Brock Street Brewery in Whitby to offer beer brewed from cannabis

November 14, 2018
Parvaneh Pessian

WHITBY — Brock Street Brewing Company has announced a new partnership with Toronto-based Province Brands of Canada that will see the production of two beers, including one made from cannabis.

The Whitby brewery plans to license Province Brands’ patent-pending technology to launch the beers, according to a release issued on Nov. 13. The first will be an alcoholic beer brewed from hemp (containing no marijuana) and the second will be a non-alcoholic beer brewed from cannabis, which intoxicates using THC and other phytocannabinoids.

The cannabis-brewed beer will be brewed at Province Brands’ facility once the manufacture and sale of such products are legalized in Canada, the release said.

“We are so excited to partner with Province Brands to perfect innovative craft beers at our new state-of-the-art brewery in downtown Whitby,” said Mark Woitzik, co-founder of Brock Street Brewery, which opened its first location at 1501 Hopkins St. in 2015.

“Over the next year these new beers will be brewed from hemp using Province Brands’ unique technology, and we look forward to incorporating craft beers brewed from marijuana into our product lineup once legal.”

Woitzik and his business partners, Victor Leone, Scott Pepin and Chris Vanclief, are currently working toward their second location at 244 Brock St. SConstruction on the highly anticipated 19,000-square-foot brewery, restaurant and banquet facility is expected to wrap up soon for a December opening.

Brock Street’s brewhouse will feature a five-vessel, 30-barrel system with a five hectolitre (hl) pilot brewhouse integrated into the design, Woitzik explained.

“This allows us for larger production and experimental pilot batches ... this is one of the most state of the art breweries in all of North America at present. Total production will be 1800 hl per month, perhaps more."

The building will also include a cold room, mezzanine storage, members lounge and balcony.

Over the past two years, Province Brands has developed a process for brewing a premium beer from the cannabis plant, the release noted. The first step in the brewing process, milling and “mashing” (saccharifying or extracting fermentable sugars from the cannabis plant) requires specialized equipment, which would not be found in a normal brewery.

“Regardless of whether the starting material is hemp (the parts of the hemp plant used by Province Brands are not a controlled substance in Canada) or marijuana (a controlled substance in Canada, regulated under the Cannabis Act) the process is essentially the same except that when the beer is brewed from cannabis, the alcohol is removed prior to sale,” the release said.

Once a market exists for legal marijuana beverages, Province Brands will serve as a co-packer, brewing, bottling and distributing the Brock Street-branded beer into the legal cannabis market on behalf of Brock Street Brewing Co.

Brock Street will provide the recipes for the beer and work closely with Province Brands’ master brewer, Rob Kevwitch, to modify recipes for a nonalcoholic beer that will intoxicate using cannabis.

“Partnerships like this are a key part of our growth strategy and we’re thrilled to be working with the team at Brock Street, who value quality, authenticity and craftsmanship as much as we do,” said Dooma Wendschuh, CEO and co-founder of Province Brands of Canada.

“Expect more of these co-packing arrangements in the near future as we open our 123,000-square-foot facility in Grimsby, Ont.”