Fixed Gear Brewing is one of Guelph’s newest craft breweries located in the trendy Junction neighborhood. Here you’re going to find a huge array of beers from IPAs, stouts, lagers, even sours. No matter what your tastes are, they’re going to have a beer for you. One of the great things about this place is it’s actually situated in an old repair shop that’s been fully renovated which creates an awesome atmosphere to go grab a cold one. Let’s go in and talk to the owner Mike Oosterveld.
Q1: Mike can you tell me a bit about the name Fixed Gear? How did that come about?
[Mike] There is Brad. Really I’m born and raised in Guelph and as a native of Guelph, I’ve come to understand that Guelph is very pro-bicycle. Fixed Gear has that connotation. It’s certainly a great name that’s fitting, it’s a little bit on edge.
[Mike] We get a lot of people coming in on a regular basis on their bikes and we want to encourage that.That’s really where the whole mantra came up with beers and bikes, they go well together.
Q2: I like that, very cool. So Mike what’s your coolest or most unique beer that you guys have made so far?
[Mike] Well I think the most unique beer that we’ve made so far is our sours series. We have a dry hops sour and we have what’s our most popular beer, is our dry hop cherry sour. People come from all over the place on Saturdays and Sundays they come and we’re known for our cherry sour. It’s a unique beer. Not what you’d normally consider a beer but it’s certainly our most unique and a favorite amongst the customers.
[Brad] Very cool, so cherry sours. Is that more serving the line of a cider? What is a sour?
[Mike] Yeah, a sour is really an alternative to those who are perhaps not interested in the traditional style of beer. It’s a very old recipe and it’s purposely soured and with a fruit base added to it allows for it to have a cider-like quality. It certainly is not a cider but cider drinkers really do embrace it and enjoy it when we recommend it.
Q3: Very cool. So what would be your best selling beer?
[Mike] Our best selling beer is our newest lineup. It’s called Borraccia. It’s an Italian based beer that comes from a malt out of Italy. And that malt’s called Eraclea and it’s a dry based, it’s certainly very fitting for this time of year. But right now that is by far our best seller.
[Brad] Is that more of a lighter, like a lager style beer then?
[Mike] Yeah. It is a lager and we lager that for about 35 days. It does take a lot to put into that beer, but when it comes out it’s very crisp, clean, and very sparkly. It’s a beautiful looking beer and on a hot day, it can’t be beat.
[Brad] Yeah, that’s different from a lot of the other craft breweries. A lot of them are very hoppy so it’s kind of a bit of a unique beer to see at a craft brewery.
[Mike] Yeah, it’s a very approachable beer and I think that’s why it’s so popular ’cause it fits just about all styles of beer drinkers.
Q4: Perfect. So what are some kind of unique things about Fixed Gear Brewing that set you guys apart from some of the other local craft breweries in Guelph?
[Mike] Well we’re really an eclectic neighborhood. We’re in the Guelph Junction. This is a former heavy industry, repair shop. It’s’s been converted to really allow itself to blend in with the community. We’re dog-friendly, baby-friendly, parent, every type of individual is welcome at this brewery. We’re a standalone brewery that’s open to everybody.
Q5: Mike, how did you come up with the idea to start a craft brewery? What was the journey to get here?
[Mike] Well it was a long journey certainly. It began with my relationship with Wellington Brewery. I’m good friends with them and I got integrated into that line of work just by volunteering. My background’s automotive industry and corporate and I needed to find a way to come back to Guelph and really live and work in the community I was raised. Guelph’s very pro-beer. I’m passionate about beer and I thought probably about 10 years ago this’ll be a great journey to try and embark upon. It was a long journey, and it took really that long to come to this point where we are today.
[Brad] Perfect, wow, very cool. Fixed Gear is a great hot spot in Guelph. It’s a place you have to come to check out.
[Mike] Thanks, Brad.