At one of Vancouver’s newest breweries, husband-and-wife team Mauricio and Alicia Lozano aim to do more than make good beer. When they opened Faculty Brewing Co. in the booming beer city earlier this year, they also wanted to demystify the brewing process and create an inviting space where everyone from beer novices to homebrewers can learn something.
The project began partly to take Mauricio and Alicia’s homebrewing hobby to the next level. Combining Mauricio’s technical acumen (he teaches part time at the British Columbia Institute of Technology) with Alicia’s design chops (she interned with Simcic Uhrich Architects, which designed Brassneck, Strange Fellows, Andina), the duo transformed the space, which formerly housed a bicycle shop.
With the brewing operation located within eyesight of the main tap room, it’s easy to feel like you’re part of the action, and a minimalist design keeps the focus on beer. “We don’t have any secrets on how the beer is made,” Mauricio says. A constantly rotating selection of styles graces the tap wall, often simple and approachable single-malt or single-hop expressions. The Lozano’s also keep things open and transparent by encouraging homebrewers to participate. “For us it was key to showcase Vancouver homebrewing talent by letting brewers submit recipes and suggestions to tweak recipes,” Mauricio says, adding that all of the brewery’s recipes are available on their website, listed in order of complexity. “We want to be the facilitator where the next great beer gets created after many minds work together and continue editing a recipe until it’s achieved.”
Growlers are available to go, but with such an immersive experience, most guests opt to enjoy a pint or two on site. And with conversation and collaboration at the forefront of the brewery’s mission, the Lozanos would love to see the next great brewery emerge from a session at the bar. “The Vancouver brewery scene is like a big family. There’s no real competition,” Mauricio says. “Everyone helps each other, shares secrets and collaborates to continue growing this industry.”