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Breakout Brewer: Godspeed

Toronto’s Godspeed Brewery is a reflection of founder-brewer Luc Lafontaine’s life and obsessions, from reverently brewed traditional lagers to IPAs and goses that showcase unusual Japanese ingredients.

Stephen Beaumont Nov 15, 2021 - 12 min read

Breakout Brewer: Godspeed Primary Image

Photos: Courtesy Godspeed Brewery

The road Luc Lafontaine took to running his own brewery was a bit different, and considerably longer, than that taken by most entrepreneurial homebrewers.

Rather than the tried-and-true “people liked my beer, so I turned pro” trajectory, Lafontaine brewed for himself for most of a decade, took two years off to travel the world, returned to advance gradually through the ranks at a Montreal brewpub, went to live in Japan for a couple of years, returned to Canada almost penniless, and finally opened the brewery that virtually nobody expected of him.

Further, it wasn’t just any old Montreal brewpub he worked at—it was Dieu du Ciel, which after Sapporo-owned Unibroue is the most famous of Quebec’s 240-odd breweries. And neither was he simply killing time in Japan; instead, he was helping to set up the brewing offshoot of pioneering Tokyo beer bar Ushitora.

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