By: Rhonda Niesen

Exciting times in South Bruce!

The South Bruce Tourism Committee met on Tuesday June 5th at Formosa Springs Brewery. Sean Dennis, Director of Sales & Marketing entertained us with interesting information about the past, present and future plans of the Formosa Springs Brewery as well as provided us samples of all 4 of their beer products. Sean has worked with some of the largest brewers within the beer industry for past 25 years.

Sean provided some history on Formosa Springs and how it has had its ups and downs through the years with the building being burnt down several times as well as changing ownership several times. Formosa Springs Brewery opened in 1870 and is historically one of the oldest breweries in Canada! Sean was excited to announce that the Formosa Springs Brewery will be starting to brew and distribute beer at the Formosa location this month! They currently have 13 employees but as they ramp up and get going, he projects that they will have upwards of 20-30 employees working at this facility. They have rehired some of the original employees and will try to hire as many local residents as possible. They have used a combination of recommissioned machinery – new, old, and the original equipment. Formosa Springs Brewery opened their retail store (the house on the property), the first week of May where you will find all of their brands available
for purchase.

Sean let us in on a few insights of which we might be able to expect from Formosa Springs Brewery in the future including a licensed patio, a pub flare type of restaurant and tours of the brewery. This will be an exciting addition to South Bruce and the tourism industry.
After receiving interesting facts on the past, present and future, we dove into taste testing of their 4 products! We taste tested Red Baron Platinum Light Lager, Formosa Springs Draft, Red Baron Blonde Lager and Red Baron Lime. Each of us having our own favourite, shows that they are brewing to everyone’s taste.

Platinum Light Lager is 2.7% alcohol, 60 calories and only 1 carb. The average beer has 110-160 calories. Sean informed us that lagers are the hardest beer to make because there is no way to hide the flaws. We then tried the Formosa Springs Draft, a 5% alcohol by volume lager which is usually the industry standard. It had a slightly bitter finish which is generally contributed by the hops that are added. We then moved onto the Red Baron Blonde Lager. It is 4.8% alcohol by volume and is slightly sweeter, not bitter. Lastly, we tried the Red Baron Lime. It is light, 4% alcohol by volume brew with a hint of lime. The Red Baron beers are packaged in clear glass bottles. Most beer is bottled in dark brown or green so that the beer does not get “light struck” and get that “skunky taste”. Formosa’s solution towards ensuring this does not happen to their brands is the use of tetra hops, which is light resistant.

South Bruce Tourism Committee meets the first Tuesday of every month and we tour different businesses within South Bruce so that we can tell their story and promote them. We have a lot of fantastic products and services in South Bruce and we need to spread the word and keep the business local! New committee members are always welcome! If you would like to join the South Bruce Tourism Committee, please contact Rhonda Niesen at or 519-392-6623.

Sneak peak ahead – Join our 19th Annual Vintage Tractor Tour on Father’s Day (June 17th ) and our August meeting, we will be touring Essentially Lavender at 1379 Concession 10 Formosa, with hosts Bill & Cathy Kirk.

The South Bruce Tourism Committee would like to thank Sean for taking time out of his busy schedule and after hours, to accommodate our group and to share his knowledge, stories and taste test with us. It was a great night!