The Story of Neustadt Springs Brewery in Neustadt,
Andrew and Val Stimpson's careers in the British brewing industry began in
1978, with the renowned northern brewery of Daniel Thwaites PLC. Of Blackburn,
Lancashire. After a period of time they moved on to Border Breweries of Wrexham,
North Wales, who later merged with Marston, Thomson & Evershed. Brewers of
the world famous cask conditioned Pedigree Ale.
While on a short holiday in Ontario in 1990 they both fell in love with Canada. By
1995 after numerous visits, they decided to immigrate to Ontario. The original
business plans for Ontario included something in the hospitality industry; but
found you could not duplicate the atmosphere of a British style pub in Canada,
plus Andrew couldn't find a beer that he liked, not one that would suit his
palate, so he decided to brew his own.
It was two years before that the abandoned Crystal Springs Brewery in Neustadt was
found to be a suitable site to set up our microbrewery. It took almost 10 months
of intense renovations to this old historic stone brewery, including installing
sewage, electricity and all the brewing tanks and equipment, to be ready to open two
days before Christmas in 1997. The first historic batch of beer from the brewery
in 82 years, sold out within five hours. Andrew had to go to the beer store for
his beer on Christmas Eve, because the brewery was dry!
The History of the Brewery
When Henry Huether came to the village of Neustadt in 1857, he recognized the
need for a brewery. He imported 40 stonemasons from Germany and began
construction over the source of one of Canada's clearest spring waters, which
still flows through a network of caverns beneath the brewery today.
By 1859, beer was flowing from the Crystal Springs Brewery. A fire in 1869
proved only a temporary setback. The structure was quickly rebuilt using
fieldstone brought in by local farmers in exchange for beer.
The 22,000 square foot building is essentially unchanged from 1869. For 57
years, the brewery continued serving local needs. Villagers skimmed yeast from
the vats for their baking. Malt residue was put to use by farmers to feed their
Mr. Huether also kept carriages and 6 teams of horses in the stables on the
lower floor. The right hand side of the building was used as a hotel. The small
stone building to the north of the brewery was originally a customs and excise
office where the officer would check the barrels of beer going out full and
coming in empty to calculate taxes due.
The Brewery closed its doors in 1916, due to the decline of the local population
and prohibition. Since then the brewery building has had a variety of uses
including: - creamery, egg grading station, town hall, dance hall.
In 1972 the building was finally shuttered up until it reopened in December 1997
as "Neustadt Springs Brewery". Most of the old original materials have been used
in the renovations.