Are you a beer fan, whether a true connoisseur or an occasional consumer, adventurous enough to gamble your satisfaction on craft beers? If you are (but even if you are not), and if you are a resident from the area (or even if you are not), you certainly know of, heard of, tasted, purchased or visited our local craft brewery in Vankleek Hill: it’s an attraction in itself!
Now that I got your attention and got you salivating for more, I admit that this column is not about beers, breweries, hops and malts, nor bottles and cans. Sorry for the deception (but not really sorry): I brought you where I aimed to get you: discovering your local business park.
Located at the north-east limit of the village on Terry Fox Drive and Steve Fonyo Drive, the original phase of the Business Park has been in operation for many years and all lots are now occupied; in 2018, Champlain Township purchased an adjoining 18 acres piece of land east of the actual park with the projection of expanding the original phase into a phase 2; in 2020, the Township was still conducting estimates about servicing the land and studies on its allocation, keeping in mind such essential factors as the needs of the township, the appropriateness of prospective businesses and job creation for area residents. It’s all in the planning!
1st stop: As you turn the corner and enter Terry Fox Drive, you normal reaction (if not your car’s auto-drive reaction) is to turn right and enter BEAU’S parking lot; I can’t blame you: my car has the same reaction, probably a glitch in the GPS system… This independent brewery was founded in 2006 by father and son team of Tim and Steve Beauchesne (photo) and hasn’t stopped growing since; it is now employee-owned through the Employee Share Ownership Program and 29 employees opted to adhere to the program; although the brewery now offers a wide variety of craft beers, it still innovates every day and always seems to be expanding! Although BEAU’S products are now available in BEER STORES and LCBOS, it is always a treat for the true beer fan to make the detour, come directly to the store… and attend their annual ‘live’ Oktoberbest event! Cheers!
When leaving the brewery, you may experience insubordination from your car who will want to turn left and go back home so you can taste a cold one. But if you apply strength on the steering and steer forcibly right, you will discover other businesses or light industries you may never have heard of before even though they are located in your backyard so to speak. Show your car who is in charge! Mine just won’t listen, heads for home and nothing I can do about it, no use fighting it. And it’s not a self-driven Tesla… At least, my Lug’s going to be cold when I get home. So then, I’ll be back next week with the sequel to our visit and I might walk over instead: no rebel car to deal with and no temptation to walk all the way back home with two 4-packs of beer hanging from my arms and my fingers cramping up: I wouldn’t be able to hold my glass properly then… Stay tuned for next week’s sequel of our visit to the park!