B.C. Beer Blog

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

New Ownership for The Moon Under Water

with 7 comments

Moon Under Water brewpub entranceI recently heard through the hop bine that Don and Bonnie Bradley had just sold their Victoria brewpub. When I visited The Moon Under Water for the first time on September 7, I learned that, indeed, was the case. I had the pleasure of meeting Clay Potter and Chelsea Walker, the new owners, who were very kind to spend some time with me during a hectic period (lunch before the GCBF’s first day), relating their backgrounds and hopes for the Moon. Having just gotten the keys to the pub, it was a moment when one often experiences the duality of excitement and dread as you venture into new territory.

Even though The Moon Under Water is an operating business, it doesn’t mean taking over will necessarily be any easier than if you started your own brewpub from scratch. The challenge is different. You have a business with a personality that reflects the previous owners. The clientele may have been drawn to that. Then, when a new owner comes along with a different personality, that attraction can wane. This will be Clay and Chelsea’s challenge – not alienate the current customer base while building on the business to ensure long-term stability.

Chelsea Walker & Clay Potter

Chelsea Walker & Clay Potter at their first GCBF as vendor-owners.

Two areas where you can expect to see some new developments are the beer offerings and events. Clay has brewed locally at Lighthouse, Driftwood, and Turning Point. However, he also had a stint in Germany after getting his brewing degree at Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh. In addition to having guest taps, expect to see him introduce Berliner Weisse, Gose, Dunkelweizen, Imperial Lager, and Imperial Weizen. How exciting it would be to see North America doing for Berliner Weisse and Gose what it did for Witbier.

Unfortunately, The Moon is located in an industrial area of Victoria. While good for the lunch crowd, it’s not the most vibrant neighbourhood in the evening. There needs to be a compelling enough reason to go there with a convenient way to get home afterwards. Drinking English session ales appeals to a certain segment of punter, but really isn’t currently a draw for most people. Hosting events will be a way to attract people and, hopefully, expand the customer base by educating people about craft beer.

With BC’s craft beer boom, I’m noticing a new generation entering the industry – Graham With at Parallel 49, Kevin Emms of Coal Harbour across the street, Firehall Brewery’s Sid Ruhland, Takeshi Guenette at Steamworks… This is a welcome development, as I expect it will inject some youthful energy to continue the growth trend. And with new brewer-owners, like Clay Potter, their passion for the beer will mean we won’t likely see a return to the doldrums of the late nineties and early 2000s when there was little innovation and “bitter” was a dirty word. My best wishes to Clay and Chelsea for the success of their new venture.

Moon Under Water Brewpub
350 Bay Street
Victoria, BC V8T 1P7
(250) 380-0706
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7 Responses

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    • There are actually four new owners of the Moon Under Water Brewpub… Along with Clay and Chelsea, the ownership is also shared by Steve Ash and Anne Farmer… the four of us are working together to put the Moon Under Water Brewpub on the map.

      Anne Farmer

      October 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

      • So, not prejudicial, and I’ll try the new Moon Under Water when next in Victoria, but … is Don Bradley doing something new? I *really* enjoyed the discovery of the Moon as it was, with it’s British style ales, which are something that I think are missing in our (read: SW BC) craft scene. Sad that the the pale and the bitter are gone … did enjoy the Tranquility at St. A’s on Commercial in Vancouver this evening, but …

        Dave, North Vancouver

        Dave Brent

        February 14, 2013 at 12:11 am

        • (and just trying to get followups sent via e-mail, with this post)

          Dave Brent

          February 14, 2013 at 12:12 am

        • I haven’t heard any firm plans, but I don’t believe Don Bradley saw this as his last venture. Stay tuned…


          February 14, 2013 at 8:34 am

  1. […] The Moon Under Water Brewpub. This beer came out early in September of this year, right before the news broke about the change of owners/brewers. This is a lovely deep amber pale ale with a tight bubble cream […]

  2. In one of our many adventures we checked out Moon Under Water Brewpub, was pleasantly impressed with their delicious, subtle “pumpkin ale”! We will be back 🙂


    December 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

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