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Report on Small Business newsletter: A sour-beer startup and insights from The Small Business Summit

The new brand, Halcyon Barrel House, began as a passion project of Beau’s brewer Bryce McBain. (Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.)

Beau’s Brewery sour-beer ‘startup’ started as passion project

Popular craft-beer maker Beau’s Brewery is expanding again – this time to include a new brand of sour beer under its umbrella.

The new brand, Halcyon Barrel House, began as a passion project of Beau’s brewer Bryce McBain. He’d been experimenting with mixed fermentation (brewing with a variety of non-standard yeasts and bacteria) at home for years when, in late 2015, he decided to start his own brewery entirely dedicated to wild and sour beers.

With guidance from Beau’s co-founder and chief executive Steve Beauchesne, Mr. McBain sought investment from friends and family and began developing his recipes and business plan. He intended to make his beer base (known as wort) using equipment at other breweries, then blend, ferment and sell it at his own retail outlet. But when he learned his plan fell afoul of Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario rules and he’d need to pony up another $250,000 for equipment, his investors balked. Full story

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Want your employees to love their jobs? Make sure you’re doing these five things

When Josie Rudderham and her business partner Nicole Miller started Cake and Loaf, now a million-dollar bakery business, out of a house in Hamilton, their aim wasn’t just to create irresistible treats. Mission critical was creating jobs with staying power that would limit staff turnover. Full story

Leading Canadian entrepreneurs share secrets on building a global business

Expanding your business beyond Canada’s borders can be daunting, but it can also be the best way to grow your company. Before you take the leap, though, check out these tips from successful entrepreneurs who spoke at the recent Globe and Mail Small Business Summit. Full story

‘There has never been a better time to raise money’

There’s one ingredient that every startup and small business needs almost without exception: capital. But getting access to the funding you need, whether to make sure your new venture sees the light of day or to fuel next-stage growth, can be tough. Full story.

Startup uses blockchain to ensure minerals come from ethical sources

Dawn Jutla says her company has the technology to help put an end to the shady practice of mining precious and industrial metals to finance war. Ms. Jutla, the president and CEO of Halifax-based startup Peer Ledger, is staking its future on a blockchain technology called Mimosi that it says can track precious metals throughout the supply chain to ensure every milligram purchased by buyers has come from an ethical source and is not funding armed conflict in war-torn countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo. Full story

More small business news from around the webElectricity prices to soar after four years, says secret Liberal cabinet document

The short-term gain of a 25-per-cent hydro rate cut this summer could lead to long-term pain as a leaked cabinet document forecasts prices jumping again in five years. Full story

Ontario plans big boost to minimum wage, update of labour laws: Cohn

Sweeping labour reforms — and a dramatic rise in the minimum wage up to $15 an hour — could soon target companies relying unfairly on part-time or contract work that deprives many Ontarians of decent wages from steady employment. Full story

Communitech opens data hub to encourage startup and enterprise collaboration

Big Data is getting its own aesthetically-pleasing playground in the heart of Waterloo Region with the new Communitech Data Hub. The Data Hub, located at a former police station on Erb Street, is built on the same model as the existing Communitech Hub in downtown Kitchener: live with Communitech’s customers (local companies at every level of growth); engage with enterprises, startups, and the community; and facilitate communications between those audiences. Full story

Here’s who’s investing in Canadian Saas startups

There is a general sense in the tech community that it’s difficult to raise money in Canada, but as a new infographic from Ottawa-based Software-as-a-Service (Saas) venture capital fund L-Spark illustrates, this isn’t quite true. In fact, according to the company’s research, sourced from the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, Canadian VCs invested more than $2 billion in homegrown SaaS startups last year. Full story

Compiled by Sarah Efron