Whisky fans lined up at the podium of Saanich council last week to endorse the rezoning of 761 Enterprise Cres. to host Victoria Caledonian Brewery and Distillery.
Council approved the staff recommendation that the rezoning go to a public hearing, which is the final piece of the process for Caledonian. The startup has completely remodelled two units for a total of 17,320 square-feet in an industrially zoned building on Enterprise, off Glanford Avenue.
Craft beer, including reusable 1.9-litre growler bottle fills on site, should be available this summer. Spirits are likely coming in 2017 followed by the distillery’s marquee product, single-malt whiskey, in 2019 or 2020.
Caledonian is slated to be Saanich’s first brewery. It will offer a tasting room and lounge in addition to point of sale.
Issues were few and minor though council gave the subject a thorough review on a night with a relatively short agenda. Saanich demands 39 parking spots while the facility can accommodate 25-plus with street parking. The work around comes from cycling, as five of the current employees get to work by bike or transit. Owner Graeme Macaloney admitted he’s the only one who drives.
When Macaloney asked for a one-hour extension on closing time to 11 p.m. on event nights, council not only agreed, but countered with a closing time of midnight.
Couns. Leif Wergeland, Vic Derman and Colin Plant opposed the later closing time as something that could be revisited at a later date.