This local craft brewery only opened its doors in late 2018, but Nonsuch Brewing Co. has quickly made waves for its distinct, luxury European-style craft beers, stellar spaces as a local Instagram favourite, and the farm-fresh menu. Meetings Winnipeg sat down with Matt Sabourin, Président and one of the four founders of La Brasserie Nonsuch Brewing Co., to find out what’s on tap in this memorable taproom and event space.
Why should meeting planners consider Nonsuch as a unique venue to host a private event and what is your capacity?
Nonsuch is all about wanting to be a part of people’s special moments – big or small! Hosting events ties deeply into our brand, where we are all about crafting those special memories. We put an emphasis on the experience in everything from how we present the beer and food, to all the design details. The space really speaks for itself – it’s the type of place that’s hard to forget you’ve been here.
The ambiance is moody with a mix of classic and contemporary design. Our first space, the signature “umbrella” room has a stand-up capacity of 70, but when paired with our new adjacent event space that capacity goes up to 130. The newest space, the “rain room”, which just opened in October, feels and looks like a restaurant, but we can easily reconfigure seating and clear the floor for events. The events room can host up to 62 seats depending on the configuration and 70 for stand-up receptions.
We call our new space the “rain room” because of the gorgeous ceiling, where there are 3,100 handmade tassels dangling with overhead lighting, giving it the feel of light shining through clouds. Design elements include marble, carpet and curtains that give the space a cozy, not overly noisy ambiance, but it still has vibrancy to it. The two rooms have very distinct atmospheres that work well together.
There are buy-out options for the event room seven days a week and both rooms Sunday-Thursday; Friday/Saturday full space buy-outs are up for discussion.
What kind of menu options are available for private events?
We searched far and wide and found the perfect fit in our chef Tyrone Welchinski, who was born and raised in Manitoba. His execution and vision fits in the with company and we’re so happy to have him. Nonsuch’s menu offers shared plates and the focus is on what is freshest, locally sourced and most available and changes daily. One of our most popular menu items is the chacuterie, where we cure and make all the meats, preserves and pickling in-house.
When it comes to event menus, we work with planners on a price point per person, and whatever is fresh and available determines the menu. So far for events, we’ve done everything to chacuterie and appetizers to a seven-course tasting menu. We can accommodate dietary requests and are responsive to any specific requests planners may have for a menu. We’ve invested in a state-of-the-art kitchen to take our food experience to the next level.
What are some of the unique experiences Nonsuch can add on to a private event?
You can book tours of the brewery as part of a private event. We also offer guided tastings and food pairings – I love doing those.
We also have merchandise gifts available. For example, for an upcoming country music event booked here, guests will each take away a bottle of Nonsuch beer and glass. We can also do gift baskets with our beer and beer chocolates made in-house and package that together. There are many merchandise options up for discussion.
Tell us about the brews on offer at Nonsuch and what makes them so distinct?
Our brews are European-style, in particular Belgian with a high alcohol by volume (ABV). Our beers are distinct in that they are made to be cellared like wine, which is why they have a higher alcohol content. One of the reasons we wanted to start the company was to treat beer the way people do with wine, so we wanted to take that more sophisticated approach to our beers. They are made using local award-winning artisan spring water, and our beer has won three silvers from the Canadian Brewing Awards in the last two years. Mark Borowski is our head brewer, with over 15 awards to his name for his exceptional home brews.
We’ve also put a lot of thought into serving the beer in the appropriate glass to enhance the experience. Some people get nervous about the ABV levels, but we’ve found the “golden ratio” where you’re getting the same amount of alcohol per glass no matter which beer you order.
What is the background behind the name Nonsuch?
We looked long and hard for a proper name. Nonsuch cut through the noise because everyone in Manitoba knows the name and it’s such an iconic ship and so important in the history of Manitoba. We chose the name as a love letter to the province, thanking it for everything it is has given to us. All four of us are proud Manitobans and we wouldn’t have the backgrounds we needed to help start Nonsuch without living here. We wanted to be in the Exchange District as we love the history here and thought it was the neighbourhood to best communicate our message, so it is serendipitous that we ended up so close to the Nonsuch (you can see a life-size replica of the Nonsuch only steps away at the Manitoba Museum).