Valemount is a small town in central British Columbia that you have probably passed through if you have driven to Alberta. Next time you find yourself in the area though you may just have to stop in for a break at the Three Ranges Brewery. This new BC Craft Brewery has just opened its doors and is the only brewery in the area catering to the expanded palate and regional diversity of the BC Craft Beer drinker. Opening their doors, 3 ranges is offering the Up Swift Creek Pilsner, Mile 49 Pale Ale, Angry Beaver India Pale Ale and the Swamp Donkey Brown Ale. This lineup consists of the flavour diversity and drink-ability that is necessary for continued success. The beer is currently only available in Valemount but with canning underway the beer will surely spread quickly. Vancouver may not see the beer in the near future but as distribution improves our fingers are crossed. In the meantime you may just have to make a trip and pay a visit first hand for the flavour of Valemount, British Columbia.
For the grand opening Beer Me BC caught up with three ranges to ask them a few questions about this new and exciting BC Craft Brewery
That’s a funny story. After my first visit to Valemount, where my partner’s parents live, we were driving home discussing the trip. I told her I loved the area, but there wasn’t any work to be had there. I asked her what kind of work we could do that we could take to a place like Valemount and survive. After a lot of discussion and brainstorming, she looked at me and said “You drink enough beer, why don’t you make it?” And away I went into brewing. After that, we built sort of a plan that was in the 7-10 year range of actually executing it. Right about 3 years later, she was affected by the Federal budget cuts to Parks Canada in 2012. We couldn’t stay where we were so we began searching for options. The brewery idea kept coming to the top of the list. With the a little nudge from her parents, we decided to head to the mountains and start Three Ranges Brewing Company. (That name is actually one of the names we came up with during that first discussion 3 years earlier.)
2. What is the greatest opportunity and greatest obstacle for craft beer in Valemount and at Three Ranges?
We are remote. This is both an obstacle and opportunity. The greatest opportunity in our local area is that for the most part the beer drinkers haven’t had a huge amount of exposure to craft beer. Because we are so remote, we have painted ourselves a wide local range from Valemount west to Dome Creek and south to Blue River. I have the opportunity to create and serve a locally crafted product, sometimes for the first time, made with the beautiful water that flows right out of the mountains out their back window.
At this point in time, I won’t claim to have a specialty. We have tiny brew system, and I really just want to explore the kinds of beers I can really pull off with this system. It’s fun to brew on but challenging at the same time.
4. What styles of beer will you focus on brewing?
We have our three core beers – Up Swift Creek Pilsner, Mile 49 Pale Ale, and Swamp Donkey Brown – that we distribute, the Angry Beaver IPA that is only available in our taproom, and a specialty beer that changes about once a month.
5. How has the initial response been from the community in accepting craft beer and Three Ranges?
The community response is amazing. We sold most of our initial order of glassware within the first month of being open. We have folks driving from over an hour away (our local cliental) to come in for samples and growler fills. It has been amazing to see the folks who realize that great beer can be made in our valley.
I believe in the small neighbourhood brewery. It’s not quite a small neighbourhood in distance, but it is in community. Making great craft beer for these valleys is what I want to continue to do for the long haul. If we are able to stretch our distribution out a little ways further, then I would love to give the other Craft Beer drinkers of BC the opportunity to taste what Valemount has to offer.
7. What is your favorite BC craft beer?
8. What three words would you use to describe Three Ranges Brewing?
Tasty, Nano, Love
Next time you are crossing the province make a point to stop in at the Three Ranges Brewing Company!