When Kensington Brewing Company’s Brock Shepherd set out to open a brewhouse in the heart of Kensington Market in 2012, he expected to have operations underway within a year. As often happens with ambitious projects, though, delays happened. A lot of them. The site at 299 Augusta Ave. needed renovations, which eventually led to a near rebuild.
“It’s been a nightmare,” Shepherd says. “There were so many stops and starts. It’s basically a brand new building.”
Now, construction is nearly complete and Shepherd is expecting to open Kensington Brewhouse, as it will be called, by summer of this year.
Shepherd launched Kensington Brewing Company in 2011. Since then, the company has been producing its beer — such as Augusta Ale and Baldwin FishEYE-PA — at other breweries, including Black Oak Brewing Co. and Muskoka Brewery. The new headquarters is a much-needed development for the company.
“This is where we can finally be innovative,” he says. “We’re going to have new stuff coming out all the time.”
The new facility will house a brewery, a retail store and a 40-seat bar. The retail store will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, serving beer in 650 ml bottles. The bar will serve beer, of course, along with food from other Kensington Market vendors, such as Hooked and Sanagan’s Meat Locker.
Shepherd is itching to get up and running.
“We’re ready to pull the trigger on this.”