By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
Yellow Dog is also proud of its association with the BC SPCA. Both have merged for fundraising initiatives that include From Paws For a Cause walks, Off-leashed Galas, Treat Week, and Wine and Whisker events.
Yellow Dog Brewing has been a fixture in the Port Moody area since 2014. Their location is the perfect setting. You can stop by and enjoy their wide assortment of craft beer in their tasting room—or grab some to go. Then head across the street to Rocky Point Park, and order ice cream from Rocky Point Ice Cream—or go to Pajo’s for fish and chips.
Yellow Dog Brewing is part of “Brewer’s Row” on the south side of Murray Street in Port Moody. Other nearby breweries to also enjoy are Twin Sails Brewing, Parkside Brewery, and Moody Ales. According to the BC Ale Trail website, Yellow Dog Brewing was the first craft brewery to open in Port Moody. It would make an impact immediately when their Shake A Paw (Smoked Porter) won the 2014 Beer of the Year at the BC Beer Awards. The brewery also captured a few silver medals at the Canadian Brewing Awards for their Go Fetch West Coast Hoppy Saison and Sit and Stay Belgian ISA. In October 2015, one year after Yellow Dog opened, CFOX Radio filmed a segment that showed the following three core beers on tap: Play Dead (IPA American), Chase My Tail (Pale Ale American), and Shake A Paw (Smoked Porter).
The founders of Yellow Dog Brewing are Mike and Melinda Coghill along with Liam Murphy—who heads the brewing team. In an interview with Global News in June 2016, Mike Coghill stated he was not expecting his business to have an immediate impact: “I thought one of two might come over time. I didn’t think it would happen this fast, but [it has] been great. We all work together, and it has been great to grow craft beer in Port Moody.” He also said the brewery later tore down a wall to expand into the adjacent building, where the tasting room is today: “It will be fun to hopefully have a 75 to 80 seat capacity.”
The official Yellow Dog Brewing website states the brewery and its in-house brewing facility operate five days a week. They produce approximately 15 brews in a week at a maximum capacity. Yellow Dog’s team of brewers concentrates on innovative and high-quality brews. Their sole focus on making and producing quality beer has garnered them many awards and a strong following for their core offerings.
Coghill is pleased with the growth of business and the popularity of his beer with beer lovers and he hopes to not lose sight of his brewery’s brand and what it stands for—explaining in the same Province article: “The downside to expansion, I find, is trying to expand but still hold onto that identity that you had when you opened. You don’t want to change and expand into something that you’re not. So, we’ve been very methodical about making sure that when we expand, we’re doing it our way, and we’re keeping our brand alive that way.”
Coghill also said the opening of the new Evergreen SkyTrain route in December 2016 was a benefit for people having closer access to patron his brewery. “Three or four years ago, people felt they needed to leave Port Moody to go have a good time,” Coghill again told The Province. “So, they went downtown to have dinner, went to the breweries around there. Now people are staying in Port Moody and coming to Port Moody to have fun.”
And “fun” would not be a word to describe the current pandemic. When lockdowns began in March 2020, Yellow Dog Brewing closed its tasting room for two months. In the meantime, they have been offering delivery service. They later reopened in June with strict health and safety protocols in place. Presently, Yellow Dog lovers can order beer online and pick it up at the brewery.
Unfortunately, a March 22 posting on Yellow Dog’s Instagram account revealed an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The tasting room was closed for two days so, “a full deep clean […] [could be] done within this time.” It was scheduled to reopen on March 24—but remains closed until further notice (Yellow Dog will provide updates on Facebook and Instagram). Nonetheless, masks are required to enter the tasting room (customers must provide their name and phone number for contact tracing purposes). Patrons must sit together at all times and don a mask when needing to use the washroom. Outside the brewery is a food truck, and Yellow Dog’s Instagram stories list the weekly food truck schedule.
Yellow Dog is also proud of its association with the BC SPCA. Both have merged for fundraising initiatives that include From Paws For a Cause walks, Off-leashed Galas, Treat Week, and Wine and Whisker events. Yellow Dog states on their official website, “As of today, we are proud and excited to announce that we have donated over $45,000 (and of course lots of cold beer) to the BC SPCA! This number wouldn’t have been possible without the help of YOU. Thank you for helping us reach our goals by donating, participating in our fundraisers, and loving animals as much as we do. Together we can continue to give and support an organization near and dear to all our hearts.”