- BC Games
Connect with Us
City delays push back Prince Rupert brewery opening
The Wheelhouse Brewing Company has hit some snags, and have had to push back the opening date.
Wheelhouse partners James Witzke, Kent Orton and Craig Outhet hoped to be making their first beer sales this spring, and have the business' doors open this summer. But Witzke said the brewery isn't likely to be open for at least two more months.
The Wheelhouse partners are almost done renovations to the brewing space, but are waiting to get their final gas certification on the system.
The brewers were also planning to build a tasting room on the front of the building's exterior, but are still waiting for the city's approval.
"Because of some city issues, and some soil issues on the front, we're not going to be able to build just yet," Witzke said.
"The soil outside is contaminated. It's been contaminated for years and years ... for 60, 70 or 80 years that spot has been a dumping ground. There's lots of heavy metal contamination."
The city has done the initial inspection on the soil to see how badly contaminated it is. Witzke said some spots are in bad shape.
"The city has to develop a remediation plan to determine what the best steps are to take care of the soil. Unfortunately it's a timely process that also costs money," Witzke said.
"We know where the city is financially, so it's not something that's happening overnight."
The entrepreneurs have been waiting for more than a year for approval already, and have decided to build a temporary tasting area inside the brewery.
"We had hoped we would have a little bit more support from the city to get us up and running. The tasting room is going to be the feature of our entire system. This is just a brewery where we make it. But where we sell it and draw people in is going to be the tasting area," Witzke said.