Alchemy the next to enter growing micro-brewery scene

The brewery — which is expected to open in September — will occupy 1,400 square feet of space formerly home to Vittorio’s Downtown in the Thompson Hotel at 650 Victoria St.

Peanut butter and jam and Reese’s Pieces.

Flavours befitting a dessert menu will be on tap at a new micro-brewery hoping to add pizzazz to the local beer scene.

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“We’re going to be very playful with our beers,” Alchemy Brewing Company owner Al Renner said.

The brewery — which is expected to open in September — will occupy 1,400 square feet of space formerly home to Vittorio’s Downtown in the Thompson Hotel at 650 Victoria St.

Renner, 40, has dabbled in beer-making while managing construction in the Lower Mainland. He said the window of opportunity for securing a place in the local beer market is getting smaller as more and more micro-breweries open locally.

Two new operations — Alchemy and Bright Eye Brewing, which is due to open in North Kamloops in 2019 — will bring the number of micro-breweries in Kamloops to five.

Renner believes the market can sustain seven.

“I think the larger ones, they’re going to have a problem,” he said.

Alchemy logo

Not looking to compete with a saturated craft beer scene in B.C. or Canada, Alchemy beer won’t be distributed.

Growlers can still be filled on site but the focus will instead be on small batches unique to European beers on tap at other Kamloops breweries.

Renner said he will brew West Coast-style beers, similar to those on offer from Ballast Point Brewing Company (San Diego), Rogue Ales (Oregon) or Deschutes Brewery (Portland).

Inspiration for the micro-brewery is drawn from Portland, the eclectic Oregon city on the West Coast known for its brews and food carts. Alchemy’s food menu will feature street food dishes, from smoked meat to pizza to a “glazed and confused” burger, which utilizes a donut in place of the bun.

“It’s going to be really fun,” Renner said. “We’re not, by any means, fine dining.”

He also said the micro-brewery will be inexpensive: “We’re not trying to gouge people.”

The name and branding are centred around chemistry. The logo is the symbol for water, paired with hops and wheat.

Renovations in the space in the hotel next to the Noble Pig will cost between $100,000 and $150,000.

The brewery will have about 80 seats and include a patio. The patio, however, likely won’t open until next summer due to the fall opening.

Alchemy will be hiring between eight and 10 people.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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