The mission statement for Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers‘ touches on being inspired by the active community in British Columbia, which is often on-the-go and up for an outdoor adventure. This philosophy makes head brewer and production manager Jonny Kostiuk a perfect match for the company.

After graduating from college, Kostiuk backpacked around the world for eight months and explored three different continents. He honed his palate while enjoying the variety of food and drinks from around the world. He then worked in the oil and gas industry on drilling rigs while getting the homebrew bug. He began making his own beer and researching how to make it better. Deciding on a career change he moved from his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, to Langley, British Columbia, to attend the Kwantlen Polytechnic University for his diploma in Brewing and Brewery Operations.

While there, Kostiuk landed a cellaring job at Deep Cove in North Vancouver, determined to learn as much and as quickly as possible. After graduating he moved to Vancouver and climbed the ranks of the company to running the production of the business. Here he chats about the growing BC beer scene, the great outdoors and future brewing aspirations.

1) The craft brewing industry is exploding all over. What makes a British Columbia beer unique?

British Columbia was the first place in Canada where craft beer really exploded.  We are also very close to some of the best hop farms — Yakima Valley and BC —  and barley farms/malting — Alberta — in the world. There is a lot of beer history here and there are a lot of really great brewers with a lot of experience. Since there are so many breweries, brewers put a lot of work in to make unique and high-quality beers.

2) Do you have any brewing pipe dreams or anything new in the works?

I recently traveled to Mexico for vacation and while in the Oaxaca province I ate chicken mole every day. Mole is a spicy chocolate sauce with a variety of spices and ingredients that is native to Oaxaca. I want to make a beer version of this in the form of a stout or porter. I am still in the idea phase of this beer but plan on making a recipe and doing a test batch soon.

3) BC is well known for its outdoor enthusiasts. What makes a great winter beer, one you can enjoy after a day on the slopes?

I personally love the outdoors and it is one of the reasons why I moved to Vancouver. No matter what the season there are so many different activities you can do and places you can do them. My favorite time for a good pint is after a day of outdoor activities. This being said that pint will vary based on the season. I always enjoy a good IPA, but if it’s not an IPA I do prefer beers that are lighter, fruitier, lower on the ABV and easier to drink when the weather is hot and sunny. 

In the winter, however, after a day of snowboarding or surfing I usually enjoy a beer with a high ABV for the warming sensation you get from drinking it. You drink them slowly and really enjoy them this way. For me my favorite winter beers are dark ales and Belgian beers.

4) What is your favorite way to enjoy a Deep Cove beer?

After a big day of outdoor activities or a camping trip!

Photos courtesy Deep Cove