Update: Coal Harbour Brewing has revised their closure statement, claiming they will be pursuing plans to relocate and reopen in the future. At this current time, they remain closed.
It’s with sad news that we report the first BC Brewing closure of 2020. Coal Harbour Brewing Company, opened in 2010, officially announced they are shutting down this morning (February 1).
The reason? Apparently the BC Liquor Distribution Branch slapped some pretty hefty fines on CHBC back in the summer, to the tune of $300,000. That’s a lot of money for any craft brewer to pay, especially one that doesn’t have a dedicated tasting room.
This is of course a sad development for the craft beer scene in Vancouver, and our heart goes out to the staff of CHBC who hopefully will find new opportunities at other breweries around town. We unfortunately predicted that closures were imminent this year, but had hoped we were wrong.
It also means the loss of some of the beer CHBC was known for like the 3-11 Helles Lager, Dino Candy Sour, Smoke and Mirrors and more.
Full statement from the CHBC Facebook page below (which has since been removed):
It is with much sadness and regret that I announce the closure of Coal Harbour Brewing Company.
First, I, and the entire CHBC team want to thank everyone for the years of support that you have shown us.
We have made many friends over the years, and we couldn’t have done anything without all of you.
In the summer, CHBC was audited by the LDB. The results were not favourable. In the years before the current team operating the day to day of CHBC, there were not the proper systems in place that we have now.
Lack of/missing/incomplete records keeping, paired with an irresponsible level of free beer being given away, the LDB audited us to the absolute highest of their abilities, and showed no leniency towards us.
This left us with a $300K fine to be paid, in full, in one sum.
As we were unable to meet this amount, we received further sanctions, including the removal of our manufacturing license.
A new investment partner was found, but in the end, a deal was not able to be completed in time.
Even though Coal Harbour Brewing Company is coming to an end, the people that have worked so hard the past 2 and a half years to bring the brewery from “that brewery that makes that lager”, to driving a rejuvenated brand into the light, are not going anywhere. We are all still incredibly passionate about the local craft beer scene, and we can’t wait to continue to create great things, just in different places.
Thank you from all of us.