Collaboration key to Sooke brewers’ success

Collaboration key to Sooke brewers’ success

‘Sooke is the next big thing,’ says local brewer

Rick Stiebel | Sooke News Mirror

Co-operation is a key ingredient in brewing up more business in Sooke, say local business owners.

Ryan Orr, owner of Sooke Oceanside Brewery, said collaborative efforts like the Pacific Marine Artisan Trail brochure, which featured a variety of local producers, are an important part of economic development in Sooke.

“Sooke is the next big thing and efforts (like the brochure) are hugely beneficial to all businesses. It’s a sign Sooke is happening and competition is healthy,” he said. “Providing more choices for people to spend their money locally is great for all local businesses.

“The more people who visit Sooke, the better. For us, we’ve only been in operation for a year and eight months, and we’re already the oldest brewery in Sooke. We see it as an opportunity for economic development and a way to start bringing more products and services to Sooke that we don’t have now.”

Kris Schill, general manager of Sooke Brewing Company, said the spirit of collaboration is evident in Sooke, especially regarding the local breweries.

“The craft beer industry is a beautiful thing,” she noted. “We all want to see each other succeed. What’s really unique to Sooke’s breweries is that there’s three of us here, but we all do different things and offer a diverse range of products. Our staff sends people to all of the locations in the brochure, including the breweries.”

Dana Lecomte, co-owner of Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery, said working together with other local companies and their products, such as the recent collaboration on a brochure, benefits everyone involved by bringing more people out to Sooke.

“I’m proud to work with all of them,” said Lecomte. “All of their products are really good. If you grow the pie, we all do better.” Tugwell Creek has operated as a honey farm for 20 years, and as a meadery for the past 15.

The owners of Bad Dog Brewing Company shared similar thoughts.

“It’s been a wonderful summer,” Roseanne Lyle said, adding that she believes the Pacific Marine Artisan Trail brochure created an increase in people visiting the brewery.

“We encouraged anyone who came in to visit the other artisans in the brochure,” she said. “John [Lyle] has great camaraderie and a great relationship with the other brewers and the meadery and the distillery.”

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John Lyle said he constantly meets for a beer with the other brewers to share ideas and advice.