He's been pulling 100-hour weeks for the past four months and, now, Byron Vallis is finally ready to pull the tap handles at Coquitlam's first craft brewery.
A partner in Mariner Brewing with Wim Vander Zalm — Vallis' former employer at Art Knapp Plantland in Port Coquitlam — he's preparing for its grand opening on Aug. 22.
Five frosty possibilities will be on tap: a northeast India pale ale, a dry-hopped cream ale, a sour weisse, an amber ale and a Scottish ale.
"It's a really diverse lineup for opening day," the Dr. Charles Best secondary school grad said, "and we have so many more ideas. We already have the ingredients for a white IPA."
The beer ingredients are also west-coast sourced, Vallis said, with most of the hops supply imported from Oregon.
There's some local support, too — from his competition at the four breweries on Port Moody's popular Brewers Row. Vallis said their owners have been "really supportive. It's a surprise. But when new places open, everyone's on board because it's yet another craft beer for B.C."
Ahead of the opening, Mariner will be represented at Coquitlam's Kaleidoscope Festival on Saturday as well as the Aug. 19 Battle of the Brews, a fundraiser for the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society.
In the meantime, Vallis and staff are preparing their 3,000-sq. ft. premises — including a 45-seat tap room — at H-1100 Lansdowne Dr. (across Barnet Highway from Milestones). "We've just been going non-stop to get everything in order."
A small patio at the front will open soon and, perhaps next season, a 30-seat patio out back, facing south toward the Evergreen Extension.