2 New Breweries Joined Us!

Our latest two partner breweries have very similar names… We introduce: Stonehooker & Stonepicker! Scroll down to learn about each respective brewery.

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The Stonehooker story began long ago, lasted some generations before it was history and today, forgotten. A home-grown industry that came and went, like the hundreds of brewers in Ontario who provided every community with the essential pints in that era. Concrete block and Prohibition ended these traditional livelihoods, leaving us with only a handful of breweries to control the industry. Ontario craft breweries have revived that industry with a link to a past history that valued independence, and dedication to a local, quality product. We’ve revived the Stonehooker history as we expect our beers to have a big personality just like they did.

So how did the Stonehooker Brewing Company come to be?

Our founder decided on a fresh start in a local business. Told that familiar line: Follow Your Passion! His first thought was beer and he stopped there. Ross loves beer. The bread of heaven. With no time to waste, Ross dug up his homebrewing recipes and bought a truckload of gear on Kijiji for $5,000, rented a space and madness began. The space was too big and Ross figured he’d be better off as a craft brewer. Craft brewery owners seemed like nice people and enjoyed sharing their own stories of how they got started, over delicious beer and food.

He discovered something very unique about the local history of Stonehooking. 19th-century Port Credit was a centre for stonehooking, with many employed in the trade and home port to the largest fleet of stonehookers on Lake Ontario, or anywhere. Some research yielded early photographs and stories that seemed to support the idea of these mariners having a fairly balanced lifestyle for their time; they were hard working day-sailors. Usually returning home daily, they would love a pint in the local tavern. Score one for beer and branding.

After some trials and tribulations with the brewery build and municipal red-tape that seemed to go on forever, Stonehooker is on the path to completion (although we know that breweries are never really complete). We are looking forward to opening our doors and inviting you into our taproom to enjoy some delicious beers and good old-fashioned Port Credit hospitality. Discover our brewery, here on Lakeshore on the outskirts of Port Credit. Relax, have fun, enjoy a cold one or a flight with some old friends or perhaps some new ones. Taste the difference a Stonehooker makes.


StonePicker - Joe's idea of brewing beer came to him about 13 years ago.  After doing some research, he decided to plant 3 acres of malting barley in the spring of 2006. It was planted and harvested successfully and put in a wagon in the shed.  Being full-time pig farmers didn't leave the Donkers a lot of free time to do what they wanted, and the barley eventually was fed to their pigs.  After retiring from the pig business five years ago, Joe put his idea to work and planted grain once again.  Jim heard about what Joe was doing and became very interested in helping him out.  After much experimentation, it was now time to open a business.

 Joe and his wife Mary retired from running their full-time swine operation for the past five years.  It has always been the Donkers' dream to brew beer.  With all this time on their hands, they decided now was a good time to start.  They have one son, Brian who lives with his wife, Olya and baby girl, Katya, in Calgary, Alberta. 

Laura and Jim Soetemans are good friends of  Joe and Mary, and Laura and Mary are first cousins.  They are also full-time farmers raising broiler chickens as well as cash crops.   Jim and Laura have three children, Derek, Dylan, his wife Shannon,  Jill and her husband Sean.  All three of their children currently reside in the area.