FeatureOBSERVER: Tall Cool One

August 16, 2020

We made the news again. We couldn’t be prouder of our community and all the friends we’ve made through our business. Read more about it in this article by Observer on August 6th.

As more of us forego the bigger brands in favour of unique ales, lagers and porters, the brewmasters who work hard to quench our thirst have been striving to continue to keep customers happy by thinking up new and creative concoctions.

In Woolwich alone, there are craft breweries operating locally to create signature drinks that not only satisfy the cravings of beer aficionados, but also showcase the heritage and history of the township. Places like Rural Roots Brewing Company in Elmira and Block Three Brewing Company in St. Jacobs are just two hyper-local businesses in the township catering to those who want a different drink. The wider Waterloo Region is home to many more similar businesses such as Innocente Brewing Company, which holds the same vision.

While creating the next great beer is always on the minds of the folks who continue to put out new and inventive pints, for some the beverage is more than just their business. It is a way to bring the community they love together over the drink we all know and love.

This love of engaging and interacting with people was the inspiration for Roger Lichti, craftsman and owner of Rural Roots Brewing Company, to start his operation almost one year ago. He found his love of the atmosphere created inside an English pub in the late-’90s and sat with the seed planted in his mind for some time. Years later he would finally start finding his brewing prowess after his first attempt with a home-brewing kit. The attempt did not go well, turning out a beer he can only describe as horrible, but something got into him and he kept trying until his skill and passion developed into the company that stands today.

“The whole purpose for what we do [is people]… passion with a capital P is about people. And then our small passion is about craft beer. So, the craft beer is a great way to bring people together from all walks of life,” said Lichti.“What we realized about Elmira – Elmira being our home – [is that] we didn’t have so much of a place to bring people in for that. A lot of us here in town would go to Waterloo, to Guelph, a lot went to Block Three, of course, as well. And we wanted to create more than just a place where you could come and get a whole bunch of beer. We want it to be very different than that type of environment. Family, kids, young, old, whether they like craft beer or they just want to come hang out, that was more important to us. So, we really have a heart for this community. That was the focus of it, our focus was people, how can we give back to the community, and then around the craft beer industry.”

Lichti tries to incorporate many different styles of beers from around the world, instead of sticking to creating “fad beers.” While some are different than others, the brews he creates have a history that can be traced back hundreds of years to different regions. The ingredients he uses in his work can also be found at local farms and businesses in the region.

Beers like the “Schticky Ale” or the “Yes, Honey Cream Ale” have ingredients which he sources from local farms. Even the naming of the beers can be traced back to his youth, like the “Tile Yard Red” which he named in honour of the tile yard he farmed beside growing up.