Vancouver sees craft brewing boom

21st February, 2013 by Rupert Millar

Vancouver is experiencing a boom in craft brewing, with nine microbreweries slated to open over the course of the year and three more undergoing major expansion.

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Red Racer by Central Brewing Co.

Among the construction work, one of the biggest expansions is being undertaken by Central Brewing Co in Surrey, which is completing a 65,000 square foot expansion that will triple the brewery’s production, particularly for its bestseller – Red Racer.

According to the Vancouver Sun the brewery has plans to take the beer to more stores in other Canadian provinces and the Pacific North-West of the US.

Steamworks Brewery in Burnaby is also expanding, with a 25,000 sq ft production floor and a 2,000 sq ft tasting room.

The tasting room in particular is a novel addition in British Columbia and means that the province’s breweries, wineries and distilleries will be able to offer tastings and sell beer on site.

The law, only recently relaxed, has been roundly praised by the Campaign for Real Ale BC.

Meanwhile, three new breweries – Brassneck, Main Street and 33 Acres – and the enlarged Red Truck Brewery are to open in the aptly named Brewery Creek around the area of Mount Pleasant.

Yet another brewery, Bomber Brewing, has also confirmed a site location near Commercial Drive.

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Steamworks’ Oatmeal Stout

Other breweries in various stages of construction include: Dogwood Brewing; Doan’s Craft Brewing in Vancouver; Sapperton Brewing in New Westminster; Four Winds in Delta and Wheelhouse Brewing Co. in Prince Rupert.

Steamworks’ president, Walter Cosman told the Vancouver Sun, that he thought there was still space for yet more craft brewers.

“When you look at Portland and see that craft beer has 40% of the beer market and Seattle is in the range of 30%, there is no sign of this growth slowing down. “Craft beer is still less than 20% of the beer market (in BC).”

Most of the openings and re-openings are set to take place between May and mid-July.

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