Gunning pitches idea for Uncle Leo’s brew

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LYONS BROOK – Dave Gunning says he’s glad to provide an idea for a new product for Uncle Leo’s brewery.

The local singer-songwriter recently joined fellow musician James Robinson and brewer Karl Whiffen to brew a pale ale with qualities Gunning sought in a beer. The collaboration includes renowned musician J.P. Cormier who was in transit at the time and unable to join them.

Gunning said he and Whiffen came up with the name of the new product: Sunburst Pale Ale.

“I know what I like, so I described what I like in a beer,” Gunning said. “This will have a citrus burst that comes from a special kind of hop.”

Gunning said he knows little about the brewing process but appreciates the micro-brewery phenomenon and being able to access Uncle Leo’s to learn more about it.

“It’s great to have this (brewery) in the area,” he said. “I know (Karl’s wife) Rebecca, and it’s great to be friends with Karl. I’m interested in the brewery process. As a beer drinker, I think craft beer and home breweries have matured and become an industry and Karl has been able to tell us what we like about beer.”

Karl Whiffen said it will take two weeks for the beer to mature.

“We hope to get 1,100 litres from the first batch,” he said. “We just talked about what kind of beer we’d like to see and collaborated on it. It’s fun to talk about beer and figure what we could brew.”

Whiffen said he understands how he needs to expand his operation as more people buy his products. His plan is to add more production with bigger vats without increasing the footprint of the brewery.

“I feel we’re becoming part of the landscape – we’re still only three years old,” he said. “If you don’t know who we are, you’re a potential customer.”

Gunning said he can identify as a musician with what it takes to become better known.

“You get discovered every day.”


Local singer-songwriter Dave Gunning, right, is partnering with fellow musician J.P. Cormier and Uncle Leo’s brewery on a new product that is maturing in a vat beside him and is expected to be ready in two weeks. With him from the left, are: brewer Karl Whiffen and fellow musician James Robinson who often collaborates with Gunning.            

 (Goodwin photo)

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