Cowbell Brewing creates craft beer with a purpose

Posted by Dean Rowan on

An Ontario craft beer company, Blyth Cowbell Brewing Co. opened their doors last summer to one of the most unique breweries in Canada.

An idea that began in 2010, moved from a small brewpub with limited production and no distribution to something much larger in a matter of eight years.

The Cowbell farm is located just over an hour drive from London in the small village of Blyth. It is a state of the art brewing facility with initiatives to make the brewing process more efficient.

The facility houses the world’s first closed loop brewing system where they supply all of their water from a well onsite and are able to have a water-to-beer consumption ratio of 4:1, compared to the industry standard of 10:1.

Cowbell also partnered with the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority in 2010 to plant 12,000 native tree species that have allowed them to be North America’s first carbon neutral brewery. All of the carbon emissions that are produced at the facility are offset by the reforestation and they plan to continue reforesting in future years.

In addition to the brewing space, the company also has a 200 seat restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, spaces to rent for private events and an outdoor space to host up to 15,000 people at a time. Seventy-five to 80 per cent of the restaurants’ offerings are either grown on site in their outdoor garden or sourced locally within Huron County.

Cowbell’s general manager, Grant Sparling, discussed the company’s efforts to take the brewery above and beyond and enhance the experience in every way.

“Our story, our brewery, our brand, our beers all had to be authentic to who we are and where we are,” Sparling said.

All of the beers in the Founder’s Series are named after historical figures from Blyth so every can shipped across the province carries a piece of the town’s history. What the company has noticed, is that even though someone may have never heard of Blyth, the story and the authenticity seem to translate and resonate with people around the world.

“Community has always been important to my family, we have lived in Blyth for 3 generations and value the support of the community,” Sparling said.

As a result, Cowbell started the Greener Pastures Community Fund where they donate 5 cents from the sale of every can and pint to the four children’s hospitals in Ontario. To date they have donated over $90,000.

Sparling was the recipient of the Rural Ontario Leaders Award, presented by Minister Jeff Leal, from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, that recognizes leadership in rural economic development.

Having achieved great success at such a young age, Sparling is not only an inspiration to leaders in rural areas, but all young entrepreneurs across Ontario.

“Regardless of industry, there are so many brands fighting for attention on the shelf or on your Instagram feed, and authenticity never goes out of style,” Sparling said.

In future years, Cowbell’s goals include growing capacity in distribution, exploring event capabilities on site and enhancing their farm and garden.

To learn more about Cowbell, visit or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.


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