Folks who are planning a visit to Yellowknife in the summer of 2015 are in for a special treat. Since the mid-1990s, our fine city has been without a brewpub or brewery, much to the chagrin of our swelling population of microbrew lovers. All that is about to change this summer with the opening of NWT Brewing Co.'s 85-seat brewpub at the southern edge of Old Town
Since construction began a couple months ago, it has become increasingly apparent that young entrepreneurs Fletcher and Miranda Stevens are not just dipping their toes in the water. By completely transforming and expanding the perfectly located but almost forgotten Bartle & Gibsons building, they are signalling their intent to be around for a very long time. There is no half-stepping going on here. And it is clear to everyone who knows them and who has sampled their product over the last couple years that they not only know what it takes to run a successful brewpub, they are already accomplished brewers.
There is another aspect to this brewpub project that deserves mention. This building and the business within it are going to be a catalysts for change in Old Town. Nobody wants to see Old Town lose its eclectic character or have it turn into an overdeveloped Granville-Island-esque tourist Mecca, but neither do we want to endure another 30 years of derelict buildings lining the entrance to what is obviously the epicenter of our local tourism industry. This brewpub will show nearby property owners and entrepreneurs the value of making significant investments in Old Town.
If you're into microbrew and if you're contemplating a visit to Yellowknife at any point in the next decade, be sure to follow the evolution of this business on Facebook and Twitter. It's going to be fun to watch.