Barnside Brewing Co.

Posted on Wednesday, 9 November 2022 under Stories Featured

Barnside – our story

The Barnside story started organically, as many things do on the farm. A local Ladner farm was considering a switch to growing hops (in response to a rebirth in the BC Hop industry thanks to the meteoric growth of the local craft beer scene). Across the street, their neighbour had been using barley as a rotational and transitional crop on their large organic operation. They had recently started growing some malting barley to see if there was a better return on the grain. And two other neighbours were home brewing in the family’s old dairy barn.

Photos by Barnside Brewing Co.

On the farm, neighbours were always there to help. We wanted to revive that strong sense of community, bringing folks together again. We thought we could do that with fresh, raw, unfiltered beer, crafted from ingredients straight from our farms. We also wanted to do it on the farm, allowing people to taste our beer right where it’s grown and truly get a sense of place.

Four long-standing Ladner farm families, growing all the ingredients and brewing right there on the farm. It seemed like an idea that had some merit. And just like that, Barnside Brewing Co. was born.

Photo by Barnside Brewing Co.

Growers and Brewers

At Barnside, we are farmers first.

Our focus starts in the ground, and we carry that story all the way to the glass. 100% of the hops used in our menu of beers are grown right across the street from the brewery. Most of the malting barley (even some Oats and Wheat) are grown in our Delta fields. Several beers lay claim to being true One Mile Beers – with 100% of the ingredients coming from within shouting distance of the brewery. We have even captured our own wild yeast culture which we use in several of our beers!

We do this because we grow. That’s what we do. The development and eventual opening of the brewery was an organic response to diversifying our crops, farms and farming operations. Naturally, we always start with the soil. We bring a passion to farming that has been developed in our families for well over a century.

Community plays an important role in shaping how we operate. Our focus as a brewery is always on sourcing our ingredients as close as possible. Sourcing local creates resilience for your community. It creates wealth in terms of financial benefits, but it also creates cultural benefits. Rural farming communities in particular need this to survive. Farmer, essayist and poet Wendell Berry has long argued this point, and it is one we certainly agree with.

Photo by Barnside Brewing Co.

All that considered, when it comes to Barnside and our operating model, our belief is that the real value is for the customer.

No one else can make the beer that we make. So, when you visit us or drink our beers, you are tasting an amazingly unique expression of the local terroir. Our Ladner clay soil profile, the salt-tinged ocean breezes, the long and (mostly) sunny summer days, all play a role in the taste of the finished product. The end result is a craft beer that delivers a true experience.

We use the #farmfreshbeer hashtag and our ‘Good Beer, Grown Here’ tagline to underline that commitment to being true to our farming roots. It is our promise to those who are looking for a true ‘taste of terroir’.

About the Author

Ken Malenstyn is an owner and General Manager of Barnside Brewing Co. He is also the current chair of the BC Hop Growers Association.

He grows hops and raises sheep on his Ladner farm.