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Hastings Mill Brewing to move from East Van to Port Coquitlam

Vancouver's Hastings Mill Brewing is named after the first commercial sawmill on the Burrard Inlet. Now, it's about to call Port Coquitlam home.

A brewery that got its start nearly 20 years ago at the former site of the oldest jazz club in East Vancouver is heading (further) east.

The Hastings Mill Brewing will make its way to 3110-580 Nicola Ave. in Port Coquitlam to join the other liquor manufacturing establishments around the Fremont Village neighbourhood and close to the Pitt River:

  • Boardwalk
  • NiceLife Cocktails
  • Northpaw
  • Tinhouse

Daryl Nelsen, the brewery general manager and a co-owner with his sister, told the Tri-City News today, Feb. 15, that they hope to open sometime this year, once the permits are finalized and staff are hired.

And he said the family business plans to offer the same beverage menu — if not more regularly — as at its old location at Pat’s Pub, in the Patricia Hotel in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, where Nelsen had run the bar since the early 2000s.

In fact, Nelsen said the new location in Port Coquitlam will allow the brewery to have its eight core and seasonal beers more available.

“We were limited before with space,” he said, “but now we will be able to get our beers out more often.”

Among its original suds are (in no particular order):

  • Pat’s Classic Lager
  • Bricktop Pale Ale
  • Skid Road IPA
  • Space Cake Porter
  • Strawberry Honey Hefe
  • Duke Blueberry Kolsch
  • Griswold Winter Ale
  • Highland 1615 Scottish Ale

As well, Hastings Mill Brewing will have a small fare menu that includes hot food and shared plates.

Council reaction

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, PoCo’s committee-of-council advanced the bid, which includes a lounge for up to 75 patrons, and variance application for parking, but it also noted challenges around the property for commuters.

Coun. Paige Petriw, whose own business is located in the same strata lot as where Hastings Mill Brewing plans to set up, described the current parking as challenging with a dance studio nearby.

And she called on the city to allow street parking on Nicola Avenue, similar to Seaborne Avenue.

Still, Mayor Brad West said the brewery traffic will largely come after the area businesses close.

West said he’s “very excited” to welcome Hastings Mill to PoCo, noting, “I think it’s going to be an incredible addition to the breweries that we already have in our community that have been a real success story.”

“I want to extend my appreciation to the applicant for the vote of confidence” in Port Coquitlam, West added.

Brewery history

Hastings Mill is named after the first commercial sawmill on the Burrard Inlet.

Opened in 1867, the sawmill was one of the only businesses to survive the 1886 fire in Vancouver.

The Patricia Café — or Pat’s Pub — opened in 1914 in the Patricia Hotel, a jazz music hot spot in Vancouver where the legendary Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton performed.

Pat’s Pub rebranded to the Hastings Mill Brewing Co. in 2016 and continued the jazz night traditions; however, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the property was sold and Hastings Mill’s lease came up.

Nelsen said he looked around the Lower Mainland for new digs and found PoCo’s vibe to be similar to East Vancouver, with breweries thriving.

“Port Coquitlam has a similar culture to East Vancouver,” he said.

“There are other breweries and distilleries nearby that we hope to work with. Everyone that we've talked to has been very positive.”