GIBSONS, BC – A former flower farm in British Columbia’s picturesque Sunshine Coast region is now home to the province’s newest craft brewery.
Located on the southern tip of the Coast in the town of Gibsons, Persephone Brewing is named after the famous tugboat from The Beachcombers, the CBC television series which was filmed in the town. The brewery was founded by Brian Smith and Mark Brand, partners who have worked together on several socially progressive initiatives including reopening Vancouver’s iconic Save On Meats. Also involved in the project is the Sunshine Coast Association for Community Living (SCACL), a group that has played a key role in developing the farm land by hiring people with disabilities as growers.
Day to day operations at the brewery are being managed by Dion Whyte, and head brewer Anders McKinnon (ex-Russell Brewing) has developed two flagship beers:
Goddess Golden Ale: “Modeled after an English style summer bitter. Crisp, dry and refreshing, with a light biscuity malty character. A delicate, herbal hop aroma, backed with an approachable bitterness. OG: 1.043; IBU: 35; ABV: 5.0%”
Rum Runner Red Ale: “A hop-forward west coast style red ale, this beer has an intense aroma of citrus and pine. The flavour is a balance of piney hops and dark, caramel and toasted malts. OG: 1056; IBU: 45; ABV: 6.0%”
The farm is now growing three varieties of hops – Cascade, Centennial & Goldings – along with pumpkins, raspberries, blueberries and apples, with garlic and an additional 5 acres of hops planned to be added soon.
Both Persephone brands are available in glasses to sample in the brewery tasting room, and in 1 litre and 1.89 litre growlers for take home sales. (The latter format sold out quickly on opening weekend, but were replenished thanks to Townsite Brewing, a fellow Sunshine Coast brewery that donated some empties to help Persephone through the shortage.)
Persephone’s beers can also be found on tap at select bars and pubs in BC, including the Brand-owned Portside Pub in Vancouver’s Gastown district, and bottling is planned for 2014.