What started as a big science project is now getting national attention for its brewing.
Arbru Solar Brewery in Mallorytown is Canada’s first destination solar-powered brewery, running completely off grid. What’s more – it’s brewing some seriously good beer.
Owner Phil Audet said it’s an experimental brewery while being incredibly intentional about the way it keeps sustainability at the forefront. “We’re truly relying on Mother Nature to run everything in the brewery,” he said. “Arbru is a symbol of innovation.”
Audet put his past studies in sustainable energy engineering in Ireland to work at the brewery where 100 percent of the electricity comes from the sun with no backup generator. In addition, a tree is planted for every 1L of beer sold – and they are on track to have 10,000 trees planted by December through Eden Reforestation Projects.
Arbru is relatively new on the scene, opening in 2022, but provides a popular, laid back rural brewery experience. The long zig-zag wooden bar, dangling lights, photo-ready greenery walls, and barrel tables make the taproom space inviting and memorable while accenting the patio and elevated living-room style seating areas.
The eco-conscious craft brewery offers a unique edge – tours of the alternative technology on site, sipping brews while overlooking the hop yard, and enjoying the patio while watching wood-fired pizza in the outdoor oven. “The country setting allows for a completely different experience,” Audet said, whose family also owns and runs BUSL Cider down the road. “It’s worth the drive.”
Arbru has a varied lineup of beer available on tap and in cans, including best seller Session Lager and New England IPA. It’s also raising funds for the Gananoque Refugee Settlement Group, with its Stands With Ukraine Lager, and is even offering a summertime splash of champagne slushies at the brewery to beat the heat with some bubbly.
However, one of the most surprising brews has been its Imperial Chocolate Stout, which Audet said seems like an underdog, but sells out routinely no matter the season. Behind the scenes, Audet said visitors have a lot to look forward to: the brewery is currently working on a Mexican-style cerveza and a raspberry sour.
Celebrating a milestone
Arbru celebrated its one-year milestone this month, with a big live music event on Saturday, July 29, 2023.
Open mic nights at Arbru are every second Friday at the brewery from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. which Audet said are always a fun time with loads of local talent making the nights a great way to welcome the weekend.