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Blackwood couple Jason and Cherie Armfield have taken the popular “work from home” mindset literally, opening a small batch brewhouse right in their home.
Blackwood Brewhouse, which had its official opening this week, operates in a cellar door style, with timed seatings and beer tastings.
The seatings are limited and intimate; As per the liquor licence, openings are once monthly for 45 minutes, with 10 people at a time. The guests in the six sittings get to try up to six tap beers, which will feature ever-rotating, seasonal flavours, while they speak to Jason, the head brewer himself.
At this week’s opening, the offerings focused on lighter beers for the warm weather. There was the “tighty whitey hefeweissbier,” a soft, German-style wheat beer, the “Nippy NEIPA,” a low bitterness New England-style IPA, the “rye smile” American pale ale, and more. There was also a signature Blackwood Brewery gin on offer.
In the cooler coming months, the beers will likely become heavier, with a Scottish heavy ale and Cascadian dark ale. Once customers taste the beers, they can decide to purchase and take home their favourites.
Co-owner Cherie says that the brewhouse aims for drinkable beers, as opposed to the current trend of unexpected flavour pairings.
“My husband is into experimenting, but the key thing is making a quality beer that tastes good for regular beer drinkers,” she says.
“He won’t make a point of putting in weird ingredients just for a reaction; He wants to make a beer that people can have multiple glasses of.”
The brewery, which Cherie describes as “niche, novel, and groundbreaking” due to its location, volume, and setup, is set up in the back of Jason and Cherie’s home. Their back deck overlooks a forest, and guests can drink while they take in the view.
“Our beautiful deck inspired our brewery, and we created some more shelter and landscaping to support that,” Cherie says.
“We’re in a rural, residential setting up on the high side of Blackwood Valley, not in a commercial area like a lot of breweries.”
The Armfield couple’s passion project has its next sitting on April 17, so be sure to pre-book to try small batch beers and gin.
Find the Blackwood Brewhouse at 5 Myall Avenue.