HAMILTON, ON – The Hamilton Spectator reports that beer may be produced again soon at the former Lakeport Brewing site in Hamilton, as Burlington’s Nickel Brook Brewing is hoping to expand into the location.
Lakeport was founded in 1992 and operated as an independent brewery for 15 years before being purchased by Labatt Breweries, which subsequently closed the plant in 2010 and stripped it of all brewing equipment in an attempt to dissuade another brewery from taking over the location.
According to the Spectator article, Nickel Brook has been moving equipment purchased from the shuttered Sleeman Breweries facility in Nova Scotia into a warehouse in Hamilton while negotiations continue with the Hamilton Port Authority which oversees the land where the 50,000 square foot building is located.
This move would represent a massive expansion for Nickel Brook, which currently operates out of a less than 20,000 square feet in Burlington. Nickel Brook co-founder John Romano tells the paper that the brewery will retain the Burlington location for “the ‘crazy and funky’ lines of seasonal or niche beers,” while larger scale production would move to the Hamilton facility. The new brewery would be operated in partnership with Collective Arts Brewing, a Toronto-based company that currently brews under contract at Nickel Brook.
While the Hamilton Port Authority would not confirm the specifics of any negotiations, spokesperson Larissa Fenn tells the paper that the Authority “would love to see that building put back to use as a brewery. Not only was it purpose-built for brewing, it is in a great location at the doorstep of the redeveloping west harbour.”