Westview U-Vin U-Brew staff provides step-by-step brewing instructions

Do-it-yourself process made easy

Westview U-Vin U-Brew owner Jackie Marjerison’s goal is to provide a memorable experience for customers that goes hand in hand with making sure they each end up with a quality product to take home.

“We try to make coming here a great experience; it’s fun and the environment is super social,” says Marjerison. “Customers making wine will be talking to each other, and then people bottling beer jump in on the conversation; it’s pretty cool.”

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For anyone who finds the thought of brewing wine or beer daunting, Marjerison and her staff are on hand to help them through each stage along the way.

“We are right here from step one to take people through the entire process,” explains Marjerison.

New customers receive free bottles with their first batch, including labels. If they are unhappy with the taste of the product, which is rare, options are available to make sure each customer is eventually satisfied.

“We can replace the batch or return their money, whatever they prefer,” says Marjerison, who spent three years working for the company before buying into it seven years ago and eventually becoming sole owner. The business celebrated its 15th anniversary last summer.

Westview U-Vin U-Brew continues to carry WinexpertsTM Limited Edition collection, with five new sought-after varietals primed for release, two of which are now available.

The first, Cabernet Franc, is a dry-medium red wine from Yakima Valley, Washington, that features flavours of raspberry and red current with black pepper. Next is Vermentino, a white peach, green apple and fresh lime-infused white wine originating from Tuscany, Italy.

In February, Milagro, a medium-full dry red from Valencia, Spain, is the feature release. One month later, Blanc de Noir, an off-dry white from San Joaquin Valley, California, will be available.

The final release, in April, features Grenache Cabernet, a full-bodied red from Riverland, Australia, that embodies black currant, black cherry and raspberry with a warm vanilla and spice finish.

Owned by Global Vinter Incorporated, a division of Andrew Peller Ltd, WinexpertsTM kits are known for quality and richness.

“Winexpert kit wines are rated number one in North America,” says Marjerison. “Peller Estates is known for its liquor store variety of top-class vintages; everybody knows that wine.”

A variety of more than a hundred regular wine kits are also available, from super dry to super sweet and light to heavy. Wines can be filtered through a 10-filter process or racked to attain a heavier body.

“Racking means the wine doesn’t go through the filters,” says Majerison. Racking removes the sediment, enhances aromatic qualities and softens tannins.

Customers choose whether to use sulphites, which can sometimes cause headaches. For wine consumed within one year, sulfites are not necessary, says Majerison.

Customers also have the option to bring in their own fruit for making wine. A minimum of 35 pounds is required for a 30-bottle batch.

“The fruit creates alcohol; we crush it and add water and sugar,” explains Marjerison. “If customers don’t have their own fruit, they buy a kit and we help them get it going.”

For beer lovers, a wide variety of lager and ale is available to choose from, sufficient to cover any connoisseur’s tastebuds. Using only natural ingredients, beer is kettle-brewed, cold-filtered and force-carbonated with food-grade carbon dioxide.

“We have about a hundred different types of beer available,” says Marjerison. “It takes very little time to bottle; we make it easy.”

Westview U-Vin U-Brew stays active in the community by hosting a wine-tasting event every October.

“Thanks to everyone for supporting the last event,” says Marjerison. “It was one of the best we’ve ever had.”

Proceeds are donated to Grace House as a way to give back to the community.

While the store at 7030 Glacier Street is open 9 am-5 pm from Tuesday through Saturday, after-hour appointments can be scheduled by calling 604.485.0345. Marjerison can also be reached by emailing westviewubrew@yahoo.ca.

For more information, search for Westview U-Vin U-Brew on Facebook.

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