Factory Brewing offers at-capacity craft brewers a chance to expand their output.

Pricey real estate has stunted the growth of many a Vancouver business, but the soon-to-open brewing facility Factory Brewing may provide local beer-makers with a fighting chance to expand production without investing in more square footage. The contract brewery, located at 1575 Vernon Drive, will house enough tanks to produce 600 hectolitres of beer at a time, as well as a bottling line, but Stephen Smysnuik—the former editor of the Growler who now does marketing and communications for Factory—envisions sections of the warehouse also being used as a community events space for parties and workshops. In the future—fingers crossed—a tasting room may just squeeze in there too. "What I'm most excited about is bringing people together to keep the brewing business viable," says Smysnuik. "Underneath this roof, I think we can cultivate community." The commissary-style model will be familiar to tiny kitchens and food trucks in Vancouver (just look at spaces like False Creek Flats' Commissary Connect, the commercial kitchen which counts To Die for Fine Foods and The Pie Hole among its food-producing users), so the concept has not been a tough sell. So far 12 local breweries, including Doan's Craft Brewing, have signed up. The head of brewing operations will be Andres Palma, former Director of Brewing at Molson, while head of operations is Rick Dellow, founder of R&B Brewing, and CEO Andrew Harris worked has worked previously with Russel and Main Street Brewing—whomever takes up space in the oversized tanks will be in good hands. Factory is set to open this summer.

FIRST-LOOK: Factory Brewing Under Construction