Council Asked to Approve Land Sale

A growing business wants to come to Cobourg – Brock Street Brewery wants to buy four acres in Lucas Point Industrial Park to build a canning plant.  It will can ready to drink vodka soda’s and gin cocktails and possibly also its current beer product.  Based in Whitby, they were founded in April 2015 and have been growing fast. Subject to approval of their building plans by Cobourg’s Planning Department, they want to initially build a 12,000 sq. ft. packaging facility that would be staffed by 25 to 35 employees.  They expect a year later to expand in phases 2 and 3 by 18,000 sq. ft. then add two more buildings of 25,000 sq. ft. and 10,000 sq. ft. which would employ 75 or more.  Their offer to buy the land at $40K per acre will be before Council at their Committee of the Whole meeting on January 4.  Staff is recommending approval.

Brock Street Brewing Location Map
Brock Street Brewing Location Map

The image at right shows the land being discussed – note that the entrance will be from Willmott Street.  If permitted, they would also operate a small retail store/ on-site restaurant.

The company is a success story – revenue last year was 75% higher than projected and sales doubled year-over-year.  In describing why they chose Cobourg for expansion, Brock Street Brewing stated:

Brock Street is undergoing a major growth phase and is looking for opportunities in exciting communities. Cobourg, with available industrial land and a forward thinking Council and Staff, a beautiful downtown, and one of the best waterfronts in Ontario, presents itself as an incredible opportunity for Brock Street to continue its growth and for the surrounding communities and its citizens to find good paying jobs with a growing company.

Cobourg’s Planning Department has already agreed that the location is suitable for the proposed use and fits with current zoning.  However they also stated that “it’s subject to the finalization of development details including but not limited to: site servicing and grading; building siting and coverage; site access, parking, loading/service and truck movements; and landscaping”.

By my count, that makes the third Brewery company located in Cobourg although Brock Street would be by far the largest.

Links

Addendum

Update 4 January 7:53 pm

At the Committee of the Whole Council Meeting on January 4, Council approved the purchase of the Land as recommended by staff.

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Dunkirk
5 January 2021 11:56 am

This should be good news for Cobourg. Since the Province gave special grants and incentives for micro-brewers back in 2013, many entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the 5 year plan. Now, however, there are over 1,000 micro-breweries in Canada and the market is crowded. Despite my personal best efforts, beer sales have gone down 4%(the greatest decline since prohibition.) What might be interesting is that Brock seems to want to use the local facility to bottle/can vodka or gin cooler beverages. These are easier to make; production doesn’t give off any un atractive odours and don’t necessarily require bearded brewmasters with engineering degrees and a dog. That sector is booming and unlike beer, cooler sales are up 15% year over year(* note the shelf space increases at the LCBO). Another Northumberland Vodka company that was struggling switched to coolers and now sells millions of cans at LCBO every summer and the switch saved the company.
$40k an acre seems like a ridiculously small price per acre and the article suggests that Brock Brewery ‘expects’ to expand. Have they actually committed to expand and bought all 4 acres or just an option to acquire maybe sometime in the future?(I apologize if the answer to that is in the links…) The reason I ask is that our Town doesn’t have a good record holding new exciting businesses to account on their promises.

Informed
5 January 2021 11:49 am

Im hoping this is the start of more restaurants in the downtown core offering local craft beers and local food sourced in Northumberland and beyond.

Gerinator
4 January 2021 3:18 pm

Great for the craft brew-lovers, like MOI. Better more breweries than Cannabis shops, but I guess that ship has sailed long ago.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Gerinator
4 January 2021 3:40 pm

I know what you mean Gerinator. But alcohol has been a part of society for a very long time. Consumed responsibly as in anything, I hope people here will welcome it heartily. Seagrams, Bacardi and many established breweries have very fine names, products and jobs. They don’t promote addiction only a small part of the population is addiction prone and I truly hope they seek help.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Liz Taylor
4 January 2021 9:14 pm

Suggestion from the down voters – What is it you suggest then Prohibtion?

To my down voting public – Snow White and the 7 Trolls!

ben burd
Reply to  Liz Taylor
5 January 2021 7:02 am

Liz, I really don’t think that is trolls that vote thumbs down There are people on this Board who refuse to refute arguments and vote against the poster no matter what they say. If that’s what makes them feel good I guess you and I have to keep saying what we have been saying and damn the torpedoes!

Last edited 3 months ago by Ben
Liz Taylor
Reply to  ben burd
5 January 2021 8:04 am

Thank you Ben.
I’ld wish to contribute, as anyone on this Blog and at times wish the vote as in Council the votes were compiled and listed by name. Mindless prejudiced voting destroys and demeans the purpose of this blog. As I said I view an idea, not the poster. In prior times in my life I found my very name would bring on unjustified attacks. Perhaps I should have used a nom de plume.

Last edited 3 months ago by Liz Taylor
ben burd
Reply to  Liz Taylor
5 January 2021 10:42 am

Actually Liz I have always thought “Liz Taylor” was a nom de plume! How’s Richard (Burton) these days?

Liz Taylor
Reply to  ben burd
5 January 2021 12:29 pm

No Ben – Liz Taylor it is – my father said he had the name first! Richard alas has gone to his great reward!

Edit: 2:07 – Ben originally I posted under a made up name as others do – I found many fellow bloggers did not read my message, the reply back very often was why don’t you use your real name, we don’t like non-names. Are you a man or woman? So here I am today posting under my real name. Hopefully people will get over this and begin to read the poster’s comments.

Last edited 3 months ago by Liz Taylor
Bryan
Reply to  ben burd
5 January 2021 1:08 pm

Ben,
Why the focus on the commenter’s name.
It’s not important.
Focus on the message.
Is a useful contribute made to the “learned” discussion?
Are good relevant questions asked?
Are arguments supported by verifiable analysis, documentation and sources?

Lastly, ignore the trolls. They eventually realize they are being ignored and they go away to find new ground somewhere else.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Bryan
5 January 2021 1:18 pm

Bryan – Ben was giving me a word of encouragement. That has been my point – focus on the message, I often see many up votes on people that merely ask unrelated off topic questions yet see many down votes for others aside from myself consistently no matter what they post.

Myself I have tried to ignore the great number of down votes over a period of time – guess what Bryan they weren’t going away. No response or argument, just down votes. I am not alone in this.

Rob
Reply to  Liz Taylor
5 January 2021 10:47 am

Liz – there certainly is a stigma associated with cannabis use and an equally inaccurate perception of the consumption of alcohol. Real life doesn’t support your claim that only a small part of the population is addiction prone – approximately 20% of the Canadian population meet the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence; that number has likely skyrocketed during Covid. The marketing of alcohol is brilliant – it promotes sunny days, beautiful people, dancing in clubs, exotic beaches, bikinis, skiing and skydiving. The opposite is believed and has been propagated about cannabis use – burnouts, video games, dirty smoke, gateway drug, rolling/smoking joints in back alleys or filthy apartments.

Gerinator’s comment supports someone who buys into this misconception – More clean and wholesome breweries and less dirty, sketchy pot shops.

Liz your comment about Seagrams, Bacardi and others having very fine names does the same. There are also very fine products and jobs within cannabis (sadly our local cannabis facility was a joke from the beginning).

This will all take time to unravel – because neither of the lies are true OR false and both have been intentionally created.

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Rob
5 January 2021 12:39 pm

Rob – the chicken or the egg? Life opportunities allowed me to work directly (in partnership ran live in halfway house, newly released male inmates from all levels of the penal system) and be involved in addiction recovery programs. As I spoke with these people and came to know many through the programs and house a common strain was there, parental alcoholism. It often is a physical thing, a physical trigger, inherited and is documented as such. Responsible use as in anything otherwise how do you explain the number of obese people, heavy smokers – although there is a vunerable contingent. My father a career bartender always said respect it and don’t start picking up a drink in times of trouble.

I agree though Rob that parents should be more attentive to their children, educating them in so many aspects of life. Again I will ask what is your suggestion then Rob – Prohibition?

Last edited 3 months ago by Liz Taylor
Rob
Reply to  Liz Taylor
5 January 2021 2:47 pm

Liz – As you know obesity is often tied to a food addiction brought about by trauma and mental health. Many addictions, including alcoholism, are concurrent disorders, meaning the individual suffers from a mental health issue (depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc..) as well as substance abuse. However my point earlier was to rebut what you said, in that it isn’t a small percentage of people that have addiction issues it is significant and growing. In fact addiction/mental health has killed far more people than covid ever will yet it goes underfunded, people are marginalized and we pretend it is a problem that Cobourg doesn’t have.

And no I would never suggest prohibition (didn’t work before and it’ll never work now) – I like to have a drink and I also don’t mind a little weed from time to time.

Liz Taylor
4 January 2021 1:18 pm

I’ll be more excited when I see the development issues finalized thinking of the recent past issues but think yeah this is really great news.
Trolls are a problem on this site – it would be nice to have an idea considered without their attention as I examine an idea – not the poster – before voting. Unfortunately trolls don’t do that.

Last edited 3 months ago by Liz Taylor
JimT
Reply to  Liz Taylor
4 January 2021 1:52 pm

By “development issues” you mean all those hurdles to jump over and all
those hoops to jump through before the town agrees to anything at all?
Those “development issues”?

Bill Thompson
4 January 2021 11:21 am

With sufficient LCBO and Beer Store options already in place in Cobourg will this venture lead to the demise of the small local established brewers as well?
Another venture like the marijuana plant in the old Kraft factory that promised so much employment etc.and then left ?

Informed
Reply to  Bill Thompson
4 January 2021 12:07 pm

They are already established and filling a void in the craft brewery segment. Its likely that restaurants, beer store and liquor stores will carry some of their brands. This is great news!

Conor
Reply to  Informed
4 January 2021 7:38 pm

If I am not correct I believe Brock St Brewing is a Whitby company.

Jones
4 January 2021 8:07 am

Why not use the Kraft buildings ?

Jeffy
Reply to  Jones
4 January 2021 9:20 am

Probably because the Kraft buildings don’t meet their needs. It is always better to adapt the building to the production process than the other way around.

Informed
Reply to  Jones
4 January 2021 12:09 pm

I suspect they will use some “green technology ” to achieve efficiencies. Something the Kraft plant cant do.

ben burd
Reply to  Jones
5 January 2021 7:03 am

Probably because 40K an acre is a heckuva lot cheaper than a piece of 19 million!