Uxbridge’s Second Wedge Brewery celebrates re-opening of beer garden with ‘Tornadoversary”

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Published May 18, 2023 at 1:26 pm

Second Wedge's 90-seat Beer Garden

Second Wedge Brewery, set for a full re-opening sometime next month, will welcome the community back to its beer garden this weekend as they ‘celebrate’ the anniversary of an EF-2 tornado that destroyed the brewery and devasted Uxbridge on May 21, 2022.

Second Wedge has been brewing off-site (Market Brewing in Newmarket) since then as they re-build and the brewery has been especially busy of late testing systems as two of their seven tanks have now come home.

Second Wedge thanked Thunder Ridge Bison Company for storing a fermenter, a brite tank and keg washer in their barn for nearly a year and also offered thanks on social media to Carefoote Beverages and Newmarket Pre Cast Concrete Products for their help in making the delivery happen.

As co-owner Joanne Richter noted on Facebook, “Now for some rigorous brewhouse testing. More moving to come!”

The tanks are home!

In the meantime, the 90-seat beer garden opens during Tornadoversary Weekend with a full lineup of musical acts on the bill. The weekend kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. with Band of Weeds, billed as “just a bunch of neighbourhood hooligans from Uxbridge” kicking off the festivities at 7 p.m.

Saturday will see the beer garden open at 11 a.m. and Jeremy Voltz, who was actually booked to play at the brewery and on his way to Uxbridge when the tornado hit, hitting the stage in the evening.

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Richter said they had to invite Voltz for a “do-over” during the ‘Tornadoversary.’ “We can laugh about it now” she said, adding that asking Voltz to play Saturday was easier than telling him the gig was postponed last May:

JR Hi, we’ve just been hit by a tornado. Brewery is destroyed. So sorry.

JV OMG, that’s awful!! I’m so sorry. Is everyone ok?

JR Yes thank you, no one hurt, building roof completely gone and much damage. We’ll re-schedule for 2023 maybe?

JV That’s insane!! I’m glad no one was hurt! Let me know if I can do anything. I’ll happily play the grand opening.

Voltz, a “burned-out mathematician turned indie-soul artist” with a powerful and haunting voice, won Album of the Year at the Ontario Folk Music Awards for his debut LP, Weekender, and will release Running Away, this year.

Voltz’s performance starts at 7 p.m.

Sunday is highlighted by a performance from Kenora’s Brooklyn Doran, a singer-songwriter who has been a staple of the Toronto folk scene for more than a decade.

Doran’s performance begins at 3 p.m.

The beer garden opens at 9 a.m. Sunday, as does the Uxbridge Farmers Market. Foundry pi wood-fired pizza will start taking orders at noon.

As construction is still ongoing inside the brewery, the Tornadoversary is an outdoor-only event, with porta-potties. There will be multiple beers on tap, as well as bottled water and other non-alcoholic beverages from The County Bounty.

Kids, leashed dogs and outside food (no outside drinks) are welcome. The live music is on the house, but artist tips are always welcome.

The Tornadoversary Weekend marks one year since an EF-2 tornado, part of a ‘dericho’ storm system that killed 12 people and caused more than $1 billion damage to a 1,000-km swath of land in Ontario and Quebec, touched down in Uxbridge on May 21 of last year.

The brewery was featured in a feature on Global News last week titled, ‘Is your home ready for the surprising number of tornados in Canada?’

Richter said they don’t have a firm re-opening date yet but it will be soon. “The earliest it could possibly be is the June 17 weekend but a lot can happen between now and then and delays are possible.”

Second Wedge will be the main venue for the Springtide Music Festival June 9-11 at the beer garden.

Second Wedge co-owner Joanne Richter and some of her team

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