Gone are the days where Molson and Labatt are the only beer options for Canadians, and Golden is set to join the microbrew trend with its very own craft brewery.
Kent Donaldson and Mark Nagao have long discussed bringing a brewery to Golden and have now decided to go for it as co-owners of the new business.
“We’ve been toying with this idea for probably about five years,” Donaldson explained. “Mark’s a local and has basically wanted a brewery here for 25 years. Lots of people have talked about it but nobody was really doing anything about it.”
Donaldson, who splits his time between Golden and Calgary, envisions the brewery as a full fledged destination with plenty of options for the consumer.
“It’ll have a tasting hall, it’ll have retail, a special events area, tours, growler sales and possibly limited food service,” Donaldson said.
Beer tourism is a growing industry as more and more microbreweries open up across British Columbia and in the northwest United States.
Donaldson hopes Golden can earn a place on the beer tourism map.
“When I say destination brewery I mean something that will appeal to locals, tourists and beer tourists,” Donaldson said.
Donaldson, a long time beer enthusiast and home brewer, stressed that it was paramount to keep this operation as local as possible. The brewery will source its equipment through Newlands Systems in Abbotsford, while Calgary’s Cheryl Link (who has had a vacation home at KHMR for years) of Mountain Modern Timber Frames is designing the building.
Olson Construction will be the general contractor, and the timberframe will be supplied by International Timberframes Inc.
“It’s a pretty sharp building. It’ll probably be one of the nicest looking commercial buildings in Golden,” Donaldson laughed.
The proposed design, which is still pending the Town’s approval, will include either Glulam or Timber frame with lots of glass and rock.
Donaldson sees the brewery’s future location next to Glacier Rafting as a major positive as it sits on the road leading to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
A brewmaster has yet to be hired, but Donaldson has a general idea of what customers can expect from the brewery’s lineup of beers. He expects to have at least a lager and a pale ale on year-round offer with an assortment of seasonal beers throughout the year as well.
The co-owners are not quite ready to reveal a name for the brewery, but that’s something that should be in place once they work through some copyright issues.
“We are optimistic we will obtain development approval within weeks, and hope to be starting construction this fall,” said Donaldson, who was earlier hoping for spring of 2015