Callister Brewing Co.

Callister Brewing Co. opened in July 2015, establishing firm roots in the ever-expanding brewing neighbourhood of East Vancouver at 1338 Franklin St. (one block north of Hastings at Clark). Callister operates the first co-working, collaborative brewery in Canada, with three additional brands that brew alongside Callister. In the tasting room, you’ll find 12 unique, rotating taps, including 3 cask engines, as well as a selection of packaged beer and craft sodas.

Callister supports independent, talented brewers to start their business by making equipment and commercial facilities accessible. Brewers sign on for a one-year period to join Callister Brewing and brew their own beers. Callister Brewing provides operating and retail space to local brewers to produce, package, and sell beer to the public in a low-risk environment while providing the foundation of an existing support and peer-learning network.

Callister has four head brewers (one for each brand), and two founders, Diana McKenzie and Chris Lay. Diana keeps the business running, brews beer, and leads up Callister Soda Co., making craft tonic and sodas with seasonal, local, and novel ingredients, such as spruce tips or mahonia berries. Chris Lay is Callister’s head brewer and leads operations. He mentors the brewing teams and embraces the challenge of releasing a constantly rotating list of beer.

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: We love working with local suppliers. About 90% of our suppliers are Canadian – and most of those are right here in B.C. We buy many of our ingredients from local growers and distributors, however, some of the products we buy are not available in Canada (such as European grains for some of our brews). We use local companies for our services, like accounting, car sharing, construction, media, compost, repair and maintenance, etc. The craft brewing industry is also an incredibly co-operative and supportive network, where we share supplies or shipments and collaborate on marketing and events.

Question: What social practices are you proud of?

Answer: Our entire business model is community focused, to support local brewers get their start and to build the craft brewing industry by sharing facilities and knowledge, so we’re very proud of that. In addition to supporting local suppliers, we also work to purchase environmentally responsible products and reduce waste by recycling and composting as much as possible.