Erie Street microbrewery expanding to new digs in Ford City

Erie Street microbrewery expanding to new digs in Ford City

An aging building, which can barely stand on its own in the historic Ford City neighbourhood, is getting new life thanks to a new microbrewery moving to the neighbourhood.

The owners of Motor Craft Ales plan to take over the building, located at the corner of Ontario Street and Drouillard Road, and transform it into a brewery.

The company has been producing craft beer in a small one-barrel brewery from the basement of the popular Motor Burger restaurant on Erie Street. Plans to move to Ford City have already created a buzz in a community starved for revitalization, said Jay Soulliere and Gino Gesuale, who own Motor Craft Ales.

"It's exciting to see people getting excited," Soulliere said. "You want community support. To see this much excitement at this point, even before the project has gotten off the ground is … very exciting."

Gesuale told CBC News the old brewery just isn't big enough for them, if they want to sell more of their beer.

"It's been busy for us and we'd like to get it out to the marketplace even more, so it's time to get bigger equipment," he said.

Soulliere said adding a brewery to the Ford City neighbourhood, which is already a mixed landscape of a community centre, homes, small businesses and the Windsor Engine Plant would be a perfect fit for a new brewery with heavy automotive branding.

The owners want to have the building restored and operating inside of a year. The latest approval for the project came Tuesday when the city's planning committee gave a thumbs up to the project.

The plans will now go to city council for final approval.