In case you haven’t already heard, after navigating a river of red tape so long and oppressive that lesser mortals would have surely entered the heart of darkness by now, last week Ben Coli and his intrepid team at Burnaby’s Dageraad Brewing received a lounge endorsement for their beloved little family brewery. In other words, they can now legally sell you more than 12 ounces of beer per day. By way of background, manufacturer licenses only entitle licensees to a ‘tasting room’ for their brewery, where customers can sample products for free and can buy up to 12 ounces of beer per person per day. However, if a licensee wants the ability to sell more than this amount, they need to apply for an “endorsement” on their license which, if received, turns their “tasting room” into a “lounge”. Conceptually (at least for the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch), getting a lounge endorsement is somewhat akin to getting a liquor primary license, and requires local resident feedback, additional compliance with the Building Code and local bylaws (including a certain number of washrooms and exits), and municipal approval. Any one of these requirements can be a deal-killer for a brewery wanting to have a lounge (especially if they didn’t design their space with a lounge in mind), and clearing all of these hurdles can be an epic (and sometimes fatal) challenge. If you’ve ever been told at your favourite tasting room that they can only serve you one glass of beer or a couple small samplers, now you know why.
After opening their intimate original tasting room in 2014, Dageraad underwent a significant expansion over the last year or so, and opened their new space in May. With capacity increased to 50 seats, high ceilings, and a bright, open-concept design (complete with an upper-level mezzanine), the room is fantastic, and is a great place to while away the time (I’d suggest with a few glasses of their gorgeous new “Antwerpen” Abbey-Style Trippel).
If you’re a regular reader of these pages, then you’ll know that I’m a pretty big fan of Coli and co.s operations at Dageraad. Over the last three years, Dageraad has consistently produced some of the finest and most unique beer ever made in these parts (no mean feat for a small outfit), exposing many palates to Belgium’s storied brewing traditions, and elevating BC’s craft beer industry along the way. Pretty amazing stuff really.
With their lounge endorsement now in place, I know that I’ll be making that short Millennium Line trip to Production Way station and spending some serious time at Dageraad’s stellar new lounge. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll be doing the same thing too.
Hat tip to Dageraad’s brewery manager, co-brewer, and all around stand-up guy Mitch Warner for the photos!