The Beer From Ontario's Wine Country
At Bench Brewing, we believe great things come from great places, which is why we’re proud to call Beamsville, Ontario home. Located in the Twenty Valley of the Niagara Escarpment, and surrounded by the province’s best orchards and vineyards, we pride ourselves on our farmhouse-style brewing. Our goal is to handcraft a wide variety of well-balanced and refreshing beers that are inspired by our surrounding region.
Crafting great beer in the Niagara Escarpment.
Our vision is to embrace the local winemaking tradition of the Niagara region with a unique, farmhouse approach to craft brewing. The Niagara Escarpment’s Twenty Valley is home to Ontario’s finest agricultural land – its climate and soil provide ideal growing conditions for the surrounding orchards, vineyards and farms. We believe that this fertile ecosystem will impart a unique “terroir” for our beer, just as it does for wine.
Building Bench's roots.
Our goal is to be stewards of our incredible location in the Twenty Valley, in the Town of Lincoln. We will use our land to its full potential by growing our own hops, cultivating our own yeast strains, using a coolship for our wild ales and sour beers, and aging our beers in wine barrels from our neighbouring vineyards. Our beers will always be inspired and influenced by our land, which is how we will always stay true to our roots.
I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Vancouver, studied at Queen’s University in Kingston, and have lived in Toronto ever since.
My passion for craft beer really developed through travelling and tasting different local beers from around the world. My family still lives in Hong Kong, so when we get together, we try to make it as memorable as possible. We enjoy meeting in unique locations and bonding over delicious food and drinks.
As the Head of Operations at Bench, I’m more than just the team bean counter! I oversee the logistics of getting what we need in order to produce and deliver the absolute best beer we can. I’m excited for Bench to create truly special beers with the raw materials from our local growers and suppliers, and being able to share our craft with them. My role on the team is to help make a product that our neighbours can be proud of. If you love our beer as much as we do, then mission accomplished!
Born and raised in London, Ontario, farming and country life has always been a passion of mine. After 25 years working in big cities, I knew it was time to start following my passion for farming and agriculture full time.
My wife Erin, our 3 children and I have been part of the Twenty Valley community for over 4 years now growing grapes on our Vineland vineyards. I’ve always been fascinated with the influence climate and soil have on growing wine grapes. I’m also a huge beer lover. So, I started wondering why only a few beers were focusing on the concept of “terroir” in their brewing processes. That really was my inspiration for Bench – I wanted to build a unique craft brewery that produces remarkable small batch beers in the heart of Ontario’s wine country.
I’m really proud of the team that has come together at Bench. We all share the same vision and dream, so my role as the “grey beard” in the group is to assist the experts and just get out of the way! I plan on spending a lot of my time helping out in our hops yards or working with other local farmers to source quality local ingredients for our beer. I know the Twenty Valley is the perfect place for the Bench Brewing Company, and I’m excited to share our dream with you.
Sales & Marketing
I’ve always loved beer, but I started getting into craft beer in my final years at the University of Guelph. That’s when the bug really bit me. These days, I find I’m just as passionate about learning the stories of the people, places, and brewing processes behind different beers, as I am about the ingredients that go into them.
As the Head of Sales and Marketing at Bench, my role is really just to help get the amazing beers Mark and Joe’s team make into your hands. I feel extremely proud to be part of the great team that’s bringing a craft brewery to Niagara’s Wine Country. The ability to share interesting “terroir” driven beers, like sours and barrel aged ales, with people who might not otherwise get the chance to experience them is going to be a lot of fun.
Born and raised in Toronto, I have just recently moved to the area with my wife Andrea and our two children. We’ve been overwhelmed with how welcoming and supportive the community has been, and we’re really excited to be starting this new chapter of our lives.
I’m an Australian who met his wife in Mexico, fell in love with beer in Belgium, learned to brew in Canada, and now calls Southern Ontario home.
If you're in Bruges and find an alley so narrow that both shoulders scrape against the walls, you'll find the cafe where it all began for me. I don't remember the name of the place and I never want to go back. When my wife and I asked for a pint, they brought us a hazy blonde ale with little cubes of cheese on the side. I took a thoughtless sip and fireworks exploded in my brain. I reached the bottom of the glass and asked what else they had. The waitress then brought me a spontaneously-fermented sour ale, and just like that, I was in love.
As the Brewmaster at Bench, I would describe my role as a brewer, barrel monkey, bug herder, keeper of the funk, hop aficionado, and beard enthusiast. What I’m most excited about is getting our coolship so we can start spontaneously fermenting wild ales with Niagara microflora.
I’m an American who grew up in Michigan, learned about beer in Washington, and started brewing craft beer for a living in California.
I began home-brewing in college with my chemistry lab partner, which in turn, led me to trying newer and more interesting beers. In 2009, I went to Brouwer’s Cafe in Seattle for their Bigwood Festival where there were a half dozen Cantillon lambics on tap. This is where I was first exposed to sour beer and where I had my first experience with wild fermentation. I’ve been hooked ever since.
At Bench, I will be helping manage our brewing team, our cellar operations, and packaging department. Some days I’ll be cleaning tanks and mopping floors, other days I’ll be sampling barrels and designing the newest Bench creation. I’m extremely excited about the flexibility at Bench, and the true blending of creativity and skill that comes from our extensive collection of oak vessels, coolship microbes, and local agrarian partners. I’m also looking forward to building a life with my wife and dog in the Niagara Escarpment.
A new start for a
The future home of the Bench Brewing Company will be the historic Maple Grove Public School in Beamsville, Ontario. Our brewery will be a place for our guests to relax, learn, and experience the craft of brewing beer. Our facilities will be located across eight beautiful acres and will feature a 50hL brewing system, a tap and tasting room, a beer garden, a barrel aging facility, and our very own hops field. Come and visit us in early 2017.
BALL’S FALLS SESSION IPA
Named after the historic waterfall located in the Twenty Valley, our Session IPA has a juicy hop aroma of peaches and citrus. It’s highly sessionable with a low bitterness, and finishes dry with a hint of cedar.
- 4.5% abv
- IBU 35
- Yeast: Vermont Ale
- Kettle Hops: Simcoe & Mosaic
- Dry Hops: Simcoe & Mosaic
- Malts: Golden Promise, Carafoam and Wheat
- Suggested Food Pairings: Pizza Margherita, Buffalo Wings, Steak Salad
TWENTY MILE FARMHOUSE ALE
Named after the Twenty Mile Creek that winds its way through Ontario’s finest vineyards, orchards, and farms in the Twenty Valley, our Farmhouse Ale is refreshing, and has subtle notes of fruits and spice with a dry, crisp finish.
- 5.3% abv
- IBU 25
- Yeast: Old World Saison blend
- Kettle Hops: Ella and Enigma
- Malts: Bohemian Pilsner, Canadian 2-row and Wheat
- Suggested Food Pairings: Salmon, Grilled Chicken, Oysters
Ball’s Falls Session IPA &
Twenty Mile Farmhouse Ale.
We believe that great craft beer should be for everybody. At Bench, quality, refreshment, and enjoyment are the backbones of all our handcrafted beers. Ultimately, we feel that every beer we brew should have a strong sense of place, and reflect our passion and pride.