Homebrewer turns hobby into career in Powell River

Westview U-Vin U-Brew increases supplies and offerings

Many exciting changes have taken place at Westview U-Vin U-Brew since Jeremy and Susanna East took over the company in the fall of 2018 after moving to Powell River from Langley.

An avid homebrewer, Jeremy has turned his hobby and passion into a successful career.

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“A lot has changed in the last two years, actually it’s mostly been in the last six months,” says Jeremy.

An opportunity presented itself to buy out their only competition in town, increasing all of their supplies and an already expanding client list. There were also plans to make improvements when winter came, however, an unexpected flood from a burst pipe in August caused renovations to happen a bit sooner than expected.

The owners are putting the finishing touches on new flooring and able to do so with very little disruption to day-to-day operations.

With popularity increasing in craft beer, Jeremy made the decision to switch from using the malt extract, which people are used to seeing in u-brew shops, to offering all-grain beer brewing. The business currently has more than 120 recipes, including a German Pilsner, Cerveza, American Light Lager and a Breakwater IPA.

“People can customize their beer exactly the way they want, the possibilities are endless,” explains Jeremy. “Offering all-grain beer is essentially like having another craft brewery in town.”

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the annual limited release wine tasting event will be held online this year. The event usually consists of a five-course meal, which Jeremy catered himself last year, paired with limited edition wine.

This year’s WinexpertsTMfive limited release wines include a TorrontésMuscat from Argentina, an Italian Nerello, a blend of Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Grigio called Synergy out of California, a Double Noir blend from New Zealand and California, and finally, a Grenache, Tannat, Shiraz blend with a combination of grapes from Australia and California.

These wines are only available by reservation and need to be reserved by the middle of November. The shop always carries more than 100 red and white wine varieties for customers to choose from.

Along with wine and beer the shop also offers handcrafted ciders that can be made from locally grown fruit or from their cider base.

“People can bring in their blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, basically anything that has sugar in it, and we can turn it into cider or wine,” says Jeremy. “We’ve actually used rhubarb, which has very little sugar and it turned out really well.”

Westview U-Vin U-Brew is also the place to get all the supplies needed to make wine, cider or beer from home, he adds. The store carries wine kits, yeast, locally grown hops (while supplies last) and filtration, fermentation and cleaning equipment.

Jeremy says he is more than happy to offer as much advice as anyone needs.

“People can come in and buy all of their supplies if they want to try to do it themselves,” he adds. “If not they can do it here and still be part of the process by adding the yeast and doing all the bottling.”

The shop phone has been ringing non-stop lately from people getting orders in for Christmas and making appointments to get things bottled, according to Jeremy. Bottles are provided with every first visit and custom labels can be printed.

“With everything going on I want to put something positive out there,” says Jeremy. “This is all about coming together and leaving egos at the door and the stress of the day behind. People can come in, bring a friend and have a glass of wine while they bottle.”

Westview U-Vin U-Brew is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm at 7030 Glacier Street. For more information, follow the business on Facebook, where its virtual date night wine tasting will be hosted, or go to prbrews.ca.

Jeremy can be reached at 604.485.0345 or jeremy@prbrews.ca.

 
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