It was in the late 1800s when brewers turned their attention to the New Westminster neighbourhood of Sapperton, and beer continued to be brewed in the area until 2005, when its brew anchor Labatt closed its large plant there and the industry slowed to a trickle.
In more recent years a beer renaissance of sorts has taken place, drawing innovative brewers, including Another Beer Company, to the neighbourhood, creating the Sapperton Brewery District. With a promise to continually change up their offerings with “another beer,” the brewery continues to surpass its past offerings and surprise its loyal followers.
As part of The Growler’s ongoing “Five Questions With…” series, co-owner Alex Jopson offered some insight into what’s behind Another Beer Company.
What’s the inspiration behind the name?
We tended to look at names of breweries we loved or admired and wanted to go a similar route. Co-founder Clete Hanson’s family already owned a brewery in Spokane, Washington, so it was “another” brewery for the family. Also, with our home brewing backgrounds, we found we rarely made the same beer twice. We struggled to pick a lane for beer styles, so we applied that idea to “ABC.”
Come to ABC, because there will always be another new beer on tap for you to try became the company’s mantra, says Jopson.
“And as we rolled through different styles of beers, we ended up picking the lane of creative small batch brews.”
How did Another Beer Company come to be?
Very organically. There are much more interesting parts to the story, but a short version is that Clete and I met randomly in New Westminster. We bonded over beer and homebrewing. Originally, we were just going to start a small brewery to be able to create fun brews without a big start up cost. We happened upon the location we have (we know it’s not a great location) and with limited available spaces, or at least at an affordable lease rate, we thought we would look to build it there. It ended up taking three years to open due to our lack of planning, but we did a lot of research and development during the time we held our lease, slowing us down a tad and giving us hurdles to overcome as we went.
What would you consider the hidden gem of your brewery or taproom?
Based on our Google reviews, I would say the public thinks our brewery is a hidden gem. Again, with the odd location, people think of us as a “speakeasy” style brewery. With all the equipment right in our tasting room, it’s an intimate space and almost feels like you’re getting VIP access to a normally restricted area.
How and why is Another Beer a part of your local community?
We think the Industry Arcade complex at 30 Capilano Way is full of awesome and creative people and companies. We celebrate that along with the rest of the creative groups in New West. With plans to expand our tasting room, we’ve used the new space (the Art Department) as a venue for art shows, concerts and other community events, while we build out and will strive to continue that once we’re finished.
What five words would you use to describe Another Beer Company?
Small. Batch. Beers. Big Ideas.