Caps Off Brewing Co. opened with a bang last Thursday, April 18.
The cozy little establishment at 168 Curtis Street was filled to the brim from open to close – a response that took owners Rick and Fran Dunseith by surprise.
“I knew we were going to have a lot of supporters and love out there – we already felt it on social media and around the community – but I never expected that. It blew my mind,” Rick says.
The crowd kept the couple on their toes all day, as they poured about 220 litres of beer total throughout opening day on Thursday and their small pre-opening event for close family and friends on Wednesday. The line often overflowed out of the building’s open garage door, which faces Curtis Street and will remain open on days with good weather. Rick remembers looking up at one point in the day and thinking, “Oh my goodness, are we ever going to get through this?” He adds, “We’re grateful, though. We really are.”
Caps Off Brewing Co. offers six different beers, which are brewed right in the building and range from crowd pleasers like cream ale “Under the Brim,” to seasonal specials like “Sweet Toque, Eh?,” a maple wheat beer. They can be taken out in 64 oz growlers and 32 oz howlers, or enjoyed in the building. The rustic decor and art wall featuring local artists – currently painter Carrie McNorgan – make it a cozy spot for a pint. Caps Off Brewing’s official Grand Opening will be in July, when they will also open a patio.
Starting a craft brewery has been a dream for the husband and wife team since they began brewing about nine years ago. When telling their story, Fran says, “Brewing started as a hobby. It was an impossible dream to think that we would ever have an establishment. Then we started to research and it really did seem improbable. But then that passion just kept burning until pursuing the dream became inevitable.”
However, the St. Thomas couple’s longest standing dream wasn’t to open a brewery, but simply work together. Rick says that collaborating on Caps Off Brewing has been a dream come true. “This is what we’ve always wanted – to work together. Because we do work really well together and we always wanted something where the two of us could team up.”
Rick and Fran have tentative plans for the future of Caps Off, such as increasing production by collaborating with Natterjack Brewing in West Lorne, but for now will stay small. Their current hours of operation are:
- Thursday 11am-2pm, 5-9pm
- Friday 11am-9pm
- Saturday 11am-9pm
You can visit the new microbrewery at 168 Curtis Street, across from the St. Thomas Public Library.