Rambling on with Farmery Estate Brewery
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/09/2021 (619 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I am turning up many diamonds in our little suburb as I spelunk from home but, while it’s actually a little further afield, Farmery Estate Brewery is near and dear to my old heart.
Why? Because they make beer, of course. Without any more dithering from me, let’s learn more about Farmery Estate Brewery from Eric Warwaruk, who was kind enough to answer my calls for a column.
My first query had to do with location.
I asked Eric where Farmery’s farm and hopyard is located.
“Our farm is located at the intersection of the Yellowhead and Arden Ridge highways, about 10 minutes east of Neepawa, while the brewery is in town,” Eric replied.
“The hopyard and the barley field are right beside each other. We have a landing area where people can park and take a walk around the hopyard if they like!”
I then asked how many other family members are involved in the operation.
“It’s three brothers: Lawrence and Chris, the co-owners of Farmery, and me – we’ve been working together for a few years now!”
Eric then gave me a short history of the business.
“We started a restaurant, a gastropub, and then a brewery in that order. Lux Sole we started back in 1999 in the Osborne Street South area in Winnipeg, and that involved all four of us brothers – Lawrence, Chris, Eugene, and Eric (we also have three sisters).
“We ran Lux Sole for about 10 years, until we opened up Luxalune Gastropub next door in 2008. During that time, Eugene left to get married and eventually become a lawyer. While we were running Luxalune, we got the idea for an estate brewery,” Eric said.
“Farming is our background and it seemed the concept of growing barley and hops and then making beer with those homegrown ingredients was still pretty new to North America, so we decided to give it a go. We started Farmery Estate Brewery around 2011, growing hops and barley on our farm while we got our beer co-packed by another brewery using our barley and hops,” he explained.
“We operated Luxalune Gastropub until 2016, when we got our brewery built in Neepawa and we transitioned over to running Farmery Estate Brewery solely. But to be honest we’ve always been in business,” Eric continued.
“When you grow up on a family farm, as soon as your legs get long enough to reach the pedals of a truck, you’re working and helping out on the family farm and essentially helping to run a business.
Our Dad was always entrepreneurial; we had to be, because at that time making a living on the farm was very difficult, the agricultural economy at the time was not great. So we did side-hustles as well to help get by, ranging from picking seedling trees to sell at auctions to picking potatoes and other vegetables to sell at farmers markets and grocery stores, to doing U-pick strawberries and raspberries, packaging and selling bird feed to grocery stores, and others,” Eric said.
Eric said the company helped produce hand sanitizer during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and actually employed more people than the business’s usual staff of 15. He said the brothers run their far, a craft beer store in Neepawa and their brewery.
“We’re very committed to job creation and seeing how we can contribute to our local economy. Being able to make something like beer from raw commodities like barley and hops contributes to our local economy and creates jobs, and we need more processing and manufacturing like that in our province and country, to convert our raw commodities into something higher-value that we can sell across the country and export,” he said.
Farmery Beers are available in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario and Eric said the company’s goal is to eventually be nationwide.
I hope you enjoyed his story. I am rambling to my fridge to sample some of Farmery Estate Brewery’s product right now…
St. Vital community correspondent
Weldon Rinn lives, writes, and enjoys living in St. Vital. He can be reached at email@example.com