In our frequent visits to various breweries and great beer locales, Liz and I discovered 5 Paddles Brewing Company in Whitby. It was immediately apparent, almost from the moment we walked in, that we were stepping into a place where the passion for brewing and consuming great beers was strong.
Once we started talking to one of the 5 Paddles (the nickname the owners of the brewery have given themselves, since they all have a “mash paddle” in both the operation and the brewing of the beers), the pure raw passion came through loud and clear.
When you’re speaking with someone at that brewery, you’re not speaking with a part-time casual employee who might only be there to serve customers. You’re speaking with one of the owners who are all deeply ingrained in the brewing and operations of the business.
Throughout the mini-tour we were offered as part of our discussion, (including hearing intriguing and delightful stories about virtually every single piece of equipment that was cobbled together through hard-earned acquisitions via Mike, the brewery’s “Kijiji Whisperer”) as well as in the simple yet friendly and inviting decor of the place, it immediately felt like home to us.
We learned that these guys call themselves a Nano-brewery (smaller than a micro-brewery) and that, regardless of how many additional tanks and equipment they might eventually acquire, they’ll always be Nano in spirit and approach. They met through a local home-brewers network and their common passion for brewing and drinking great beers are what led to the start of this amazing business which continues to be a labour of love.
But, better than that all the great sentiment and passion, beyond their friendliness and enthusiasm for what they do, their beer itself was amazing. Would you expect anything less?
We tried a “canoe flight” of all the beers they had on tap and ended up taking a few home to enjoy later. In Your Face (IPA) and Home Sweet Home (Pale Wheat Ale) and Midnight Paddler (Stout) were three of my absolute favourites — although, admittedly, I can’t say I didn’t love all the ones I tried.
A fun side-perk of the trip for me was the affinity that one of the brewers had to skulls (much like my own). And the decor of the brewery reflected that in a fun and playful manner. (Not to mention the cool label on their core IPA)
Hmm, with Halloween coming up, I should get myself some more bottles of In Your Face that delightfully refreshing IPA.