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Sleeping Giant Brewing Co:

Drink Superior Beer - Support a Superior Community

It all starts with a tonne tote of malt, which comes from a plant less than 2 kilometres away.  Actually it starts with the growing of those malted grains, some of which – and more every year – are grown right here in Thunder Bay, where the local malt processor offers local farmers incentives to grow for our local brewers. 

Continuing our exploration of Thunder Bay’s manufacturing sector, (check out recent posts like this one about The Whole Nine Yards) we followed a tote of golden malt to the brewing vats at Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. where co-owner Matt Pearson told us that #TBay has fantastic local water.  It’s so tasty and pure out of the tap that their mother ingredient requires very little extra treatment before it begins the magical process that turns it into foaming, delicious beer, which helps make Thunder Bay a great place to brew.  Co-owner Andrea agrees; in a lot of ways, their work as manufacturers is to add value to the raw resource of our delicious local water.  Small wonder they describe their products as “Superior Beer.” 

Since they began brewing in 2012, Sleeping Giant has been dedicated to collaborations within the community, an approach that’s led them into heart-warming experiences helping organizations like PRO Kids, the Boys & Girls Club of Thunder Bay and Our Kids Count. Their support of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra brought us Brew & Beethoven, a fundraising event for Symphony Youth & Education programs that sells out every year, and they’ve just committed to a $25,000, 5-year bursary to Lakehead University. Lately, they’ve come aboard as sponsors of the Waterfront District; watch for creative and no doubt entertaining Sleeping Giant window displays in the old Eaton Centre this fall.

The Sleeping Giant team doesn’t limit their collaborations to the charity sector, either, looking to their suppliers, customers and other businesses operating alongside them for the next inspiration.  Their storefront is a showcase for local products, including unexpected items like a bread mix that just needs a can of Sleeping Giant beer to bake and a lovely line of beer soap. Sometime this fall they expect their farmer-partner, who takes the majority of their spent grains for his beef herd, to make his first delivery of beef raised on Sleeping Giant product, which will be available for sale in their freezers.

 Alongside those locally-made products they carry an amazing selection of souvenirs and beer swag that, combined with their food-tourism appeal, make them one of the hottest stops for visitors to Thunder Bay.  In keeping with their style, all their promo merchandise and printed materials come from suppliers just a couple of blocks away.  Shop online for those things? No way. “They’re right there when we need them,” Andrea says of Mallon’s Corporate Impressions and Rainbow Printers, who she says have been fantastic partners.

Like other companies in the manufacturing sector, the ripple effect Sleeping Giant Brewing Co has on our economy runs deep, creating jobs and opportunities not just in their business but all throughout the value chain.  That means that every time you choose a Northern Logger, a 360 Pale Ale or one of their other brews, you’re not just supporting 24 jobs at the brewery; you’re supporting all the jobs of the local people who help make it happen.  You’re also contributing to the extensive network of community partnerships that Matt, Andrea, Kyle and their team support through their activities.

Want to sample this great local product right from the source? Mosey on down to their newly-opened tap room on the corner of Macdonell and Squier where you can admire the shiny vats doing their mysterious work right in front of you while you enjoy a freshly drawn tankard and raise a glass – it’s deliciously good to #ChooseTBayFirst!

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