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Beer making

a family affair Brewing beer at the Four Mile House in View Royal is a family effort. At left, brewer Doug White, Graham Haymes Sr., front, Graham Haymes Jr., back, and Wendy Haymes, right, show off a tank of IPA in an open top fermenting vessel, a traditional English style of beer making. Edward Hill/News staff

Owners of Four Mile House launch West Shore’s first microbrewery Edward Hill News staff

The old ghosts of Four Mile House are never short on entertainment. The historic Tudor building has hosted many souls over the past century as a roadhouse for stagecoaches, a dance hall turned brothel after the Second World War and now a neighbourhood pub and restaurant. To cap off its evolution, the Haymes family has installed the West Shore’s first microbrewery and the latest entrant into Victoria’s renowned craft beer industry.

Wendy and Graham Haymes bought the rundown roadhouse in 1979, and ushered it into the modern era. Graham Haymes junior, 32, manager of the business, says owning a brewery has never been far from their minds. “We’ve been planning this since Day 1, since (my parents) built the pub in the 1980s. Now we’re finally ready to take the plunge,” he said. “It felt like the right time. The market for craft beer has exploded. “We see that demand and feel we can be successful and competitive. It’s something we can do to differentiate us from other pubs. Certainly we’re the only

place on the West Shore that is brewing beer. Everything else is downtown.” Stainless steel fermentation and conditioning tanks that make up the bulk of the brewery lie below the pub, at parking lot level. Last week it was a busy hive of work as the family installed the final touches to the gas-fired brick brewing kettle, built in the English beer-making style called the Peter Austin brewing system. Doug White, brother of Wendy Haymes, tested samples of fermenting ales in a small laboratory, under the watch of Alan Pugsley, a brewmaster from Portland, Maine.

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“This project has been with me for years, and now we’ve got it going,” White said. “The learning curve is there, but we’re confident with Alan backing us up.” White trained in traditional English beer making under Pugsley at the Ringwood Brewery in England in the 1980s, and called on the 32-year career brewmaster to install the Four Mile brewery and formulate its six initial beers. Pugsley was instrumental in setting up Shipyard Brewing Co., in Maine, and has installed the Peter Austin system throughout the U.S. and Canada, and in more obscure places, such as Redtown Brewery in Siberia and Mopa

Brewery in Nigeria. Victoria certainly has quality beer, Pugsley said, but the brews at Four Mile will measure up. “The most important feature to produce the best beer is years of experience. You have to pay attention to the raw material, refine the formulation to work with the style of beer to produce something that is unique, interesting and world class,” he said. “These will stand out, it’s high quality. They’ll be different than the competition. And the water here is beautiful for brewing.” PLEASE SEE: Brewery on ‘bucket list’, Page A13

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Goldstream News Gazette, January 31, 2014  

January 31, 2014 edition of the Goldstream News Gazette

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