Old Yale Brewing has been on the scene since 1999, and in recent years has really gained momentum as well as recognition for the quality of their beers. We had a word with Marketing Manager Heather Perdue to find out what’s new at Old Yale.
Q&A with Heather Perdue
You recently won at the BC Beer Awards for best packaging. What were you most proud of about that?
We were so thrilled to win the Creative Industry Best Packaging Design Award for our Craft Camper this year. At Old Yale, we are all about adventure, from the mountains to our customers taste buds, so creating a Camper was a no-brainer for us! We launched the new variety 8-pack back in April 2018 and the response from our customers has been overwhelming, so much so that we just released the Winter version sporting snowy tires and a new mix. It was a long (but fun!) process for the team to get the pack just right, using little details to resemble a vintage camper and finding the right mix to be the perfect adventure buddy.
What’s new on the horizon in terms of seasonals or new beers?
We’ve got some really exciting Winter beers this season, released in December and early 2019. A few old favourites from our Tall Tale Series will be making their annual comeback and you’ll see some new bold flavours and ingredients in our Trailblazer Series as well. It’s safe to say, these upcoming beers will satisfy our customers holiday cravings and warm them right up on those rainy and snowy evenings!
Any new collaborations?
We just finished up the first-ever Fraser Valley Collaboration beer, The Valley, a Double Fresh Hop Farmhouse made with our friends at Foamer’s Folly, Trading Post, Raven’s and Field House. We had a great experience collaborating and brewing this tasty brew, so we’re definitely on the lookout for new collaborations in 2019. In the meantime, we’ve got our (not your average) collaboration beer, Head Shaker Honey Lager, made with Vancouver Canucks alumni Brendan Morrison and his team at Reel West Coast (a lifestyle fishing show), available on an ongoing (but limited) basis. Stay tuned for what’s to come!
Any particular ways you’ve been active in your community?
Being located in Chilliwack (we like to call it BC’s outdoor playground), we tend to have a lot to celebrate and explore, and we work hard to support our community whenever possible. Whether it’s attending local events, hosting our own or sponsoring local non-profit organizations, we’re passionate about being a part of the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley community. Right now, we’re collaborating with the 2nd annual Chilliwack Independent Film Festival to support local artists and filmmakers. In December, we’ll be running our 3rd annual Sock Drive, collecting sock donations on behalf of Ruth and Naomi’s Mission in Chilliwack.
Your company has been around for 19 years. What would you tell someone getting into the business today?
19 years already? Whew. The business of craft beer is every bit as cooperative, innovative and fun as you hear about all the time. The one thing you don’t always hear though is how tough it is to stay competitive, relevant and financially viable. We think there are two keys to surviving in this crazy/wonderful industry:
- You need a solid, fully fleshed-out business plan before you do anything else. You also need the skills (or to surround yourself with people who have them) to execute against that plan. Find something that makes your brand experience unique and inspires you and write the plan around that.
- You need great beer. It should go without saying, but as the industry grows you always have people who jump in hoping to make a quick buck and don’t focus on the importance of a high-quality product. Don’t just trust the opinions of people who know and love you (family, friends etc.). It’s one thing for a friend to enjoy a homebrew that you gave them for free; it’s a whole other animal when you ask a stranger to fork out their hard-earned money to buy the beer you make.
Above all else, anyone who wants to join the industry should know that craft brewers are all here to help each other, and we’re all more than happy to sit down and answer questions and give lots of advice over a tasty pint.
Any other topic you’d care to highlight?
We’ve been busy working behind the scenes over the past few months, expanding our Tasting Room in Chilliwack, and it’s finally complete… and open! We had our Grand Opening on November 17th and it was a huge success, with an amazing response from our customers and the community. The expansion has doubled our size and capacity (and then some), we’ve extended our hours, upped our décor game and cozy factor AND added a mini stage to showcase live local music… but don’t just take our word for it, you’ve got to see it in person!
Old Yale Brewing carries What’s Brewing magazine! You can find them in our Partner Outlets directory:
Old Yale Brewing
44550 South Sumas Road, Chilliwack, BC
SUN-WED • 11AM-7PM