Craft beer fans now have a new must-visit destination in Kimberley, BC.
Natalie and Tyrone Reitman have officially opened the doors to their new brewery and tap room, Grist and Mash.
Tyrone has been brewing beer for more than 15 years and was encouraged to go professional with it about four years ago. Self-taught, since the beginning he was drawn to Belgian-style brews and focused on making clean Belgian ales, saisons and farmhouse beers.
The two also run Freehand Brewery in Oregon, and came to Kimberley about 18 months ago. After securing visas through the BC Entrepreneurship Program to invest in and open Grist and Mash, Kimberley is now their home base.
While Freehand operates more like a winery and focuses primarily on Belgian ales, Grist and Mash will feature some Belgian-style beers, but also much more. The name refers to grist, the combination of grains that go into the mash tun, the vessel used for mashing – the process of turning starches into sugars to transform the mixture into beer.
“We’ve been eyeing starting a tap room for a long time and so when this opportunity came up we thought we’d just go for it,” Tyrone says. “The basic idea of Grist and Mash is to use super local ingredients and keep it really fresh and always have a rotation of beers on tap so you’ll see a number of beers repeat but it’s always going to be a fresh list on here.
“So we sized the brew system basically to always keep beer flowing through this space and then do some regional distribution of specialty, interesting, kind of wild-gathered beers and Belgian styles as well.”
With six beers currently on tap, they’ll be partnering with locals like Grubstake, Sinclair’s Catering and Stoke Market among others for their food selection.
“Our goal is to have people come in, order at the counter, get really great beer and you can get something casual to eat if you want,” Natalie says.
They’ve also been working with B.C. farmers for years to get their malt, hops and cereals and they intend to source those things more and more locally as time goes on.
“I’ll be making beer this summer with fruit that we pick up in Creston,” Tyrone says.
Opening a new business during a pandemic meant every step – from bringing in brewing tanks to finalizing permits – took longer.
“But, it’s understandable,” Tyrone says. “And in the bigger sense, it’s fine. We’re going to be opening, knock on wood, somewhere at the tail-end of COVID and vaccinations are rolling out and it’s springtime.
“There’s hope in the air, it’s a good time to do it and I don’t have any regrets. The situation has been what it is for everybody.”
Natalie adds that she, Tyrone and their son, who attends middle school here, are all grateful to be in Kimberley and have been loving living here.
They both feel their new venture complements Kimberley’s existing establishments, like Bohemian Spirits and Overtime Beer Works, both located within a few blocks of Grist and Mash.
“It seemed like the appetite was here and I think everything is quite complementary,” Tyrone says. “We all do different things and I think it will be really satisfying – people will come into town on tourism and certainly locals wanting a variety of different things in terms of beverages.”
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