We Are Home

GM’s Blog #1

  • August 17th, 2016
  • By Grant Sparling

Blyth is home.

My Grandpa moved to Blyth after serving in the army in World War II. It was 1950 and he was a young accountant with the Imperial Bank of Commerce. He arrived in the village with two black suits and five white shirts, and while in Blyth, he became attached to the community. After transferring to Kitchener in 1950, he returned to Blyth the same year and bought a hardware store.

Grandpa gave up the security of a great career, borrowed every penny he could, and risked everything in his new business. For the rest of his life, he talked glowingly about the people of Blyth and how their support allowed the business to grow. Over the past 6 months, as we launched Blyth Cowbell Brewing Co. and released Absent Landlord, we have experienced the same kind of support and enthusiasm from the village, and beyond. It has always been important to our family that we acknowledge this support and give back to our wonderful community.

When we began our search for a location for our destination brewery, Blyth was an obvious choice. I am the third generation to live and work in the village and am both proud and humbled to come home to this remarkable team and opportunity.

In the 1970s, as Sparling’s Propane grew, Grandpa purchased the neighbouring farm from Robert Henry and it has been in our family ever since. Over the years, we have donated land for the construction of the Emergency Services Training Centre and two soccer pitches, but retained 59-acres, which will be home to Cowbell Brewing Co., opening in 2017.

This land at the corner of Highways 4 and 25 was formerly a cattle farm – which served, in part, as inspiration for our name. Beyond the name, we recognize that farmers are the true stewards of the land, and in honouring the property’s past, Cowbell will conduct itself in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner. This commitment ranges from an on-site reforestation project in collaboration with Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, where we planted 12,000 trees, to our closed-loop brewhouse – 100% of our facility’s effluent will be treated on-site with no impact to the municipal water treatment facility, and our journey to be North America’s First Carbon Neutral Brewery. Our dream brewery is in good hands with Allan Avis Architects, H. Bye Construction, and local suppliers and trades.

Stay tuned for future posts updating build progress and for details about the building. Grandpa would be thrilled.