Merridale Cider’s proposed Dockside Green location would include a brewhouse for producing beer, as well as a full-service restaurant, taproom and retail space. Photo contributed

Merridale Cider to move into Victoria and start brewing beer

Cobble Hill craft cidery looks to open brewhouse and distillery at Dockside Green by fall 2019

If the Cowichan Valley is just a little too far to travel for a pint, you’ll be pleased to know Merridale Cider is setting up shop in Victoria and branching into the beer and liquor business.

The Island-based craft cidery will be the newest addition to Dockside Green, a mixed-use, sustainable neighbourhood in Vic West that aligns with its philosophies – community, sustainable practices and quality products.

“We’re very excited,” says Merridale president Janet Docherty. “This has been a number of years in the making.”

Branching out into Victoria will be the company’s first expansion outside its flagship operation, an organic farm in Cobble Hill.

Plans for the new location at 356 Harbour Rd. include a four-storey brewhouse and distillery with a full-service kitchen, taproom and retail space. Visitors will be able to tour the facility via a catwalk to be built around the perimeter, overlooking temperature controlled rooms that will house barrels for the aging process.

Stepping up their game, producing scotch and whisky at the new site, is something Merridale has done at the farm since 2006. “In order to do that you need some mash, so we need to make beer,” says Docherty.

While currently everything is made at the farm, the new location will focus on brewing the beer and distilling, whereas the cider will still be made up Island.

Docherty points out that when Merridale opened 30 years ago no one else was really making craft cider, let alone brews that utilized local ingredients, supporting agriculture in B.C.

“Since that time, there’s been a major boom,” she says. “Things have changed because people are really looking to know where their food is coming from, and they want quality.”

The project, a partnership with Victoria-based Aryze Developments, is currently poised for rezoning and will go to public hearing at the Aug. 9 council meeting at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers.

If all goes according to plan, shovels will be in the ground by the end of the summer in anticipation of opening the doors in the fall of 2019.

Of the project, Docherty says, “It’s about having fun, it’s about pushing the envelope and it’s about doing what we believe in.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pacific Opera Victoria exec member earns major honour

Yvette Guigueno to attend prestigious OPERA America leadership program this month in New York

Famed character actor Bill Nighy to be part of 2020 Victoria Film Festival

Nighy to chat with CTV’s Richard Crouse after Feb. 8 screening of the film Hope Gap

ALLAN REID: Like fresh food? Find it in Cook Street Village

Hawaiian-inspired Poke Fresh offers right raw food combination for Monday reviewer’s liking

Victoria’s David Ferguson earns second Chrystal Dance Prize

Dance Victoria awards Suddenly Dance Theatre co-artistic director $20,000 for new project

VIDEO: Ken Jennings wins Jeopardy! ‘Greatest of all Time’ title

Champ bested professional gambler James Holzhauer and TV host/actor Brad Rutter

Canadian polar bears’ ‘ingenious’ survival seen in BBC Earth series

Film crews also go to Tofino to watch black bears snap up crabs under massive boulders

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

The winners of London Drugs’ 2019 Amateur Photographer of the Year contest are…

After more than 26,000 entries, the winners have been selected across Western Canada.

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ filmmaker Dean DeBlois among Canadian Oscar nominees

Multiple Oscar-nominated Canadian talents on Academy Award hopefuls list

Grammy winner Lucinda Williams to play Vancouver Island MusicFest

Singer-songwriter has been on artistic director Doug Cox’s wish list for years

Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain on temporary location

Theatre will operate one screen in former Sidney Buy & Sell space for the next 30 months or so

‘1917,’ ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ win multiple Golden Globes

Renee Zelleweger took home best actress in a drama, her fourth Globe

2020 box office starts off with ‘Star Wars’ still on top

Holiday holdovers stayed strong, led by a pair of Sony Pictures releases

Most Read