A Year of Craft Beer With Two Strange Fellows
It seems suiting that shortly following the announcement of the 2015 People’s Choice Awards where Strange Fellows Brewing took the accolade of “Best New Brewery” they celebrated the completion of their first year in business. December 16th, 2015 marked the 365th day in business on Vancouver’s Clarke Ave. where they have quickly become a staple for local craft beer culture and flavour.
The craft beer “Strange Fellows” duo, Iain Hill and Aaron Jonckheere started this journey many moons ago and methodically navigated the gauntlet that is opening a brewery in British Columbia. Some of you may have even read the exploits as documented on Aaron’s blog, I’m Starting a Craft Brewery. Things may have taken a bit longer than expected to get moving, but the ball is flying now. The brewery typically has 8 or more beers on tap at any given time and beers like their Jongleur Belgian Witbier and Talisman Pale Ale have quickly become local favourites and are available year round.
It is no surprise that the Strange Fellows Brewery has been such a success. The planning and dedication that went into the brewery plus the wealth of experience that is Iain Hill almost ensures success on its own. Looking around at the crowd in attendance for the first birthday event another aspect becomes strikingly clear. The crowd that came to celebrate the Strange Fellows success is none other than their competitors, their rivals, and their friends. The three groups are one of the same. Whether it be Red Truck, Bridge, Brassneck, Postmark, Parkside or a laundry list of other local breweries, each came by to taste the beer and offer a congratulatory pat on the back to this dynamic duo.
The industry representation that came out to celebrate is another sign of where the Strange Fellows’ success came from. Iain and Aaron have built this business around beer but on a platform of friends, family and community. It is the community of East Vancouver and the community of local brewers that supported them along the way. This is not a cut-throat business but rather a friendly competition between comrades. Here, everyone wins with the reward of world class craft beer!