Stevens has picked out a new location at 3905 50th Ave. in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. He told Beer In Canada the facility has higher ceilings and more square footage than the location he was considering last year. Should all go as planned, NWT Brewing will open with several seven-barrel fermenters and brite tanks.
“With that being said, there is still an uphill climb until we can officially open our doors,” Stevens said. “We are working with some pretty old liquor laws here, and updating them to accommodate this craft beer boom that’s going on through the rest of the country could pose our biggest hurdle.”
It wouldn’t be the first brewery to operate in the NWT, but the former Bush Pilot’s Brewpub closed 15 years ago. Currently, the only brewery in Northern Canada is Yukon Brewing in Whitehorse.
Cutting through government red tape could still create problems for Stevens. He has not yet gone to Yellowknife’s city council with his new plans, but he noted that most councillors are on board. The NWT Liquor Commission is another story, as NWT Brewing is pushing the regulatory body to dig up old laws that haven’t been read in a long time. They’re a little dusty.
“We are hopeful, though. If other towns are buzzing about the prospect of a brewery, then I don’t see why they wouldn’t approve things from a territorial standpoint,” he said.
Time will tell. Maybe Yellowknife will finally get its brewpub this year.