Now owned and operated by Sault Ste Marie brothers Joshua and Stephen Jansen, and Josh's wife Bethany, The Barrel (as it has affectionately come to be known) was actually established in 1981. As a "U-Brew," it provides visitors with the opportunity to make wine and brew beer at a fraction of the cost of purchasing by the bottle. Contrary to myths you may have heard about home brewing and homemade wine, it's easy, inexpensive, and delicious. And this is a guarantee.
Choose from a wide range of wine and beer kits and take advantage of the resources the Barrel offers - an on-site wine cellar for longer batch aging, proper equipment, and knowledgeable and friendly staff to guide you in your wine and beer making adventures (and don't worry, they do all the work, but you get all the credit).
For the home brewing and wine making enthusiasts, we offer a full range of supplies and equipment for all your needs too, including fresh fruit wines.
Miracles performed here? You bet. Because at the Wine Barrel, water is turned into wine every day.
In 10 words or less, describe the wine making process.
Pick a wine, add yeast.
What inspired you to become winemakers?
We started making beer back in the old country, which was what we called our cousin's basement. The name added a certain mystique to the whole affair. The idea of making our own beer was pretty awesome, so we were hooked right away. After our first few attempts we decided to step up our game, and were directed to Dale and Miriam at the Wine Barrel for brewing tips. From that point on, it was meant to be. There's something especially sweet about being able to tell people that you make wine for a living. All of a sudden everyone wants to be your friend! Honestly, it's just a really cool industry. It's a hobby, it's fun, the product is gold, and it's something we enjoy doing. Getting to do something that you love everyday is pretty wild. We're very thankful.
Do you prefer red or white?
What is your favourite thing about downtown?
There's a heartbeat here that you can feel when you walk the street. It's busy and it's moving and it's alive. The colours on the signs and the trees on the sidewalks are vibrant and a nice contrast to the stone of the classic buildings.
How long does the process take from start to finish?
A wine can be prepared and the yeast pitched by the customer in about 5 minutes. Depending on the type of wine you choose, the aging process can take anywhere from 7 days to a year. Once aged, you come back to bottle, which takes around 15 minutes, and hopefully 15 minutes later, you're home drinking the wine.