True brew lovers Stéphane Dicaire (left), Aaron Markel, and Leonard Gendron are the hearts and minds behind The Broken Stick Brewing Co. at the Hammond Golf and Country Club.
True brew lovers Stéphane Dicaire (left), Aaron Markel, and Leonard Gendron are the hearts and minds behind The Broken Stick Brewing Co. at the Hammond Golf and Country Club.

Broken Stick Brewery has lots of brews that are true

Clarence-Rockland joins the ranks of Canadian communities with their own local craft brewery, and the brews coming out of the taps at the Broken Stick are smooth to the taste.

“We always try to have something new on tap,” said Stéphane Dicaire, one of the three co-owners and operators of the Broken Stick Brewing Company, located inside an annex of the Hammond Golf and Country Club building, at the corner of Du Golf Road and Joanisse Road, in the Village of Hammond.

Drawing pints at the bar is a real pleasure for Leonard Gendron, owner/operator of the Hammond Golf and Country Club, because it means sharing some of the craft beer he and his partners, Stéphane Dicaire and Aaron Markel, now produce through their Broken Stick Brewery operation, at the clubhouse.

Leonard Gendron, the owner of the golf club, and Aaron Markel, a local contractor, are the other two co-owners and investors in the craft brewery. Markel and Dicaire were already involved in a craft brewery project located in Ottawa’s Canotech Road commercial park area, but their other partner bowed out and they decided to look a little closer to home for a new site, and also someone who might be interested in sharing their passion for craft beer making.

Which is how Gendron got involved. Markel’s father, club captain at the Hammond course, suggested that Gendron might be a good partner for bringing craft beer brewing to Hammond.

“I was looking for a way to be different, here at the golf club,” said Gendron, smiling, adding that an on-site craft brewery seemed “a perfect marriage” for a golf club, which was also developing a menu that featured both traditional golf and country club fare, along with a wider range of specialty dishes to offer on the bill of fare.

Since they set up operations in September 2019, the three craft brew aficionados have developed a dozen different ales, stouts, and other brews with names like Lion’s Pride, Cherry Bacca, Smell the Flowers, Harvest Ale, and I Hope You’re Hoppy. Their brewmaster, David Callahan, is a former biologist with the federal government.

What they all share is a passion for good beer, joy in crafting their own unique blends, and offering them up for fans of beer to sample and enjoy.

“You do what makes you happy,” said Dicaire. “Craft-brewing is such a welcoming industry, and I like the excitement of producing something that people will enjoy. I find craft-brewing more of an art form rather than chemistry.”

Stéphane Dicaire offers a sample tray of five of the best examples of the craft beer coming out of the taps at The Broken Stick, the new craft brewery he and his partners, Aaron Markle and Leonard Gendron, have set up at the Hammond Golf and Country Club.

Markel designed and built the brewery setup inside the golf club building. His philosophy on craft brewing is that a good beer needs to be “approachable” for real enjoyment.

“And if you are true to the recipe,” he said, “the beer will be good.”

The craft-brewing trio is focused at present on expanding and perfecting their lineup of ales, stouts, lagers and other beers. They expect to make Hammond Golf and the Broken Stick brewery a popular stopping point during the winter season for snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and snowmobilers.

The brewery is already a Canadian trendsetter, as the first craft brewery located as part of a golf club. There is a microbrewery-golf club setup in Washington state, on the West Coast, but nothing like The Broken Stick operation exists in Canada until now.

Dicaire, Gendron and Markel are open to the idea of entering craft-brewing competitions in future, but for now, their goal is to make Hammond famous for good taste.

“We want people to know,” said Dicaire, “that we have got good food, and we have got good beer.”