FERGUS – A group of family and friends have opened a new business in downtown Fergus that focuses on something they all love: beer.
The Outpost Bottle Shop recently had its soft opening at 216 St Andrew St W. and a grand opening is planned soon.
The business offers a wide variety of craft beers from across the province to grab and go as well as beer to drink on-site.
Co-owned by Araya Hill, Collin McKinnon, Ian Wuss, Gord and Tyler Campbell, they say The Outpost helps bring them all together since they are all in different spots in their lives.
Hill previously owned a cafe in Guelph's south end with Tyler called the Monarch House.
McKinnon thought of the name for the bottle shop, inspired by pit stops where people can go for an all-in-one shop before they drive out to a cottage.
“We really wanted it to make it feel kind of cottagey. We love Muskoka, camping and nature,” said Hill. “We were kind of hoping people pass through on their way to the cottage. Stop by and stock up.”
The Outpost has beers from over 30 breweries across Ontario. “We bring in stuff you typically can’t find in the LCBOs,” she said.
One of her favourite beers is an IPA from Wood Brother Brewing Company. Hill said she believes the Outpost is one of the last bottle shops the company was willing to sell to because they are niche and exclusive.
“The craft beer industry I think is really up and coming,” Hill said.
She feels more bottle shops will open and there are already some in Hamilton and Cambridge.
They also have 10 monthly rotating taps for people to sit in and drink and offer flights of beer so people can try a little bit of everything.
For those who don’t drink beer there is a selection of wine, spirits, non-alcoholic beer and seltzers.
The permanent move over the pandemic to sell alcohol to-go with takeout food helped prompt Hill and the other owners to start the shop.
Eventually they hope to add a food menu featuring barbecue, smash burgers, tacos and salads.
Hill said it would be great to connect with a brewery to brew a house beer for them.
In the summer they will open up a patio.
Hill said in the future they hope to open more Outpost locations in places like Muskoka.
Currently they are open Friday through Sunday from 1 pm. to 8 p.m.