The History of Nickel Brook

We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings. Follow along with our timeline below to see how we got to where we are today!

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John and Peter Romano start Better Bitters brew-on-premise in Burlington.  Clients brew a variety of beer and wine styles in small batches for home consumption.  Better Bitters quickly grows to become the largest brew-on-premise in the province, and continues that way for 10 years.

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The Romano brothers start getting restless simply making wort for others to turn into beer.  They reason- rather than making dozens of small batches why not make a few larger batches and sell it directly to the consumer?  That same year, they apply for a commercial license and begin building a full-sized brewery by hand.

[/et_pb_vertical_timeline_item][et_pb_vertical_timeline_item title=”2004 – Nickel Brook is Born” use_read_more=”off” animation=”bottom” text_font_select=”default” text_font=”||||” headings_font_select=”default” headings_font=”||||” use_border_color=”off” border_style=”solid” font_icon=”%%103%%” icon_color=”#000000″ circle_color=”#ffffff”]

Nickel Brook Brewing Co. opens its doors.  The brewery is named after John’s children, Nick and Brooke.  Gluten Free and Green Apple Pilsner are among the first brands to gain attention for the young start-up brewery.

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Nickel Brook Brown Ale becomes the company’s first LCBO listing, starting a long, fruitful relationship with the LCBO.

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Ryan Morrow joins Nickel Brook as an assistant brewer, and begins directing the change from more mainstream styles to the flavourful, innovative and award-winning brands Nickel Brook is known for today.

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Head Stock IPA wins Gold at the American Brewing Awards. Nickel Brook wins the ‘Best Service Award’ from the LCBO. Brewers begin experimenting with barrel-aging beers, creating the basis for what will eventually become one of the largest brewery barreling programs in Ontario.

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Ryan Morrow is promoted to Brewmaster.

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Nickel Brook purchases former Sleeman brewing equipment from Nova Scotia, modernizing the brew house.

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The Romanos co-found Arts & Science Brewing Co. with Collective Arts, beginning the long process of expansion into the Hamilton facility.  They also re-brand Nickel Brook, adopting a motto that reflects our combination of a DIY attitude and scientific approach to brewing- A Miracle of Science.  New cans are rolled out for all brands.  Sales of Head Stock IPA increase by 300%, and brand visibility increases dramatically across the board.

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The doors open at Arts & Science Brewing Co. in Hamilton, expanding production capacity by more than double. Kentucky Bastard earns 99/100 on RateBeer.com, and is named the Top Beer of the Year.

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Nickel Brook wins Best In Ontario Award from LCBO, recognizing 12+ years of premium products and service. Original brewery is converted to the Funk Lab, the largest facility of its kind in Ontario.  Raspberry Uber, Uncommon Element, and Ceres Cucumber-Lime Gose are among the first products released under the Funk Lab umbrella.

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Cause & Effect, Head Stock and Naughty Neighbour are listed in Beer Store locations across the province, giving even more consumers access to delicious craft beer.

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