A Williams Lake fish and wildlife biologist is casting his sights on opening a microbrewery in the former Greyhound Station on Donald Road.
Dave Reedman, president of Fox Mountain Brewing Company, said he has a number of shareholders working on the business development with him.
“I have been brewing for about seven years and took a professional brewing course in England about four years ago,” Reedman told the Tribune Tuesday. “I got my diploma in brewing technology and plan on being the head brewer.”
Originally from Pitt Meadows, Reedman moved to the lakecity 17 years ago and is married to Jennifer Reedman who he met in Williams Lake.
The Reedmans have two children.
Presently he works as a resource manager in stewardship with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“I plan to take a leave of absence,” he said.
In addition to the brew area, a lounge, restaurant and on-site storage are also part of the plan, although Reedman said he is still figuring out what the restaurant will be.
“I want to have appetizers, and small plates, but it won’t be fine dining or a large menu, anything like that.”
He had been trying to find an appropriate building in the city for about a year.
“You have to have a big space and a space that has the right height for the equipment. It’s a bit tricky,” Reedman said.
At this point he is hoping to have six to 10 different beers on tap and said it will take a while to get all the production sorted out to manage the different varieties.
“I’ll be applying for a lounge endorsement from the province as well to allow me to serve pints on site, but also will be selling growlers and bottles and potentially cans as well.”
As for a logo, he said a couple of his good friends who are artists are working on that front.
During Tuesday evening’s regular meeting city council accepted an application from Fox Mountain Brewing Company Ltd. to amend the zoning bylaw for the 215 Donald Road property housing the former Greyhound building.
It is presently zoned as service commercial and the request is to add brewery as a permitted land use. Council gave the application first and second reading.
Now the application will be referred to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for initial consultation and staff will issue notice of the application to surrounding property owners and tenants within a 100-metre radius.
The application will also be subject to a public hearing scheduled for March 12, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Coun. Marnie Brenner said based on the City of Williams Lake’s recent economic development strategy report, a brewery was identified as a type of business people in the city wanted.
“It will be interesting to see when it goes to public hearing if we hear anybody else that says they are not in favour,” Brenner said. “But I know from different people they are really excited about having this kind of facility here and I think it will be interesting.”
Mayor Walt Cobb said he has had numerous people asking when Williams Lake would get a brewery.
“It’s great,” Cobb said.