Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks is likely a familiar name if you are a craft beer connoisseur, and if it’s not, it should be added to your ‘must try’ list in 2018.
This Richmond based company was founded in 2015 and is taking beer-drinking fans by storm with their unconventional brews and edgy marketing.
Fuggles & Warlock recently won Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s New Business of the Year award and they were up against some impressive competition including Beijing Capital Airlines and Miniso Canada Investments Inc.
Glen Hutton is Fuggles & Warlock’s Director of Business Development and Hospitality. Commenting on the company’s original take on brewing he says, “We push traditional styles of beer to the limit by adding a West Coast flair. You can expect brews aimed toward adventurous palettes.”
The branding has a distinct focus on “geek culture” with references to video gaming and pop culture. Their original motto “Keeping Beer Weird” has recently evolved into “Weird. But Good Weird.” after the company worked with the award winning branding firm DDB Canada to freshen the marketing strategy.
Tom Orange, the company’s president says, “Pop culture, gaming, comics, anime – we’re big geeks and that branding helps Fuggles & Warlock stand out.”
All of the eye-catching labels are art pieces designed and drawn in house by Beer Design guru Dan Colyer and his wife Yuri. The name Fuggles & Warlock stems from a type of beer hop (fuggles), which is Dan’s nickname, while warlock is the nickname of one of the company’s lead brewers.
The founding foursome includes Dan, Glen, Tom and Cam Slade who is a chartered accountant. All have contributed their diverse talents to the company’s success.
The decision to base the brewery in Richmond was twofold. At one time all of the partners lived in Richmond (two remain in Steveston) and Glen adds, “There was nothing in Richmond and it was certainly an ideal opportunity.”
Located on Horseshoe Way behind Ironwood Plaza, it is a mere hop (pun intended), skip and a jump down the road from Steveston. The 13,500 square foot brewery was a blank shell when they took possession of the space. Within five months of renovating and outfitting the brewery the first brew was born.
Current offerings include Destiny IPA (Fuggles & Warlock’s flagship IPA), Kiwami Plum Sour (a delicately tart wheat kettle sour brewed with fresh plums), Pixel Pils (a crisp Czech-style pilsner with a pleasant hop bite), Personas West Coast Common (featuring Galaxy, Citra, Helga, Ella, Topaz and Amarillo hops) and The Last Strawberry Wit (a refreshing Belgian Wit brewed with strawberries and sweetened with lactose which is delicately sweet and slightly tart).
Fuggles & Warlock cans and bottled beers can be found in over 500 private and government liquor stores. In addition, growlers can be purchased at the brewery with a special promotion of $2 off two litre grower fills and $1 off one litre growler fills every Monday and Tuesday.
Fuggles & Warlock is on tap at over 100 pubs and restaurants in Metro Vancouver; many of Steveston’s restaurants carry the brand.
Housed within the brewery is a cozy 1,350 square foot tasting room. Glen says, “You can expect excellent service. The staff are very good and will quickly know your name.” He also points out their customers’ active role in creating the tasting room’s eclectic playlist; they write down a song suggestion and it is played the next day.
Children are welcome to accompany adults in the tasting room; video games are available so they don’t get bored while mom and dad enjoy a drink. Glen mentions hot dogs and juice will be added to the menu soon. Live music can also be heard on weekends and jam nights are always popular.
Keeping things local is important to the partners and much of their casual food menu is sourced from nearby suppliers. Meat pies come from Simon’s Specialty Foods across the street, charcuterie is supplied by D-Original Sausage Haus in Steveston village, and samosas are created by Golden Samosa in Surrey.
Another integral part of the company’s image is merchandise, which includes hoodies, t-shirts, hats, toques and shirts along with non-clothing items such as bottle openers, beer soaps and gift baskets.
Beer for breakfast? Bar none, their top selling merchandise is Kiwami Plum Sour beer jelly produced by Lone Willow in Ladner. Glen says they have fun with merchandising and it’s always changing.
The hash tag #fuglife has become part of Fuggles & Warlock’s identity and is used actively on social media both by themselves and their followers.
Big plans lay ahead for this young company that has been rapidly expanding production. Glen says, “We are now on our third expansion.” Within the first nine months of production they had doubled the brewing capacity. In 2017 the brewery produced approximately 500,000 litres of beer, and in early January the brewery capacity expanded again by adding tanks capable of increasing production by a further fifty per cent.
Fuggles & Warlock has already entered the export market with distribution in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan; they expect their recent entry into Brazil will be an even larger market. As well, the beer is sold in all of the Western provinces and the partners have recently cracked the Ontario market.
There are special things brewing for February. At the beginning of the month Fuggles & Warlock will release Hot Trub Time Machine 2 IPA (a name play on the movie). The company is known for collaborating with other breweries, and in this case they are working in partnership with Superflux Beer Co.
New beer alert! On February 23 watch for the launch of Gin & Lime Pilsner in cans and kegs. The beer will be available in the tasting room and it will become a member of the core line up of beers.
It is apparent this enterprising, ambitious and creative com-pany has an extremely loyal following and before long Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks will be a household name. Cheers!
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
103-11220 Horseshoe Way
Richmond, BC V7A 4V5