About the brewery
Dageraad Brewing is named after the Dageraadplaats, a neighbourhood square on the east side of Antwerp, Belgium. The brewery is my effort to transport a small piece of the beer culture I found in that square home to British Columbia.
About ten years ago, during a youth well-spent tramping about the world on a budget, I met three Belgians in Laos. We became fast friends. Over the years, I’ve visited them in Antwerp a number of times. Inevitably, at least once each visit we would find ourselves in the Dageraadplaats (“sunrise square” in Flemish) drinking the legendary beers of Belgium.
Those first encounters with Belgian beers led me to try to brew them myself at home. Gamblers talk about beginners’ luck, because people who are unlucky their first time don’t continue gambling. It’s the same with brewing. My first Belgian-style homebrew was incredible – fruity, spicy, complex, but light and drinkable. I was hooked.
Interest grew into obsession, and I began a period of intensive study. I went to brewing school. I took two beer sabbaticals to Belgium. I crisscrossed the country, visiting breweries in tiny Flemish villages and in abbeys in the Ardennes. I picked Belgian brewers’ brains to discover what made their beer so amazing. And I returned to the Dageraadplaats again and again.
Now, after years of study, setbacks and hard work, we have Dageraad Brewing. The brewery isn’t much to look at; just a couple of guys reveling in their modest collection of stainless steel tanks in a warehouse in Burnaby. But there’s something I learned during my visits to Belgian breweries: it doesn’t take grandeur in a brewery to make magic in a bottle.
— Ben Coli, brewer, Dageraad Brewing