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Feedback sought on Comox craft breweries

COMOX, B.C. – Comox as a craft beer hotspot?

Possibly, with the prospect of two craft beer lounges coming into the town.

Jason Walker of Land & Sea Brewery and Pat Savard of New Tradition Brewing appeared before Comox Town Council as delegations on Wednesday.

Land & Sea Brewery

“We’ve been working on this for about 14 months, trying to bring fresh beer, (and) fresh food to the Town of Comox,” Walker told council members.

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Walker hopes to open a restaurant-lounge with a capacity of 99 people along with a proposed brewery at 2040 Guthrie Road.

When he decided on the location, Walker did some detective work on what stood on the site before, and with help from the Comox Museum, discovered that it’s basically where the old Loft Cabaret once stood.

“I’ve got some friends who grew up going to the Loft in town and we’re going to do our best to honour it in some way, shape, or form,” Walker said.

Walker said he wants to provide local residents with a place to gather, share ideas, conversations, laughter, and local food – “a fun place where everyone’s welcome and you can enjoy fresh, delicious food and beverages.”

“It’s informal, there are no reservations when you walk in the door, (and) we’re going to have a big community table that people can meet at and celebrate events,” he added. “It’s really for local people. The whole model is pedaling there and walking there.”

Walker hopes to provide employment and increase foot traffic in the area while creating partnerships and energy with local businesses.

New Tradition Brewing Company

Pat Savard comes from a long line of brewers.

The Savard family has been brewing up, and creating fermented libations for generations.

“Brewing is a household tradition of ours. It has always been in our blood,” New Tradition noted in a release.  “From our great grandfather making gin in his bathtub during prohibition, to our grandfathers and fathers brewing up hundreds of batches of beer for family and friends. There has rarely been a family household devoid of a Savard made beverage.”

Now, Savard wants to start a new tradition at 215 Port Augusta St. in the Comox Mall.

Savard told said starting a brewery and lounge in the area is a dream come true.

“My family and I live in the neighborhood and we feel that where we live is a real hidden gem,” Savard said.

“With the Beaufort Range, eagles, deer, hummingbirds and sea life always in view we couldn’t think of anywhere else we would be happier to pour a pint, say cheers and have a bite than Comox.”

Savard said that without community, New Tradition Brewing would be just an idea.

“We plan on being a part of this community as much as we can and we are very thankful to have been given the blessing of the council to put our plans forward for the approval of our community,” he noted.

Savard told council that New Tradition hopes to provide a family-friendly atmosphere in the downtown.

“We plan on having lots of varieties of beers, we’d like to keep things rotating as much as possible, ciders, wine, and beverages as allowed by the liquor board,” Savard said.

“We plan on keeping with the look of the mall and tying ourselves in nicely with our own interior décor, and be involved with the community as much as we can.”

Comox mayor Paul Ives said information will be gathered from the public for the next month, and on Sept. 5, council will receive the submissions.

“Based on previous experience with the Taphouse, they had nothing but positive feedback and I anticipate the same for these applications,” Ives said. “People are anxiously awaiting them to be opened here in Comox, both at the mall and up on Guthrie, and I think there’s general enthusiasm for them. I don’t anticipate any issues.”

Ives added, “These are two really good locations I think for those operations and I don’t anticipate we’ll have any issues.”

After Sept. 5, the Town of Council will pass along the feedback report to the BC Liquor Distribution Branch which will ultimately issue the liquor licenses.

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