B.C. Beer Blog

The who, what, where, when, why, and how of B.C. craft beer

Prince Rupert Poised to Emerge from the ’70s

with 7 comments

Many of you may not be old enough to recall the dark days of beer in BC. That was when the only choice one had was which lager you wanted to drink. Prohibition was so successful in destroying traditional brewing that it turned North America into a virtual beer monoculture. This was reflected in the common drinking ritual of going into a bar or pub and saying to the bartender, “Gimme a beer!” Even food recipes that used beer would list it in the ingredients as something like “1 cup beer.” (That still happens today, which goes to show we still haven’t fully come over from the dark side.)

I visited northern BC last year and found out they lie in the rainshadow of craft beer, still swilling macro lager. It sort of reminds me of the Japanese holdouts after the end of World War II. However, the time for surrender may gradually be approaching. A Prince Rupert resident has set his sights on opening a brewpub there this year.

Triple Island Brewing is the result of a Eureka! moment Rod Daigle had after he read Sam Calagione’s Brewing Up a Business. Always entrepreneurial, Daigle had struggled up to that time to find something he had a passion for. As he explains it,

I thought of the common threads in my life, looked around at my decor and wardrobe (beer t-shirts, beer mugs, beer coasters, brewery tour ticket stubs…), and realize[d] where my values lied (sic).

Of course, once you decide to start a brewery, what kind of operation are you going to open? Regional? Local? After working through visions of a four hectolitre copper-clad system, Daigle and his two business partners decided on a brewpub designed around a twin 38-litre Sabco Brew-Magic systems. It may take some time to convert the residents over to full-flavoured ales with character, so it seems sensible to start out modestly. There should be a growth plan in place in case business expands rapidly, but it’s not like there will be a lot of competition up there.

Daigle plans to launch with two beers — a blond ale and probably something hoppier. Several styles will follow; hopefully, he’ll introduce cask-conditioned ale at some point too. The pub menu will be beer-driven with the intention of having suitably paired appetizers, entrées, and desserts. The brewpub décor will emphasize the historical aspect of brewing and pay tribute to North American craft brewers.

Sounds like there will be a good excuse to visit Prince Rupert once Triple Island is open. Your luggage will be lighter — you won’t have to bring your own beer.

Written by BCbrews

February 18, 2009 at 6:49 pm

7 Responses

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  1. As a recently transplant to Prince Rupert and craft beer enthusiast I have been pretty excited about the rumblings i’ve heard around this endeavor.

    While I can appreciate the idea of playing it safe with some middle of the road beer to sell to the “macro lager drinking northerners”(?), Rob should go out on a limb for those of us who prefer a more striking ale (lots of hops please). Cask ale night would be great and if planned could pull in enough folks to not waste any of that beer:)

    The dearth of good beer on tap has forced a few of us to take up homebrewing. Like we needed an excuse.


    February 23, 2009 at 9:29 pm

  2. […] 24, 2009 · No Comments PRINCE RUPERT, BC – BC Beer Blog reports that the town of Prince Rupert will be getting their first brewpub later this year when Rod Daigle […]

  3. Great to hear! Thank God, I’ve been saving my pennies for every trip down to Victoria to get my fixes on microbrews. Man, I’d love to meet these guys and find out the plans. Sure would be good to have tours like in Alaska with the cruise ships; Juneau runs a great bike n’ brew tour for the Alaska Brewing Co., and Skagway now sports two brewpubs AND a microbrewery. Would also be cool to use a lot of local history in the names of the beers, there’s some great material out there!


    February 25, 2009 at 12:21 pm

  4. Holy crap…you’re opening a brewery and blogging….please stand by while I scoop my brains from the computer screen ..post head explosion.

    Right on Daigle…you have the creative genius and easy going style to make this a real possibility…I’m sad you’re doing it on the wrong coast but, I now have a place to tie up when sailing on the West coast.

    Hats off to you…keep me in the loop


    May 30, 2009 at 10:45 am

  5. I read about your brewpub when I was reading our local newspaper and saw the ad about the Canada Day Celebration deck party at Peglegs and the invitation to meet the new owners. I’ve always been very fond of Pegleg’s -you may have noticed my entries in their guest book: great food, great service and great setting. (Happy retirement Nick and Belinda – I’ll miss you.)

    I wish you the best of luck on your business venture, Mr. Daigle. It’s sure to be a success. I look forward to meeting you at the Canada Day Celebration!



    June 10, 2009 at 7:08 am

  6. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m aving trouble locating it but,I’d
    like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your
    blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to
    seeing it expand oover time.

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    August 10, 2014 at 3:41 pm

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