By Kristi Alexandra
Upon stepping into North Vancouver’s Bridge Brewing Company, just a shot up Mountain Highway, light streams through the windows, illuminating a quaint tasting room and bottles of amber liquid housed in the cooler.
Craft beer culture in the lower mainland has always lauded locality, but head brewer Kerry Dyson’s newest creations take on a whole new light in this hyper-local haunt, whose tasting room is adjacent to a garage-style brewery.
His latest seasonal offerings are the Quaywi Sour–a collaboration beer with Tap and Barrel–the Pear Cardamom Milkshake IPA, and the seasonably apt Pumpkin Porter–all of which use locally-sourced ingredients to perfect their taste.
“If we can, we’ll try to source it as locally as possible,” Dyson tell WestcoastFood of his brewery’s zero-waste, local, and sustainable ethos.
“We get our hops from Chilliwack hops farms out in the valley… it depends on what we’re looking for. We just did a maple porter [because] up in the Okanagan, someone sent us a barrel of fresh maple syrup and we were like, ‘yeah we can make that a beer.’”
As for the Quaywi collaboration beer and his latest Pumpkin Porter, Dyson attests that even if some ingredients aren’t sourced locally, they’re inspired by local harvests, flavours, and landmarks. Quaywi, of course, being a play on the famous North Vancouver marketplace, the Lonsdale Quay, and kiwi, the furry fruit that happens to grow well in the local climate.
“Our Quaywi is a kettle sour… with a nice yogurt-y tang, and kiwi plays really nicely with that light, fruity acidity. We had that for late summer, and now we’re moving into our next seasonal which is a 4.5% Pumpkin Porter. It has a ton of rye malt in that, and it has some spices but it’s very subdued and it’s mostly coming from the malt rather than throwing a bunch of pumpkin pie mix at it. I like to make something that’s easy-drinking and enjoyable, and not a big spice bomb in your face,” he says.
The small brewery was Vancouver’s first-ever nano-brewery, but in five short years, Bridge Brewing Company beers can be found in private liquor stores, government-designated BC Liquor Stores, and select shops across Canada.
And though you can pick up a six-pack of Bridge Brewing Company’s bottles in liquor stores in BC and across the country, Dyson makes a point of saying that his beers are community-focused. Geography buffs might even notice the beers’ labels boast topographically accurate designs of North Vancouver areas.
“We try to make them as approachable as possible,” he says, “I want all that feedback from as many people as possible because people taste things differently and I know how I taste and what I pick up when I’m drinking a beer, but other people will pick up different things. You just want to make sure that everybody’s happy when you’re brewing something for other people, because I know what I like and I can make those beers, but it’s about making something that other people want as well.”
Find Bridge Brewing Company beers at Tap and Barrel, in liquor stores across BC, and at their North Vancouver tasting room and brewery.