Brandi Hates Beer but Loves her Husband

IMG_0243     Kevin and Brandi have known each other for over twenty years and in that time, they became best friends and eventually partners in all areas of life. It seemed a natural fit for them to create an extension of themselves that mirrored their approach to life; honesty, compassion, integrity, and commitment.

Kevin found his passion for brewing in an unlikely place…in front of a computer, designing tap handles for the brewing industry. Designing so many cool tap handles and seeing all the different beer styles spurred the move into the craft beer world. His early brew days started in the carport of a friend’s house (Jesse Enders with Dennis Smith) in Silver Valley. Honestly, the best part was being able to hang out and make beer with friends. What literally brings a smile to his face was remembering how they stood around waiting for the kettle to boil and having deep and sometimes heated discussion on what to name the beers. This is perhaps what ignited his excitement in creating a community where it’s really just about having a great beer with good buds.

In all honesty Brandi doesn’t even like beer, but she does love her husband. So, when he sheepishly approached her about opening his own brewery she wanted to foster that childlike excitement into something that was viable. She wanted him to be able to create a world where at the end of the day he came home fulfilled and proud of what he did that day. This seemed like the path to that world. For her, this brewery wasn’t about a love of beer but about the love she had for her best friend and their community.

Growing up in Maple Ridge they wanted to add something meaningful to this community and they felt the drive to showcase all the amazing local businesses, talent, and locally grown goods that it had to offer. Whether through buying local cheese, meats, breads, and spreads for their food selection, bringing in local craft businesses to do arts and crafts night, or their monthly yoga class where partial proceeds go to help local families and charities they are proud to have put down roots. Being that Brandi had a background in social services and working with the more vulnerable people of a community they are excited and honored to be able to contribute to the services, such as those provided by Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Community Services, that provide the helping hand that the more vulnerable section of our population needs.

They wanted to tailor the style of the beer and brewery to the needs of the community. Instead of the straight industrial design of a lot of Vancouver breweries, there was a softer element added to make it more like a café. A place Kevin and his friends could go and hang out in a laid back and comfortable atmosphere. On the walls hang 90’s band posters, a throwback to the music they liked to listen to when growing up. Kevin has a strong connection to music, playing bass from the age of thirteen. From high school Jazz band to a touring rock band music is part of how he connects with the world.

There are honestly a lot of hard parts the first year of running a brewery. Some days feel like there are only uphill battles and these days end in frustration and tears. But there are also moments of standing alone in the brewery after everyone is gone and going “Holy sh*t, look what we created. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so proud of anything else I’ve done in my life”.

Leave a Reply