Getting to Know:
Red Circle Brewing Co & Fixed Gear Brewing Co


When we’re not publishing magazines, we’re branding businesses – most often restaurants, coffee shops and craft breweries. Two of our most recent branding projects include a couple local breweries that will be opening to the public just as this magazine goes to print: Red Circle Brewing Company in Kitchener and Fixed Gear Brewing Company in Guelph.

Spearheaded by TOQUE’s design maven, Cai Sepulis, these specific projects have been absolutely fantastic to undertake as we’ve helped craft unique aesthetic identities for these emerging brewing enterprises.

Red Circle Brewing Company is opening as part of Graffiti Market in the massive Catalyst137 maker space on Glasgow in Kitchener’s Belmont Village neighbourhood. Led by brewmaster Brett Croft and his incredible team (including brewer Shane Devison and Sales Territory Manager Will Hunter), Red Circle has got some real brewing clout behind it. And with a brand that’s rooted in the familiarity of Belmont Village and lore of Kitchener’s maker past, it’s positioned to become an instant regional favourite.
Fixed Gear Brewing Company is the perfect archetype of a microbrewery – cozy, nimble and lean. Located in a stand-alone former garage in Guelph’s up-and-coming Junction neighbourhood, it’s only a matter of time before this brewery becomes the ‘local’ for many of the Royal City’s craft beer enthusiasts. Led by head brewer Mike Mayo, Fixed Gear plans to play up its bike-centric brand with sessionable beers that any (of age) cyclist can enjoy as a stop along the ride.

We recently managed to pin down Brett and Mike just long enough to let them talk about their new babies… err… breweries. Over a couple cold ones, here’s what they had to say:

Red Circle Brewing Co

Red Circle’s brewmaster & founder, Brett Croft

Describe Red Circle Brewing:
Our microbrewery is the first of its kind in Canada insofar as it offers an on-site restaurant [Graffiti Market] as well as a coffee roaster [Red Circle Coffee] and bakery. Four All ice cream is also taking a spot in the place. Beer, coffee, pizza, pasta, baked goods, ice cream and more. Can’t get much better.

How many core beers will you brew?
We’ll have four core beers – including our ‘Belmont Village’ Blonde Ale, ‘Sand Hills’ Farmhouse Ale, ‘Iron Horse Trail’ IPA and ‘Night Shift’ Coffee Porter. Each beer name corresponds to one of the neighbourhoods surrounding us, and pays homage to the rich narrative of makers who founded and nurtured this community – including the earliest brewers who set up shop in these parts some 175 years ago.

Will you be doing any one-offs?
We’ll be brewing monthly one-offs that will focus on seasonal styles and ingredients. A big part of what we want to do at Red Circle Brewing Co is to focus on community and collaboration. As such, we’ve already done a collab with our good friends at Wellington Brewery – an Oat Pale Ale with an experimental hop from France.

How big is your system?
The brewhouse is a 17.5 hectalitre system with 7 fermenters and 1 brite tank.

When you’re not brewing, where and what are you drinking?
I’m a Guelph native so my go-to spots are The Wooly and Baker Street Station. Both are great places that have awesome atmospheres and great selections of craft. It’s an exciting time in the industry with lots of great breweries opening up, so I drink whatever I haven’t tried before.

What’s the next big beer fad? Will you be on board?
Glitter beer has begun to make its rounds in the beer industry, and I can say 110% I won’t be hopping on board the fad. It’s just not my style.

Once you’re finally up and running, how will you celebrate?
We’re in the midst of planning a concert for September that will have some notable bands along with local talent. It will be a nice way to celebrate with the community.

Fixed Gear Brewing Co

Fixed Gear Brewing Co’s head brewer, Mike Mayo

Describe Fixed Gear Brewing Co:
Our microbrewery is going to be a community hub for craft beer drinkers, and will focus on sessionable beers that can be enjoyed by friends, neighbours and folks on two wheels simply looking for a quick stop along the way.

What are some of your core beers?
While we’ve yet to finalize them all, we’re currently thinking that our core lineup will include the ‘Florida Track Suit’ Radler, ‘Look Ma, No Hands’ Dry Hopped Saison, ‘Velvet Tangerine’ Lactose Pale Ale and ‘Dutch Blonde’ Blonde Ale. Some of our beer names will be loosely connected to cycling, while others will simply sound good enough to drink.

What differentiates Fixed Gear?
I’m not sure if this differentiates us, but we’re certainly going to be a nimble brewery that produces lots of styles of beer in small batch sizes. We’re here to have a good time experimenting with all sorts of beers.

How big is your system?
We have a 10 hectalitre direct fire brew house.

What style of beer do you love brewing most?
I’m a microbiology major, so Belgian beers are my favourite. I love the unique characters of the different strains of yeast you can introduce into Belgian beers – bringing out flavours of banana, clove, black pepper and more.

When you’re not brewing, where and what are you drinking?
I’m usually at Baker Street Station in Guelph tasting anything I haven’t tried yet. I love beers from Quebec, anything from Elora Brewing Company, and stuff from Shacklands [in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood] is really super too.

Are you looking forward to collaborations?
You bet. I’m super pumped about collaborating with other breweries when we open – about learning from others in the industry. I do have to say that it’s always the worst being the host brewery on a collab, as you end up getting stuck cleaning while the rest of the crew eats pizza and enjoys the brew. But we’ll definitely take our turn.

Once you’re finally up and running, how will you celebrate?
I can picture myself sitting at the bar enjoying the fruits of my labour. That’ll be the day.