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Brewery seats in Port Coquitlam tasting rooms hop to 75

Port Coquitlam city council unanimously voted to increase the number of seats in brewery and distillery lounges from 50 to 75.
Boardwalk Brewing is one of seven liquor manufacturers in Port Coquitlam.

Craft breweries and distilleries in Port Coquitlam can now apply to expand their tasting rooms.

Tonight, Jan. 23, following a public hearing that drew no speakers, city council unanimously voted to change the bylaw to hike the number of tasting room seats from 50 to 75.

Mayor Brad West and Coun. Dean Washington did not attend the meeting.

Bruce Irvine, PoCo’s director of development services, said the amendment is for liquor manufacturing establishments in industrial zones; operators would need to follow the Building Code to ensure there are sufficient parking spaces and washrooms.

“It’s not an automatic,” Irvine said.

Coun. Glenn Pollock said he’s been pushing to increase the number of lounge seats as many small businesses struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coun. Darrell Penner called craft breweries an “evolving industry and it’s really fascinating on how that has grown.”

And Coun. Nancy McCurrach said the seat boost will be a great enhancement to the Ale Trail.

“Whatever we can do to make breweries thrive, the better,” she said.

Currently, Port Coquitlam breweries and distilleries include (in alphabetical order):

  • Boardwalk
  • NiceLife Cocktails
  • Northpaw
  • Patina
  • PoCo Brothers
  • Taylight
  • Tinhouse

The appeal of craft breweries in Port Coquitlam is that families can relax and socialize over a board game while the adults sample the suds, Coun. Paige Petriw added.

Coun. Steve Darling, acting mayor, said that craft breweries don’t take business away from local pubs. “Nothing could be further from the truth … People like choice.”

In 2018, PoCo city council doubled the number of tasting room seats from 25 to 50.

By comparison, Port Moody’s Brewers Row has up to 110 seats in each of their liquor establishments while Mariner Beer in Coquitlam has 75 spots.