A SMALL craft brewery, a first for Terrace, is set to open for sampling soon with full-scale sales to start in late fall.
Sherwood Mountain Brewery, owned by Darryl Tucker and Linda Parker, is located in the former Out Spoke’n Bike & Sport location on Hwy16 West and the pair have spent the last while getting the paperwork and supplies in order to begin production.
Tucker, a former marketing director with Hawkair and who was also involved with the local effort to purchase Shames Mountain and convert it into a co-op, said the move offers him a chance to combine two loves – beer and promotions.
“I really enjoy beer, it was something I could sell and love, and to learn a new skill and become a brewmaster, so to speak, it was like, this all fit,” he said last week.
Tucker’s first stop in the brewery world was with the Skeena Brewing Company, a local group planning to open a brewpub on one corner of the city-owned former Co-op property. But he then decided on a separate venture, a move that took him to a brewing school in Berlin, Germany for six months to become a certified brewmaster.
“It was really a good experience,” he said of his experience at the Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei in Berlin. “For me to go to school over there, but the other half of it was to live in Berlin for six months.”
He bookended his Berlin trip with stints in Ontario, where his family lives, and worked at the Lake of Bays Brewing Company, where he began to make contacts in the industry and put his schooling into practice before returning to Terrace late last year.
Once equipment and tanks are fully installed, Tucker and Parker will produce 80,000 litres of beer in the first year of operation with plans to expand to 200,000 litres a year.
“We’ll start selling here in our little region, but our business plan is that we need to sell beer beyond our borders and into all of B.C., perhaps the States, Alberta,” Tucker said. “We’ve got room to grow.”
The 2,600 square foot brewery space will include a tasting room so that people can try different brews and a food cart featuring local sausages, cheeses and accompaniments.
The brewery business plan calls for beer-to-go to be served using growlers, reusable jugs that customers bring to the brewery to be filled straight from the tap, and eventually Sherwood Mountain brew will be served at restaurants and be available in liquor stores.
A provincial liquor licence has been applied for with residents and businesses within a 0.8 kilometre radius being invited to make comments on the proposal.
In the meantime, plans for the Skeena Brewing Company’s (SBC) brewpub on the corner of Greig and Emerson are still in the works, with the company gathering investment and studying development at the site, said SBC secretary William Spat, noting the process has been affected by the environmental clean-up work needed on a portion of the former Co-op lands where there is a proposed hotel development.
“Adjacent development obviously impacts the complexion of our building,” he said.
Their site is clean and SBC is still confident in the investment, despite the delays, he said.
“Exciting times with all the breweries and distilleries pushing up like spring flowers all over the province,” he added.