Brewing success at Burlington’s Nickel Brook

John Romano, one of the co-founders of the Nickel Brook Brewing Company wasn’t prepared for the struggles he would face in getting his company’s beer on the market. Romano was at Mohawk College last week to talk to students about business, and his experience in the beer industry.

“I wasn’t ready for the cost of sales reps, trucks, gas and distribution,” he said during his presentation in the MCACES Lounge in the F-wing.

His business started in Burlington in 1993 as a large home brew store. After a few years, Romano decided to expand and become a micro brewery. “After becoming a brewery, we discovered how difficult it is to sell beer in Ontario,” explained Romano.

After many experiments with different types of beer, Nickel Brook’s first success was an apple-flavoured beer. It was the first fruit-flavoured beer sold in Ontario.

Shortly after that they launched a gluten-free beer. “After that, we started becoming more crafty with our beers and making very unique small batches of different types of beers,” said Romano.

He also talked about how they came up with the company name Nickel Brook. “I have two kids names Nick and Brooke and after talking with my rep we came of with the name Nickel Brook, and it just stuck.”

Time with family is very limited when you’re running a successful business. “Personally, I regret not making more time for my family and friends because I work a lot,” the brewery boss said.

About the author  ⁄ Baylie McLachlan

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