Taste buds hankering for a fresh brew?
Chilliwack’s Calvin Quaite and Gord Gagne can help you out – very soon.
They’re opening Chaos & Solace, a new craft brewery in downtown Chilliwack on Mill St.
“Even though neither of us has owned our own brewery [before], we have complementary skill-sets,” Quaite explained.
Coming from the production side, Quaite owns Connor’s Wine Cellar and True North Brew Supply in Chilliwack, and he’s an award winning home brewer. Joining him with experience from the sales and distribution side, Gagne was a partner at Old Yale Brewing.
“Together, we have a lot of synergies between knowing how a brewery operates and knowing how to make beer – great beer,” Quaite said.
These two business partners met delivering pizzas around Chilliwack back in 1991. After two decades of building up their industry know-how and passion for the brew, they decided to align their common interests and expertise with a new venture.
Freshly painted on the walls of this soon-to-open brewery reads their motto, ‘Passion for the craft in every glass.’
“We want to be Chilliwack’s brewery. We’re gonna keep this small, with craft-centric, hand-made specialty beers,” Quaite said.
They’ve been working with Fraser Valley farmers to find and forage local ingredients for the recipes. They’re also developing business partnerships to be able to pair a taster paddle of in-house beers with a charcuterie plate of Chilliwack-made meats, cheeses and produce.
As they renovated their chosen downtown location, they built the brewery to recognize and celebrate the history of the building itself, which was home to grocery and hardware stores in its past lives. The brewery tables and bar top are made from the reclaimed 75-year-old fir that once lined the brick walls.
As for the Chaos & Solace name, it works on multiple levels. Illustrated in their logo, it represents the yin-yang balance in their approach. Furthermore, a local craft beer might be the perfect, peaceful solace after a chaotic work week.
But in terms of the beer itself, solace is representative of the four accessible core beers that they’ll be producing, and chaos refers to the unpredictable and experimental beer recipes that they’ll be playing with on a seasonal or “one-off” basis.
Every time Quaite visits one of the 120 micro-breweries in B.C., he’s looking to try something new. Patrons who have a similarly adventurous palate will always have the opportunity to taste something “crazy and different” in Chaos & Solace as well.
But they’ll also have their four locally-inspired staple beers on tap, for those with a more traditional taste.
The Luckakuck Kölsch is a clean, crisp ale with subtle fruitiness and a refreshing tang finish. Their Paramount Porter is a moderately strong dark beer, with a robust roasty aroma and malt flavour. Lakeside Hefe-Weisse is a lively German wheat beer with vibrant fruity and spicy aromatics. Finally, the Five Corners IPA is a west coast style India pale ale with colossal bitterness.
“People that aren’t into craft will still love all those beers,” Quaite revealed.
With incredible support from the Chilliwack community, as well as the helpful advice of their craft-brewing peers, Chaos & Solace is almost ready to go. With only a few hurdles remaining, it’s just a matter of weeks – or maybe even days – until they’re open for business.