Words and photo by Colin Field
Although it was called Beaver Valley Amber, it was actually brewed in Guelph by the Upper Canada Brewing Company. The Thornbury Brewing Company had every intention of brewing at their building (what is now the Peeler Cidery in Thornbury), but never quite got there. They even purchased and shipped a brewery all the way from the Virgin Islands with that in mind. But the company’s days were numbered. Beaver Valley Amber was available for about two years from 1988-1990, but what squashed the venture, according to former board member Rene Gauthier, was probably not focusing on the brewery itself. These guys had their hands in just about everything. Under the umbrella of the Thornbury Castle Inc., that same building, and that same company, housed about 30 stores, a restaurant, a winery, a cidery, a banquet hall, ice cream parlour and a nightclub. Condos were even in the planning stages.
Although their timing was spot on (it was about the same time Creemore Springs Brewery got its start), there was a bit too much going on for any one thing to really excel. The building had major electrical problems, they built a loading dock that wasn’t actually on their property and the board was constantly looking for more money to keep everything afloat.
In the end, the Thornbury Castle Inc., simply ran out of money. And the Thornbury Brewing Company went down with it.