Forbidden Brewing Co, the third micro brewery in the Comox Valley, has opened its doors. Forbidden Brewing is the smallest of the three brewery’s in the area.
It all began when CEO Michael Vincent found a U-Brew that was going out of business in Victoria. Vincent dismantled and packed the contents of the U-Brew into a five-tonne truck and drove to his home in Courtenay. The equipment was transferred into a SeaCan container on his property and there it sat while he considered his options. Long-time friend Aaron Bible was interested in the project. Vincent and Bible worked together opening the Saltwater Waldorf School in Tintown, where both their children attend school. They formed a partnership and began looking for a location for the brewery. Vincent had a strong relationship with the general manager of the Westerly Hotel, Anna Martin, so he approached her about a vacant space in the hotel. After striking up a lease, Vincent began the long road of building the lounge area and installing the brewing equipment.
“It has been a real challenge to do this within our budget. This has been my full-time job for the past year but without the paycheque,” joked Vincent.
Along the way, Vincent and Bible saw a need for additional skills in their business. Nicholas Williams, an avid home brewer, joined the business, along with Vincent’s wife, Natasha Richardson. Williams began working on recipes and testing brews in his basement and Richardson, who holds a masters in tourism and runs a five-star resort hotel in Victoria, began working on the financials and marketing plans for the brewery. Finally, Sarah Neufeld, a member of the Grammy Award winning band, Arcade Fire, who grew up in the Comox Valley, also joined the team.
Forbidden Brewing is the known underdog in the Comox Valley brewing scene, brewing on a nano-sized system.
“We are really proud of the quality of the beer we are producing,” says Bible. “Nicholas has really stepped up to the challenge and created a great Pale Ale.”
For now, the brewery is serving by the glass beer in their lounge due to their limited production capacity. They have also added a small food menu. Growler sales will be added in the near future after they build their inventory and get a better idea of their sales volumes.
It is open Fridays from 4-10 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m.
Keep up-to-date on information about the brewery at www.facebook.com/forbiddenbrewing.