Origins

Opened in 2014, when breweries began offering more ales than lagers, we now strive to make an experience that’s worth the trip ● This year we are focused on a great feature menu program to showcase seasonal highlights from both our kitchen and our brew teams ● Black Kettle celebrates the things that shouldn't change: family, friends, cold beer, tasty food, fun and memories that matter. Join us █

Brewmaster

Like most great ideas, Black Kettle Brewing was born over a few beers. Bryan Lockhart first entertained the thought of opening a craft brewery after attending a Beer Wars event almost eight years ago. As a long-time employee of Sysco, he was familiar with the restaurant and bar industry, but knew next to nothing about the process of brewing beer; after six months of research, Bryan decided it was a conceivable business venture, and ordered a Sabco brewing system (it now lives in the Black Kettle warehouse).

Bryan’s first attempt at brewing “sucked” (yes, that’s a direct quote). The beer didn’t turn out as well as he’d hoped, and the process was tedious to undertake alone. He turned to his friend Phil Vanderborre who, at the time, was a chef at Gargoyle, a Sysco account of Bryan’s. Phil understood taste profiles and was eager to learn to brew. The two rented a tiny warehouse and began brewing every Friday afternoon for many months. This was technically (TECHNICALLY) illegal, and, eventually, a neighbour informed the city of the “bootlegging” happening in the complex (the sales team’s official job title is now “Bootlegger”). Bryan played dumb, packed everything up, and stashed it in his garage.

They had come to a fork in the road: either pack it in, or go all in. With a business plan in motion, law-abiding paperwork to back it up (... technically) and a blood alcohol level most likely above legal limit, Bryan and Phil jumped- Black Kettle was officially born. They brewed their first batch of Pale Ale on September 1, 2013, and opened the doors at 720 Copping Place, just past the rail tracks in North Vancouver, to the public on January 17, 2014.

Of course, starting a craft brewery from scratch wasn’t easy. In addition to run-ins with the law, there were also near-death experiences. Among the most notable of these is the time a pressurized steam hose was unwittingly released, and began whipping around like a tornado. Phil’s dad, there to lend a helping hand, was quick to react and managed to take shelter under a fermenter tank. Bryan, on the other hand, was not so swift, and had his shoes melted to the tops of his feet.

Cont'd

Thankfully, aside from the occasional capping of a thumb instead of a bottle, things at Black Kettle now run much more smoothly. Phil remains the head brewer and, along with a team of four guys, keeps the delicious beer flowing. Bryan spends his time in the office upstairs, tackling all the paperwork, finances and business development strategy with the help of his trusty sales team / Bootleggers (although he can still be found down in the brewery, checking up on things in his steel-toed flip flops).

Bryan and Phil started Black Kettle to make good beer for their buddies. This philosophy and laid-back attitude lives on in the brewery today: the space is modest and lived-in.

Customers who come in for a pint or to fill their growler are in the thick of it: grain is milled right outside the front door. Kegs and bottles are filled, capped and cased behind the tasting area. The traveling event bar, built one morning on the fly using wood from old pallets and whatever lumber was kicking around, has been lovingly pieced back together several times after rough journeys home on the winding Sea-to-Sky highway. It’s not fancy, but it is authentic.

Along with the two flagship beers, the Pale Ale and the IPA, Black Kettle now brews a Wheat Ale for the summer months and an Oatmeal Stout for winter. Phil gets to stretch his creative legs with limited release small-batch brews every three weeks or so. These are decided based on season (darker beers for colder months, lighter beers for hot days spent at the beach), and with input from staff, friends, customers and anyone else who thinks their opinion deserves to be heard!

Black Kettle is one of a handful of craft breweries in B.C. that do not use chemicals or preservatives, and leave their beer unfiltered. This, in combination with carefully selected ingredients, dedicated brewers and the high quality of water on the North Shore, results in delicious beer time and time again.


Story by Ksenia Dempster.

Contact

720 Copping Street – Unit 106
North Vancouver, BC, V7M 3N2

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Hours

  • Monday 12PM – 8PM
  • Tuesday 12PM – 8PM
  • Wednesday 12PM – 9PM
  • Thursday 12PM – 9PM
  • Friday 12PM – 9PM
  • Saturday 12PM – 9PM
  • Sunday 12PM – 8PM
  • Food starts 30 mins after opening and ends 30 mins before close.