Fresh business spirit infused in Whitby’s 5 Paddles Brewing

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Published July 12, 2023 at 9:03 am

There’s a new guard at the OG brewery in Durham Region, with fresh entrepreneurial spirit now infused in the 5 Paddles brand in Whitby.

Sarah and Tristan Jeanneault, who both came from the finance industry, took over Durham’s oldest public brewery in late May and have been churning out the classic 5 Paddles recipes – along with a few new ones, courtesy of new Head Brewer Garett Stuckless – ever since.

Sarah ran a financial brokerage education company in the U.S., along with several other entrepreneurial ventures prior to the 5 Paddles deal, so owning a brewery is a brand new industry for her and for her husband. But both are homebrewers at heart – “I make a Brown Ale I think is pretty great,” Sarah said with a smile – so the business of beer is not totally foreign to them.

“Tristan and I decided to switch career paths and follow a passion in the brewery business,” she said. “COVID was an opportunity to see what we were really passionate about; what we really wanted to do.”

The decision to buy an existing brewery with all its history – 5 Paddles was founded in 2013; positively ancient in the Ontario craft beer world – was very much part of the plan, as was keeping most of the recipes from a brewery that made 150 different beers last year.

“We chose 5 Paddles because of the enormous creativity in quality beer the founders had started here. We aspire to continue to bring these amazing beers and the love of beer to even more people,” she said. “Durham is a special community and the many breweries in this area proves the appreciation that locals have for craft beer. We are excited to be part of this community.”

The hiring of Stuckless was also a bit of a nod to the past, as well as a sign of the future. Stuckless, who arrived from Tilted Glass Brewing in Bowmanville and Second Wedge in Uxbridge, was once upon a time the cellarman at 5 Paddles and it was in Whitby where he developed his own passion for the business.

“We wanted to figure out a way to honour what 5 Paddles was all about and we wanted to give Garett a chance to shine as a brewer. It seemed like a perfect fit,” she said. “And coming from an entrepreneurial background, I’m a big proponent of helping out young entrepreneurs.”

Taika Waititi Session IPA – brewer Garett Stuckless’ first new recipe for 5 Paddles Brewing in Whitby

The plan seems to be working. After a few tank issues in the first couple of weeks Stuckless has been busy brewing old favourites like Home Sweet Home, In Your Face IPA, Coconut Cream Pie, Italian Backyard and Juice Campbell, while still finding time to make the brewery his own with newbies like Phoenix Rubin (an Amber Lager) and his first new recipe for 5 Paddles, Taika Waititi, a 3.8 per cent Session IPA “love story” brewed with New Zealand hops.

“It really feels like I’m coming home,” Stuckless said.

There will be more new beers to come,” Sarah Jeanneault noted, citing an upcoming ‘Adventure Series’ lineup where Stuckless will be “pushing the envelope” of what beer can be, as well as brews that “anyone can drink.”

“There will be beers that will always be here,” she said. “Breweries are not just about beer; it’s about the experience.”

The Jeanneaults and their staff held a ribbon-cutting Monday to officially re-open the brewery and Sarah said she is looking forward to meeting new people, making new beers and contributing to the culture of the community from their Hopkins Street brewhouse, having already thrown their support behind Bikes for Bones – a fundraiser for the local hospital in nearby Ajax – and Pride events throughout June.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to re-define 5 Paddles and what is stands for,” she said. “We want people to think this is their brewery.”

Up next at 5 Paddles is more touch-ups inside, with murals from local artists on the agenda.

“We are very lucky to be the new caretakers of one of the oldest craft breweries in Durham Region,” she said. “After all, there is a beer for all life’s adventures.”

Sarah and Tristan Jeanneault of 5 Paddles Brewing

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