Natalie and Tyrone Reitman have officially opened the doors to Grist and Mash, their new brewery and tap room in Kimberley, located on Wallinger Ave between Grubstake Pizza and RBC.
Tyrone has been brewing beer for over 15 years and was encouraged to go professional with it about four years ago. Self taught, since the beginning he was drawn to Belgian style beers and focused on making clean Belgian ales, saisons and farmhouse beers.
He and Natalie also run Freehand Brewery in Oregon. They came to Kimberley about a year and a half ago and got visas through the BC Entrepreneurship Program to invest in and open up this facility, and Kimberley is now their home base.
Whereas Freehand operates more like a winery and focuses primarily on Belgian ales, Tyrone said Grist and Mash will feature some Belgian-style beers, but also much more.
“We’ve been eyeing starting a tap room for a long time and so when this opportunity came up we thought we’d just go for it,” Tyrone explained, whilst working in the brewery on a new batch of beer. “The basic idea of Grist and Mash is to use super local ingredients and keep it really fresh and always have a rotation of beers on tap so you’ll see a number of beers repeat but it’s always going to be a fresh list on here.
“So we sized the brew system basically to always keep beer flowing through this space and then do some regional distribution of kind of specialty, interesting, kind of wild-gathered beers and Belgian styles as well.”
They currently have six beers on tap and will be partnering with locals like Grubstake, Sinclair’s Catering and Stoke Market among others for their food selection.
“Our goal is people come in, order at the counter, really get great beer and you can get something casual to eat if they want,” Natalie explained.
They also have been working with B.C. farmers for years to get their malt, hops and cereals and they intend to source those things more and more locally as time goes on.
“I’ll be making beer this summer with fruit that we pick up in Creston,” Tyrone said. “And just doing that and getting it down to where it’s about as local as it can get and produce the highest quality beer that we can.”
Opening a new business in a pandemic caused every step in the process — getting brewing tanks and parts shipped or getting permits finalized for example — to take longer, the Reitmans agreed.
“But, it’s understandable, everything just took a little longer,” Tyrone said. “And in the bigger sense, it’s fine. We’re going to be opening, knock on wood, somewhere at the tail-end of COVID and vaccinations are rolling out and it’s springtime.
“There’s hope in the air, it’s a good time to do it and I don’t have any regrets. The situation has been what it is for everybody.”
Natalie added that she, Tyrone and their son, who attends middle school here, are all very grateful to be in Kimberley and have been loving living here.
They both feel like their new venture serves as a complement to Kimberley’s existing establishments, for example Bohemian Spirits and Overtime Beer Works, which are both located within a couple blocks of Grist and Mash.
“It seemed like the appetite was here and I think everything is quite complementary,” Tyrone said. “We all do different things and I think it will be really satisfying, people will come into town on tourism and certainly locals wanting a variety of different things in terms of beverages.”
The name refers to grist, the combination of grains that go into the mash tun, the vessel used for mashing, which is the process of turning starches into sugars to transform the mixture into beer.
They currently have hired two staff and will likely have four soon. They did a surprise opening on Saturday and Sunday and Wednesday, March 17 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. is their official grand opening.