PictureHead brewer, Dallas, shoulders-deep in hot grain.
Enthusiasts can relate to the excitement and anticipation of visiting a craft brewery that's been on your bucket-list, for what seems like forever. That was our situation with Refined Fool.  With previous good intentions and multiple failed attempts - cold weather be-damned, we would get to Refined Fool!...and on a sunny day in January, we did...

One of the many nice things about Refined Fool, is that it's easy to get to. A quick drive on the 402, not much traffic, as long as the snow and construction cooperate, you can get there in around an hour from London. Not only did I enjoy the drive, but I enjoyed Sarnia as well. It has significant waterfront and you can visualize how enjoyable summer events - like Bay Fest - would be overlooking Sarnia Bay. I'm sure there's much more to Sarnia, but I was impressed by even the little I saw. Now on to the brewery!...

I pulled up, grabbed by beer bag (aka back pack) and headed in. Completely missing the tap room entrance on the left, I went straight back to the retail/bottle store. Lots of nice merch there, but I looked past most of it trying to see the brewery in action. I was greeted by friendly staff, who - after explanation of our website - let me come in and meet the head brewer. Dallas was nearly head-first into a tank scooping hot grain when we spoke. He explained a bit about himself, the brewery and the beer he was making. This particular production was going to be an East Coast Pale Ale - yep I said East. Dallas explained how he got the inspiration from friends and contacts in the Eastern US. He went into detail about water quality, dry hop and dankness of the beer. Details aside,  if it's anything like the other beers they produce, it will be outstanding. I won't spoil their release of this beer, so more details to come ;)

I let Dallas get back to work and wandered through the brewery to the adjacent tap room, taking pics along the way. Such a warm feeling when you enter the tap room area (and I hadn't even had a sample at this point). A nice blend of industrial, exposed brick, light wood work and some natural light...completed with some boxes, malt bags and kegs, spilling over from the Production area. A true craft brewery! I was greeted by another staff member behind the bar who gave me a run down of all the beers on tap - and there were many. of course I tried them all...extra small tastes as I had to drive (boooo).  After sampling I circled back to the retail area where I grabbed some merch and a ton of beer - Pouch Envy (Australian Pale Ale), Joe Sent Me (Milk Stout) Strike Four (Belgian Quad) and others...sound delicious??? well you have to go to the brewery then! They are not currently available in the LCBO.

I elected to have 1 pint of Pouch Envy before I left. While sitting enjoying that, I decided to bother the guy behind me, who was working on his laptop. Truthfully, I did see him behind the bar earlier so I assumed he was somehow affiliated with Refined Fool. So that's how I met Nathan, one of the owners. He chatted with me for a bit about the brewery. Turns out Refined Fool will be expanding! They have enjoyed success and are looking to both increase production, but will also look to exporting. They also want to create an event centre to add to the brewery experience and offer more for residents and patrons. Exciting stuff! Oh almost forgot, Nathan was very interested in what we knew about roller derby - and that there is a men's league. I bet we can get him to join!

After a few more pics, I left Nathan with some beer jerky and a Brewvy coaster and wished Refined Fool Brewing Co, all the best. This brewery will clearly be on my/our top 10 breweries to return-to...and it could be yours. We completely recommend an extended visit to Sarnia's Refined Fool Brewing Company and their friendly staff, anytime of the year.

Pouch Envy, Australian Pale Ale. Excellent.


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