Friday had much nostalgia on tap for Don Dolan, while serving up new beginnings for Richard Courneyea as they walked though the vast entrance of the new Signal Brewery Company in Corbyville.
Brewery owner Courneyea opened the doors to his new electronic communication themed beer manufacturing facility to give government officials and guests a sneak peak of the transformation of the former Corby Distilleries and to accept a $100,000 investment from the federal government. Operating from 1850 to 1991, in its hay day Corby Distilleries produced and bottled whisky products and a June 17 Open House will see the site hopping with a new blend.
“Sometimes as an entrepreneur you have all these grandiose ideas and visions,” Courneyea beamed at seeing his 10-year long dream a month away from fruition. “We are pretty proud to be at this moment. It is a nostalgic day.”
Dolan was a master blender and distillery superintendent for 40 years at Corby Distilleries on River Road. The historic brick building holds many memories for the 85-year-old Belleville man.
The day also breathed new life and an invigorated promise of rural economic growth for dignitaries in attendance.
“It’s another example of the different resources that we need to bring to bear in order to make these kinds of projects a reality,” Hastings—Lennox and Addington MP Mike Bossio said after he announced the brewery was receiving $100,000 under the Eastern Ontario Development Program’s Collaborative Economic Development Projects stream.
“It creates jobs and economic growth,” MP Mike Bossio said.
“It’s an exciting time in the City of Belleville,” said Thurlow Ward Councillor Paul Carr. “The community is thriving and the economy continues to grow…creating a brewery in historic Corbyville couldn’t be a better start. The rural economy is thriving.”
Courneyea said the investment will go towards brewery equipment, adding they will start with 10 employees and grow to 25.
The brewery will be licensed to serve 244 patrons inside and another 300 on the patio with lots of room for entertainment. Courneyea said there will be a huge focus on the arts and entertainment. He predicts brewing to start in July and in the interim contract brewing will take place with Railway City and local brewers.
“One of our key beers is going to be called Radio Tube and it’s a pilsner,” Courneyea smiled. “We have another beer called Wave, that has a bit of a citrus hops flavour and it will be great for our patio.”