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New brewery opens in North Vancouver's Norgate neighbourhood

Beva Brewing and Blending is bringing clean classics and something for the beer nerds

A new brewery is bringing clean classics and something for the beer-nerds to an untapped neighborhood in North Vancouver.

Beva Brewing and Blending opened its doors for business in December at 1405 Pemberton Ave. in the Norgate area.

Years in the making by a cast of owners with decades of combined experience in the beer-making and hospitality industries, Beva is getting started with a menu of brews that include a hazy pale ale, a saison, two lagers, a session pale ale and a mixed-culture farmhouse sour.

With an undercurrent of Italian (“beva” means “drink”) flowing through the business, they will also be serving up fresh Italian-style sandwiches, which will be on offer starting at a grand opening party on Saturday, Jan 13.

Picking a location away from Lower Lonsdale – home to North Vancouver’s brewery district – allowed them to host a larger tasting room, seating 50 people inside and 20 on the patio, says Morgan Miller, co-owner and taproom manager. She’s also a certified cicerone, which is like the beer equivalent to a wine sommelier.

Since opening last month, nice people from the surrounding Norgate neighbourhood have been pouring into the brewery, Miller said.

“They’ve been living here for 10 to 15 years or longer, and they’ve just been waiting and waiting for somewhere cool to open on Pemberton Avenue,” she said. In the surrounding area, most of which is zoned for industrial use, there’s a mix of auto-repair shops, home appliance retailers, as well as restaurants including Douce Diner and the Cactus Club.

“This one guy who comes in and sits at the bar said, ‘Normally I go to Cactus Club but I just want somewhere more casual to have a beer that’s not … Cactus Club,’” Miller said.

Beva’s building has a unique history itself, she said, being designed by artist and architect Zoltan Kiss, who famously planned the first iteration of Vancouver International Airport, which opened in 1968. Today, the refurbished structure is home to a minimalist taproom inside, with a sleek terrazzo floor with pops of colour from furniture and plants – much of which was repurposed or brought in from the owners’ homes.

Beva to highlight blended beer

The idea for the brewery came together several years ago when Miller and her husband, Beva co-owner and head brewer Octavio Pauley, were working in Sylvan Lake, Alta., at Snake Lake Brewing Company, a brewery they helped get off the ground for some people working in the oil patch. While Miller managed front of house, Pauley masterminded fermentation in the back, racking up numerous gold medals at the Canadian Beer Awards in the process.

To make Beva a reality, those two got together with another couple who are also the primary owners: Graham Elliott, who’s handled most of the brewery’s construction, and Desha Miciak, who manages the brand’s online presence and administrative work.

Before brewing at Snake Lake, Pauley made beer at R&B Brewing in Vancouver. Years before that, he played saxophone in the jazz program at Capilano University, and spent years living in an apartment above Honey Doughnuts in Deep Cove.

While Beva’s initial tap list will look familiar to local beer lovers, many of Pauley’s future offerings will be blends. In Belgium, it’s typical to age beers in different barrels – which contain bacteria and other agents – and blend them later. Brewers will also add leftover grapes from winemaking, or other fruits like cherries.

“That would become a ‘kriek,’ or cherry sour,” Miller said, adding that these blends are rare and can go for $30 to $40 a bottle. If that sounds up your alley, the Beva team will have a keg of a fancy blend from Cantillon at their grand opening.

Beva’s inauguration celebration is open to the public, and capacity will be expanded to 200 gullets. At the brew-haha, Miller and Pauley will lead tours. Passionate about education, Miller believes more beer nerds begets better brew because the consumer is more knowledgeable.

“That causes a shift in the entirety of the industry because everyone has to start making better beer. And if you don’t, you’re gonna get lost in the shuffle,” she said.