Business appears to be thriving in Cow Bay just in time for summer.
Wheelhouse Brewing received equipment for its expansion, Johnny’s Machine Shop has replaced its old lathe with a bigger one and Dolly’s Fish Market has cemented a new sign in front of its business.
The shiny new features came on Friday, the same day the Norwegian Sun sailed into Northland Terminal with approximately 1,900 passengers aboard, the second biggest cruise ship scheduled to dock in Prince Rupert this year.
The Wheelhouse expansion comes three-and-a-half years after they first opened their doors. The small business has been brewing five to six batches per week with a four-hectolitre system, and with the new equipment they’ll be able to brew four times as much per batch with a 17-hectolitre system.
“It means two things, we’ll be able to expand distribution to Prince George, and we’ll see if we can go further to the rest of B.C. We’re also exploring the Alberta market,” said Craig Outhet, one of the three owners of the brewery along with James Witzke and Kent Orton.
“The second thing, because our brewing and tasting room is in one space this should expand the days that we’re open,” Outhet said.
More brewing equipment is on its way from China. In a month, four fermentation tanks are coming in on a container through the Fairview Container Terminal.
“We’re hoping to be ready with expanded hours by July,” Outhet said.
With the expansion, the brewery also expects to increase its staff in the tasting room, brewery and sales within the next year.