Townsite Brewing in Powell River

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I was recently flown up to Powell River, at the top end of our gorgeous Sunshine Coast, to visit a local icon that is in danger. Along the way I met Karen Skadsheim, owner of Townsite Brewing, Powell River’s first brewery that will be tapping its first keg later this month.

Townsite Brewing, Powell River

Located in historic Townsite, the oldest neighbourhood in Powell River, Townsite Brewing set up shop in the old Post Office Building. Before we set out on a walking tour of the area, I found out more about how Karen came to own a brewery.

“I’m originally from Vancouver so I experienced the rise of craft beer there,” Karen told me. She sold her condo in Kitsilano a few years ago and jetted off the Europe before returning home with no job and no fixed address. Being financially confident enough to enjoy one more summer off, she visited her brother in Powell River while starting a job hunt back in Vancouver.

“Before I knew it I was on every single board in town.” Karen quickly became an integral part of the community and managed a restaurant that focused on local food. All the while the old Post Office in building in Townsite kept singing out to her. “I saw this building that had a fish plant in it and I just thought ‘Ah, that building should be a brewery!‘ and everybody said, ‘I know, that would be perfect!’“.

Townsite Brewing, Powell River

Soon enough she was going into business with the building’s owner and by November 2010, it was re-zoned and ready to be set into action. One thing was missing at that point though, and it was someone who could make great beer. Karen put an ad on ProBrewer, a beer industry website, and received an overwhelming response. They found Belgian brewmaster Cedric Dauchot in Saskatoon who had been working with Les 3 Brasseurs Canada since 2005. He and his wife, also a brewmaster, had plans to start a local brewpub as well. “They had the business plan but lacked the financial backing and a building. We had the building and the financial backing but no brewers,” said Karen. It was a perfect fit. This is Cedric’s 7th brewery or “lucky number 7” as Karen puts it.

Townsite Brewing, Powell River

Townsite Brewing, Powell River Townsite Brewing, Powell River

Townsite Brewing, Powell River

Townsite Brewing, Powell River Townsite Brewing, Powell River

While I didn’t get to sample any beer just yet — it’s not quite ready — plans are in the works to incorporate local flavours and flare into the brews. Karen said they’ll most likely be doing something with blackberries in the summer around the time of the Powell River Blackberry Festival, and she has a few other ideas in mind that include locally-grown certified organic hops. Heading into their launch, they will have 3 beers ready to go this spring: Powtown Porter, Tinhat IPA, and the Zunga Golden Blonde Ale.

Townsite Brewing, Powell River

Read more about Townsite Brewing on their blog and follow then on Twitter and Facebook to learn about upcoming events and tastings around Powell River and the Lower Mainland.

4 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Darren JensenThursday, March 15th, 2012 — 6:13pm PDT

    IS this for real? Is there really going to be a brewery in my home town?? I love it. I am so happy about this 😀 Gives me reason to move back.

  2. Georges CoulonSunday, March 25th, 2012 — 9:16pm PDT

    It IS for real! I attended the opening of the brewery yesterday afternoon and tasted the two first batches of locally produced beer. Cedric Dauchot is a genuine, talented Belgian brewmaster. I was born in Belgium but now live in Powell River. I can tell you: this is real beer you can bite into it! You will not regret to come back to the Pearl of the Sunshine Coast…

  3. Alec RossMonday, August 13th, 2012 — 3:17pm PDT

    Being from Powell River – and witnessing a major boom & bust while growing up – it wamrs my heart to see that people are moving to Powell River and implementing serious change that benefits the community and also emphasizes are outdoor / arts tourism industry which is by far Powell River’s leading industry.

    Tried two of the beers and they are excellent beers.

    My only gripe is that NO ONE calls Powell River “POWTOWN”, If this was Jeopardy we would have accepted P.Riv, The Riv, and The P Dot, but unfortunately POWTOWN would be a wrong answer.

  4. James LithgowTuesday, October 2nd, 2012 — 8:26am PDT

    Enjoyed the Tin Hat IPA yesterday while over in PR from Black Creek. A bit gassy, but it was bottled, by the time I let it settle and come up a bit in temperature, it was really good.

    Oddly, the restaurant didn’t offer me that when I asked what beers they had, so there is some local educating to be done.

    I’ll be coming over again to work and will schedule in a brewery visit for hopefully something cask conditioned.

    Well done, Don’t panic. Carry on!

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