On-Campus Brewery Being Considered for UBC

VANCOUVER, BC – The Ubyssey, the student newspaper of the University of British Columbia (UBC),  reports that the school’s student society and government, the UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS), is considering adding a small brewery to the new Student Union Building that is currently being developed.

According to the proposal, the microbrewery would be located next to the Pit Pub, the student pub already planned for the building. The beer brewed there would be served in the Pit and at other events and clubs on the UBC campus, but off-campus sales would be unlikely.

Should it happen, this would be the first project of its kind in Canada. A similar proposal made by the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union last fall was deemed not financially viable, and AMS VP Finance Elin Tayyar tells The Ubyssey that careful financial analysis would be needed to ensure the UBC project makes sense:

“We wouldn’t want to lose money on this project because there’s a lot of capital costs involved and we wouldn’t want to take that kind of a hit in uncertain times.

“We’d probably be looking at a 20 year pay-off of the initial investment. It depends on what the demand is going to be, what the market is going to look like, the pricing, et cetera.”

Interest in the idea was gauged with an online survey, and consultants familiar with the craft brewing industry were engaged to help UBC AMS study the proposal. A decision on the project is expected by the end of the month.

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  1. Niagara College has a fully functional Commercial Craft Brewery on it Niagara on the Lake Campus. The Brewery is connected to the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Diploma at the College. The brewery is open to the public and has its beer in both Student Council pubs at two locations.

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  2. Craig – thanks for the comment.

    I’m actually familiar with the Niagara brewery, and have written about it before. By “first project of its kind in Canada” in reference to the UBC proposal, I meant the first purely commercial on-campus brewery in Canada, since it will not be tied to a brewing course as the one in Niagara is. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

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