It used to be a nightclub, but these days the former Mule on Martin Street is being transformed into Penticton’s newest craft brewery.
Hatchery Brewing took delivery of its huge brewing tanks Thursday morning (Feb 14), a big leap forward toward getting the facility up and running.
“Today’s a big day. It’s a project that’s been years in the planning,” said co-founder Liam Peyton, who first dreamed up Hatchery with his Penticton-native wife Kelsey in 2014. They picked the name in honour of the nearby salmon hatchery and the importance of those fish to the Penticton area.
He and his team have completely gutted the old Mule and adjacent cafe, making room for 3,000 square feet of state-of-the-art brewery and a whopping 250-seat drinking and dining area.
“And upstairs we have around 3,100 square feet with a rooftop patio, we’re putting in a streetside patio and garage doors,” Peyton said. “Putting in a kitchen, we’re going to have about eight beers of our own on at any one time and a couple of rotating guest taps and some ciders. Live music, pretty fun little venue we’re trying to build here.”
Brewmaster and co-owner Chris Vandenberg, who previously worked with brewers in the Lower Mainland, said with the installation of the tanks, he hopes to get brewing as quickly as March.
“Beers here are going to be a little bit of everything, we appreciate that Penticton needs all sorts of different things,” Vandenberg said.
“We’re going to bring in lots of things that are influenced by the local terroir, all sorts of different spices, local fruits, local vegetation and incorporate it whenever we can, but we’re also going to keep really simple lagers and pale ales and really beach friendly beverages and things that everybody can enjoy.”
Vandenberg oversaw the installation of the giant stainless steel tanks, which were locally made in Summerland and which will be visible from the customer area when construction is completed.
Peyton said the new spot will be open late every night, as late as 1 a.m. some weekend nights in the summer, featuring live music and potentially a separate upstairs area with pool tables and a more traditional bar feel.
They hope to be at least partially open by the May long weekend, and fully operational by mid-summer. Hatchery is one of two new craft breweries slated to open in 2019, the other being Neighbourhood Brewing just across Westminster Avenue at Winnipeg Street.