It’s harvest season, and that means there’s lots of fruit coming through the doors at Westview U-Vin U-Brew to be turned into beverages for the coming year.
“We’re so lucky to live in a place where we have an abundance of fresh fruit,” says Jeremy East, owner of Westview U-Vin U-Brew. “We can take almost any fruit and turn it into wine, seltzers or ciders. If you’re looking at your apple tree and dreading another round of pies or jams, ask us how we can help you use your fruit in a different way.”
For people who brew wine, beer or cider at home, Jeremy and his staff can provide equipment, supplies and advice to set them up for success.
“I always say, if I don’t have it, I’ll order it for you, and if you buy it regularly, I’ll stock it,” says Jeremy. “I also love talking with customers about their tastes and palates. Sometimes people ask me, ‘what’s good?’ but that’s an impossible question to answer.
“I love big bold Italian red wines, but you might not. We work together to figure out what your palate leans towards.”
One of the products Jeremy brings in every year are limited edition wine kits from Winexpert. The 2021 kits, two whites and three reds, are now available for pre-order. Each kit will produce around 30 bottles of wine.
“This year’s LE21 offerings include an Australian Pinot Noir Shiraz, a Spanish Macabeo Sauvignon Blanc, a French Marselan, an Italian Trebbiano Riesling, and a Spanish Grenache Carignan,” says Jeremy. “Because they are limited editions, you will need to pre-order these kits before November 12 to guarantee you’ll get the ones you want. We also have a home wine tasting package for these kits, so come into the shop and see me to get one.”
Jeremy and his wife Susanna bought Westview U-Vin U-Brew in 2018 when they moved to Powell River, and the store has continued to expand. Not only do they have facilities to brew custom wine, beer and cider for customers, they also provide supplies for people brewing their own at home.
“I was a home brewer when we moved here, but it was hard for me to find the things I needed in town,” says Jeremy. “My focus is to make our shop what I needed when we came.”
Over the last year, Westview U-Vin U-Brew has expanded its production capacity. From reorganizing and expanding the racking in the wine room, to streamlining its beer brewing procedures, to adding another full-time staff person, Jeremy is working hard to make the store a one-stop-shop for anyone who needs custom beverages.
“One of the exciting things we’ve expanded into this year is hard seltzers, similar to White Claw or Nude,” he says. “It’s a bit of a different procedure, and can be done with fresh fruit or natural fruit concentrates, and they can be made with or without alcohol. I make a pretty good lemon-lime soda for my kids, and they love it.”
For Jeremy and his staff, helping customers figure out what makes a beer, wine or cider their absolute favourite is part of the joy of their work.
“Everything we do is customizable, even a kit,” says Jeremy. “If you love the flavour but wish it was a little less oaky, no problem. If you want your cider to be less dry, we can fix that.
“Knowing how to adjust flavour profiles allows the customer to eventually find their perfect beverage. It sometimes takes a while to get there, but the experiments are pretty tasty and fun along the way.”Westview U-Vin U-Brew is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm at 7030 Glacier Street. Jeremy can be reached at 604.485.0345 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on products and services, go to prbrews.ca, or follow the business on Facebook or Instagram.