CrossRoads Brewing Creating a Buzz
Prince George, B.C. – Craft beer fans in Prince George will soon have plenty to cheer about.
CrossRoads Brewing – a local venture announced to great fanfare back in January – remains on track for a 2016 opening.
Located on George Street in the building that was last operated by Tony Roma’s – is the result of a partnership between two Prince George men – Bjorn Butow and Daryl Leiski.
“We are still on track to open later this year, by Christmas we will be open,” confirms Butow. “I think things are moving forward, pieces are coming together as we sort of planned.”
He says part of that work has included gutting the 8,000 square foot building and getting it ready for construction.
“Imminently we will be pouring concrete floors to get the flooring down and the flooring will take about a month to cure and then we start construction after that.”
Leiski says there’s also been plenty of paper work that’s been going on behind the scenes as well.
“We have our building plans into the city waiting for permitting. The city has been super supportive so we’re just waiting for that to come through.”
In April the pair took another big step forward in its development when they purchased brew house equipment from Central City Brewers and Distillers of Surrey and entered into an agreement with brew master Gary Lohin as consultant.
Leiski says they’ll take another step forward later this week when they announce who they’ve hired as their brew master.
“He’s already given his notice, he’s moving here August 1, we hit a home-run,” says Leiski, who still expects to be in on the company’s beer-making decisions.
“I’ll be pretty involved. I’m a home brewer – I like beer. The brew master is going to have his recipes. He kind of understands the demographics here but I think we understand it a bit better and so we’re going to have 10 or 12 beers on tap and we’ll see what’s moving, what’s selling.”
Butow envisions the establishment will strike a resemblance to Northern Lights Estate Winery.
“So the same kind of concept as the winery. A tasting room concept which people will walk into and they’ll see glass windows where they’ll see the manufacturing area and watch us do the brewing. And there will be a sit down tasting area here that will have a bit of a coffee shop feel.”
He adds their work has created quite the buzz in town.
“I can’t say enough about the support from the community. I’ll go to Costco and people will say ‘hey, are you the guy opening the brewery? Awesome man, when are you guys opening? I can’t wait to come down and support you.’ It’s cool.”
Leiski also believes the timing of the opening will help fill a niche in the community.
“Oh yeah, definitely. I think our timing is excellent. I think this building sat empty for I don’t know – four years now. The location is fantastic, the WIDC building is here, The Keg’s next door and very supportive.
“The Ramada, Copper Pig, tourists are coming down, a new hotel has been announced, The Black Clover’s opened, a nightclub will probably re-open soon. Once you get that critical mass, then more people come downtown. We’re hoping another brewery comes downtown too.”