We asked Leslie Fenn –co-owner of the Squamish brewpub– if this spells out the end for East Van’s long-standing microbrewery.
Vancouver Magazine: How did the purchase come about? Howe Sound: We discovered R&B was for sale in January and initiated the discussion with Rick and Barry. VM: Why is this the right fit for Howe Sound? HS: We were interested in reviving and expanding R&B core brands and brewing selected Howe Sound beers locally in Vancouver. VM: Are you going to completely re-direct R&B? HS: No, we want to revive some brands and remarket others; but we intend to retain the individuality of R&B brewing. VM: Will it be similar to the original Howe Sound or fulfil a different purpose? HS: We see the Mt. Pleasant brewery as being a historic facility that should have its own identity and experience. HSB will be evident, but we want to tell a new story about this place. VM: Fans of R&B will obviously to be sad to hear about the end of their local brewpub… HS: It's difficult when people put their heart into a business and make a decision to sell. Our hope is to keep the integrity and scale of R&B and keep producing R&B products with some Howe Sound Beers. There is lots of comradery and goodwill in the microbrewing business and that same attitude and creativity will continue in the R&B location. In an interesting twist for Howe Sound fans, growlers will be available from the R&B location for the first time in the brewery’s nearly two-decade history. With the opening of downtown’s The Devil’s Elbow Smoke and Ale House last October, the brewery shows no signs of slowing down in 2015.