Little Brown Jug Brewing Company wants the Exchange District to thrive
Cody Zaporzan, CONTRIBUTOR
The founder of a new microbrewery in the Exchange District wants to collaborate with Red River College students.
Little Brown Jug Brewing Company founder Kevin Selch, 35, said he wants RRC students to use the space inside his William Avenue brewery. There are no student events set yet, but he said he’s looking into “ways we can connect with our neighbours.”
“I’m not looking to monetize this space,” said Selch. “It’s really about making it a part of the community. We have students come in here and set up their laptops. Even the feel of this place is more coffee shop or student lounge than bar or pub.”
RRC business administration student Navdeep Singh Dhillon, 20, said Little Brown Jug Brewing Company might be a good place to host college events for students to interact and exchange information.
“It’s good that people in the college can get together,” said Dhillon. “It’s easier if you’re getting all together and having conversations about your program.”
Selch said he lived in Ottawa for 10 years. He was inspired by the city’s craft beer culture.
“Craft beer is a social thing where people come together and enjoy it,” said Selch. “You go to beer festivals and go on beer tours, and it becomes a cultural thing.”
According to Selch, Winnipeg’s craft beer scene has potential to expand.
“It’s evolving, but it’s not quite there yet,” said Selch. “It was really an opportunity to come do something exciting for Winnipeg.”
The brewery is housed in a historic building. According to Selch, the building was originally a livery stable that serviced city hall. Later, it became a bus depot.
Selch said he renovated the building. He removed several offices, hallways, and a second-floor apartment to make most of the brewery one big room.
A makeshift rope fence surrounds one section. This is the 30-person capacity bar. The rest of the building is the brewery. People at the bar can watch the brewmaster work on brewing days.
“If you came into the space, it was cordoned off into all these different hallways and sections,” said Selch. “It didn’t look anything like this.”
Selch said he worked with Manitoba Hydro to install Power Smart technologies. He said the brewery has a chiller and an air compressor that generates heat. Selch said the technologies preserve the heat inside the building, keeping it warm.
Selch said Little Brown Jug Brewing Company and other restaurants in the Exchange District want to help Winnipeg thrive.
“I would love it if people from the college or who work downtown skip rush hour, come here and grab a pint before going to all the great places to eat in the Exchange.”