By Will McGuirk
James Gorry always seems to have something going on. He is a central figure in Bowmanville's music scene and its craft beer community. Bands he has been in include the Stone Sparrows, Billard Blossom and Tijuana Jesus. He was also involved in Manantler Craft Brewery, hey, beer and bands, kinda a given and given the kinda dude Gorry is, its no surprise he's off again with a new venture, Chronicle Brewing Company. The brewery's Grand Opening is Saturday Apr 28, with beers, food and tunes on tap. Jim and his co-founders are the kind of creative entrepreneur we like at Slowcity.ca so we asked him, What's the story Jimmy Gorry?
SC: You have had many projects, businesses, bands, and thats just what I know about! Where does this drive to continuously create come from? Who inspired you to look to yourself to make your own future?
JG: "I think the drive comes from just wanting to be happy. I’m happy when I get to create and I’ve been blessed with a set of interests and skill that allow me to create all the time now., I wouldn’t be in the fortunate situation that I’m in currently without my new pals and coworkers Ted and Allan. I do have an unwavering urge to create and I love to create in this community. I moved away thinking that’s what I needed to do, but it’s not the same. There will always be unfinished business in Durham Region for people like me. I think we’re all just getting started out here."
SC: Where are you located and why did you choose that location?, as an extension why did you choose to open in Bowmanville rather than any other municipality in the area?
JG: "We are located at 422 Lake Rd, Unit 3 in Bowmanville, Ontario. We chose this location because it’s an area of town that isn’t seeing too much beyond industrial park type businesses operate. We placed ourselves in such a place not only because of the flexibility for our operation needs and future plans but because this area is in fact already undergoing some changes and we want to be part of those changes. We are in the Bowmanville waterfront neighbourhood more or less and believe this will be a nice pocket to be within an expanding community. With other great unique businesses operating down here already amidst the industrial warehouses and being so close to 2 different highway exits we thought it could be a great place to plant roots. Sometimes you have to stray from the path to discover something really great."
SC: Who else is involved with you on this venture and how did that business relationship come about?
JG: "I was actually brought into the project by an excellent fella by the name of Ted Paulsen, who is the owner/founder along with his partner Rachel. From the get go I could tell he was a really kind and smart dude. I was living out in Vancouver for the better part of last year and while I was there I made a point of connecting with him when I heard he planned to open a brewery in Bowmanville. Those talks eventually lead to an agreement that I would head back after Christmas and join up with the team as Head Brewer and when I joined the team he had lined me up with one of his best friends Allan Cowling who was hired to be Assistant Brewer. Allan and I hit it off much like Ted and I did. We all come from slightly different worlds but super quickly found that we all had some things in common. We love funk music, sci-fi, and crafting delicious beers."
SC: Chronicle is an interesting name, why did you choose that?
JG: "Well it started off as something different and it was only recently that we made a pivot with fresh banding ahead of our opening. The name Chronicle Brewing comes after trying to find a way to express a central idea of what our current team was passionate about. Which is stories. Ted, who is the owner of the company, is a fanatic of fantasy role playing games, sci fi, and mythology. Myself and Assistant Brewer Allan share a lot of those interests and we all agreed that at the root of all of that is that we all really love stories. You can find valuable stories in everything , including beer! So we believe the name Chronicle gives us a vehicle to put our pre existing passions into even further to continue telling those stories. Whether it be about a werewolf, a Norse god, or a very short plumber with a Moustache in red overalls. There are so many great stories that are fun to share and if we can pair that with our passion for crafting beers than our jobs just got even better than they already were!"
SC: Is this just expanding with the growing craft beer market or is it because you can offer something other breweries can't?
JG: "I like to think every brewery has something different to offer. A lot of Brewers share a passion for projecting character into their beers. This is something that is the same for filmmakers, musicians, and artists of other mediums. When you do something you love for work, you are more willing to put yourself out there creatively and this is very commonly the case with the men and women of the Brewing industry. We’re all artists in different ways that truly love what we do and we all have a different place in the current wave of craft beer. It’s a beautiful tide that allows us to operate in an incredible industry that is very much reared on its own community of contributors. Very much like music, art, filmmaking, etc.. So While that is a good question, I liken it to asking “why more music? Why more art?...” to sit down and witness someone else’s creativity and passion and get a glimpse into their story can teach you a lot about the human experience. The urge to be seen and heard and create and share your creations with others. I believe the thirst for craft beer in Durham is not about tasty beers alone, but about people coming together and feeling a new sense of community and with so many great breweries around now, it’s just another good reason reason to be in Durham Region."
SC: What will your signature brew be?
JG: "We’ve currently got a pretty dynamic range of 6 beers in our fermenters. I imagine by the time we open on April 28 we’ll have a couple extras. As of right now we’re planning to remain market flexible and kind of throw some of our favourites at the wall and see what sticks with customers."
Kinda like Gorry's approach to life it seems, try it all and see what sticks.