Container Brewing: Containing the Pleasures and Pastimes of a Neighbourhood

January 14, 2020

Container Brewing Creative Director Brendan van den Bosch is on the other side of a fairly intense whirlwind of hard work. He—along with co-founders Dan Webster and Terry Brown and Head Brewer Tim Juul—has just opened a brewery, after all.

And the newly minted East Vancouver brewery is a beauty: 4,440 square feet and two levels of West Coast-inspired architecture on Franklin Street. The space includes a production zone and a tasting lounge, serving up delectable fare- all made in-house. Who wouldn’t want to sip a cold one while nibbling rarebit and oyster mushrooms—all while taking in views of the North Shore mountains?

Container Brewing Food
Delectable Fare served at Container Brewing
Photograph Credit: Container Brewing

To bring this multi-faceted experience to the neighbourhood, Brendan and the guys have been simply putting their noses to the grindstone. “Last November 1st we got the keys to the place,” he says, “and we opened three weeks ago.”

“The biggest stress? Not enough time; never enough time. We’ve all been doing a bit of everything. With the exception of plumbing and electrical, we’ve mostly done all of this ourselves.”

To ensure they were ready to open, the partners had to brew beer, package it, and stockpile it while construction and renovation were still in full swing. While the lounge was being finished, Container Brewing’s cold room was packed from floor to ceiling with beer.

During this time, “the easiest part of it all was working with Great Little Box Company, actually,” says Brendan. “The fact that we were able to get labels, cartons, and trays from one source was huge. And the service was the best.”

“It felt like with packaging, all the suppliers we looked at were equal on price. But they’re not equal on customer service. That’s where GLBC is really different.”

Container Brewing Custom Packaging
Folding Carton 4 Pack and “Origin” Label – Manufactured by Great Little Box Company
Photograph Credit: Container Brewing

Another factor in Container Brewing’s successful opening was surely the sheer depth of expertise Head Brewer Tim Juul brings to the team. This former New Englander is, as Brendan puts it, “really smart.”

“Tim knew how to build a brew house. He knew how to plan. He knew about electrical. He even knew how to operate a mini-excavator!”

With the exception of Tim, the rest of the team are relative newcomers to the brewery game. In the past, Dan sold software, Terry made bicycles, and Brendan was a graphic designer. They united on spending time outdoors, enjoying food and drink, and building community, all over the course of a 30-year friendship.

In fact, the initial concept for the Container Brewing brand was based on simply “the ability to enjoy good beer anywhere.” But since then, the whole notion of “the container” has taken on special, unexpected significance.

Brendan explains that Container Brewing is actually reflecting its growing neighbourhood, an industrial zone that connects to the port. So, when people from the community who work in industry and shipping come to the brewery, they resonate with the idea of a container. After all, it’s an object that defines their day to day. In any event, Container Brewing is happy to “find its way naturally, and let its brand experience create itself organically.”

Container Brewing
Community Vibes at Container Brewing
Photograph Credit: Container Brewing

Excitement in the neighbourhood for this new place to relax and celebrate has been exceptionally strong. But getting folks into the tasting lounge for a drink and some great food is only the start. Brendan, Tim, Terry, and Dan are looking forward to “creating new beers and community events.”

Dan says Container Brewing’s large parking lot is ideal for the kind of community parties they’re planning to hold. Come summer 2020, they have some events in store that will definitely liven up the neighbourhood.

Community-building means so much for the GLBC team. Congrats to an amazing opening, Container Brewing, and thanks so much for letting us be part of your community.

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