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October 27, 2017 9:52 pm

CrossRoads Brewing Creating a Buzz

Monday, July 25, 2016 @ 6:00 AM
From left, CrossRoads Brewing owners Bjorn Butow and Daryl Leiski - photo 250News

From left, CrossRoads Brewing owners Bjorn Butow and Daryl Leiski – photo 250News

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.”


Good luck guys.. Parking may be a concern.

    There is a four story parade right next door, a parking lot behind and another parking lot behind the wood inovation centre. I don’t think it will be an issue.

      PG people do not like to park in parkades. In fact. most of the parkade spaces are rented on a monthly basis. That one is almost fully rented out to long term users such as the Ramada.

      The parking behind the WIDIC is being converted into a transit loop/park. That parking lot used to be packed when the PG Hotel’s nightclubs and lounge were operating; the Heart Breakers nightclub under various names; the Achillion; even the Croft; when the Coaches Corner was more popular; the Ramada had a restaurant and lounge; Ric’s Grill was a going concern; the various users of the Tony Roma restaurant site, not to mention the Keg when it was packed with line-ups.

      In addition, we have had various versions of the East Indian restaurants under the parkade as well as Au Chocolate. Then there is the Twisted Cork as well as the restaurant close by which could become popular once more. It has a banquet facility upstairs as well. We also have the Legion which has demand for parking on weekends when they have popular bands.

      The parking for that end was accommodated with the public part of the parkade plus the parking lot behind the parkade as well as the off street parking at the auto based businesses which have now been torn down. While the city does not use that space, they should take some of the concrete barriers down to provide additional parking.

      So, in summation, the on and off street parking has begun to shrink and will shrink even more within the next year. That was no problem while the Keg was not operational for a couple of years, the Ramada restaurant and lounge were not rebuilt, the PG Hotel was torn down, etc.

      We now have a new office building which requires parking during the day and possibly even the evenings if there are computer labs in there for UNBC. In fact, they may take up some reserved parking in the parkade. The Ramada still has events in their banquet rooms which happen mainly on weekends in the evenings. That will easily involve 200 + people, most of whom bring cars.

      The area is starting to get loaded up again and more is likely to come. It is an area which is ripe to become the center of the downtown entertainment scene.

      The City is responsible for providing on street as well as off-street parking for all businesses north of 7th avenue between Queensway and Victoria. If they have not done so, it is time for them to do an updated inventory of parking requirements for the businesses in that area. Without convenient parking, they have little chance to survive in this city.

Don’t Drink and Drive — Use a Taxi.

Thus far I don’t much care for craft brewery beers. In Europe I enjoyed awesome beers, way better than anything I ever found here. I hope these guys make something like that.

    Same here. For the most part, I like Pilsener-type beers. Most craft beers seem to be heavy, dark concoctions.

    Personally I find the opposite, European beers, ales & lagers are a bit too light & watery for my taste. It is unfortunate that here in BC we can only scratch the surface of the craft beer market, some of what is happening in the States is quite fantastic. Still I have to tip my hat to the local distributors for the variety of craft beer that is available. Billposer, the craft scene changes with the seasons, right now a lot of IPA’s, Saisons & similar summer type brews are what is in season, maybe you tried it in fall/winter when the more traditional heavy brews come out. I am quite excited to see what Daryl & Bjorn will come up with. On the local scene, both Valemount (Three Ranges Brewery) & Quesnel ( Barkerville Brewing) are making some very decent brews as well, you should check them out. Bottoms up!!

We’ve now got multiple breweries and a winery. When do we get a distillery?

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