Another Beer Company is bringing beer back to Sapperton’s Brewery District.
Another Beer Company has recently opened their doors in New Westminster—literally.
ABC founders Alex Jopson and Clete Hanson started this journey almost accidentally. Alex is a real estate agent and was showing a house to Clete, his client at the time, when he casually mentioned, “This patio would be perfect for brewing beer”. As an avid home brewer, he couldn’t help but state the obvious. Clete enjoyed the patio pitch, and for good reason. Craft beer runs deep in his family. Aside from being a talented brewer, Clete helped his dad and brother open Whistle Punk Brewing Co. in Spokane, Washington before moving to the Lower Mainland. Oh, and he also co-founded the Spokane Craft Beer Week. No big deal.
Although Clete didn’t settle on the house, the two struck up a friendship and began meeting for beer fairly regularly. When the idea of opening a brewery was tossed around, Alex began to keep his eyes peeled for a viable brewery space. As some of you may know, one of the biggest challenges to opening a brewery is finding a building with good bones, the correct zoning, in a good location, and for the right price. Luckily they found a 1,300 square foot warehouse on Capilano Way in New Westminster that fit the bill. Oh, and it’s just a stones throw from the Sapperton Skytrain station.
The process from ideation to actually opening the brewery was far from overnight. Roughly three years according to Alex and Clete. For a while they leased out the space to artists and brewed pilot batches in the back while sorting out the details. The turning point came when Moody Ales put their original ten barrel brewing system up for sale at a steal of a price. Alex and Clete couldn’t pass up this deal. With their brewing equipment now secured, things really started to takeoff.
Funny enough, ABC was able to tap into their Capilano Way neighbours for quite a few elements of their brewery build. They worked with Seen Signs next door to create their—you guessed it—signs.
They worked with Vancity LIve Edge on a custom counter top for the bar.
They even scored a rotating selection of arcade games from their friends at East Van Amusements. Pinball fans rejoice!
The tasting room has a really cool feel to it. A mix of industrial and refined. The brewing equipment is situated on the left side, with some small high-table seating next to it, and a mobile bar on the right. Yes, mobile—they roll the bar and move the seating out of the space during brew days (Mondays and Tuesdays). Tipping a few back next to the tanks makes for a more intimate drinking experience, as you can plainly see where the beer you’re drinking was concocted.
If you have a larger group or want your own table, you can head upstairs to the loft space where there’s more traditional seating. You can also enjoy a cool overhead view of the bar and brewery floor.
Now, you’re probably wondering how did Alex and Clete land on the name Another Beer Company? Well, as it turns out, it’s not easy to pick a brewery name. A few of their early front-runners were already copyrighted by existing companies. When Another Beer Company was thrown out there, it was funny—tongue-in-cheek. The name also made sense since it was another craft brewery opened by Clete’s family, and the second brewery in New Westminster (Steel & Oak Brewing being the other). The more they thought about it, the more they liked it. Another beer release. Another beer shirt. Another Beer Company it was!
When it comes to beer, ABC is quick to say that they don’t have a set style. Alex and Clete are both home brewers at heart, so experimenting with a variety of styles is the name of the game. Basically, ABC is going to make beer that they like to brew, regardless of what’s trending.
So far, they’ve made a lot of beer. Before they even opened their doors, ABC was collaborating with other breweries on limited releases too. The collab list includes a triple IPA with Moody Ales, a kiwi wheat ale with Faculty Brewing, a hopfenweizen with Steel & Oak.
Currently, they have 14 of their own beers on tap (you can view the full list here) as well as Oddity Kombucha and Callister Soda. A few taps are reserved for nitro pours. Don’t freak out when you find yourself drinking a Hazy IPA on nitro. Spoiler alert: it’s a game-changer.
The ABC crew doesn’t believe in beer flights. They offer both half pours (8 oz) in a wine-tasting style glass, and full pours (16 oz) in a wide-mouth beer glass. And no, it’s not for the sake of being different. Clete explained that it’s difficult to truly enjoy a beer’s intricacies in a 4 oz flight glass. As a beer warms, different flavours and nuances come through, so 8 oz is a more appropriate amount for sampling each beer. Also, when you’re sipping on four beers at a time it can be confusing for your palette, so it’s best to order one at a time. This mantra was taken from one of the ABC team’s craft beer idols, Holy Mountain Brewing from Seattle.
Price-wise, half pours are $3 and full pours are $6, which is very reasonable for high-quality craft beer. We suggest grabbing several half pours to work your way through their diverse beer lineup.
You can explore everything from their Dunder Beist Kveik Farmhouse IPA (5.75%) to the Engine Head American Rye Ale (5%). The amount of styles that ABC has already dabbled in is actually baffling. I assure you though, they’re not going strictly for shock value with crazy beer styles. Clete and the team are also absolutely nailing the classics. Take their Poolside Hefe Bavarian Hefeweizen (5%), for instance. The traditional hefeweizen is a style that we’re seeing less of in Vancouver as Hazy IPAs and Hazy Pales have been taking center stage. After a glass of Poolside Hefe though, I’m reminded why I started drinking craft beer in the first place. Simply put, this beer is phenomenal. We’ll be getting into more detailed tasting notes in an upcoming Pour of the week blog post featuring Dunder Beist, Poolside Hefe, and Engine Head, so stay tuned.
If you want to take a beer to go, ABC offers single tall cans (473 ml) of almost all of their beers. This single can offering has become more and more popular with breweries and liquor stores over the last few years, and for good reason. It gives you the freedom to build your own four pack (or more), and, ultimately, enjoy a wider selection of beers.
Craft beer label design has become an area where a brewery can really showcase their brand, stand out from competitors, and gain serious fanfare. In this field, ABC definitely doesn’t disappoint. Drawing inspiration from kickflips and heavy metal, the team at ABC has worked with some of their favourite artists—Travis Millard, Mark Foster and Andrew Pommier—to create some truly unique can designs. The artists on this list are intertwined with skateboarding, and that’s not by accident. Alex grew up rolling around on four wheels, so it was important for him to tie this into Another Beer Company in some way. Growing up skateboarding myself, and with Luke’s background in art, we can’t help but applaud this work. If it’s any indication of what’s to come, craft beer fans are in for a serious treat.
And the quality artwork doesn’t stop there. Make a pit stop in the washrooms for a gallery experience brought to you by Cody Swinkels and someone’s savvy avian wallpaper tastes!
ANOTHER BEER FEST
So when can you try some ABC beer? How about this upcoming Saturday, July 27th from 12—8 pm? Partnering with eight other craft breweries, a cidery, food vendors and DJs, ABC will be throwing an absolute banger of a party. Head to 30 Capilano Way in New Westminster this weekend, just a hop skip and a jump away from Sapperton Skytrain Station, and show some love to the ABC gang—we definitely will. Hope to see you all there!
Another Beer Fest lineup:
A big thanks to Another Beer Company for inviting us to their media tasting and hooking us up with a few of their beers!
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