Like all good beer stories, this one starts out with two guys, a girl, and a lot of homebrew consumed in a basement.
Justin MacNeill and Marc Plante both started out independently as home brewers, and met through a fraternity of other local zymurgy enthusiasts in the Ottawa area. Their common passion for well-crafted beer, cool indie-music, and a desire to chase a dream led them to many discussions of ‘what if?’.
Their vision was fueled by the fact they made some pretty darn good beer – conveyed to them from appreciative family and friends (who may or may not have been victims to ‘quality control’), as well as valuable feedback from certified beer judges and finally some pretty high rankings in local and national beer competitions.
Things became dangerous as their egos, while remaining in check, allowed them to believe that the dream could one day become a reality. But while they toiled away in their respective garages, brewing away the weekends, it was only ever a dream. Sure, there were a few false starts and ‘almosts’, but there was a spark that seemed to be missing.
That’s when the girl came in. Gen Benay had her own dreams. A foodie at heart with a desire to run her own business and the drive to match, she stumbled upon Justin and Marc at that perfect moment in time. Gen was the missing piece, the lynch pin that would ignite the trio. She basically kicked the boys’ asses into gear and said if we’re gonna get serious, then get serious!
So we did, and here we are.
The Stray Dog Brewing Company is more than just craft beer; it represents the spirit of adventure and the courage to pursue the passions that enrich our lives. Many people choose to give up on their dreams because of fear of failure, but yearn for something more. Metaphorically, a lot of us feel chained up or held back in one form or another. These chains can be the result of external forces or they can be self-imposed. Justin, Marc and Gen had the will to break free from these chains and venture out into the unknown. The Stray Dog Brewing Company is about freedom to do what feels right, the defiance of a life of confinement, and taking the risk to do something great, even if it means leaving the security your current life offers.