Microbrewery on Mohawk reserve aims to build bridges

News source from CTV News

A new microbrewery has opened on Mohawk land near Montreal, and its co-owner says it’s all about building bridges.

The Black Bridge Brewery on Kahnawake territory, just south of Montreal, is the first of its kind on a reserve in Quebec.

It was named for the Saint-Laurent Railway Bridge — one of the first structures that generations of Mohawk men risked their lives to build.

Mohawk ironworkers also worked on the 1907 Quebec City bridge that collapsed, killing 75 people including 33 from Kahnawake. A Royal Commission of Inquiry put much of the blame for the disaster on an American engineer.

They helped build the Empire State Building and New York’s Twin Towers. And they assisted with cleanup after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Fred LeBlanc is one of four men who launched the brewery. He said he’s proud to see the ironworkers’ tools on the taps.

“I love the name because I’m an ex-ironworker myself,” LeBlanc added.

He envisions the microbrewery as a place where people who haven’t always gotten along can enjoy a few pints.

“We’d like everybody — not just natives … all races,” he said.

“This is what we wanted,” he added. “A comfortable place to come and try our homemade beers.”

With a report from CTV National’s Montreal Bureau Chief Genevieve Beauchemin

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