Inside an unassuming turquoise building on Margaret Street, a new business is brewing.
“It’s not much to look at now,” said Aaron Colyn, founder and soon to be brew master of Twin City Brewing.
It will be soon, however. With an anticipated early 2016 opening date, Colyn is entering his last phase of preparations.
His building, on the corner of Margaret Street and Southgate Road, isn’t zoned to be a microbrewery. Colyn has applied to amend the zoning bylaw and add microbreweries to the list of uses for service commercial zoned buildings.
The application to amend the zoning bylaw came before the city’s advisory planning commission on May 21 and received full support.
“The microbrewery sector is a growing business in the province and the proposed Twin City Brewing Company could provide a further attraction for tourist and provide a locally made product for local residents,” said city planner Scott Smith.
Colyn mounted a crowdfunding campaign in April 2014 in an attempt to raise the money necessary to buy a small-scale, all-grain brewing system. He also launched a Facebook page that proved popular.
The proposed location for Twin City Brewing near the highway to the west coast is particularly suited to attracting tourists, Smith added.
The Twin City Brewing name might be a throwback to the days before the 1967 amalgamation of Alberni and Port Alberni but Colyn is looking towards the future.
With a degree in microbiology, Colyn’s interest lies on the science side of the operations.
“As soon as I graduated I started brewing myself whenever I could. I just got really into it and I’m really passionate about it.”
Colyn’s science background will also come into play with the organic wastes that the brewing process produces. His parents run Colyn’s Nursery on Beaver Creek Road and that’s where any organic waste will go for use as compost.
While there’s still a lot of work to be done, Colyn can’t wait to show people what he’s got on tap.
“I think there’s always a little bit of pride that comes with brewing, you want to show people how it’s made,” Colyn said.
“I have ideas about doing beers that really accentuate a certain ingredient. So when someone comes in, we’re showcasing a certain hop, like that’s the only hop that’s in this beer. You’ll start to learn about how there’s a lot of different nuances and difference in a lot of the beers.”