Lake of Bays is turning five!


Baysville-based craft brewery has grown into one of the 10 largest craft breweries in Ontario

BAYSVILLE (May 8, 2015) — Lake of Bays Brewing Company is celebrating more than the Queen’s birthday this Victoria Day weekend. It was five years ago that the state-of-the-art brewery opened its doors for the very first time, on Victoria Day weekend, 2010.


Darren working the line.

“It was a real rush opening the doors for the first time, after two years of hard work,” says President Darren Smith, who was just 23 and fresh out of university at the time. “Now I can see that getting to our opening day was only the beginning. We’ve learned a lot in the past five years: so much so, in fact, that I think I’ll be ready to retire soon. Oh wait, no. I love beer too much for that.”


Lake of Bays Pale Ale. Pure Northern Taste.

The company had just four employees and brewed one beer, Lake of Bays Pale Ale, sold in six-packs. There was one bottling line, which Darren and his then-girlfriend Antonia worked themselves in a pinch.

And there were pinches. One early batch of beer did not work out and had to be dumped, overwhelming the entire Baysville sewage treatment system. (The brewery has since installed equipment to ensure that would never happen again.) It was one of many challenges, some typical to any young business, others more specific to the craft beer industry, that Lake of Bays has tackled.


Under construction.

“The brewery has come a long way, and anyone who works here or knows us well knows it’s been a wild ride,” says Darren.

It was a good time to be making craft beer in Ontario, and the brewery has grown rapidly, becoming one of Ontario’s 10 largest, and fastest-growing, craft breweries. Today Lake of Bays has 45 employees, including four brewers, five packagers and a sales force of 15.


Same brewery, now filled to the gunwales.

“Getting a business like this off the ground requires a team of very smart, hard-working people, says Darren. “We’re grateful to our staff, to the craft brewers and other mentors who’ve provided us with invaluable advice over the years, and of course to our loyal LB-drinking customers.”

Lake of Bays has won multiple awards for its beers, which include four year-round beers, four seasonal releases and an on-tap series; and the company is the official brewery of the NHL Alumni and the CFL Alumni Associations. You can find Lake of Bays in most LCBOs, many Beer Stores and more than 350 pubs and restaurants across the province.

Lake of Bays is also available in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Northeastern US. Darren is also vice chair of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, helping to lead this province’s booming craft beer industry as it undergoes the largest change since the lifting of Prohibition.

But the mission with which he began —”Beer drinkers deserve the best.” — that remains the same. “We’re looking forward to the next five years and where this industry is taking us,” he adds.

Come to the brewery Victoria Day weekend and pick up a specially-priced 5-pack sampler, in celebration of our 5th anniversary. A small “thanks” for supporting Lake of Bays.


Download a printable version of this news release here.

Tamsen Tillson
Marketing Manager
(705) 767-2313

To arrange an interview with Darren,
contact him at