products from outside the brewery. In keeping with Dog- wood’s craft and organic essence, they feature spirits and wines from other organic producers in the area. So alongside Dogwood’s own brews, you can taste spirits from Pemberton Distillery, local organic wines, and even organic flatbread pizzas from the Rocky Mountain Flat- bread Pizza Company. “The ‘lounge culture’ in Vancou- ver is excellent. And because they only allowed brewer- ies to open up in industrial areas, there are little pockets in the north of the city where there is a cluster of about seven breweries really close to each other. It makes for a great opportunity for visitors to go on walks and ‘lounge crawls.’ We’re the only one in South Vancouver so far, so people who come out and visit us are making a special trip.” One of the insights Claire brought with her from spending most of her life in the brewing industry was the constant need for space, and room to expand. She had witnessed first-hand how many small brew- eries were constantly in the position where they had to plead with landlords and occasionally buy out their neighbours when their space no longer kept up with demand. She insisted on securing far more square footage than they originally needed, anticipating expansion down the road. “So that’s part of the transparency that we were committed to from the beginning. To be zero waste. No unusual ingredients in our beer. It is what it says it is.” They currently lease 12,000 sq. ft. and are still using just under half of the space for their current operations. That would’ve been a big old lonely space in the beginning, as Claire was the only employee. She’d brew in the morning and complete administrative tasks in the afternoon. Today there are three brewers, all female as coincidence would have it. Claire says she really isn’t sure if she is deliberately hiring women, be it even at a subconscious level. “I catch myself. I’m not deliberately just hiring women! I’m not!” she laughs, almost seemingly trying to convince herself more than anyone else. Dogwood’s vision is more day-by- day. They just love brewing beer. And they thrive on being “authen- tic, transparent and unique.” “We want to focus on communicating what we stand for. So people can be proud that they are supporting a local organic brewery that isn’t secretly owned by some international mega company.” Dogwood Brewing is proud of their local organic suppliers and the growing community within the organic movement in British Columbia. “We always put ‘local’ first before ‘organic.’ It means a lot to our customers. It means a lot to us.”

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