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Exclusive: Owners of Yates Street Taphouse confirmed as proponents behind brewpub and distillery near arena

The operators of downtown Victoria's Yates Street Taphouse have been confirmed as the publicans behind a proposal to bring a brewpub to The Hudson District. Pictured: Yates Street Taphouse bartender Caleb Burnham slides down a pint pilsner.

Exclusive: Owners of Yates Street Taphouse confirmed as proponents behind brewpub and distillery near arena
January 07, 2019 update: the proponents described in the article below are no longer involved as a partnership in a planned brewpub at the Hudson District. At-present only one of the owners is pursuing the proposal.
The owners of downtown Victoria’s Yates Street Taphouse have been confirmed as the proponents behind a plan to open a brewpub and distillery at The Hudson District, Citified has learned.
The 7,000 square foot, 300-seat complex kitty-corner from the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre is envisioned by business partners and Yates Street Taphouse co-owners Dan Lau and Grant Turner for the base of Hudson Walk Two, a 15-storey purpose-built rental tower currently under construction in the 700-block of Caledonia Avenue at Blanshard Street.
Pending a successful municipal approvals process to officially sanction on-site liquor production, tenant improvements will begin this summer with the installation of state-of-the-art brewing and distilling equipment under the supervision of Victoria craft beer legend Paul Hoyne.
“Paul Hoyne of Paul Hoyne Brewery Consulting Services will be setting up our production facility,” Lau says, adding that “with advances in technology, the ability to operate a brewery and distillery without emitting odours makes it possible to locate such equipment within a high density residential setting.”
When the brewery attains its maximum production capacity, Lau says over 20 craft beers will be flowing from the pub’s taps, giving it the distinction of offering more in-house craft beer varieties than any other brewpub on Vancouver Island. And with a license to distil alcohol, the publican confirms a line of spirits is also planned.
“We’re aiming to have 21 of our own beers on tap and eventually we’ll start selling craft-made vodka, possibly other varieties of liquor, too,” Lau said.
Asked whether their brews and spirits will be available at local liquor stores, Lau says the initial plan is to make off-sales available only through the pub.
“We may revisit our distribution plans moving forward, but initially our beers and spirits will be available on-site in bottles and we’ll also fill growlers.”
Although the pub’s interior design has yet to be finalized, Turner says the working concept calls for a centrally-situated wrap-around bar, table and lounge-style seating along the pub’s glassed perimeter, a 50-seat outdoor patio overlooking an upcoming park between the Hudson Walk One and Hudson Walk Two towers, and a mezzanine tasting room above a portion of the space.
As to the guiding design principle, higher-end, lounge-style interiors promise to usher in a new tone for Victoria’s brewpub industry and, according to Turner, appeal to a demographic in search of quality over quantity.
“Our targeted patrons aren’t interested in nightclubs, they aren’t interested in traditional bars. What they’re looking for is a touch of class, and our design concept will communicate that in every way by creating an environment for pub and restaurant-goers in search of craft beers, a menu combining traditional pub food with fine dining choices, lush, comfortable interiors set in an urban lounge setting, and a relaxed atmosphere.”
While the layout and logistics have been largely decided, the brewpub’s name remains a work in progress.
“We’ve got some ideas regarding the name, for sure. But we’re not quite ready to commit to one option just yet,” Turner said, joking that as fitting as the name Hudson Brewing Company (HBC for short) may be, it is likely to draw unwanted attention from the company that inspired the name of The Hudson District and once occupied its landmark building, the Hudson’s Bay Company, commonly referred to as HBC.
Provided construction and interior work progresses on schedule, Lau and Turner expect to welcome their first guests at The Hudson District by early 2018. C

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