Gail Winters

CALEDON

CO-FOUNDER, GOODLOT FARMSTEAD BREWING COMPANY

#CALEDON #FARMRAISEDBEEF #DRINKLOCAL

 

 

Despite the craft beer craze, hops aren’t new to Ontario?

Hops were a very prolic crop here. If you drive through old tobacco country you’ll still see some remnants of old oast* houses. But between prohibition and disease the industry got driven out west, where it’s more arid.

 

Why did you choose hops?

We didn’t want to do the big three, canola, corn, soy. My partner Phil and I are both avid craft beer drinkers. So we planted our first stock in the spring of 2011. It takes three years to get your full yield.

They grow on very high trellises, made with aircraft cable. You get these long, lush alleyways with big foliage, and once they start growing they don’t stop. If you mark a pole where the tip is, then walk back a couple of hours later, you can physically see how fast they’re growing.

 

You can eat them, too.

They’re like asparagus. That first growth is very tender, we’ll sautee them with garlic and butter.

 

What sets GoodLot apart?

So many people want that experience of beer, not just going to the brewhouse. Go to the farm, see the hops growing, eat in the hops yard, tour and visit the chickens and sheep, we thought that could be different.

 

You’re creating a beverage trail for daytrippers.

Closer than Prince Edward County, too. There’s a lot of great stuff going on, people are taking chances. There’s us, Badlands Brewing down the road, there’s Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, Adamo Estate Winery, Grand Spirits Distillery, Caledon Hills Brewing Co.

 

Finally: is there really a Caledon Mountain, which you refer to on your website?

Technically, no! It sounds funny to anyone who doesn’t live here, but if you tell anyone locally I’m going up or down the mountain, they know what you mean.

 

*Yep, oast, not oats: a building for drying hops.