There’s a brand new brewery in the area, and it’s unlike any other you’ve seen before. Callister Brewing, run by partners Chris and Diana, opened just last month - and they’ve already got craft beer fans a-buzz over the unique nano-collective space. The collaborative effort is the first of its kind in Vancouver, and is offering up a fresh new take on entrepreneurship today.
We sat down with owners Chris and Diana to chat about the beautiful new space. This is their first business together, and Chris, who comes from a background in web and software development, says the idea blossomed from what just started as a fun hobby into a full-fledged business plan. “We just had the interest of home brewing as a hobby,” he tells us. “We also got involved with Van Brewers, which is one of the largest home brewing clubs in Vancouver. Graeme from parallel 49 was the president of the time, as well as many other home brewers. We knew that we wanted to tap into this amazing creative pool of people.” That led Chris and Diana to the idea of having a communal space “where we can bring in other people’s work and have a space that everyone can use.”
“We didn’t know exactly how to go about this process though,” Chris continues. “We just had an idea and crafted it from there. Since no one else had ever heard of this before, the government didn’t know what to do with us or what to tell us. We basically call ourselves a collaborative brewing space, or brewing incubator. – Kind of like a tech incubator but for beer.”
The tasting room currently currently has two feature brewers, including Copper and Theory, and Brewery Creek, a liquor store on Main Street, hoping to open a brewery in the future. “They provided us Chester Kary, who is their portfolio manager,” Chris says. “He also teaches at the Culinary Institute. He’s great to have on hand.”
When we ask what they love about what they do, Diana says it’s seeing the ideas shape to fruition that have been most satisfying. “ I think it’s the creative process,” she says. “We have been able to shape this into exactly what we want. And what was missing from other tasting rooms. Also the diversity of what we can offer, having four different brewers all specializing in their different areas - I think also provides a quality of brewing that you don’t always see.”
“Part of this idea was that both of us were feeling a bit stagnant in our careers, and I have been entrepreneurial for almost 20 years,” Chris says. “I was getting tired of fixing things that were intangible, as it was the internet. To create something again where we have absolute control over the product, it’s a real thing - you are dealing with the customers on the very immediate basis. Craft beer patrons are very well educated about their beer, so there is not any real customer horror stories that you have to deal with. Most people come in here and they love the space, they love the beer and everyone is happy. It’s a very relaxing and enjoyable experience.”
Callister has nine different beers on tap and also features two different homemade sodas, making the shop a family-friendly destination. Visit Callister Brewing’s website for more information and shop hours, and stay in the social loop by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.