Michael Lewis and Rundi Anderson have already acquired about 60 per cent of the necessary brewing equipment they need for Three Ranges Brewing Company – Valemount’s soon-to-be micro brewery.

Micro brewery Valemount Three Ranges Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis with daughter Keslin at his downtown location in Valemount, BC.

But much red tape and waiting still lie ahead. Apart from the licensing requirements for a brewery, the Village of Valemount also has to amend their C1 zoning bylaw. A brewery is currently not an accepted use in any village zone.

Pending approvals, the couple plans to have the beer flowing by the summer. Lewis studied an advanced homebrewing course at UC Davis in California, after trying unsuccessfully to learn on his own.

He described his first self-taught batches as “horrible.”

But not more than a year later, after taking the brewing course, Lewis won several awards – including being selected by Phillips Brewing Co. in Victoria to be their showcase beer in 2011.

Once they are set up at their location on 5th Ave and have jumped through all the hoops, Lewis and Anderson plan to brew in the range of 120 cases/week.

Regarding local zoning, a staff report to council says the practice in most BC jurisdictions is to place microbreweries either in a commercial or industrial zone. The Village of Valemount has a number of zones that could be appropriate for a microbrewery including: Central Commercial (C1), General Commercial (C2), Service Commercial (C3), Highway and Tourist Commercial (C4), Neighbourhood Pub Commercial (C5) and Main Street Commercial (C6).

A staff report to Council recommends that Council only consider whether or not to permit a microbrewery in Central Commercial (C1).

A public hearing on the change to zoning will happen before the regular Council meeting March 26th at Council Chambers.

As part of the zoning, the report notes the facility must include tours and tastings.

Lewis says he already plans to have a tasting room. A recent change in provincial legislation allows him to sell pints at the front of the brewery.

By: Laura Keil