MOUNTAIN LIFE - Ontario | Winter 2016 - page 34

Words & photos by Nelson Phillips
The history of Collingwood’s waterfront goes well beyond the tourist
hotspot it is today. Back in the late 1880s, Collingwood was a hotbed
for shipbuilding and known for its lake freighters, used for moving grain
up the St. Lawrence seaway, and eventually for SecondWorldWar-era
corvettes and Canadian Coast Guard vessels.
Every time a ship was completed, the community-engulfing spectacle of a
“side launch” brought the town together to celebrate the hard work and
attention to detail the Collingwood Shipyards were known for.
Fast forward to today and the Side Launch Brewing Company
27,000-square-foot, 35-hectolitre facility on the outskirts of Collingwood
is using those same ideals to brew its internationally recognized suds.
“We wanted to pay homage to what was here, that blue-collar, hard-
working ethos,” says Side Launch’s Chuck Galea. “When a boat was
side-launched, there were balloons in the air, celebrations all around
when people get together, there’s always a beverage to enjoy.”
Nestled in an old arm of the Agnora Architectural Glass factory, the
expansive brewery is home to three main staples: a Pale Ale, aWheat,
and a Dark. TheWheat brew recently snatched up a 98/100 overall rating,
accompanied by a perfect 100 for style, while the Dark came in hot with a
93/100 overall from
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