These days, the Sunshine Coast is a really “hoppening” place. With new microbreweries popping up all over our fair province, it only seems fitting that we have two of our own right here in the Gibsons area, as well as one up in Powell River. That’s enough to get our community on the BC Ale Trail itinerary.
Gibsons Tapworks is the newest brewery on the block. The taproom opened up in February 2017 in Lower Gibsons and offers up a wide selection of beer for every palate; as well as gastro-pub fare through the Nomadic Kitchen food truck. Tapworks also hosts regular events, such as live music on Saturdays, Monday night trivia, mountain bike movie sessions and community fundraisers. Now, almost half a year into launch, they’re averaging about one new beer per month with rotating guest taps.
The brewery is the brainchild of partners Warren Gregory, Geoff Gornall, and Neil Bergman. It all started when Warren - an environmental scientist by day and home brewer by night - approached Geoff (his cousin) and Neil (a childhood friend) about opening a brewery. The more they explored the concept, the more they were determined to make it work.
“Beer is a passion for me and couldn’t think of a better way to spend the 9-5 (or more than that), than brewing and serving beer,” says Warren.
The trio, originally from the Metro Vancouver area had their sights set on the Sunshine Coast. A more affordable housing market, proximity to family and nature and the market potential were all big deciding factors. Warren moved first, and then Geoff and Neil followed soon after.
“When we started Gibsons Tapworks, our goal was to create a community hub and bring in a variety of beers that people like to try,” Geoff explains, adding that Tapworks attracts the Gibsons local clientele, and is also a great draw for the growing tourism market in the region.
Out of towners are quickly learning about Gibsons Tapworks through social media, blogs and word of mouth.
“What we hear so often is how surprised people are at the level of accessibility to get to the Sunshine Coast,” says Geoff. “A 40 minute ferry ride seems so much easier. People bring their bikes over and ride to our brewery.”
The founders have both been amazed by how much the community of Gibsons has supported them, including fellow brewery, Persephone (watch for my write up on them coming soon).
For those looking to start up their own business here on the Sunshine Coast, Geoff had this to say: “I encourage you just to go for it because it’s totally worth it. It’s, in my opinion, the biggest hidden gem I’ve ever come across in my life.”