Stack brings the return of a brewery to Sudbury

I was sitting in Greater Sudbury’s Fionn MacCool’s with some co-workers of mine when I first tasted a Stack beer. I was in the mood to try something new, and this restaurant has a large selection, so I asked the waitress what she had on tap. After listening to her spout her knowledge of a local brewery, I decided to try Valley Girl, a traditional German-style wheat beer, which is just one of a variety of creatively named beers produced by Stack Brewing.

If you’re familiar with Sudbury, you might understand the cultural references to the beer names, such as how the “Valley” is a nickname for the Valley East area within the City of Greater Sudbury. Even the name Stack, itself, refers to the iconic Superstack (essentially a very large chimney), towering 1,250 ft over the world's largest nickel smelting operation.

Here’s a list of Stack’s main brews and their creative names:

  • Saturday Night – Cream Ale
  • Valley Girl – Wheat Ale
  • Impact Altbier – Altbier
  • Friendly – India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • Black Rock – Cascadian
  • Angry – Imperial IPA
  • Les Portes de L’Enfer – Biere de Garde

Accompanying the above are seasonal brews, such as the October featured Lazer Hosen and the Halloween-themed Last Bite, made with pumpkin puree. 

Stack Brewing
Shawn Mailloux, Owner

Stack Brewing, which opened its doors in 2013, is Sudbury's first craft beer brewery since the demise of Northern Breweries in 2006. Stack is a small, but growing team of Sudbury natives, including owner Shawn Mailloux, brewer Michael Guillemette, and the sales and cellarman, Rob Majury, who, despite not being born in Sudbury, is a "true old-fashioned Northern boy,” says Guillemette.

Stack was created by Mailloux’s frustration of the lack of beer selection in town, which happened to pair with Guillemette’s passion for historic brewing and experience from his own home brewing days. Guillemette shares his influences when deciding on the style of beer to produce at Stack:

Stack Brewing3
Michael Guillemette, Brewer

“Beer has a longer history in Europe than it does here, in Canada. I like to explore historic beer styles that are not from around here, bringing in a slice from another country.” That even includes bringing in the ingredients he needs from Ontario suppliers.

Sometimes, Guillemette creates a brew simply based on his own personal taste, and “whether I have a hankering for something from my own home brewing days,” which were influenced by the “weird” selections from his school days in Alberta. By exploring new flavours, such as a vanilla and amber Chai, he brings in new product, which would be hard to find somewhere else in the world, if at all.

Other times, inspiration comes from a trip to the LCBO, where the guys return to the shop with a taste of something different on their tongues, and then try to create a similar brew.

Stack Brewing2
Rob Majury, Sales and Cellarman

There are over a dozen locations in Sudbury carrying one or more of the brews, as well as a number of restaurants outside the city, even reaching North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto. Stack's distribution has recently expanded to include the availability of the some of their brews at select LCBOs, and have collaborated with a local caterer, Culgins Creative Cuisine, to bottle a barbecue sauce made with Stack beer.

Stack’s storefront is open to the public for tasting and for purchase. With advanced booking, tours of the brewery are available for $15 a person, which includes a tasting of three brews. Prices increase with any additional taster. Group hosting is also available.

Visit them at 1350 Kelly Lake Road in Sudbury, or online at www.stackbrewing.ca.

About Kirsten Hysert

Kirsten is a staff writer for Northeastern Ontario Tourism with a love for travel, photography and exploring the outdoors in Northern Ontario. Find out more about Northeastern Ontario by visiting www.northeasternontario.com, or email her at kirsten@northeasternontario.com.

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