Pinky: Hi everyone! Having taken a bit of a break from the blog, I thought I'd get back into the swing of things by commenting on a recent local event, in which I have some personal interest.
You may have heard already: UBC is getting their own microbrewery. More specifically, the AMS has committed to the construction of a fully operational brewery in the new Student Union Building (SUB). No details have been finalized yet, such as the brewmaster, name, number and types of beers… but it may even supply kegs to licensed events on campus. (Nice!)
Today, there are many great college towns with breweries. For example, New Belgium Brewing*, which produces Fat Tire, can be found at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Similarly, the fully-functioning microbrewery at the University of Nottingham greatly enhances its teaching and research in brewing science—the fact that it’s built and operated by SABMiller, one of the world’s largest brewing companies, probably has a lot to do with how incredible the facility is.
Of course, some will oppose this step forward, simply because it's liquor-related. There will always be concerns surrounding binge-drinking, particularly at universities, regardless of the source. These concerns are fair, but the benefits of having a brewery on campus will be numerous, including further developing the culture and offering a new, steady source of income after its first few initial years. (It's probably not going to be hard to sell tasty, competitively-priced beer to uni students.)
The stand-out factor for the UBC brewery is that it's being hailed as the first student-run brewery in North America (and possibly the European Union). Some universities have attempted similar projects, but varying factors, such as costs and provincial regulations, meant they failed to follow through. (This may sound familiar to the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union, who didn’t have the appropriate space.) However, taking advantage of the construction of the new SUB will mean substantially reduced start-up costs for UBC’s microbrewery, in an environment bolstered by Vancouver’s growing craft beer scene.
In summary, I wish them nothing but good luck in their endeavor! (I also wish they had started this process several years earlier, while I there completing my UBC undergrad.)
*Side note: Dying to try Cocoa Molé, from New Belgium's Lips of Faith series.