You would hard pressed to find a better story in the world of craft beer. A small town, family run business revered at home and abroad, that turns over ownership to its employees. Organic ingredients, B-Corps status. Awards from industry and fans alike. Solid, sustained growth.
Beau’s All Natural is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016. Born in the small, Eastern Ontario community of Vankleek Hill, the operation started when two members of the Beauschene clan, father Tim and son Steve, decided to open a brewery in a converted industrial space.
From there they started hiring siblings, cousins, in-laws and friends. New workers started calling the Vankleek Hill area home, while more employees starting popping up in other areas of the province. Today, from its base in the “Gingerbread Capital of Ontario,” Beau’s cuts paycheques for 160 employees in different regions.
Jen Beauschene (daughter / sister of the founding duo) is Media Relations coordinator, but like everyone else at the brewery she’s also been known to help with bottling, packaging or whatever else might need to be done at any given time. As of last year, she’s also a runner. “The brewery keeps me pretty busy, so a sport where I can throw on my shoes and be out the door in 30 seconds is a fit for my lifestyle! I’ve signed up for my first half-marathon this fall.”
As much as Beau’s is loved for it beer, it also draws thousands to its annual Oktoberfest, which happens just days after the Famous Canadian Beer Run. “It’s not a sit-around kind of event,” says Beauschene. “You can take a class on beer and food pairing, participate in the keg toss or sausage eating competitions, or check out day and evening entertainment on two stages.” There’s even a beer festival where attendees can sample from 50 other craft breweries. “People love how they can totally personalize their Oktoberfest experience, and yet how the whole festival still totally gels at the same time.”
It’s not difficult to understand then, why Beau’s wanted to participate in the Famous Canadian Beer Run. “Live music, great food and tasty Ontario craft beer to follow up a scenic run in one of our favourite cities sounded like the kind of event we’d want to attend ourselves, so that makes it a natural fit. We like to partner with organizations that have a strong, clear vision for what they want their event experience to be.”
By Dan Grant