Are you ready for the Riot?
At long last, Riot Brewing has thrown open the doors of its brewery and lounge in Chemainus.
The establishment in Mural Town has been in the works for more than a year and a half, and founders Aly Tomlin and Ralf Rosenke have been planning things for more than seven years.
“We’re open,” Tomlin said. “Come drink beer.”
Although the lounge isn’t quite finished — some artwork still needs to be hung, for example — Tomlin, Rosenke and Morgan Moreira, a more recent addition to the partnership, decided they couldn’t wait any longer and opened up on Thursday.
Head brewer Fabian Specht, who has worked at several other locations, including the well-established Central City and Howe Sound breweries, has been making beer at Riot for the last month and a half.
Five styles are available as the Riot kicks off, including flagship beers Lipslide Lager, Life Partners Pale Ale and Junk Punch IPA, as well as seasonal brews Working Class Hero Dark Mild and the cheekily named Sorry We Took So Long Saison.
The three flagship beers will be available in cans soon, and the seasonals will be sold in 650mL bombers, but for the time being, they’re only available on tap at the lounge or for growler fills.
Draught kegs will be available for restaurants and bars as well. The Sawmill Taphouse, located just steps away in the Chemainus Village Square, picked up its first two kegs earlier this week, and Riot products will be on tap there.
All the cans and bottles will be tagged with Riot Brewing’s skate culture-inspired branding, something guaranteed to make them stand out on liquor store shelves.
“No one looks like us,” Tomlin said proudly. “Not anywhere in the world.”
This is just a subtle opening for the brewery, with bigger things planned for later on, after some of the wrinkles are ironed out.
“We’re not going to do a grand opening until spring,” Tomlin said. “By the time springs come, we’ll be pretty dialed in to what we’re doing.”
The lounge will open at 11 a.m. seven days a week.