Dogwood Brewing – Organically Growing in South Vancouver

As Vancouver’s only organic craft brewery, Dogwood Brewing has already set itself apart.  

Dogwood Brewing is still fairly new in the growing craft beer scene in Vancouver, having opened on March 19th, 2015.  As she was conceptualizing the business, brewmaster and owner, Claire Wilson decided that Dogwood would make beer that reflected her values and what was important to her in life.  For Claire this meant using organic ingredients, supporting local businesses, and minimizing the brewery’s environmental impact.  

Dogwood Brewing Exterior

Claire believes that the brewer’s values can be instilled into the product itself.  “It’s important for us to take a stand on what we believe in as brewers. That passion”, she says, “comes through in what we make.”  When the head brewer is also the owner that dedication becomes more apparent as well.  From consulting with Rebecca and Brian of Crannog Ales for advice on going completely organic, to deciding to ship their beer in aluminium cans which have a lessened environmental impact over glass, it’s clear that every choice is deliberate.Dogwood Brewing Door

Claire is one of those rare people that found something she loved early and stuck with it.  In her teens her Irish parents moved the family to Munich where she further developed an interest in beer.  She loved Biology in university which led her to the Brewing and Distilling Program at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh.  Following graduation she worked at, and later on ran, her own breweries in southern England.  After a close friend encouraged her to visit, Claire moved to Vancouver where she now owns her own brewery that reflects her own values and passion.

Dogwood Brewing Brewery Floor

Dogwood Brewing Fermemters

On the surface it’s easy to see what makes Dogwood unique among our ever growing number of breweries in BC.  The brewery having organic certification, independently audited annually, and sourcing its ingredients from local organic businesses are the obvious.  But these features are not the only things that set Dogwood apart.  Claire is one of a small but growing number of women brewers in BC.  This is something that is slowly changing in the brewing industry as a whole, and something that Claire is encouraging through participation in projects such as the collaboration Gose that Dogwood will be making along with other BC Women of Brewing in March of this year.  As the brewery grows, Claire’s passion and dedication are stamped upon it.

Dogwood Brewing Claire Pouring

Supporting local businesses and sharing the importance of making sustainable choices is something that Claire and Dogwood want to share with their customers.  To illustrate, they’ve taken what Claire calls “the Cereal Box Approach” to their packaging:  trying to answer all a consumer’s questions right there on the box.  They get a lot of questions from customers regarding their organic certification, their sourcing of local ingredients, and the story behind their brews.  It is these questions that they’re hoping to answer on every six-pack they ship.

Dogwood Brewing Packaging

The brewery offers four mainstays:  a crisp and light Honey Lager, a malt-forward and balanced IPA,  a sessionable Stout, and their Fest Ale based on a German Märzen recipe celebrating the 300th anniversary of Oktoberfest.  In the tasting room you’ll also find at least one rotating seasonal tap, though in some cases there may be more on offer.  The brewery has partnered with Rocky Mountain Flatbread to offer delicious pizza in the tasting room so patrons can enjoy some hot food, prepared on-site.

Dogwood Brewing Flight

The tasting room at Dogwood features a number of long tables and bench seating typical of a Munich beer hall, though on a much more humble scale.  There is some bar seating and a few bar stools tucked in the corner around a weathered oak barrel if you aren’t into the communal feel.  Seating shouldn’t be a problem except on the busiest nights, and during the day the tasting room is bright and welcoming.  Opposite the entrance, are a number of large windows that offer a glimpse into Dogwood’s production facility, currently stacked high with cans that are filled and ready to ship.

Dogwood Brewing Tasting Room

The brewery certainly has room to grow in their space as well.  While the location is far from the trendy areas of Brewery Creek or Yeast Van, there is still a healthy amount of traffic that comes by to visit.  And for those who are unable to head over for a visit in person, there are an ever-growing number of stores to find their beers.  Legacy, Brewery Creek, and Toby’s are just a few locations where you can buy six-pack boxes of Dogwood’s brew, with another 15 private stores angling to get their hands on some as well.  With 12 BC Liquor locations that are able to stock cans of Dogwood, growth for Claire’s brewery is happening steadily and surely.

Dogwood Brewing Claire

Dogwood Brewing will be celebrating their first anniversary this year on Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th, 2016 with food and seasonal beer.  It’s bound to be busy downtown so why not head over to Dogwood to help celebrate their first year brewing organic beer in Vancouver.

Dogwood Brewing Delivery
Dogwood Brewing Canning Line

Dogwood Brewing Mash Tun

Dogwood Brewing Stein

About Author

Jeremy Nemanishen

Jeremy is the founder of and a contributor to Beer Me BC. He has a passion for promoting all things relating to craft beer. To learn more about the editorial team visit


  1. Mike
    Mike 12 January, 2016, 09:51

    Gotta love how she is taking a totally different approach than any other brewery in Metro Vancouver.

    Reply this comment
  2. MalcolmM
    MalcolmM 12 January, 2016, 10:15

    We tried Dogwood’s beer for the first time at the Van Dusen beer tasting event late last year. They were our choice for the best brewery at the event and the fact that they are organic is another bonus.

    We plan to make their tasting room our next brewery to visit.

    Reply this comment
  3. MalcolmM
    MalcolmM 13 January, 2016, 10:46

    I just noticed that there is no entry for Dogwood brewing under the Greater Vancouver menu.

    Reply this comment
    • Jeremy Nemanishen
      Jeremy Nemanishen Author 13 January, 2016, 12:05

      Thanks for catching that, Malcom! Will get on that asap.

      Also, it’s good to hear that you’ll be making Dogwood one of your next stops! Grab some of their Märzen it was delicious.


      Reply this comment
    • dustansept
      dustansept 15 January, 2016, 19:07

      Thanks Malcolm,

      BC breweries are generally added to the menu once 2 articles have been written about them as the link goes to their article listings. We should have some of their beers up soon and will add them to the menu.


      Reply this comment
  4. What's Brewing
    What's Brewing 14 January, 2016, 23:15

    Well done, Jeremy! Welcome to BeerMeBC sir, keep it up.

    Reply this comment

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