Owner and CEO Adam Rondeau said the brewery is meant to be memorable – and it delivers. Located in the Williamsville District on Princess Street, it stands out as an enticing space to explore. The taproom and large patio are distinctive and welcoming with floor to ceiling, eye-grabbing murals, custom tables painted by local artists and an open concept design that extends to street-side.
Opening about three years ago, Daft Brewing is an authentically fun spot for craft beer drinkers to enjoy the laid back vibe and creativity of the brewmaster and simply savour good beer while being social.
The walls at Daft aren’t the only thing with loads of character. The beer lives up to the hype. Daft Brewing is known for its sours, from mint lemonade to mango to blackberry. “We make a wide variety of beer styles, but we definitely specialize in sour beers; that’s our niche,” Rondeau said. He says the popularity of its brews stems from using only real ingredients: no extracts, no colours, no artificial flavours. “We use only fresh, real ingredients,” he said, adding that means that if they’re making a beer with lemon, then the team is happily/grudingling spending entire shifts slicing and dicing case after case of fresh lemons.
Daft is also on the radar for its light lager, alongside its IPAs and pale ales. “We have a smaller brewhouse which gives us the freedom to constantly experiment with new and interesting styles,” Rondeau said. That translates into an ever-changing array of beer available to entice anyone interested in dialling their taste buds up a notch.
Tapping Into A Community
With its west-coast vibe, Rondeau said they wanted to create a stand out taproom to compliment their interesting brews. “We wanted a space unique to the city, so that if you were on a brewery tour of Kingston, you would remember us,” he said. Achievement unlocked.
Daft Brewing has emerged as a neighbourhood gathering place. The fun, chill space, with samples for anyone showing curiosity, is actually the result of the exact opposite of the relaxed vibe it exudes. It was born from a lot of hard work.
The team behind Daft went from having zero knowledge of the industry or owning a small business to operating one of the top breweries in Kingston. Rondeau said that the idea for Daft Brewing was sparked in Vancouver on a brewery crawl – as the drinks were flowing, ideas came out. The more research the team did, the more excited they got. The next few years were spent writing and developing a business plan and rounding up interested parties to nurture the brewery. “We started with grit, drive and interest,” Rondeau said.
A key piece to the puzzle was finding the perfect location. “We wanted to do this in Kingston, and we wanted to have the space to be face-to-face with our customers,” Rondeau said.
That space was the product of foresight. The Daft building at that time was an abandoned car garage – and it proved to be a huge undertaking to renovate and upgrade it. From oil and grime on every surface to replacing all the utilities in the building, the crew overcame the hurdles bit and bit and managed to the complete the majority of the renovations themselves to bring their dream to fruition.
Now, the taproom and brewery is a focal point of the community on upper Princess Street. The big windows, open-concept space, patio and deck are an invitation to passersby to come in and socialize. Original graffiti-style art enlivens the space bringing with it a unique funkiness – all while also keeping the brewing aspect tangible for craft beer enthusiasts. The brewing equipment is on full display so patrons can make that connection to the art that is brewing quality craft beer. “We wanted the atmosphere in the taproom to feel like you were inside the brewery – you can actually touch the fermentors from the taproom.”
New Project Alert
Never ones to sit idle, Daft Brewing has a new project rolling out this month: a travelling bar! Daft Brewing is soon launching Daft’s Wandering Bar, which can be rented out for weddings, festivals and corporate events. Rondeau said they’ll be making unique cocktails on board, and showcasing Daft Brewing’s interesting beers, of course. Set to be road ready for early June, stay tuned for info about an upcoming release party to kick start the special project.
Coming Up At Daft…
The brewery is also keen to be inclusive and event-driven. Rondeau said being experimental and collaborative with their events has solidified a loyal following for Daft’s euchre league, games nights, LGBQT2+ nights, food pop-ups, karaoke, drag bingo, DJ sets, trivia, live music, stand-up comedy and much more.
Daft Brewing’s retail store offers local delivery, Ontario-wide shipping and case discounts so customers can experience that carefree summer feeling in every sip. Discover more at daftbrewing.com or be social on Facebook @daftbrewing or on Instagram @daftbrewingco.