Our Home
Building Bench's Roots.

Our goal is to be stewards of our incredible location in the Twenty Valley. 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.

Our Partners
Bench Brewing Company

Meet the Team

Matt Giffen's Photo'

Matt Giffen

Founder

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 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.

Mark Horsley's Photo'

Mark Horsley

Head Brewer

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 Head Brewer 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.

Sarah Casorso's Photo'

Sarah Casorso

Brewer

Born and raised a farm kid out of Kelowna, BC, one of my life’s biggest blessings has been finding my passion for beer. I was first introduced to craft beer while going to university in Vancouver, but the bug didn’t bite me until I moved to Austria to play professional hockey. After moving home from Europe, I wasn’t quite ready to hang up the skates yet, so I signed a contract to play for the Buffalo Beauts, while also finding my new home here in Niagara. I took my experience growing up in agriculture, my interest in growing hops and my newfound love for craft beer as arrows pointing in only one direction – brewing. When I first learned about Bench, I knew instantly that the culture was for me. Community, story, and a passion for great beer are what we’re all about and I couldn’t be more excited to see where this journey takes us!

Megan Konstantonis's Photo'

Megan Konstantonis

Assistant Brewer

As a Quebecer who grew up in Burlington, Vermont, I’ve been fortunate enough to have always had great beer at my fingertips. However, it was at Bishop’s University when I had my first real taste of the brewing world by running the university’s first student micro-brewery that transformed beer from just a drink to a passion. This passion has since led me to Southern Ontario, where I have found a home at Bench. I’m excited to be working with the brewing team, and to share our love of sour and barrel aged beers with everyone. I can’t wait to watch a region known for its world-class wines turn into a region known for great beer too!

Colin McNaughton's Photo'

Colin McNaughton

Packaging Manager

I have always enjoyed a pint of beer with friends. Tasting all of the variety available from the new craft breweries in Ontario has really made me appreciate the range and depth of what can be accomplished locally. Now that I am in the industry, I am eager to continue to learn more about the formulation, processes, ingredients, and people that make such flavoursome beers. I am thrilled that my part will be packaging the great beer we produce for everyone to enjoy and working alongside a creative and passionate team. I hope you’ll enjoy our beers, whether it was made with the local terroir, our own hops, aged in stainless steel, barrels or foeders, or whatever else our production team comes up with.

Pat Geary's Photo'

Pat Geary

Territory Manager, Northern Ontario

I have always considered myself to be a “Beer Guy”, but my love for craft beer only started when the first wave of local breweries started setting up shop in Ontario. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated with just how many styles and flavours there are in the craft beer world, and how there is always something new to try. I’ve been really fortunate – my career path has allowed me to live all over the great province of Ontario, and with that, I’ve also experienced some pretty incredible beers. When I learned about Bench’s vision to build a brewery in the heart of Niagara’s wine region, I knew it was something I needed to be a part of. I hope that once you have the chance to try our beers, you’ll be just as excited about our story as I am. Cheers to great beer!

Jamie Grzybowski's Photo'

Jamie Grzybowski

Territory Manager, Toronto

I’ve always been a beer lover, but once I discovered just how great local craft beer can be, I’ve never looked back. Nights out (or in!) with friends, and weekends at the cottage with family, have become opportunities to try new and exciting beers from all over the province. I’m a graduate of Brock University and have family who live in the area, which is why the Niagara region is a very special place for me. At Bench, I’m really excited to be part of a team that is so proud of what they do and where they are from. I’m also really excited about our vision to take advantage of our unique terroir and create great craft beers for people to enjoy. I can’t wait to share everything we have to offer with the rest of Ontario!

Alex Carreiro's Photo'

Alex Carreiro

Territory Manager, Golden Horseshoe

I love how people can be brought together over a table of good food and even better drinks. While this passion kick-started a career in wine and spirits, I’ve always had an appreciation for a good pint. Some of life’s best experiences happen with a beer in hand! The Ontario craft beer scene is pretty incredible right now. There are a lot of great local breweries making some amazing beer. I spend a lot of my time in the Niagara region, and I always thought the Twenty Valley would be the perfect place for a brewery. That’s why I’m so excited about what we’re doing at Bench. I really look forward to sharing our great beers from wine country with people from across Ontario.

James Edgar's Photo'

James Edgar

Territory Manager, Eastern Ontario

I have been watching, participating and working in the Ontario craft beer scene for some time. Born and raised in Oakville Ontario, I was privileged to be in close proximity to several first and second wave craft breweries. It was those breweries, their people, and passion that drove me to an important realization. This is a great way to make a living. These days I live in Ottawa with Alex, my wife and, Nosey, our cat. We met at the Hamilton Audio-Visual Node and in an alleyway, respectively. Looking forward to the next decade and more of Ontario Craft Beer, and the role Bench will play in shaping it.

Bryan Bader's Photo'

Bryan Bader

Territory Manager, Southwestern Ontario

The “local” guy, I was born and raised in Beamsville and lived minutes from Bench. Now living in Southwest Ontario with my wife and 3 boys, seeing what Bench is doing for the Town of Lincoln community and an area known for its vineyards and wineries is exciting. I’m thrilled to be part of a team using the diversity of this terroir and bringing it into our beers at our one-of-a-kind brewery. My passion for beer started while working for one of the wineries in Niagara and since then I haven’t looked back. Showing people our beers and speaking about Beamsville and the surrounding area is a dream come true. Being part of Bench is a homecoming for my family and I, and I can’t to show everyone what our home has to offer.

Deesh Jain's Photo'

Deesh Jain

Sales Operations Manager

I was born and raised in Toronto, in a home where all members of my family shared our love for cooking great meals. Sitting down at the dinner table every night, and bonding over amazing food and drinks, are some of my fondest memories. There’s no doubt in my mind that these experiences have helped drive my passion for craft beer. Great food and great beer go hand in hand. I always try to learn as much as I can about the people and places behind my favourite beers, and that’s why I’m so excited to be a part of the Bench team. I really believe in our people, our amazing beer, and our vision to be a pioneer in terroir driven beers in Ontario. It’s going to be a fun journey, and I hope you’ll join us for the ride!

Brad James's Photo'

Brad James

Route Sales Representative

You can find me where the beer is! I drive the Benchmobile to all the places you’ll find a cold Bench beer in Southwestern Ontario. Having grown up in the industry, it wasn’t until my trip to Europe that I began appreciating the creativity and innovation that goes into developing the unique flavours and styles of craft beer. With Bench’s roots being in Ontario’s wine country, I knew Bench was something special to be a part of, and I’m excited to learn and grow with the team. When I’m not in the Benchmobile, you can catch me playing pond hockey with the boys or sitting on the dock in the sun with some craft beer.

Emily Heim's Photo'

Emily Heim

Sales Coordinator

As a Beamsville local, I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Bench team. I’ve always admired our area for its scenery, wineries, close-knit community and amazing locally-sourced food – and now craft beer! Bench has given me one more thing to be proud of when I call Beamsville my home. I’ve always loved craft beer, but what I love most about Bench beer is how it respects the special flavours and ingredients of our area. There’s so much to learn about the different processes and ingredients it takes to create the craft beers and I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with you all!

Dave Legge's Photo'

Dave Legge

GM, Taproom & Retail

Niagara is my home. Most folks think I grew up here! Truth is, I’ve built a career in hospitality not only here in Niagara, but also in Vancouver, Banff and Muskoka. Go to any point along this timeline, and there is a good chance you will have found me with a glass of beer, wine or even saké! Always exploring the nuanced world of beverages, I have recently begun to explore the Belgian-inspired sours and wild ales of Ontario, and I’m loving them! My goal is to create a warm and relaxed guest experience at Bench. A place where my wife and I would take friends to show them how special the community is, and a place filled with passionate staff that can expertly speak to all of the aspects that make Bench a truly unique place.

Katy Hodgson's Photo'

Katy Hodgson

AGM, Taproom & Retail

My hospitality life has taken me to many places and most often in roles where I can connect with people over a pint. From the organic food of Vancouver, to the gastro-pubs of Edinburgh, hotels on tiny islands in the English Channel and back to Ontario’s farm to table. All these experiences have informed my tastes and fed my insatiable appetite to try more. I found Niagara by mistake. I was on my way somewhere else, another adventure. But this special place has a way of nourishing through natural bounty and community. It was here that I found my home, working in the world of craft beer. Is there anything better than creating and sharing something that imparts a sense of place? I couldn’t be happier to be your guide into the incredible labour of love that is Bench beermaking.

Anthony D'Aprile's Photo'

Anthony D'Aprile

Head of Sales and 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 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.

Ken Ting's Photo'

Ken Ting

Head of Finance

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 Finance 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!

Vanessa Cheng's Photo'

Vanessa Cheng

Events & Communications Manager

As the Events and Communications Manager, you’ll probably see me at all of our events both at our brewery and in the community. I’m a wizard at typing quickly and making lists to keep everyone up to date on all the amazing and fun things we do here at Bench. I was born and raised as a city girl and have had great opportunities living abroad in big cities like Hong Kong and London, but over the past few years have felt a strong yearning to really go back to the fundamentals, especially when it comes to knowing where my food and drink comes from. Being part of the Bench family is not only fulfilling in the sense of experiencing a wide variety of opportunities, but I’m also able to put into practice what I believe in – Bench’s commitment to the community, the passion behind our farm to brew philosophy and the dedication of our team blows me away every day – and I’m looking forward to sharing this with everyone.

Matt Giffen

Founder

Mark Horsley

Head Brewer

Sarah Casorso

Brewer

Megan Konstantonis

Assistant Brewer

Colin McNaughton

Packaging Manager

Pat Geary

Territory Manager, Northern Ontario

Jamie Grzybowski

Territory Manager, Toronto

Alex Carreiro

Territory Manager, Golden Horseshoe

James Edgar

Territory Manager, Eastern Ontario

Bryan Bader

Territory Manager, Southwestern Ontario

Deesh Jain

Sales Operations Manager

Brad James

Route Sales Representative

Emily Heim

Sales Coordinator

Dave Legge

GM, Taproom & Retail

Katy Hodgson

AGM, Taproom & Retail

Anthony D'Aprile

Head of Sales and Marketing

Ken Ting

Head of Finance

Vanessa Cheng

Events & Communications Manager