By Andrea Stach
There is no doubt that Thunder Bay is making a name for itself as a small city with a big selection of amazing locally brewed beer. The latest brew that will tempt you into having a pint is Founder’s Amber Ale, made in the heart of downtown Port Arthur at the Prospector Brew House, a cozy little microbrewery in the basement of the historic Prospector Steak House.
Named for Leo and Michael Hockenhull, the two local brothers who started the iconic restaurant in 1984, Founder’s Amber Ale has a rich malt character and caramel notes with a bold hop bitterness that balances the flavours. With its beautiful red colour, it pairs wonderfully with the Prospector’s famous prime rib. Of course, the versatility of the ale allows it to go well with just about anything.
Tony Hockenhull, Michael’s son, can be credited with the idea of getting the ale off the ground and into the pint glasses. Working closely with the restaurant’s chief operating officer, Parker Smith, Tony (pictured above, on the left) wanted to add something to the menu that would appeal to both regular customers and those who have yet to stop in. After brewing the first batch a couple of years ago, they realized they needed some guidance and connected with John Tilbury, former brewmaster of the Port Arthur Brasserie and Brew Pub (pictured above, on the right). Excited to be back in the business, Tilbury is now the Prospector’s head brewer and has plans to craft both a lager and a stout for the restaurant.
Tony’s enthusiasm for the new brew house is infectious and he is “happy to offer customers something new.” With future plans that include a small tasting room, Tony and his partners are excited to pour you a pint the next time you stop by.
Located at 27 South Cumberland Street, the Prospector Steak House is open for dinner daily.