Coquitlam gets in on craft-beer action with opening of Mariner Brewing

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      Coquitlam residents will no longer have to venture to its Tri-Cities neighbour of Port Moody once Mariner Brewing opens its doors this summer.

      The brewery and tasting room, which will be the first in the city, has been under construction since early this year. Situated at H-1100 Lansdowne Drive off Barnet Highway—walking distance from Coquitlam Central Station—the 3,000-square-foot space will house a production facility, mezzanine, growler-fill station, and 45-seat tasting room. An outdoor area will also host imbibers.

      Founded by partners and SFU grads Byron Vallis and Lauren Ang, Mariner will pour a selection of full-bodied, balanced beers with an experimental edge. This brewing approach is conveyed through the name "Mariner", which is a nod to both Mariner Way, a major road in Coquitlam that Vallis grew up near, and NASA’s Mariner program, which launched a number of robotic probes into space during the ’60s and ’70s.

      “We want to explore new techniques and flavours and amp things up a bit, so we can do things that people haven’t seen before,” Vallis tells the Straight by phone.

      Led by brewmaster Kevin Wilson, who previously headed Surrey’s Russell Brewing Company, Mariner will first pour a sour weisse, a dry-hopped cream ale, a malt-forward amber ale, and a Northeast IPA, a more palatable (read: less bitter) version of the classic West Coast IPA many Lower Mainlanders may be familiar with.

      Mariner Brewing will serve food items such as charcuterie plates and a soft pretzel with beer-cheese sauce.
      Mariner Brewing

      “We’re really excited about that one,” says Vallis of the Northeast IPA. “I think that’s probably going to be our flagship beer.”

      Beer will be available by the glass, flight, growler, and eventually, can. Although Mariner lacks a full kitchen, Vallis and Ang are working to put together a small menu of sharable bites that may be prepped in-house. These include locally sourced gourmet hot dogs, charcuterie boards, spinach dip, and soft pretzels served with a rich beer-cheese sauce.

      “Whenever I’m going out to breweries with friends, I’m always getting hungry and wanting something to snack on,” says Ang. “So even though we couldn’t do anything too complex, we still wanted our guests to have options with their beer.”

      The design of the space is being handled by local firm Ply Architecture, the same team behind rooms like Juke Fried Chicken and Joe Pizza, so we have high hopes for the completed product. According to Vallis, the look will feature light-washed woods and brushed nickel details.

      “It’s elevated,” says Ang, “but a place where you’ll still feel comfortable.”

      Mariner Brewing is slated to open in July. Along with Port Coquitlam’s Northpaw Brew Co., it’s one of two craft breweries expected to launch in the Tri-Cities this year.

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.