By Press Staff
The Neepawa Press
On Friday, May 27, brothers Lawrence and Eric Wawaruk took some of the Press staff on a tour of the Farmery hops yards and brewery. Farmery is an estate brewery, which means they grow their own ingredients for the beer they brew.
The tour started in the Arden area, where they grow one of their key ingredients, hops. They seeded their first crops in 2011 at the old U-pick strawberry fields. The plants don’t produce any hops for the first year, so they got their first crop in 2012. Hops are a perennial plant, so they only have to seed them once and they will grow on the land for years to come.
They recently started a new field just northwest of the original crops. They seeded that crop two years ago and just set up the trellises last year. Now, they have about 20 acres of hops growing.
The Wawaruk brothers also grow their own barley in the area and at their family farm in Erickson. Altogether, they have over 250 acres of barley. They are also starting to grow rye for potential future products.
After the crops, Eric and Lawrence took the staff to the new brewery site in Neepawa, which is still undergoing some construction.
The brewery is located at the former Mazergroup building on highway 5. The back shop area is what is being set up as the brewing, storage and packaging area.
The first room that you enter from the back of the office is where the beer will be brewed. It has three different vessels for the different stages of brewing. From there, it goes to the second room, where it gets stored and fermented in two larger vessels. In that same room, they have a pasteurizing machine, which is used on some of their products. They will also have a packaging machine set up to can the beer once its finished.
All of the brewing and storage vessels are set up, they just need to be connected and tested before they start to brew. The brothers estimated that they will hopefully be able to start using the facility in about three weeks.
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