As Owner & Operator of Quayle’s Brewery, Catherine Pearson gets to meet a lot of people from Oro-Medonte and beyond. “The people in Oro-Medonte are a big part of what keeps me here,” she comments. “This township is a wonderful place to live and work.”
Catherine, originally from Toronto, has family ties to Oro-Medonte that date back 50 years. She first started spending time in Oro-Medonte on weekend trips with her young family, and her children learned to ski at Mount St Louis Moonstone when they were just toddlers.
As she spent more and more leisure time in Oro-Medonte over the years, she discovered a wonderful community that offers four seasons of activities for people of all ages. “This area is such a hidden gem,” she says. “A lot of people pass through on the way to the cottage or going skiing. We want people to stop and enjoy what we have to offer here.”
Catherine’s love of Oro-Medonte helped inspire her to establish a business here and stay long-term. In 2020, with the help of her business partner Graydon Lau and her resilient team, Quayle’s Brewery opened its doors, becoming a much-loved social gathering place for Oro-Medonte residents as well as tourists.
A Destination for All
Located on 87 acres of land on 12th Line N in Oro-Medonte, Quayle’s Brewery is more than a typical brewery. It is made up of a majestic three-storey building with indoor seating, a sizeable outdoor beer garden, a large patio, and 12-acre hops yard. It is a four-season gathering place for people old and young, and it is often home to live entertainment and seasonal events designed to draw people from Oro-Medonte and beyond.
Catherine explains: “We built the brewery with the goal of making it accessible and welcoming to all. Quayle’s Brewery is a gathering place for the community.“ In the spirit of inclusivity, the place is vegetarian/vegan friendly, kid-friendly and dog-friendly as well. Even folks who don’t drink beer can enjoy a visit here, with soft drinks and alcoholic cider and wine available on the menu. “We want everyone to feel like they can drop in for a visit,” says Catherine.
Christmas Market, Sleigh Rides, Live Music & More
Catherine and her team regularly organize a number of festive on-site events for the public. A big proponent of supporting local, Catherine has designed some upcoming winter events with an emphasis on bringing the community together and supporting local businesses and charities such as Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Salvation Army Orillia and Orillia Youth Centre.
Quayle’s annual outdoor Christmas market kicks off in November, with collection of local artisans and vendors on display. The event encourages visitors to do their holiday shopping early and support local businesses while enjoying a hot or cold drink. This year, the market takes place on November 12th & 13th and November 19th & 20th from 11:00am to 4:00pm.
A Christmas tree lighting will happen at Quayle’s at the beginning of December, where local businesses enter to decorate Christmas trees, and help light up the outdoor beer garden. Visitors are encouraged to vote on their favourite tree through the holiday season, and a portion of event proceeds will go to local charities.
The brewery will feature a skating rink, sleigh rides, snowshoeing trails, and cozy fire pits this winter.
Local Culture & Flavour
Since it was established in 2020, Quayle’s Brewery has forged a collection of partnerships and collaborations with local agricultural producers, brewing beers using ingredients such as locally produced honey, maple syrup, apples, cranberries and of course, hops, that are grown on-site.
Quayle’s Brewery architecture re-creates a 19th-century local landmark, the Musical Barn, which once stood on farmland in Eady. The remarkable three-storey re-creation at Quayle’s features a large outdoor patio, indoor seating, and event space. As a nod to the building’s storied roots, Quayle’s showcases original artifacts from the building and even named one of its beers “Fiddle & Field.” As the legend goes, the original farmer’s son used to ascend the old building’s cupola to play his fiddle to entertain the Oro-Medonte field workers long ago. The original Musical Barn cupola now stands on display in a park at 1 Mill Street in Coldwater.
Favourite Local Spots
When Catherine has a rare moment of free time, she loves taking a walk with her kids & Labrador Retriever in the Copeland Forest. “We’re lucky to have this lush ecosystem to enjoy in all four seasons,” she says.
Catherine encourages visitors to Oro-Medonte to get off the beaten track and explore all that the area has to offer: “We have downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, the amazing Vetta Nordic spa, and some fabulous local culinary options. Cycling and motorcycling in Oro-Medonte is exceptional too. Oro-Medonte really does have something for everyone, all year round,” she says.
To learn more about Quayle’s Brewery and upcoming events, visit quaylesbrewery.ca