Spotlight on the Second Wedge
The Second Wedge is the coolest brewery in Uxbridge. Well…it’s the only brewery in Uxbridge, actually. Maybe that’s why the bar tables were filled with locals – families, couples, kids, - laughing over board games, deep in conversation, or enjoying a flight. If this is what it looks like early on a Saturday afternoon, I can’t imagine how their events must be. I pictured folks packing in to get a listen to some of their favourite live acts (Catch Darrin Davis on Feb 4 at 3pm or Ben Hudson on Feb 11 at 5pm) or sipping on some Monday Night Piper as their table tries to feverishly answer trivia questions on Tuesday nights at 7pm.
It's the little things you'll notice that makes the brewery so unique, a box of carefully selected vinyl records sits at the foot of the bar, bartenders switching up the music every now and then. There was art hanging over the tables, meticulously drawn by local artist Sarah Holtby. We were told the piece over our table of an older gentlemen staring out from his glasses at the patrons, took 2 years to complete. It was pretty incredible and lifelike, actually. It had that great small town favourite watering hole feel.
Founded by husband and wife team Joanne Ritcher and Rob Garrard after their 9 to 5 jobs didn’t do it for them anymore, they’ve quickly become the town’s go-to for beautifully brewed creations. You can tell just how passionate they are about craft beer and making your visit to their brewery exciting and fun. Joanne stopped by our table before we left to thank us for coming by and talk a little bit about the business; she was very welcoming and we could tell she took pride in her work. Bonus points from me for going into business with your spouse! That can’t always be the easiest!
Zed, a sales rep for Second Wedge turned around from his seat at the bar when we arrived “Hey!’ he smiled. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Zed at a few beer events and his friendly demeanour and knowledge of his products is what made me reach out to him over social media saying I would be in the area and finally stopping by for a visit. We sat down at a large barrel shaped table at the end of the bar and sipped a few favourite brews from a flight. We had a great view of the shining tanks, brewing some liquid gold in the next room over.
I wanted to know a little more about the brewery I had grown to love over events in Toronto. “We just had our 2 year anniversary, so we started off very community based here in Uxbridge, we started a brewery with our bottle shop and then we expanded to restaurants locally, so we’re pretty new on the scene” Zed explained. He showed me a map drawn on a chalk board of local restaurants that not only serve The Second Wedge at the bar, but deliver food to the hungry patrons of the brewery for free after 5. Smart move (and one that we took advantage of! Shout out to Laura’s Casual Kitchen ) It’s really nice to see the sense of community local vendors have for one another.
A black dog sat down at my feet, tail wagging, hoping for a chip from my Laura’s Casual Kitchen’s lunch to fall to the floor. “That’s Sadie” Zed said motioning to the lab, “She’s the O.G”. I really loved the idea of allowed dogs into the brewery, and I go out of my way to find breweries that will allow me to bring my own pooch Willie with me (Hello, Left Field and Saulter’s Street!) “There’s little dog dishes everywhere and dog beds, toys that they can play with- which is a lot of fun, and our beer garden is all fenced in so that they can play out there in the summer”We walked to the back doors and peeked out into the currently empty beer garden (it’ll open again when it gets warmer) It was spacious, fenced in and I could picture it lit up with twinkle lights on a warm summer night, a perfect place to enjoy an Elgin Blonde. Probably a real hot spot in the summer. The property itself is really great, it reminded me almost of a barn, with its wooden/metal siding interior, large adjacent garage for the tanks and great outdoor area, surrounded by trees.
Zed let us around back to get a closer look at the tanks. He motioned to a small empty tank, door slightly ajar, “That makes me sad…when it’s empty like that” he joked. He brought us over to show us some casks, which they use for off-site events. You may remember from one of my last articles about the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies event, where their special cask ‘Sweater Weather’ won first place, it was a beautiful delicious dark saison. I even voted for it myself! It had aromas of orange peel and chocolate, with notes of coffee and raisin. Perfect for the winter season.
Let’s get to the beer! They had a great selection on tap while we were there. Elgin Blonde ( American blonde ale), Monday Night Piper (Scottish style ale), Rain Maker ( Porter, my number one fave), 3 Rocks ( IPA), Witch’s Hat (Black IPA) and their seasonal Day Tripper (Pale Ale). With such diversity, there is really something for everyone. Our table’s favorites were Rain Maker and Monday Night Piper. Missing one of your favourites? Just walk around the corner and take a look at their bottle shop to grab a beer on the run. They also do growlers to go.
Want to shop a little more? They have a mini store filled with items like toques, hoodies, hats, glassware, doggy treats and even soap made with their brew! I ended up grabbing treats for Willie and their Spice Factory soap that smells so delicious that I almost want to take a bite. I also went home with some Witch’s Brew and Sweater Weather!
They have some fun events coming up, like a Valentine’s Day party called S’Wonderful. It’s for singles and couples alike. They’ll have communal tables for customers to enjoy passed canapes, brew by the glass and live swing music by The Sonny Balcones. The food will be catered by the local eatery Urban Pantry and I’ve even heard a special ingredient of real chocolate may be added to a beverage or two! Sounds like a lot of fun. If you want to ditch the traditional Valentines Date for something a little more exciting you can purchase tickets off EventBrite.ca.
Have Valentines plans already? Why not swing by for Band Karaoke on Feb 2 at 9pm? Or meet local artist Sarah Holtby on Feb 9th at 7pm? Maybe you’ll find a perfect art piece for your home? One things for sure, The Second Wedge always keeps things interesting, and from the taste of their beers – they’re also most likely keeping nearby breweries on their toes!
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Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.