Vancouver’s Coal Harbour Brewing Co. announced Saturday it is closing its doors and ceasing operations immediately after being fined by the provincial liquor board for failing to pay back taxes.
The popular craft beer brewery was founded in 2010 and was best known for its 311 Helles Lager and award-winning Smoke and Mirrors imperial smoked ale.
According to sources at the brewery, Coal Harbour was audited by the provincial liquor board this past summer and was found to be owing back taxes.
“[Due to] incomplete records keeping paired with an irresponsible level of free beer being given away, the LDB audited us to the absolute highest of their abilities, and showed no leniency towards us,” explained Krieg Barker, Coal Harbour’s marketing manager and spokesperson in a press release Saturday morning. According to Barker, proper systems were not in place in the years before the current management team took over day-to-day operations of the brewery.
“This left us with a $300K fine to be paid, in full, in one sum.”
When Coal Harbour failed to pay the fine in full the brewery received further sanctions, including the removal of its manufacturing license.
“A new investment partner was found, but in the end, a deal was not able to be completed in time,” stated Barker.
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Despite the closure, owner Ken Boparai has indicated that he plans to relocate and reopen the brewery “at some point in the future.”
Barker said the closure comes as a blow to staff who have worked hard for the past two and a half years to rebrand the brewery and expand its offerings beyond 311 Helles Lager.
“We are not going anywhere,” he said. “We are all still incredibly passionate about the local craft beer scene, and we can’t wait to continue to create great things, just in different places.”