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Crafting connections through community at Orillia’s local craft brewery

Couchiching Craft Brewing Company is Orillia’s hotspot for beer and entertainment

Every community needs a place where people feel welcome. Somewhere they can bring their family, be entertained, enjoy a good meal, and share a table with great company. Orillia proudly has its strong community anchor: Couchiching Craft Brewing Co.

Spearheaded by several local shareholders, the brewery came together with the common purpose of building a local hub for Orillians to meet and enjoy a pint. Beer is the bread and butter of the business, but more importantly, it’s about fostering a place for everyone to have a great time.

It’s a unique ownership co-operative consisting of some familiar faces you may have seen around town. Bob Robinson and Jennie-May Banks have had their roots planted here for the last two decades. 

“We love Orillia for its people and natural resources. We wanted to be part of its dynamic and growing downtown and felt that a craft brewery would be a great addition as a gathering place for people to meet, celebrate and enjoy live music and entertainment,” Robinson and Banks said.

Dennis and Lianne Lee were the former owners of Laclie Pharmacy. “We were sold on the vision of having a craft brewery as an anchor in our vibrant downtown, and being able to bring it to life in a historical building holds special meaning for us also,” the Lees said.

Dr. Bill Tillmann is a local doctor and Gill Tillmann is a life coach, philanthropist and community volunteer. Dr. Matthew Miller is the owner of Miller Health, born and raised in the area. They all found common ground in creating a place to gather, socialize and enjoy the best Orillia offers.

For being such a relative newcomer to the Ontario brewing scene, Couchiching Craft Brewing has already made a name for itself with several award-winning brews under their belt. They won bronze at the 2023 Canadian Brewing Awards for their Black River Stout.

That same beer won gold at the 2023 Ontario Brewing Awards, and Couchiching's Atherley Pale Ale received silver in the best British bitter category. Rarely will a craft brewery hit the ground running at the pace that Couchiching Craft Brewing Company has.


You’ll always find their core beers, like the Sunshine City Blonde Ale, Black River Stout, and Meadow Haze IPA, including some weekly small batch seasonal beers. Couchiching’s fan favourite Perch Pail Ale will return once again in time for the Orillia Perch Festival later this 

Since the late 1800s, their building has undergone many transformations. It has been home to a blacksmith, a stable, an auto dealer, an ice cream factory and a printing company. 

After an extensive renovation in 2017, the owners were able to preserve some of the core features of the building, like repurposing the original floorboards as tables in the taproom. Those historic walls stand to this day, now as a local hub for beer, food, music and entertainment.

Inside Couchiching Brewing’s taproom, you’ll find 12 taps rotating weekly, so there’s always something new to try. There’s a full schedule of events every month at the brewery and taproom, whether it’s live music, trivia, comedy nights or beer and cheese tastings.

In the warmer months, the sprawling patio brings thirsty travellers from near and far, and with a rooftop garden, they grow some of the produce they use in the kitchen for a true “roof-to-table” dining experience.

What brings people into Couchiching Brewing Company might be the award-winning beer, but what keeps them coming back is that sense of connection with the community. After one visit to the brewery, it’s easy to see why so many people make Couchiching Brewing Company their favourite spot.

Check out Couchiching Brewing Company’s taproom for great eats, amazing local craft beer, and some of the best local entertainment in Orillia.

They’re at 162 Mississaga Street East, Orillia, or visit