Molson Coors brewery on track to break ground in Chilliwack this spring

Site preparation on Elder Avenue has been ongoing for the past few months in Chilliwack

Preliminary site plan for Molson Coors location on Elder Avenue in Chilliwack.

Preliminary site plan for Molson Coors location on Elder Avenue in Chilliwack.

The future site of the Molson-Coors brewery in Chilliwack may be blanketed in what’s left of the snow right now.

But site preparation on Elder Avenue near Highway 1/Vedder has been ongoing the past few months, according to Josh Stewart, Western Canada corporate affairs rep for Molson Coors,

“Site preparation is well underway with pre-load being applied to the surface,” Stewart told The Progress. “At this point, everything is on track and on schedule for a groundbreaking this spring.”

There was months of ground work before the decision was made to relocate to Chilliwack and build a new facility. It entailed an exhaustive search for the right location.

Molson Coors established solid working relationships from the outset, with Chilliwack Mayor and Council, Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation, city staff and more.

“The initial work was undertaken to find a site, ensure that zoning would be appropriate as well as better understanding the community in which Molson Coors would relocate its operations and its people.”

They made a point of reaching out to Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, Sto:lo Nation and Tourism Chilliwack for support and advice and engaged with City of Chilliwack engineers and staff to move into the construction phases.

The first phase of construction will be for a 21,300-square-metre facility for processing, packaging, warehousing, offices, staff amenities and more.

Brewing operations will continue at the Burrard Street facility in Vancouver until the new brewery is built and commissioned.

The site is on Elder Avenue, in the Agricultural Food Processing zone, about 800 metres from Vedder Road/Highway 1.

It was rezoned from an AL (Agriculture Lowland) Zone to an AFP (Agricultural Food Processing) Zone, with the express idea behind the AFP zone to attract industry and create employment, and a brewery was seen to fit those criteria.

Once built, the B.C. brewery will be one of the largest private sector projects to ever come to Chilliwack.

The target remains late 2018 or early 2019 to open the new Molson Coors brewery for Western Canada in Chilliwack.