Whoever invented the phrase, “time flies when you’re having fun,” must have had Stray Dog Brewing Company owners Marc Plante and Justin MacNeill in mind when they did because the past five years seem to have flown by as they and their many loyal patrons have had a blast along the way – except for a few stressful months during the pandemic.
|Stray Dog Brewing Company co-owners Marc Plante (left) and Justin MacNeill managed to turn a dream into a reality that is stronger than ever after five years in business. PHOTO SUPPLIED
Plante and MacNeill started out by brewing their own beer out of their basements. Their first focus group was their friends who loved their brew so much, the partners started to think about taking the giant leap from their basements to operating their own micro-brewery.
They decided to locate in the Taylor Creek Business Park and the rest is history. They started off with three brews and things took off from there. They soon started expanding their brands as well as their business as more and more bars and restaurants started putting their beer on their drink menus.
They even started booking live entertainment in the tap room. Everything was going tickety-boo until the pandemic hit forcing bars and restaurants to close overnight.
When the unthinkable happened, Plante and MacNeill were quick to pivot to a takeout and delivery model which proved to be more successful than they could have ever imagined. Business was so good that they managed to retain most of their staff who started filling orders and delivering them to customers who were getting thirsty while isolating at home.
The direct-to-consumer effort went so well that Plante and MacNeill took the risky move to expand production by adding two new fermenters and a brite tank to their facility.
When the COVID pandemic restrictions were lifted in the spring, things at the micro-
brewery really started hopping. They continue to have live music every weekend. There’s a Trivia Night every Wednesday and a Bring Your Own Vinyl Night every Thursday.
The Stray Dog Brewing Company will officially celebrate its 5th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 17 starting at 2 p.m. There will be guest beers, food vendors, and live music. All are welcome, and it’s a chance for Marc and Justin to thank the community at large for supporting them throughout the past five years.
The Stray Brewing Company is located at 501 Lacolle Way in the Taylor Creek Business Park.