Five Years Ago This Week, Inside the Beginnings of a Great Local Brewery

For this week’s edition of #ThrowbackThursday we go back to the humble, Jeep Wagoneer beginnings of The Parkside Brewery out in Port Moody.

The following words and images were published to our front page exactly five years ago, a day after I met for coffee and a back-of-the-napkin breakdown with Parkside co-founders Sam Payne and Vern Lambourne. If you’re unfamiliar with the popular brewery, it’s one of the main anchors of Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row, having quickly established itself as a den of good times and great beers.

Earlier this year former Red Truck Beer sales director Sam Payne joined forces with veteran brewer Vern Lambourne to start work on launching their own brewery. They’re calling it The Parkside Brewery on account of its 6,000 sqft address, which faces directly onto Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park.

They’ve already got the branding sorted. I’ve seen three iterations to date and they’re all simple and clean. They’ve also secured an old Mercedes for deliveries and a classic Jeep Grand Wagoneer for basic transport. Of vital note is the pre-existence of Ruby, who has been a brewery dog in the making for some eight years. Woof.

They took possession on July 1st this year, and started demolition in earnest last week. As the images above and below indicate, they have a long way to go, but plenty of space to play with. They expect to have the 30 hectolitre brewery operational at some point this spring, when they will join a cluster of breweries already thriving in Port Moody (eg. Yellow Dog, Twin Sails, Moody Ales).

Vern, who was brewmaster at Granville Island for 13 years, lives in the area and loves the idea of a quick commute. I had coffee with him and Sam last week and both were pretty ecstatic about the build and the prospects of operating their own company after years of working for others. They are looking at offering 4 to 6 beers at a time, which will be available in the tasting room, as well as sold in growlers, kegs, cans and small run tall cans. “We’re going to play around,” says Vern. “We’ll have some bread and butter stuff and then some special one offs, too.” He singles out American-style Pale Ale, Pilsner, IPA, and Porter as likely opening day starters.

Here’s to another five years (raises glass)! More photos, as it once was…

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