With another New Year fast-approaching, we think it’s awfully apropos to check in and reflect with Sam Payne, co-owner of Port Moody’s newest and most nostalgic brewery, Rewind Beer Co.
Payne, along with co-owner Vern Lambourne (both are also behind The Parkside Brewery), opened Rewind’s doors – and, ostensibly, a portal back in time circa the 1980s-2000s – back in September of 2022. Payne recently hit ‘pause’ to answer a handful of our most pressing beer (and time) related questions…
Where did the ethos behind Rewind come from?
We grew up in the ’80s and started in the beer business in the late ’90s and early 2000s, so those eras mean so much to us. We thought it would be fun to create a time warp of sorts in the tasting room. That being said, Rewind Beer Co is really about celebrating anything memorable from the past.
How has the landscape of owning a brewery changed since you first opened Parkside?
A few ways… externally, there are more breweries! Not only in our hometown of Port Moody but in B.C in general. That creates a wonderful landscape of experienced craft beer drinkers, suppliers and retailers, but also makes for crowded spaces and increased selection. Internally, we have a much more experienced and involved team at Rewind than when we started our other project (Parkside Brewing) nearly seven years ago. This has made for an awesome collaboration amongst our people in bringing new ideas to the table, smoother execution on opening and diving head first into a new kitchen concept, as well as overall brand development and career development for many of our people (which is our favourite part of all of this).
What can new guests expect from Rewind that’s different than the other breweries on brewery row?
A full blown kitchen concept, starting with our Detroit Style Pizzas. A consistently vast beer board that is anything but consistent. New beers as often as possible and a fruited beer series for every season…and neon, lots of neon.
Have guests’ palates changed since you started in this industry? And, if so, does that ever factor into your business/brand philosophy?
I’m not sure palates have changed as much as people’s willingness to try new things. The key is making sure there is variety on the board, lots of options for new guests to try, and some all-year beers for regulars to hang their hats on. Are fruit beers, sours and hazys more popular than decades past? Yes! Of course. But I think this has more to do with having them widely available and the wonderful job BC Craft Beer (and beyond) have done creating welcoming spaces for people to learn and experiment with what they like. Gone are the days of the face-melting, palate-wrecking hop bomb that once had new craft drinkers hesitant to try a new IPA. For our philosophy, we are all about the brewing team having fun and experimenting, while making sure we are nailing a great selection for our guests to sample.
Tell me about a piece of ’80s-00s nostalgia that you can live without (and that we will NEVER find memorialized at Rewind)?
My old sports card collection from when I was a kid that I’ve put aside now for my own kids. We use some other less iconic ones as table markers for our “High Top” pizza orders, that can bring back memories for anyone who knows the characters of the era (“Jake the Snake”, old Canucks, Dale Ellis, etc.)
What has been your most memorable moment at Rewind, so far?
About two weeks before opening, we had a family day to test pizzas together. Between Vern, Geoff and I, we have seven kids now and most of them were there at the table giving us their thoughts as “Cheese Pizza Experts”. Big decisions were made (“No green stuff on top, Dad!”) Six of them were alive when we opened Parkside, so to see them as a group of seven now and growing up is a great and constant reminder of us growing in business and life. It was a special moment for us to have them hanging out together again.
If you could “rewind” to any moment in your life to offer yourself a piece of advice, when and what would it be?-
I’m not one to look back or regret, as I always think, “What if that advice or action changed how things ended up?” (Think Homer Simpson time travelling.) No matter how hard things ever were, it all led to where I am now and that is something I am deeply grateful for. Two healthy kids, a patient and beautiful wife, a puppy who listens (sometimes), and a roof over our heads…I’m very lucky. If I did have to “rewind” and run into myself at age 17, when I graduated high school? The world was moving pretty fast for me, so maybe a little: “Take it easy on yourself, it’s all going to work out for you; and oh, don’t buy that used Acura Legend for $10k in college – it’s a bad deal, man.”