‘Helping out a peer in beer’: Cumberland Brewing Co. flies malt to brewer in Port Alberni


People and supplies have been arriving in Port Alberni by plane since Highway 4 closed last week due to the Cameron Bluffs wildfire, but a Wednesday shipment of malt filled a critical gap for Aaron Colyn’s business, Twin City Brewing.

“Well a few days ago we started to notice that we can only brew a couple more brews and then we’re going to be in trouble,” said Colyn. “So we made mention of it on social media like, yeah we’re going to be brewing tomorrow but don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll be brewing after that.”

A fellow brewer in Cumberland noticed.

“Well Aaron has very good social media skills and I was keeping on top of his page and where he was at and it was saying we’ve got lots of beer and food come on by and then one day it changed and it said we’re running short on malt,” said Cumberland Brewing Company owner Darren Adam. “I just immediately switched to message and said Aaron, do you need malt, I can bring it to you and he said how?”

Darren is a pilot who has a friend with a plane.

Within 24 hours the Cessna was loaded with eight bags of malt and heading over the Beaufort Mountains from the Comox Valley to the Alberni Valley.

“My immediate reaction was, you can do that? That will work? That’s actually an option?” said Colyn.

One brewery bro helping another in a time of need.

“I mean we’ve flown to different jobs we’ve consulted for but this was kind of fun because it was helping out a peer in beer,” added Adam.

Thanks to Cumberland Brewing, Twin City won’t miss a batch of beer and the brew from the malt delivered on Wednesday could be ready for the highway’s full reopening in July.

Colyn said he wants to do something special with it.

“Well I think this is basically the big event of our summer so we want to commemorate that, we’re going to do what’s called a summer ale,” Colyn said. “As far as a name for this beer we’ve been tossing around a lot of ‘air-drop’ inspired names.”

He hopes to have an official unveiling when the beer is ready.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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