Brewmaster moves to town for creation of Townsite Brewing
Originally published by The Powell River Peak on November 23rd, 2011
By Kyle Wells – firstname.lastname@example.org
With the arrival of an official brewmaster to town, Powell Riverites are now one step closer to enjoying their first cold one from Townsite Brewing Inc.
Cedric Dauchot and his wife Chloe Smith moved to Powell River about a month ago so that Dauchot could take the position of brewer engineer at Townsite Brewing, Powell River’s soon-to-be-open microbrewery. The brewery is being established in what was once the post office and later a fish canning facility in Townsite on Ash Avenue.
Dauchot is from Belgium, south of Brussels, and went to university to earn an engineering degree in brewing technologies. From there he went to work in France for a chain of brewpubs called Les 3 Brasseurs (The 3 Brewers) before the company sent him to Montreal to oversee the opening of Canadian locations.
Smith, who is also a brewer, and Dauchot met in Montreal and were married two years later. They moved to Smith’s home province of Saskatchewan to open their own brewery but the venture did not work out. Dauchot became aware of the position in Powell River while looking for brewing jobs online. He came in August to meet with brewery owner Karen Skadsheim and tour the area and decided that it would be a good fit.
Smith and Dauchot recently had a baby and Smith is on maternity leave. For now she is not involved in Townsite Brewing but the hope is that the brewery will become successful enough that it will require two brewers.
“We took our time, we interviewed a lot of candidates,” said Skadsheim. “He and Chloe both have an interest…in keeping it local and just a passion for beer.”
“We really wanted to make an impact on the city,” said Dauchot, “and make the people in Powell River proud of our product too.”
Licence approval in principle has been verified from the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch and the equipment is due to arrive in mid-December. A couple of pieces are already there and renovations to the building are ongoing. Dauchot is beginning to start homebrew batches of the planned beers to tinker with recipes and if everything goes smoothly the first batches of brew should be ready for the public by the end of January.
Initially, the brewery will produce three staple ales. First is Zunga Golden Blonde Ale, which Dauchot envisions as an easily drinkable session beer. Next up is Tinhat IPA (India pale ale), which Dauchot describes as a very West Coast IPA with lots of piney and citrus undertones. Rounding out the big three will be PowTown Porter, the darkest member of the family.
Seasonal suds will also be a specialty of the brewery and there are plans for pumpkin, blackberry and stinging nettle beers, among others. Local hops are also slated for use in a wet hops ale. Dauchot plans to bring his Belgian background to the endeavour and brew some more traditional beers from his homeland, which is famous for tantalizing tipples.
As the only brewery on the entire Sunshine Coast, deals are already in the works to have Townsite Brewing beers sold on the lower Sunshine Coast. Also Skadsheim hopes to break into the Lower Mainland market to some degree and already the brewery has two taps in Vancouver set to pump out the Powell River brew.
Skadsheim said, however, that the goal isn’t to become a big brewery. Her and Dauchot’s focus is on brewing high-quality product, on establishing a business that is sustainable and on being environmentally friendly.
“We just want to be the beer on the Sunshine Coast,” said Skadsheim.
At the brewery, tours and tastings will be offered and beer will be sold on site in 650 millilitre “bombers” and 1.9 litre “growlers.” Gift certificates are already available as Christmas presents and T-shirts are on order. Coasters featuring local artist Meghan Hildebrand’s drawing of the brewery building can already be found around town.
CHEERS: Karen Skadsheim [left], owner, Cedric Dauchot, brewer engineer, and Chloe Smith raise a glass to the soon to be open Townsite Brewing Inc.
Photo Credit: Powell River Peak