Walton started Storm Brewing 25 years ago and is considered a pioneer in the micro-brewing community in Vancouver. He said when he started the business, not as many small breweries existed. Even with explosion of craft beer culture and the popularity of brewery crawls, Walton said it’s hard to compete with the rising cost of rent.
“A lot of them are being driven out with the high cost of Vancouver real estate…it could mean we’re all moving out of town. I doubt that will happen but a few might move out, a few might not survive, a few of them may just quit.” – James Walton, owner of Storm Brewing
Walton said one mistake he believes the city made was allowing condos to be built in industrial areas. He said the mix of residential and small business in one building makes the land very valuable which drives up the cost of rent for the businesses.
Although he may need to move locations, Walton is happy that he has had an influence on the Vancouver beer scene for more than two decades and vows to continue to make beer for as long as he can.