Approximately a year ago Four Fathers Brewing Co. (formerly nestled in a barn in bucolic Rockwood, Ontario) found a new home at 125 Guelph Ave in Hespeler. I moved the bag biz from Toronto to this location in 2004 and the building stayed pretty much the same as when I moved into this 70,000 sq ft industrial building - a mish mash of structures spanning a 150 years. I stand to be corrected on my local history, but I am fascinated with the 'archaeology of the building and the site if you will. Maybe it's the smell of hops roasting that has spurred my curiosity.
All I know, is the transformation of the this old chestnut is like watching an archaelogical dig. I knew my studio space on the second floor was the testing area for washing machines made by the CDN Simplicity company up until 1971. Here's tidbit of archival info I found www.ancestry.ca on William Kribs who I believe built the first building here.
Here is my BBB alcove Before and After
I am reading a book called The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology by Simon Winchester. The restoration of this building, albeit a building, reminds me of Smith and his journey through looking at the surface under his feet, mostly taken for granted then and I think now too. The endless layers of history in 125 Guelph from the ground up: the native footprint, then the industrial, each industry following its market source and demise from lumber to textile, from flour to washing machines, to a distribution arm for dogfood and autoparts. And now the pendulum has swung back, returning the purpose of the building back to a more artisinal one so popular these days - the art of craft beer. A favourite moniker of the 4 Fathers Brew Co is to 'stand for something good'. So the building is once again making a stand and comeback for the handcrafted tradition from whence it grew.
View of building from street looking South East and below from the front looking East - the most striking facelift!
Then came the " I see a red door...." on the North side of building...
and superb graphics!
and a nice circular sign for the Retail store entrance.
and remember it looked like this!
And finally on the South side where the building is brick - I suspect the oldest part of the building, the entrance to the Four Fathers tasting room.
The sandblasting begins.
New windows installed.
The beginnings of the outdoor patio
Just waiting for the city approvals which came in early Aug and it's been 'hopping' ever since. Inside is another story. I hope if you live in or are travelling through the area you will stop by. Come see the transformation inside , meet their mascot the friendly honey badger and enjoy and Four Fathers brew.