It's safe to say Jesse Paine has probably tasted more beers in the last two years than you will in your entire life.
His decision to take on the arduous task of sampling a different beer every day — he's up to over 850 at this point — was as rooted in business as much as it was in pleasure.
"I have a very tolerant wife," Paine laughed.
Now Paine is watching his extensive research pay off in the form of his very own microbrewery, One Duck Brewing Company, where he hopes to expose Squamish to the kind of hard-to-find craft beers he first fell in love with.
A born and bred Whistlerite, Paine first started dabbling in home brewing about a decade ago. Those initial batches were, by his own admission, not all that good. But he had a passion for it and spent years honing his skills and slowly expanding his arsenal of brewing equipment until he decided it was time to take the next step.
"Like a lot of home brewers, having my own brewery was always my dream and that's why I got into it," said Paine.
The vision for One Duck Brewing (named after Whistler's One Duck Lake and a particularly curious mallard Paine and his wife encountered on a fishing trip) is to keep the batches small, around 200 litres each, so Paine can ensure the quality of each pint that goes out.
"It's totally to do with the culture and everything I want to create around it," he said. "I didn't want it to be something that starts off so big that I don't have control around it. I'd like to have my hand in everything."
While Paine is still finalizing the brewery's Squamish location, he envisions it as a place where suds lovers can enjoy a beer in the tasting room and go home with a growler "feeling like they're actually part" of the whole process.
"Because it's small batches, there's a lot of freedom to play around with recipes, so even getting people's input on everything will be great," said Paine, who plans to specialize in "uncommon" abbey-style ales and saisons, like a sour Flemish Red with notes of cherry and oak, or the rich and dark Belgian Double, along with a few North American classics.
"There are so many styles of Belgian beer that a lot of people here don't get the chance to try all that often," said Paine. "They're such food-friendly beers, I'd love to see more of them around."
Gearing up for a late fall/early winter opening, Paine is turning to Kickstarter to raise $15,000 for the completion of a taproom and bottle shop, with plenty of perks available for backers.
"I went the Kickstarter route because it helps me get the word out and build the extra capital instead of piecing things together one at a time," Paine said. "It will kick start — for lack of a better word — that whole process."
Visit tinyurl.com/OneDuckBrewing to contribute.
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