Storm Brewing’s mural ‘beloved by locals and visitors alike’ gets official reprieve from removal

The beer gear and rats will stick around

Storm Brewing’s mural has been saved. Vancouver City Council voted unanimously July 25 to have the mural be “grandfathered” and allowed to remain intact. Storm Brewing photo

The tempest around Storm Brewing’s mural appears to have quelled.

At a meeting on July 25, city council voted unanimously to have the mural “be grandfathered and allowed to stay in place.”

Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung, who brought the new motion forward, said the controversy started because of the city’s new patio policy, which allows craft breweries to have outdoor seating. The intention of the policy was to help the businesses, but it also meant a city inspector visited the site and noticed the 10-year-old mural.

The mural is “really beloved by locals and visitors alike,” Kirby-Yung said during the meeting.

She noted Storm staff told her the patio was a boon for the business.

The inspector noted the mural included images associated with the product served by Storm (beer) and the brewery’s branding (rats). It was initially installed without a permit, so a letter was sent to the brewery stating it needed to obtain the right permits. However, the brewery realized the permits wouldn’t likely be approved and that the mural would therefore be ordered painted over.

When Storm’s general manager Mike Crozier posted about the issue on July 20 and invited people for one last photo with the mural, there was an outcry online that included city councillors, who promised to look into the issue.

In addition to voting to allow the mural to stay, during Tuesday night’s meeting council agreed to have city staff report back next year with ideas on how to modernize the mural by-laws.

Coun. Pete Fry called Storm, which has been brewing at 310 Commercial Dr. location since it opened in 1994, one of the “OGs” of craft brewing.

“Long before the mural fest, that Storm mural was enlivening a very moribund and kinda depressed part of the city that not a lot of people were paying attention to,” he said during the meeting. “It brought a lot of joy and flavour.”

—This story by Brendan Kergin originally appeared on Vancouver Is Awesome

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