permit a craft brewery at the former Valley City warehouse building at 65 Hatt.
Madronich thinks a craft brewery – focused on beer production and tourism – is a great fit for Dundas, and he’s aware there’s plenty of excited buzz around the project already.
“That speaks to how right it is for Dundas,” he said.
Madronich said the brewery will not feature a pub or restaurant. The focus will be brewing beer, public tours and an opportunity to sample the product.
“I’m not a restauranteur. I want to sell my beer to restaurants in the community. I don’t want to be a competitor. I don’t have a restaurant at my winery,” Madronich said. “It’s a craft brewery. There is an art and a craft to it.”
His vision is to bring a winery-style experience to a small brewery.
“It really is a tourist-destination,” Madronich said. “That’s why I think it fits in Dundas. People already come to spend the day in the shops.”
Currently operating under the name Shed Brewing Company Ltd., Madronich’s craft brewery still has plenty of details to work out. He’s hired a consultant and done some preliminary work, but isn’t ready quite yet to announce what types of beer they’ll make, or any branding decisions.
“(Shed Brewing) is our corporate name. I don’t know if it will be on the front of the bottle or not,” Madronich said.
City councillor Russ Powers mentioned the craft brewery zoning application at his Dundas Community Council meeting last week, and the early response from committee members was positive.
Shed Brewing Company Ltd. incorporated in Ontario on Dec. 27, 2012. The two named directors are Madronich and Shawn Kaley Arnold Till of Potomac, Maryland.
A notice announcing the application was circulated to neighbours of the potential brewery site. The public is invited to provide comments before planning staff prepare a report on the application for city councillors on the planning committee to review.
Public comments received before Feb. 1 will be published as part of that report.
Any potential environmental impacts of a craft brewery are also expected to be reviewed in the staff report. The planner responsible for the file is Kate Mihaljevic.