For the second time in just over a year, the future of one of Port Moody’s craft breweries is in doubt.
A sign affixed to the door at Fraser Mills Fermentation Co. on St. Johns Street indicates the assets on the site have been seized by BDO Canada, an accounting and auditing firm, as part of a bankruptcy and insolvency procedure.
A cryptic posting on the brewery’s social media accounts just says “It’s time for a break,” along with a “Thank you.”
The company’s Google listing says it is “closed temporarily.”
Fraser Mills opened in 2020, less than two months into the global COVID-19 pandemic that had forced many businesses to close or redefine themselves for takeout, delivery or online sales to accommodate ever-changing public health restrictions.
An evolution of the home-brew supply store founding partner Michael Druce had run next door for 20 years, Fraser Mills kept its expansive tasting room closed through those early days and its four charter beers were only available in cans for off-sales at the front door until restrictions eased.
Once that happened, though, the brewery quickly gained a reputation for its large outdoor patio and busy lineup of events like live music, karaoke, bingo and open mic nights, as well as drag shows.
But in June 2022, Fraser Mills mysteriously closed, leading to speculation its time as part of Port Moody’s lively beer scene that includes six breweries on Murray Street might be nigh.
Several days later, however, it reopened.
A post on the brewery’s Instagram account said it was making “a fresh start” after sorting out “internal issues that have been hindering our commercial viability.”
The company also said it looked forward to serving its customers “for several years to come.”
A recent post on Twitter/X by Burnaby brewer Ben Coli, who owns Dageraad Brewing, said he counted 25 per cent of breweries in a 2017 map of Metro Vancouver breweries have gone out of business, changed ownership or rebranded.
Port Coquitlam’s Taylight Brewing reopened last November with new owners after a year-long closure because of “pandemic concerns.”
Coquitlam’s Mariner Brewing has also recently changed owners and will be hosting a relaunch event on Sept. 29.
Even Port Moody's renowned Brewers Row hasn't been spared as Bakery Brewing announced a year ago that it had been acquired by new owners. It relaunched as Brave Brewing Company in November.
The Tri-City News has reached out to Fraser Mills for further comment.