Meme and Pepe (Denny’s Grandparents) came from Belgium in ’55 with a suitcase and the hopes to start a new life. Settling in Norfolk County as many Belgians did at that time, they sharecropped in the bustling tobacco market by renting land around the area.
Pepe homebrewed ever since Denny could remember in the downstairs laundry room, but being a young lad was oblivious of what Pepe was actually doing.
Pepe passed away in 2001 and during the purge of the house possessions; Denny went to clean out the downstairs beer fridge and discovered it was still plugged in with nothing inside of it except one last stubby bottle of Pepe’s homebrew. Denny took this nostalgic keepsake in Pepe’s memory. Years passed by with this stubby moving along with Denny to various residences along his life journey.
In 2014, Denny came across this stubby bottle of beer and suddenly the notion crossed his mind that this was not only Pepe’s last bottle of beer carefully placed in the fridge but was the passing of the torch to take Pepe’s hobby and passion of beer to the next level.
Rewind back a few years of when Denny met Sandy in university and befriended Dan (Sandy’s brother). Denny and Sandy married in 2009 and moved to Blenheim a few years after that into Sandy and Dan’s grandparent’s farmhouse.
Dan and Denny formed a team of local friends who were interested in purchasing a professional pilot system from Ohio, in which they picked up and got down to work. The intent was that they would brew beer, see how committed the team was and then tinker at the potential of moving it to the next level.
Batch after batch Denny and Dan brewed to try to tweak the system and get their beer produced for their specifications. Brewing is not an easy job; it takes a lot of homework, an understanding of chemistry, and an ample amount of time. During the next few years experiments were completed, batches were ruined, and successes were made. When the team decided they would look at working towards the next level which would be a small commercial production site to sell their product, Denny undertook a leap of faith jump and traveled to San Diego, California to take a 10 day “Brewery Start Up” course. This course included everything from the brewing process, to marketing, finances, law, tap room staffing, and much more. This gave them a head start into their own business foundations, and where better to learn about the industry than from the “Capital of Craft Beer” in San Diego.
5 years later and the team are ready to finally build their family owned and family run brewery. The brewery will be situated on family owned farm land and would be the first “Farm Brewery” in Chatham Kent.
Red Barn Brewing Company is be a legacy to Pepe and Dan and Sandy’s late Grandfather, Ivan English, who owned, lived, and worked this farm land since he was a young child.
We can’t wait to see you out on the farm!
Denny, Sandy, and Dan