Father’s Day Saturday, June 18th I took an impromptu trip out to the newly-opened Chaos and Solace Brewing in Chilliwack, BC.
Last I’d heard about C&S was from Mike’s Craft Beer back in May and I’ll admit that I wasn’t really keeping up on the news. It turns out that they had a bit of a soft launch last week on the same day that Parkside Brewery opened in Port Moody.
Head Brewer Calvin has been brewing up a storm in his pilot system to ensure that there’s enough beer for their launch. He’s also taken a lesson from both Fieldhouse Brewing and Parkside Brewery and rationed his beer so as to ensure they don’t completely run out on their opening day.
Even with that rationing, Calvin and his staff were only allowing patrons to drink beer in-house and growler fills were restricted to his porter; he wasn’t serving his IPA or Kolsch when I arrived. My understanding is that he was keeping some in reserve – all part of the rationing plan.
The tasting room is a brilliant open space, melding high ceilings with exposed brick, wood, corrugated aluminum and an overall clean design and open to the brewery. Simplicity is definitely the key; the design as well as the beer is no-nonsense.
Once the joint gets up and running properly, I look forward to heading out to see what it’s like when the tasting room space is full. There’s a nice, long bar with seating, as well as a great raised long table to share with fellow patrons.
The building also has some nice history attached to it, as it was once a Safeway and part of the bustling old downtown Chilliwack of yesteryear. The building has changed hands and sat empty for some time. Until now.
There were 5 beers listed on the menu board when I arrived, but as I mentioned the Kolsch and the IPA were crossed off the list for that day. I tried a paddle with the Radler, a Hefe-Weise, and two glasses of the Porter. Of these I preferred the Hef, which had lots of great fruity notes and a good texture, though I definitely look forward to tasting more beer once Calvin moves off the pilot system. With the current setup he’s brewing five or six batches on the small system so I’m interested to see what will be produced when he can focus on a single, large batch rather than multiple small ones.
Chaos and Solace is expecting to have their kettle and other components of their main system installed and tested in the coming weeks (hopefully). There are naturally some hurdles to overcome as they get up and running at full capacity but it will be exciting to see what develops out in Chilliwack with a brewery downtown. If you’re out in that neighbourhood, be sure to drop in to taste for yourself!