It’s been a while since Vancouver has seen a new brewery launch, and in the midst of Covid-19 that doesn’t come as a surprise. But, fortunately there are still a bold few prepared to launch a new brand at this time, including the ambitious beer concept, Hypha Project, set to launch this weekend.
Hypha is the brainchild of three Vancouver beer enthusiasts, with Slow Hand brewing co-founder Chris Charron working as brewmaster. The team is considering this work a passion project, something they hope will work to bring together good beer, art and community. It’s part of what inspires the name as well; Hypha are the branches of mushrooms or fungus that work underground to create networks that provide nutrients for growth. It’s that sense of underground community involvement that Hypha hopes to emulate.
It’s better to think of Hypha Project as a beer concept, rather than a full blown brewery, at least for now. The current concept is to release a limited supply run (100 flats) of one unique beer every month or so, brewed and sold directly from the source. The only way you’ll be able to get your hands on these limited runs is by visiting the brewery, and that’s exactly the point. They want to create an event out of every launch; not only is it a limited run, but each release will be anchored with a launch party incorporating elements of local artists and community neighbours. The team wouldn’t reveal exactly what they have in mind for future launches, but they are really hoping to produce something unique that people will look forward to attending.
Now obviously Covid-19 has put a bit of a damper on the initial release, but that doesn’t mean they are going completely silent. The first release, a double dry hopped IPA called Inceptional will be launched this weekend (July 25-26) at Slow Hand. There will be a small, socially distant block party and of course off sales for cans and merch. Each new release will feature the handy work of a local artist, with Inceptional featuring the artwork of Taka Sudo who will also be at Slow Hand over the weekend painting a mural on an onsite shipping container.
It will be interesting to see what the team has in mind with future releases. They are fans of big and bold IPAs, and think it’s quite likely they focus in on that style for subsequent editions but haven’t ruled out playing with other styles either. Once they are able to fully realize their vision for launch parties, this could be a very welcome addition to the brewery scene in Vancouver, something akin to the Sunday cider block parties back in the day.
If you are interested in picking up the first release, and checking out the other limited edition art prints and merch, the launch parties run between 12-6 at Slow Hand brewing both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. There is also a virtual launch party with a meet and greet with the co-founders.