Brewery owner wants Burnaby to officially adopt Burnabarian as its demonym

Burnaby Now

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A Burnaby brewery owner is calling on the City of Burnaby to declare Burnabarian the city’s official demonym.

Ben Coli, owner of Dageraad Brewing, thinks the city’s residents need a moniker by which to identify themselves and he thinks Burnabarian would be the perfect fit.

Ben Coli, owner of Dageraad Brewing, with his Burnabarian beer. Photo by Cornelia Naylor

“It is fun to say and it rolls off the tongue, and you can’t say that for Burnabite or Burnabyan or Burnabyer. Dageraad has been using Burnabarian for more than four years and it works well and it’s starting to gain some traction,” he wrote in an email to the NOW.

Coli decided to reach out to city hall after a CBC story last week that poked fun at Burnaby’s lack of a brandCBC’s metro reporter Justin McElroy went so far as to conduct a “self-selected sample Twitter poll” that asked folks what was the most distinctive thing about Burnaby – SkyTrain lines; parks; malls as urban centres; or being next to Vancouver.

“McElroy and Stephen Quinn were basically calling our city bland. I think we need to rally the city, but that’s hard to do if we don’t even know what to call ourselves,” Coli said.

One of the first beers Dageraad released when it opened in 2014 was the Burnabarian. It’s a light beer compared to the brewery’s other offerings, coming in at 4.5 per cent and it was also the brewery’s first beer made available in cans.

“Burnabarian is a silly word I thought of many years ago, well before I opened the brewery. I originally liked it because it suggests there might be something barbaric, something savage about this sleepy, civilized suburb, but now we’ve been using it for years and to me it’s just a nice-sounding word that suits this city,” Coli said.

While he’s confident the mayor and city council will agree to his proposal, Coli is concerned they might not think it’s worth an official motion.

“I think that would be a mistake. Identity is important for a city, and a good place to start building identity is to create a word to call ourselves as a group. We are Burnabarians,” he said.