Located in the heart of downtown Hamilton at 107 James Street North, MERIT Brewing is a brewery, kitchen, and bottle shop. Guided by a team of ambitious friends, MERIT strives to represent the heart, art, and soul of Hamilton in every beer, every bite, and every experience.
We are inspired by tradition but like breaking the rules. Through brewing and culinary techniques, we push flavours and aromas to the forefront of the “why” we brew. From simple to complex flavours that can be layered or singular, we want our beer to speak a lot, but also very little depending on situation. We’re considered 5th ingredient brewers who add to every batch – whether that’s fruits, herbs, spices, teas, or just a good story.
We want to make great sausage. Not just for Hamilton, not just for Ontario, but as good as you’ll find them anywhere. Like our beer, we think first and foremost about the flavours we experience when eating and creating.
We’re a group of ambitious people that consider each other family. We’re lucky enough to play off each other’s strengths and support each other’s shortcomings, while collectively working to improve each day. We believe in growth, not just personally, but in our community. We love learning and take every opportunity we get to speak to farmers, winemakers, chefs, musicians, carpenters, metalworkers, etc… about their art. We believe in Hamilton, a city driven by innovation in industry and art.
Before the MERIT name represented our brewery, it was a furniture store in Nanaimo, BC, founded by Tej’s grandparents, Chanan and Charan Sandhu. They used Merit Furniture as a way to facilitate the immigration of hundreds of people to Canada, and upon their arrival employed, fed, housed, clothed, and supported them in their new life. Their work cemented the idea in our head and heart that the best businesses have a purpose. MERIT Brewing is our way to recognize their work and inspires us to build a business rooted in community.
Hamilton is a city defined by merit. We know what is special about this city. We’re people that are willing to work to make our city better. We recognize our city for its merits, not for the glitz and glamour, not for surface level attractions, but for the heart and soul of the people and businesses that make Hamilton a special place to live and work.
In the late 1800’s Hamilton became the first major city in Canada to have access to alternating current electric power. Thanks Nikola Tesla. Though this moment in history is important, it’s what happened after we got AC power that inspires us – Hamilton gained a reputation for innovation.
Knowing full well that you can’t look forward without recognizing the past, the MERIT light bulb represents a special time in Hamilton history, while also symbolizing the future; one where our city is known for innovation, for ideas, for doing something different… for having a community that is proud of what has been created in its own city.
We see the bulb as a reminder to keep pushing boundaries, to act with purpose, and to recognize Hamilton’s past while creating a bright future.