New craft breweries make home in Port Moody

From left, Liam Murphy, brew master, and Yellow Dog Brewery owners Mike and Melinda Coghill with a taste of their pale ale before the large kettles they will use to brew their batches, which will be for sale in July. The brewery is located across from Rocky Point Park in Port Moody. - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
From left, Liam Murphy, brew master, and Yellow Dog Brewery owners Mike and Melinda Coghill with a taste of their pale ale before the large kettles they will use to brew their batches, which will be for sale in July. The brewery is located across from Rocky Point Park in Port Moody.

A new craft brewery opening up in Port Moody is a dream come true for a young family.

This July, Yellow Dog Brewery will open a craft brewery and tasting room on Murray Street across from Rocky Point Park and Mike and Melinda Coghill along with their head brew master Liam Murphy hope it will become a local landmark.

From the start, Melinda said, everything has come together nicely: their social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has been a hit (they are using the hashtag #buildingabrewery), their location is superb and they have the support and expertise to launch a new business.

"It's been a dream for a long time," admits Melinda, a new mom, who is juggling the brewery installation and her baby's needs along with a regular day job for a finance company.

Yellow Dog Brewery

The couple only moved to PoMo from Vancouver a year ago, and despite being new parents, they decided to launch into the micro-brewery business. After some research, they joined forces with Murphy, from Parallel 49 Brewing Company and are developing a line of hop-forward brews they believe will be popular among beer enthusiasts and casual imbibers.

For Murphy, who trained at The American Brewers Guild out of Vermont, U.S., coming onboard Yellow Dog is an exciting challenge because he gets to come up with his own recipes for beer based on his knowledge of the beer process, the ingredients and the best places to source them.

"We want stuff that people will recognize that will be absolutely full flavoured and delicious," Murphy said.

Melinda said the brewery is a family affair and will provide a casual atmosphere for people who might be out for a walk at Rocky Point Park and would like to try some ales.

Named after the Coghill's dog Chase, the brews have whimsical names such as Chase My Tail Pale Ale, Play Dead India Pale Ale and Take a Walk Wit but they have some serious flavour.

The beer will be sold in cans, bottles and re-fillable growlers at the Murray Street location, as well as at some local privately-owned liquor stores. Eventually, the Coghills hope it will listed at B.C. liquor stores.

"You are getting a craft, you're getting local, you're getting unique, which is something special," Melinda said.

Last week, they brought their signature brews to the Vancouver Craft Beer Week festival and Later in July, the Coghills hope to have a completed construction of their offices, tasting room and manufacturing area, providing the public an opportunity to try several tastings or sip a 12 oz glass. "We want this to become a destination."

They may be on to something because as Murray Street develops, it may one day be home to cafes, condos and shops and will be just steps away from the the Moody Center station if a pedestrian bridge can be built in conjunction with new development in the area.

When that happens, the Coghills can toast to the fact that they were on the cutting edge of the city's long time vision of waterfront redevelopment.

Yellow Dog Brewery can be found on Facebook.

Moody Ales



Meanwhile, another craft brewery is opening up just a little further west on Murray Street: Moody Ales, a craft microbrewery, will open in late summer 2014 at 2601 Murray St.

The brewery will feature a storefront for bottle purchases and growler fills, as well as a tasting room where customers can sample the full-flavoured lineup of beers.

Local home-brewers Adam Crandall and Dan Helmer are behind the project. In their previous lives, Adam and Dan were IT consultants at Habanero Consulting in Vancouver, where they worked together for over three years.

“Adam and I have brewed lots of beers together over the years,” said Helmer, “and we’re excited to share our beer and what we’ve learned about beer and brewing with the Tri-cities.”

Helmer will be brewing with a new B.C.-made 10-barrel system fabricated by Ripley Stainless in Summerland, as well as a smaller 115 litre pilot system.

“We’ve designed the brewery so that we will be able to meet anticipated demand for our flagship beers which we’ve spent a long time perfecting and to expand our production when necessary, but still be able to make a bunch of small batches of seasonal and experimental beers,” said Helmer in a press release.

Crandall and Helmer both grew up in the Lower Mainland and both now live in nearby Coquitlam.

“Port Moody has changed a lot over the last few years and we’re excited about the direction in which the city is headed. We look forward to Moody Ales growing with the community," Helmer said.

Moody Ales plans to sell its beer in bottles and growlers at its storefront as well as local private liquor stores. The beers will also be available on tap at the tasting room and local bars and restaurants. More information is available at


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