The first brewery on Delta farmland is one step closer to becoming a reality after Metro Vancouver’s regional planning committee supported the expansion of sewage treatment to the proposed business.
After a 2015 change in regulations allowing for breweries on farmland, three Ladner farmers put together plans to run a brewery on their farm at 6625 60 Ave in south Delta. This past Friday Metro Vancouver’s regional planning committee considered the farmers’ application to expand the Fraser sewerage area to the brewery site and agreed to forward the request to the organization’s sewer and drainage board for consideration.
The three Ladner farmers-Brent Harris, Ken Malenstyn and David Terpsma- are combining the farming expertise of Harris and Terpsma with Malenstyn’s knowledge of craft beer to create south Delta’s first farm-based craft brewery.
Ian Paton, Delta councillor and member of Metro Vancouver’s regional planning committee, said a brewery is one way to make farming viable and attractive for young farmers. “We need young farmers to get back into farming instead of saying “there’s no money in farming, I’m going to go off and become something else”,” Paton said. “It’s good to see, young farmers are now able to think outside of the box.”
In June 2015 amendments were made to the Agricultural Land Commission Act allowing breweries to operate on farmland if at least 50 per cent of the product used to produce the beer is grown on the farm. The Delta brewery will grow 90 per cent of the malted barley used in brewing as well as oats, rye and other inputs including potatoes and cranberries. Nearly all of the products grown on-farm will be organic, as the existing land is already supporting an organic farming operation.
The decision to expand the sewer area boundary now sits with the greater Vancouver sewerage and drainage district (GVS&DD). As the sewer system runs by the proposed brewery site, there would only need to be a hook up and not a substantial change to the sewer system. The brewers have agreed to pay for the sewer extension and future costs.
The brewery application has already been through a public hearing that councillor Paton said faced no opposition as well as a rezoning by the Corporation of Delta council from agricultural use to comprehensive development.
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