Get to know: Josh Hayter of Spearhead Brewing Company
Tell us about your work.
We make amazing beers right here in Kingston, along with our line of non-alcoholic botanical waters.
We searched all over the province when we looked for a new home. We wanted to find the right mix
and the right size building and ended up here.
I love the atmosphere here in our taproom. We built it on the ‘Cheers’ philosophy that everybody knows
your name. When you come in, you won’t find televisions. It fosters that environment that everyone
talks to one another. It lets me talk to the regulars, who aren’t just customers – they’re friends.
What do you love about Kingston?
The Kingston community has been super supportive. Local online sales went through the roof when we went into lockdown. People kept coming in and supporting us. We feel like we’ve become a part of this community.
Kingston has a really vibrant craft brew community. We all have different styles and do things different ways. We all handcraft the beer with quality ingredients. Our price is a little higher but, unlike the large conglomerates, we use real ingredients, we handcraft the beer, and it’s made by people who live and work in the same community as you.
I love the small town feel of Kingston. I did my time in Toronto – 20 years there – but I’m from Halifax originally. This place reminds me of home. And the people are so friendly. We were welcomed with open arms and I hope we’ve been able to reciprocate that.
Why support local?
As things are starting to open up and get to that point of normalcy, our small businesses need to recover. We really appreciate all the support we had during the lockdown. We’re hopeful that support continues so that the businesses where you live and work can recover.
One of the cool things we noticed at the start of the pandemic…more than one of our customers would come in, buy their purchase, and then they would buy a gift card, and leave the gift card. Then they’d post on Facebook and say, “The next person who goes into Spearhead and says I sent you will get this gift card.” Not only did they support us by purchasing here, they supported us by introducing our product to their friends.
How are you celebrating the holidays?
Starting Nov. 27 until Dec. 18, we’re proud to be working with Loving Spoonful on our annual Christmas market. Ten vendors a week, live music, and Santa Claus in the building for photos at no charge.
We’ve also just launched our Swiss chocolate raspberry porter that won bronze at the Ontario Brewing Awards in 2020 through most of November.
We’re also reintroducing a candy cane lager…with more stock this year!
How do you shop local?
We work with a lot of local businesses in Kingston. We do a lot of work with Atkinson Home Hardware in the community together. We’re raising money for the Brigantine Tall Ship Expeditions to support youth charities. We also work with many Kingston restaurants, and want to give our neighbours RAXX a shout as well as we’re the only craft brew they carry!
Small and medium businesses create nine out of ten Canadian jobs.
– Statistics Canada –
Canadian businesses have taken on tens of billions of dollars in debt, and many are struggling to repay.
– Statistics Canada –
At least half of every dollar spent at local businesses stays local.
– multiple North American studies –
Kingston was one of the Canadian economies most impacted by COVID-19.
– Conference Board of Canada –
Small businesses need our help.
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