Montreal gets a new microbrewery this weekend, as 4 Origines opens up right next to the canal in Pointe-St-Charles on Saturday (April 14).
It’s a passion project of sorts for owners Michael D’Ornellas, Keegan Kelertas, and Benjamin Somers: the trio of friends all left professional jobs — one lawyer, one marketing professional, and one finance director — to get into the beer world instead. They’re joined by head brewer Braden Richards, who joins 4 Origines from nearby Brasseur de Montréal in Griffintown.
For D’Ornellas, the brewery has been a long time coming — he first started brewing seven years ago, after buying a home brew kit as part of a challenge with a friend. He started beefing up his beer knowledge completely on his own: “pretty much my whole library at home is beer books,” says D’Ornellas.
As he started sharing his brews with friends and family, and then in home-brewing competitions, he started drawing praise and a small following. Then four years ago, D’Ornellas met Kelertas at a party, and very soon after, 4 Origines (or at least the idea of it) was born — after two years working on brand development, then two on securing a space and getting it ready for business, the microbrewery is ready.
4 Origines will be brewing entirely at its Pointe-St-Charles location (right across from Griffintown), but the industrial space, with its warehouse feel and 32-foot-high ceilings, is open to the public with a boutique selling merchandise, and of course, beer (starting in May). Then the centrepiece for beer-drinkers is the taproom, which will eventually have 12 on-tap offerings, two of which will be non-alcoholic kombucha options. In May, 4 Origines will add a terrasse with a primo location, facing the Lachine Canal park and Montreal’s skyline.
The taproom won’t serve food, but in a relatively unique approach for Montreal, beer drinkers will be allowed to bring their own food from outside — hello, brewery picnics.
For this Saturday’s debut, the brewery will start with four beers on offer. First is a tea-and-apricot pale ale, Apriknot.
“It was made for a marriage and I had people in the wedding choose what flavours to blend together..it has a really nice aromatic [aspect] without a cloying sweetness that some fruit beers give,“ explains D’Ornellas.
That beer will be joined by a golden ale, Ironworks.
“It’s kind of a tribute to the working man or woman, it’s the layman’s beer, something that my father could drink, a sessionable beer, a poundable beer that goes down well on a terrasse in summer.”
Then there’s the Crumpet, an English ale that D’Ornellas likens to Newcastle Brown Ale (crisp, and not heavy), and either a coffee stout or a session IPA will round out the initial offerings.
As 4 Origines adds new brews in the future, D’Ornellas suggests that he wants to get creative, and move outside of standard beer palates, creating brews for drinkers who aren’t necessarily “beer people”.
“My favourite comment is ‘I don’t drink beer’. For me that’s not a final statement, it’s that nobody has allowed you to taste the beer that you’ve fallen in love with...we will brew for the people.”
D’Ornellas says he’s also hoping the brewery can become something of a community fixture in the Point and the city at large, collaborating with other businesses (for example, 4 Origines plans to make its coffee beer in conjunction with a local coffee house).
“What we want to do is make beer a social activity…we’re all about bringing jobs, and bringing the community together, it’s not so much about bringing money into the area.”
STATUS — 4 Origines Microbrasserie opens Saturday, April 14 at noon, at 1304 St-Patrick Street. Open Tuesday and Wednesday 4 to 11 p.m., Thursday and Friday 4 p.m. until late, and Saturday noon until late; closed Sunday and Monday.