Frequently Asked Questions
What is U-Brew?
No, it’s not a bunch of yeasty bottles exploding in your uncle’s closet! The key concept with U-Brew is that we are making your perfect batch together – by being hands-on with the process, each batch we make together is YOURS. Since the beer, wine, or cider we are helping you brew is for your own individual use, you avoid commercial liquor taxes. Our products are generally less than half the cost of their liquor store equivalents.
Our beer production equipment is similar to any other small craft brewery in town and our brewing process is just the same. Our all-grain brewing system and ferment-on-premises licensing let us do the hard part for you – we take care of the mashing, boiling, filtering, and carbonating. We make the wort, then it goes into a fermenter just for you. Your choice of yeast is all it takes to kick it off.
Our wine offerings start with kits blended by our partners, RJ Spagnols and WineXpert. The kits come to us with the grapes professionally selected and blended to deliver consistently delicious wines. We handle all of the racking, fining, and filtering steps to finish off your perfect batch ready for bottling.
We have both local organic and kit ciders available. Our premium cider starts with Organic BC apple juice pressed in Chilliwack, BC, and will finish quite dry – we can backsweeten if desired, however, most of our customers tend to prefer a dry clean cider. If a sweeter cider is more up your alley (think of a familiar local company that sells cider in 2L plastic bottles) then our Black Rock or Crafted cider kits may be more to your liking.
How long does it take to brew?
Ales: 2-3 weeks for fermenting
Lagers: 4-5 weeks for fermenting
4, 5, 6, or 8 week kits + desired bottle aging time
What is the average cost of beer, wine and cider?
One of the funny little details of BC Liquor regulations is U-Brew facilities cannot advertise the “price per bottle” or “price per can” of what we make together – we’re only allowed to advertise the price for the full batch size! You’ll have to do a little math, but here we go:
All of our Beer batches yield about 48L of finished beer. Co-incidentally, a standard beer can is 355mL.
Our wine batches produce about 23L of quality wine ready to be aged to perfection (or maybe consumed a little sooner than that, it’s up to you!). A standard wine bottle is 750mL.
Our 4-Week WineXpert Classic kits start at $155.00 while our absolute premium 8-Week WineXpert Reserve kits for those who intend to cellar their bottles for quite some time comes out at $245.00. We carry 4, 5, 6 and 8-week wine kits. How to Choose your Wine
Our in-house crafted cider is made exclusively from BC apples and comes in either a 23L or a 46L batch. Most cider cans are 355mL.
What are the batch sizes of beer, wine and cider?
Approximately 48 Litres
If you divide 48 by .355, you’d discover 48 Litres is about the same as 135 standard size beer cans
Approximately 22 Litres
A wine bottle is .750L, 22L divided by .750 comes out to a bit over 29 standard wine bottles.
Approximately 23 or 46 Liters
23L is about 64 355mL cans. 46L is about twice that, at 128 355mL cans.
Are gift cards available?
Why is it better to brew onsite at Terminal City Brewing?
- NO Beer Kits
- NO Chemicals
- NO Cleanup
- NO Sediment
- 100% Natural ingredients
We can provide better facilities than most folks can achieve at home; we have temperature-controlled ale, lager, and wine fermentation rooms along with our massive walk-in cooler for cold crashing finished beer and cider. We have the equipment on-site to ensure proper sanitation, which is about half of the work involved in brewing. Our force carbonation system gives commercial-level finished results for our beer and cider without the yeasty bottle bottoms and waiting that you’d get from bottle-conditioned beer or cider at home.
Can I provide my own recipes and ingredients?
We will always do our best to accommodate special requests. Here are some things we are happy to do:
- Custom hop or grain additions to beers
- Beer recipes that are compatible with our wort production
- Addition of special adjuncts (honey, chocolate, espresso, caramel, etc)
- Use of your own fresh hops
- Cider made from your own juice
At this time, we are NOT able to handle any of these in store, though we carry almost everything you’ll need to do these at home:
- Mead (the fermentation time for mead is several months)
- Wine from your own grapes or grape juice
- Processing of apples or other fruit to extract juice
We are always happy to provide advice on home brewing projects and we carry a wide range of supplies and equipment:
Home Brewing Supplies and Equipment
How many bottles do I need? Can I bring my own bottles?
We have Beer Bottles and Wine Bottles are available for sale – the number of bottles you will need will depend on the size of bottles you choose. Generally, a batch of beer will be about 135 standard size beer bottles/cans and a batch of wine is about 29 standard wine bottles.
You are welcome to provide your own bottles, however the cleanliness of your bottles has a significant impact on the storage life and quality of your end product. As a result, we cannot guarantee anything packaged in used bottles. We are happy to help you assess any bottles you may have and we have facilities to properly sanitize otherwise clean bottles before filling.
What about the environment?
U-brew by its very nature is environmentally friendly. Our customers typically re-use their bottles dozens if not hundreds of times, preventing packaging waste. While you can of course return or recycle beer and wine bottles, very few breweries re-use bottles – at best they are destroyed and recycled to create new bottles. Reducing the amount of packaging associated with your beer, wine or cider is an environmental bonus.
We try and minimize our environmental footprint here at Terminal City Brewing – for instance all of our spent brewing grains are used as cattle feed at a local farm in Richmond. We have a recycling program in place for the other waste involved in our production process such as soft plastics and cardboard. We also make our wine kit boxes available for our customers to take home their products – reuse beats recycling every time!
Can I sell products I make at Terminal City Brewing?
Can I serve Terminal City Brewing products at my wedding or other event with a Special Event Permit?
You may serve UBrew/UVin or homemade beer, cider or wine, as long as the event is a family event or a wine or beer competition and the liquor is provided free of charge. You can find more information on Special Event Permits here:
Can I give away my Terminal City Brewing products?
How long will the beer last?
All our brews are 100% natural with no preservatives added. It is imperative you store your beer in a cool dark place (a fridge is ideal). Basically, we think the shelf life is about 2 months. The more hops in the beer the longer the life. Beer lasts longer in the winter than in the summer. Storage and bottle cleanliness are the main factors in shelf life.
For more information about TCB Beer
How long will the wine last?
Provided you are using clean, sterile bottles your wine can last for many years, depending on your storage conditions. The standard wine corks we provide are suitable for about 18 months of bottle storage; if you are planning on storing your wine for longer periods of time, talk to us about specialty corks. Wine should be stored upright for the first few weeks after bottling, then turned on its side. Light and heat will both degrade your wine; the best storage place is somewhere cool and dark such as a storage unit, back of a closet, corner of a basement, etc.
For more information about TCB Wine
How long will the cider last?
Cider should be treated like beer and kept in a cool, dark place. We have stored cider for over a year in simple PET bottles kept refrigerated