Howe Sound buys R&B Brewing

We asked Leslie Fenn –co-owner of the Squamish brewpub– if this spells out the end for East Van’s long-standing microbrewery.

April 17, 2015

By Jenni Elliott

Vancouver Magazine: How did the purchase come about?

Howe Sound: We discovered R&B was for sale in January and initiated the discussion with Rick and Barry.

VM: Why is this the right fit for Howe Sound?

HS: We were interested in reviving and expanding R&B core brands and brewing selected Howe Sound beers locally in Vancouver.

VM: Are you going to completely re-direct R&B?

HS: No, we want to revive some brands and remarket others; but we intend to retain the individuality of R&B brewing.

VM: Will it be similar to the original Howe Sound or fulfil a different purpose?

HS: We see the Mt. Pleasant brewery as being a historic facility that should have its own identity and experience. HSB will be evident, but we want to tell a new story about this place.

VM: Fans of R&B will obviously to be sad to hear about the end of their local brewpub…

HS: It’s difficult when people put their heart into a business and make a decision to sell. Our hope is to keep the integrity and scale of R&B and keep producing R&B products with some Howe Sound Beers. There is lots of comradery and goodwill in the microbrewing business and that same attitude and creativity will continue in the R&B location.

In an interesting twist for Howe Sound fans, growlers will be available from the R&B location for the first time in the brewery’s nearly two-decade history. With the opening of downtown’s The Devil’s Elbow Smoke and Ale House last October, the brewery shows no signs of slowing down in 2015.

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