DRINKER | Six Minutes With Brent Mills, Co-Founder & Brewmaster At Delta’s Four Winds

April 3, 2017.

FOURWINDS-BAM

by Carlos Mendes | Meet Brent Mills. Way back in June 2013, he opened Delta’s Four Winds Brewing with father Greg and brother Adam. A seemingly endless slew of local, national and international awards followed in short order, including well-deserved recognition as Canada’s best brewery at the 2015 Canadian Beer Awards. ‘Nectarous’, a dry-hopped sour first produced by Four Winds as a limited release in 2015 (and now available year-round), was subsequently awarded the highly-coveted ‘Beer of the Year’ at the 2016 Canadian Beer Awards. (If you still haven’t tried Nectarous and want to get an idea of the amazing things that a master brewer can do, grab yourself a few bottles. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a personal staple, and a fantastic ‘gateway beer’ for all those wine drinkers in your life who don’t think they like beer.)

For me, the ‘aha’ moment when Four Winds’ ascendancy to the top tier of Canadian brewing really became clear was the 2014 release of their ‘Saison Brett’, which is now branded as ‘Operis’. Although BC was already at the forefront of Canada’s beer industry at the time, the release of that first batch of Operis was when our province’s craft brewers stood up and announced themselves as truly ‘world class’.

FOURWINDS-operis-1

It was unlike anything that had been commercially produced and distributed in BC before. Everything about it spoke to the artistry and care that make the production of high-quality artisanal beer such an art form. Operis came packaged in a Champagne-corked 750ml bottle with a gorgeous label design. And then there was the beer. Believe it or not, three years ago, locally-made farmhouse ales were not too easy to come by in these parts, let alone ones of Operis’ caliber (for more, see my review as part of Scout’s 12 Beers of Christmas here, or Scout’s original review here). As Mills describes below, the brew undergoes a multi-stage production cycle in excess of fourteen months. The results are well worth the wait…

What was your ‘gateway’ craft beer? When I was younger, I was always choosing local beers over macro, but the first beer that blew my mind and sent me down the path of flavour exploration was Rodenbach Grand Cru.

What made you decide to do this for a living? I was working in kitchens for years and was growing tired of it and dreamed of working in the brewing industry. I figured I better give it a shot now or find something completely different to pursue. It was between brewing and outdoor leadership. I’m pretty happy with the direction I went (writers note: We’re all pretty happy too, Brent).

What’s the best thing about your job? The best thing about my job (besides that fact that I make beer and get paid) is all the amazing people at Four Winds. It’s definitely one big family here and that makes coming to work a pleasure!

What’s the worst thing about your job? It’s hard to say that anything is bad about my role, but it can be quite consuming as far as time goes – but definitely no complaints though.

What other brewery’s beer are you loving right now? So many really! It’s a great time to be a consumer in BC! I’m often buying four packs of Yellow Dog and sneaking in visits to Brassneck to sample what’s new.

What’s been your favourite beer to make and why? I would have to say Operis is my favourite beer to make as it has many steps to get to the finished product. First fermented in steel then transferred to barrels where brett is added, it ages for up to eight months then we move it back into steel where we pitch sugar and yeast before we bottle it and let it condition for 3–6 weeks.

Who do you most admire in the industry? Well, it’s hard not to mention (Central City‘s) Gary Lohin who essentially made BC into ‘IPA country’, and (Driftwood‘s) Jason Meyers who took it to the next level with Fat Tug, but I’d have to say Matt Phillips (of Phillips Brewing fame) is doing some of the most admirable things in the industry right now from malting his own grain to making soda and distilling, all while staying relevant and progressive in the beer industry.

What do you like the most about the industry? The camaraderie for sure! Some of my closest friends are owners, brewers and staff of other breweries.

If you weren’t a brewmaster, what would you be doing? I would probably be involved in the coffee world somehow or something outdoors.

What are you most proud of? Sometimes I have to step back from what we are doing here as a company and I recognize how far we have come from our small, four person operation and it amazes me. That’s what I’m most proud of, where this company came from and where it is going.

What inspires you to make the beer you do? Everything that surrounds us, the weather, the food we eat, the beer we drink, the activities we do, the landscape, the music … the list goes on.

———————————————————-

Photos by Alison Page.

#ScoutThis

There are 2 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

People Getting to know Vancouverites, one by one…

PROFILES | Catching Up With Julie Boocock Of Market Canvas Leather Before ‘Got Craft?’

PROFILES | Catching Up With Julie Boocock Of Market Canvas Leather Before ‘Got Craft?’

by Thalia Stopa | The bag you carry everyday is as important as what you put inside it. Artist and utilitarian Julie Boocock’s realization of this led the… more 

BIG INTERVIEW | Heidi Noble On Share Plates, Sexy Wine, And JoieFarm’s New Tasting Room

BIG INTERVIEW | Heidi Noble On Share Plates, Sexy Wine, And JoieFarm’s New Tasting Room

by Ken Tsui | Heidi Noble is the owner, mastermind and winemaker at JoieFarm Winery on the stunning Naramata Bench. Since 2004, the professionally trained… more 

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | The Three Albums Anchoring The Tastes Of Chef David Gunawan

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | The Three Albums Anchoring The Tastes Of Chef David Gunawan

by Thalia Stopa | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to reach deep inside their souls to pull out the three albums that anchor their musical… more 

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | The Three Albums Of ‘Little Mountain Shop’ Owner Natasha Neale

DEFINITIVE RECORDS | The Three Albums Of ‘Little Mountain Shop’ Owner Natasha Neale

by Ken Tsui | Definitive Records asks interesting Vancouverites to reach deep inside their souls to pull out the three albums that anchor their musical… more 

THE NEW BREED | Torafuku Sous Chef Sandy Chen On Chasing Dreams & Clock-Out Beers

THE NEW BREED | Torafuku Sous Chef Sandy Chen On Chasing Dreams & Clock-Out Beers

We often hear the same names of Vancouver hospitality titans in local media. They do very well to represent and have done so for years. We work up thirsts and… more 

THE NEW BREED | The Hard Work And Smiles Of ‘Nomad’ Barman Matthew ‘Benny’ Benevoli

THE NEW BREED | The Hard Work And Smiles Of ‘Nomad’ Barman Matthew ‘Benny’ Benevoli

We often hear the same names of Vancouver hospitality titans in local media. They do very well to represent and have done so for years. We work up thirsts and… more 

VANCOUVERITES | On The Local Gentlemen Behind The Online Design Trove Of Craigsbest

VANCOUVERITES | On The Local Gentlemen Behind The Online Design Trove Of Craigsbest

by Ken Tsui | Craigsbest truly began in 2014, back when Patrick Campbell and RJ Hunt first became friends. They were both collectors at heart, sharing the… more 

EXPATS REVISITED | Catching Up With Evelyn Chick, A Talent That Vancouver Misses Dearly

EXPATS REVISITED | Catching Up With Evelyn Chick, A Talent That Vancouver Misses Dearly

What happens to people when they leave Vancouver? Do they wander and wane, wither and perish? Not typically. We don’t want to cause a stampede out of this… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Ai & Om Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio Anh and Chi AnnaLena Araxi Arbor Ask For Luigi Au Comptoir Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Bar Oso Bauhaus Beach Bay Café & Patio Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Bishop’s Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar Bufala Burdock & Co. Cabrito Cacao Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cartems Donuterie Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chill Winston ChocolaTas Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante + Bar Cioffi’s Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cocktails & Canapes Catering + Events Cook Culture Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream East Van Roasters Cafe Edible Canada Elementa Espana Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Mao Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Hart House Restaurant Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Keefer Bar Kin Kao Kissa Tanto Knifewear Kozakura Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Made By Pacific Maenam Mak N Ming Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Salt Tasting Room Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Siena Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella Stable House, The Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tavola Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timber Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Torafuku Tractor Foods Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats UBC Farm Uncommon Cafe, The Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana Vij’s Restaurant Virtuous Pie West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .