[Four Winds Brewery] , one of the best new breweries across the border (and one of the closest to us!) At the recent CAMRA Vancouver awards
, the won gold for Best BC Brewery. I got a hold of Brent, one of the owners and brewers, to chat about them and their winnings.
Me: You just won the Gold Medal at the Vancouver CAMRA awards. Congrats! How did you pull that off? Ballot box stuffing? I’m just kidding.
Brent: HAHAHA, ya we love stuffing things! ballot boxes, Turkeys, underpants. Joking aside i think we have been lucky with what we have done in our short time of being open. By lucky i mean our timing in our market couldn’t be better, our market is exploding. Our branding and design has been a great success and our beer has been very well received!
Me: Briefly explain CAMRA for those who don’t know what it is.
Brent: CAMRA stands for CAMpaign for Real Ale. Its a real ale advocacy group that started in the UK in 1971 basically trying to stop the domination of the fizzy yellow liquid. Since that time they have opened Chapters all over the world and Vancouver has a very active community of CAMRA members!
Me: OK, so for those of us just discovering you, where in the world did you come from? What happened to pull all this together?
Brent: Yeah! its feels like we came out of nowhere to us too. Its been a bit in the making though. I First started working in the brewing Industry in 2010 for R&B Brewing in Vancouver. After nearly 3 years with them i was convinced by my dad to go at it alone (with him). We Started our build in December 2012 and Opened our doors on June 1st 2013. My brothers Sean and Adam joined us along the way through the build. Since we opened we have been making an effort to push the boundaries what is expected from a BC Brewery, our fist batch of beer went straight into wine barrels, we have released 100% brett beers, experimented with kettle souring and have started a decent size barrel program. Its been a crazy 2 years!
Me: Tell us about the beers you are most proud of.
Brent: The beers I am most proud of would have to be the beers that scared the shit of me when we first brewed full scale (22bbl) not knowing if it was gonna work or if it was gonna go down the drain. Luckily they have worked. Our 100% Brett fermented ipa know as Juxtapose was awarded Silver for American Style Brett Beer at the World Beer Cup when we were only open for 7 months, that is something we are very proud of. Also we make a beer called Nectaurous which is a 3 day kettle soured beer that is extensively dry hopped with galaxy and our Saison Brett which will now be known as Operis due to name Conflictions which is a saison aged in Okanagan red wines barrels with brett for up to 10 months.
Me: You aren’t in downtown Vancouver. In fact, you are kind of in a strange place, to be honest. The good news is that it is incredibly easy to get to, assuming Google maps can be used, and one of the closest breweries to the border. Why did you choose that location?
Brent: We are in an industrial park called Tilbury on the south bank of the Fraser river in Delta. So yeah the middle of nowhere. We chose this location because we all grew up here in delta and it feels like home, the other reasons are the cost per square foot is a fraction of Vancouver and we have an optimal distribution location to service greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island.
Me: What else should we know about you guys?
Brent: Something that we are proud of and think people should know is we are a family owned and run business. My dad Greg is our General Manager and looks after all the finical duties, My Brother Adam is our sales and marketing manager and my brother Sean splits his time between the tasting room and production in the brewery. Aside from the 4 of us we also have 2 other Mills family members working and a few very close friends, it’s safe to say we keep it pretty close around here. I suppose i should also explain our name and what Four Winds is all about!? To the Four Winds is an old world nautical term meaning going in many directions. To us it serves as inspiration when pondering the limitless potential of our innovations.
If you’re coming up from Bellingham, they are just 20 minutes from Peace Arch on your way to Vancouver (or maybe a little closer).
Check them out on twitter and instagram @fourwindsbrewco.