Harley Smith

Harley Smith

Breweries fuel passion for Nanaimo craft beer

The craft beer industry is booming in B.C. and in Nanaimo, a pair of breweries are helping fuel the desire for local beer.

The craft beer industry is booming in B.C. and in Nanaimo, a pair of breweries are helping fuel the desire for local beer.

The Longwood Brew Pub began packaging beer in bottles four years ago to test the market.

It did very well, prompting the opening of the off-site Longwood Brewery on Boxwood Road, something brewmaster and brewery partner Harley Smith said is a route many brew pubs are taking.

All the beers served are ones that people will be familiar with in Nanaimo, Smith said. There are five core brands that have been rebranded for marketability: Stoutnik (Russian imperial stout), Steam Punk (Dunkelweizenbrau), Berried Alive (raspberry ale), The Big One (India pale ale) and Extra Ale (Longwood ale).

“We do come out with a new seasonal beer about every two months and so far we’ve done a pumpkin ale, called Full Patch, Winter’s Own Weizenbock, The One That Got Away Red Wheat and we’re just about to release the Independent Pilsner, which is an imperial pilsner, which is hoppy and a more aggressive pilsner than what you would find at the brew pub,” Smith said.

The Longwood Brewery has a large capacity and Smith said it can brew 5,000 hectolitres a year, which should carry it for a few years before it needs to expand.

Across town, Wolf Brewing Company is at full capacity. There is a waiting list and everything that is brewed is already pre-sold, according to head brewer Kev Ward.

“We decided that it was time to expand, so we’ve got a brand new brewhouse and new tanks all being hand-built up in the Okanagan. We like to keep everything as B.C. as possible – grain, hops, everything, and that includes getting our tanks built as well up in Okanagan by a fellow named Ed Ripley, who’s a really excellent fabricator,” Ward said.

In addition to the Okanagan, Wolf Brewing will expand its space on Old Victoria Road, allowing it to double its floor size and triple capacity and add a tasting room.

Ward, who originally hails from Liverpool, England, has been on the job for about a year and changed all the recipes. Wolf Brewing still uses old-school techniques in its brewing.

“Here it’s me and a paddle and getting stuck in there. Everything’s done by hand here and we’ll continue to do that,” Ward said.

At the moment, Wolf brews four beers – Golden Honey Ale, Red Brick India Pale Ale, Rannoch Scotch Ale and Black Tail Porter – but it will be able to bring on an additional three beers thanks to expansion.

“We’re going to bring out a pale ale, which is going to have another twist to it, quite West Coast, it’s going to be a lot of aroma hop in it,” said Ward. “It’s going to [have] a mid-range bitterness … quite a citrus, lemony [flavour].”

An extra special bitter ale is on the way as well as some one-off beers that are being kept under wraps, Ward said.


Just Posted

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Accident closes Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino

Watch DriveBC for updates on road closures

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Most Read