BARLEY MOWAT: A Look Inside East Van’s Highly Anticipated “33 Acres Brewing Co.”
by Chuck Hallett | As is now widely known, 2013 will see a large batch of new breweries opening in Vancouver. Among the first to put beer in my beer hole will be the highly anticipated 33 Acres.
Located in the newly resurgent Brewery Creek District (Main between 2nd and Broadway) at 15 West 8th Avenue, it’s the love-child of film student turned brewery owner Josh Michnik and Brewmaster Dave Varga (formerly of Taylor’s Crossing/Red Truck fame).
33 Acres will very much be “the brewery that Josh built” as he’s had an active hand in virtually every aspect of creating it, from renovations and building upgrades to installing the brewing kit itself. But that’s just Josh’s approach: if you want something done right, best do it yourself. “No short-cuts,” he says, “that goes for not only the beer, but the merch, brand, the furniture, the floors, the walls, everything.”
Josh’s dedication shows in the space he has created. Breweries are often efficient affairs, design driven by practicality first and human use last. This is not the case here. The brewery itself is warm and inviting; reassuringly human in its scale. Tying the whole production floor together is a massive wooden ceiling that Josh spent weeks cleaning and restoring — a chore most breweries would have avoided with a simple bucket of paint.
The goal at 33 Acres is to build something that represents the opposite of the kind of industrial scale manufacturing concern that breweries came to represent during the last century. “I saw 33 Acres as a way to build a place where the neighbourhood could stop by on the way to work, say hi, help load some grain off a truck, have a cup of coffee, and just hang out.” says Josh. “Then on the way home from work, do the same but fill up a growler or stay for a pint.”
Building a space and letting Dave Varga work his magic is a plan that I can get behind. Look for 33 Acres beer to begin showing up in local pubs and restaurants later this Spring. In the meantime, you can follow their progress on Twitter and Instagram. (some images courtesy of 33 Acres)
Chuck Hallett lives and works in downtown Vancouver. His passionate obsession with craft beer borders on insanity. When not attempting to single-handedly financially support the local brewing industry through personal consumption, he spouts off on his award-winning beer-themed blog: BarleyMowat.com. If you’re in a good beer bar reading this, odds are he’s sitting next to you. Be polite and say hi.