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Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. raises more than $110,000 to fund craft brewery in Rwanda

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. has raised more than $110,000 in an online fundraising campaign to help a wannabe Rwandan brewer realize her dreams.


Beau’s, headquartered in Vankleek Hill about 45 minutes east of Ottawa, announced Monday its two-month drive raised funds from 1,138 donors who were eager to help Rwanda’s Josephine “Fina” Uwineza realize her Rwanda Craft Brewery Project and become her country’s first female craft brewer.

“We’ve had a great beginning to this incredible journey we’ve started – now we’ll need to take the momentum forward to the next phase,” said Steve Beauchesne, co-founder of Beaus. “There is still more equipment, as well as shipping and installing it, and training, as well as the initial operations. But there’s no doubt this will greatly help the project move forward.”

The fundraising campaign, announced mid-September, fell short of its initial target which was to raise $95,000 US (around $127,000). Nevertheless, Beauchesne said it did raise enough to get the project off the ground.

Beau’s will be providing financing, expertise, and employee training to the startup brewery. A donation of equipment from Canadian brewing industry suppliers Newlands Systems Inc. has also been arranged.

Beau’s will not benefit financially from the new brewery.

The Rwanda brewpub wouldn’t be Uwineza’s first venture she is already a successful restaurateur.

Uwineza opened the capital Kigali’s first-ever Chinese restaurant, the Flamingo Restaurant. It has became a go-to destination for tourists and the embassy crowd, and at one time she employed more than 50 staff.

Uwineza shared her idea for a craft brewery with a business consultant who had ties to Canada. The consultant reached out to the Ontario Craft Brewers association, a lobby group for small brewers in the province. Steve Beauchesne sits on the lobby group’s board and jumped in to help the project get started.

Two breweries now dominate Rwanda’s beer industry, pumping out all of the country’s suds.

Beauchesne said he sees the market opportunity there much like the one he took advantage of here in Ontario in the 1990s, when the supply of small batch craft beer in various flavours was nearly non-existent.

Jimirasire

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