There are places to live, and then there are communities. The latter best describes Delta. Residents hold a sense of pride and appreciation for this unique spot along the West Coast they call home. Banked by watery borders and stretches of scenic farmland, it's a community unlike any other on the Lower Mainland. To us, it's home, but to those on the 'other side', Delta is often undefined or undiscovered. It's this lack of recognition for Delta that became a key driver in the creation of 'We Love Delta IPA'.
A collaboration of Tourism Delta's 'We Love Delta' platform, and two local breweries, Four Winds Brewery and Barnside Brewing Co., the project set seeks to bring attention to, and help define our community - from fresh produce and bountiful farmlands to scenic waterways and nature-filled vantage points. Beyond the beer being a celebration of what we've got right here in Delta, it's a beer that aims to give the Lower Mainland a taste of it.
With Four Winds at Tilbury, and Barnside just a short drive or cycle down the scenic farm roads of East Ladner, the two breweries have already put Delta on the map as a craft destination and pin on the BC Ale Trail. The two breweries, from the get-go, bonded over their close proximity, passion for beer, and Delta commonality, both sharing a history of being founded by deeply rooted Delta families.
Barnside was founded by four long-standing Ladner farming families, who pivoted from dairy farming to hops while searching for new crop opportunities, while Four Winds is the product of the Mills family's passion for beer, and a history of local business success with Mills Paint, since 1930.
Four Winds was founded by the Mills family - their father Greg, alongside his Tsawwassen, raised sons, Brent, Sean, and Adam. In 2006, Mills Paint sold, and not quite keen on full retirement, Greg returned to a passion for boat building. The new venture proved more laborious than profitable but was successful in reigniting Greg's other long-time passion - homebrewing (he was a sampler of craft and member of Vancouver's Home Brewing Club well before beanies and hipsters were a thing).
Meanwhile, Brent was climbing the brewery ranks to become a highly regarded Head Brewmaster at Vancouver's R&B Brewing.
Focus soon shifted from boats to brews, and casual chats about opening a brewery morphed into a business plan. It clicked. Each son left their respective careers and pivoted to the brewery. Each brother brought specific expertise to the plan, shaping how the brewery would work as a new family opportunity. Four Winds launched onto the burgeoning West Coast craft scene in June 2013 with great success and community support. Sadly, Greg Mills passed away in 2020, the loss of a legend in the brewing industry and for the family. To his tribute, the brewery he co-founded continues with great success and amassed to over five x the size they ever imagined while sipping craft together. It's one of BC's most highly respected breweries and has put Delta on the map with multiple Golds on the BC Beer Awards circuit, as well as Brewery of the Year and Beer of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards.
“We’ve been wanting to work with Delta-grown ingredients for quite some time, and our neighbours at Barnside were able to help facilitate that dream. We then added to the collaboration by joining with the “We Love Delta” arm of Tourism Delta and the We Love Delta IPA was born!”
----- Four Winds Brewing Co.
Like the Four Winds and Barnside history here, We Love Delta IPA hopes to also tell a story. Barnside grows their hops exclusively for their beer recipes, held in proprietary. Since each hops variety offers a unique aroma and bitterness, the result is a taste truly unique to Delta. Made exclusively from Barnside's homegrown hops and barley, alongside Four Winds house strain of yeast, make this product 100% Deltan and incredibly unique. The result is a refreshing light-bodied ale with medium bitterness, offering hints of pineapple and citrus.
We Love Delta IPA is a great story for our beer brands, their local history, and our community. Share it with a friend (at a distance of course), and share a taste of what our community is all about.