Stephen Vukovics began brewing beer in his garage in 2012 with Matthew Richter. Later, Thomas Garnett joined, creating Turncoat Brewing Co.
A Toronto Area native who came to the Niagara region in 1999 to attend Brock University, Stephen permanently settled in the area in 2004. Stephen graduated from Brock University in 2004 with an Honours Degree in Physical Education and Kinesiology. After working in the rehabilitation sector for three years, he moved on to working with disabilities.
Working with residential placements and furthering into the programming sector, Stephen identified missing areas of need from the provided agencies. To fill this need, Stephen opened Participation Niagara in 2012, a program for adults with disabilities serving the Niagara region.
2012 was a big year for developments in Stephen Vukovics’ life, as this was when he discovered his love for brewing beer. Starting with a small-scale homebrew system and simple recipes. Stephen began brewing all-grain beer recipes in his garage, 5 gallons at a time. Since then, he was joined by his Brother-in-Law, Matt Richter, and their love for brewing grew from there. Scaling up to 20 gallons, Matt and Stephen began producing professional quality beer year-round. Since then, the two have produced flagship beers, including their Blonde, Stout, Steam and Amber style beers. They have also produced seasonal beers, including Milkshake IPAs, Kettle Sours and Aged Winter beers.
Stephen has been an avid member of his local Lions Club, becoming a board member in 2015 and continuing to become Lion Chief in 2018. Here, he became close friends with Thomas Garnett, a fellow Lion. Tom quickly became an avid appreciator of the beer brewed by Matt and Stephen, and as an entrepreneur, he identified a new business opportunity.
This was the inception of Turncoat Brewing Company.