The Hodgins family has been in the pub business since 1975 so it's only natural that they decided to open their own brewery, Ashton Brewing Company (ABC), when the Old Mill at Ashton, just outside of Carleton Place, became available for purchase. With Lorne Hart of Hart Brewing lending a hand, Ashton Brew Pub opened it's doors in 2011 and has produced some successful brews.
We had the opportunity to interview Quinn Hodgins recently about ABC and it's future plans.
Ottawa Beer Events: Tell us about Ashton Brewing Company and how you got into brewing.
Quinn Hodgins (Ashton Brewing Company): ABC is a family owned and operated brewery in downtown Ashton Ontario. It was a natural transition into the brewing business for my family due to the fact that we had been in the pub business since 1975.
Can you tell us about Matt's Berries – why did you decide to brew an all berry beer?
The idea for Matts berries came to our friend Spicoli, from Rideau Pines Farms, in a dream. So he built a lean-to on our brew master, Rico's , front porch and refused to vacate until the beer was brewed. In accordance with Spicoli's dream, now that the beer has been brewed, my younger brother Mojo was magically transformed into a pegasus and has not been seen for days.
Now that the last keg of Blueberry Wheat has been tapped, which beers are next in line for release?
Next on our seasonal agenda is our much anticipated Fall Bock followed by our original seasonal, the pumpkin ale. We are running low on employable family members so hopefully nothing crazy happens… if so please send resumes to 113 Old Mill Rd, Ashton, Ontario. Thanks.
How do you come up with your seasonal releases?
The method we use in choosing our seasonal recipes is a simple one. There is a four hundred pound bull frog named Harvey who lives in the basement here in Ashton. We take turns rubbing his belly until he can't take it anymore, giggling hysterically Ric Harvey screams out the name of our next seasonal. Harvey has never led us astray. God bless you Harvey.
What beers and breweries inspire you?
I would say here at ABC we are inspired by two things. One is the trail that was blazed by all those craft brewers before us. There were so many ahead of there time and some still going today that should be thanked. And two, Rick Moranis.
What's next for Ashton Brewing Company?
Who knows what is next for the Ashton Brewing Company. Maybe we ll ask Harvey and see what he says.