A Fresh Start for a Long Time BC Brewery – Mission Springs Brewing Co.
Within the BC Beer pony-race there are the big, the small, the new and the old. The contenders each bring something different to the table and offer unique products to the playing field. Where things get really exciting is when a brewery that has been around for decades receives fresh energy, funding and the ability to take what has traditionally been successful and compound it with a fresh take. This is just what Mission Springs Brewery and new brewmaster Kevin Winter are looking to accomplish.
Chicago trained, Kevin started his brewing career in his basement experimenting with flavours and techniques. Success at home helped lead to a position at the Whistler Brewing Company where scale, procedure and consistency helped to build the experience of a young and aspiring brewer. When the opportunity came up to head the Mission Springs Brewery, Kevin jumped on it and made the move down into the valley.
The Mission Springs Brewery has been brewing quality beer for decades. As one of the first brewpubs in BC, Mission Springs has a reputation as a pub, restaurant and more recently a premium craft brewer and retailer. Kevin started with the brewery in October 2012 and made some bold moves right off the bat. First off, the tap-lines for the whole facility were gutted and have been replaced. The brewing facility was shut down upon Kevin’s arrival for a massive cleaning effort, facelift and the replacement of a large portion of the equipment.
Upon Kevin’s analysis, the traditional Mission Springs beer recipes were adequate but had much room for improvement. The beer also had a solid brand recognition among the Mission and surrounding communities. With a few tweaks, improved brewing techniques and a heightened attention to detail each beer has been re-released into BC communities with great praise. The traditional beers of the brewery were stage one in revitalizing the brand. Stage two comes next where Kevin is able to explore his beer-creativity and move outward into new styles and flavours. Watch for a seasonal spring release in the coming months.
With new energy comes a drive for growth. Previously the beer was only available on location in Mission BC but upon the turning of the tied house law you can now find their beer in Maple Ridge at the Billy Minor Pub. Additionally, Mission Springs beer is starting to show up in beautiful painted bottles in select craft beer locations around the lower mainland. If you have not found their beer yet, keep your eyes peeled as the recent purchase of an automatic bottling line means the capacity for distribution is about to explode. Kevin has his eye on craft retailers around the province and eventually BCL distribution.
If you have never made the trek out to Mission to see this brewery you should. In addition to delicious beer that is fed to the taps direct from the conditioning tanks, you will be awed and surprised by the size, scale and character of this tucked away Gem. Through the authentic 50’s automotive theme and a capacity of more than 600 between the restaurant and pub this is one of the larger facilities you will find in BC for enjoying a pint.
Following a tour of the facility Sitting down at the bar behind a flight of beer the tap list consisted of the Bombshell Blonde, Trailblazer Pilsner, Strongman Ale, Olde Sailor’s IPA, Brewer’s Black and Tan, Fat Guy Stout. A diverse and flavourful tap-list from a rising, newly refreshed, veteran brewery.
As a touch of icing on the cake, attached to the brewery is one of the best private liquor stores around. Kevin’s clout in the matter has upped the commitment to craft beer and some 100+ types of beer are now available in bottles on site. Better yet still, this is a CAMRA supporting establishment so flash your membership card and you are entitled to a 10% discount off their already very competitive prices.
Next time you are in the area or simply looking for a pint somewhere new consider the Mission Springs Brewery. Through great beer, wonderful people and a decor that can only make you smile this is a rising (again) star on the BC craft beer scene.