Oshawa craft brewery works with DC to give it ‘all or nothing’

Brothers Eric Dornan (left) and Jeff Dornan are moving back to Oshawa where they founded All or Nothing in 2014. They are working in a close partnership with DC's Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation. Photo credit: All or Nothing Brewhouse

Life has come full circle for what was once a Beer Store in Oshawa. Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, a former destination for beer enthusiasts is being converted into a craft brewery and distillery.

All or Nothing Brewhouse started as a joint effort between brothers Jeff and Eric Dornan. They founded their small Oshawa business in 2014 and then moved operations to Oakville in 2016 after acquiring Trafalgar Ales & Meads, Trafalgar Artisanal Distillery and Black Creek Historic Brewery.

They have now returned to the company’s origins, from the west side of the GTA to the east, moving their equipment 125 kilometres to their new location at 439 Ritson Rd. S.

The former home to an Oshawa Beer Store at 439 Ritson Rd. S., will soon become All or Nothing Brewhouse's new location. Photo credit: Madison Gulenchyn

Not only are they working on moving into a new building, they’re also working on building new relationships – including one with Durham College.

All or Nothing’s Business Development Manager, Garett McKinnon, says the company has aligned with Durham College’s (DC) Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation (CCBI) and the school’s Bistro ’67 restaurant and have a “really strong relationship.

“We feel that being local is going to enable us to just build those partnerships even stronger and grow the community around those partnerships as well,” McKinnon says, adding its flagship All or Nothing Hopfenweisse brew is already available for customer enjoyment at Bistro ’67.

DC’s Chris Gillis, manager, applied research business development, oversees the CCBI and says its purpose is to give students experiential learning and to provide facilities for brewers to develop new products.

“It’s really set up to support craft brewers by giving them access to some facilities and equipment they typically can’t afford,” Gillis says.

This helps the brewers do things like experiment and develop new recipes without affecting their ongoing production facilities.

While All or Nothing wants to take advantage of the facilities at the CCBI, it also wants to involve students at their new location, as one of the owners, Jeff Dornan, is a graduate of both DC and UOIT.

“We want to help their students as well. We want them to be able to utilize our space to help grow students in the craft industry,” McKinnon says.

“We want to see people coming out of school and maybe doing a co-op, or doing a placement or being able to use our equipment and our facility.”

The brewhouse is bringing five jobs from Oakville and are anticipating creating another 15-20 positions within their first year back in Oshawa.

“That’s not accounting for partnerships with companies that will assist us with events such as weddings, corporate parties and live concerts,” McKinnon says.

Additionally, All or Nothing is preparing to launch several new products in 2019.

“Some of these products will be available through our normal sales channels, LCBO, grocery stores, The Beer Store. Some of the products will be unique bottle shop exclusives. We are also looking to sell some local artisan products within the retail space to round our of assortment of products for sale,” he says.

All or Nothing expects to have renovations complete at the old Beer Store early in the new year and start brewing in February.