La Bella Brewery

This Italian Brewery is Changing the Craft Game

In Italian, Luppolo stands for hops and in our hood, it stands for the latest and greatest addition to the Eastside community. The difference this time: this one is a community hub that gives its neighbours a place to grab a beer and take a load off – anytime.

“What we make here is here. We are one of the only breweries in Vancouver that isn’t packaging” co-owner, Anique tells us. And, it’s true – so many breweries are taking the beer far beyond their own walls by means of packaging meaning it is especially unique to encounter a brand that isn’t. What Luppolo is creating is specific to the space they are in because that is exactly where their community is. We find a lot of common ground with Luppolo. Community is the paramount goal but beer is their means of getting there, both of which we seriously appreciate.

We had the chance to grab a beer with two of the Co-owners to talk about what Luppolo is, where it’s headed and how soon we can drink the beer:

Werklab: Where did you find your inspiration?

Luppolo: At a microbrewery in Milan – it was our favourite spot in the city while we lived in Italy. They had the best vibe and when Ryan and Eleanor (Luppolo’s co-founders) came to visit us (Anique and her husband Frede), we took them there. When my husband and I moved back to Vancouver, creating Luppolo didn’t happen right away. It started casual before creating a business plan because we wanted to do it right – it’s a process. Once we found the perfect space, we realised it was real and it took off from there. Of course for us, we wanted to do it on a bigger scale. We want this to be a community hub for people to come in to communicate and hang out together. It’s on a main street, on the busiest bike route and in a great community – we knew this was the right place for us.

WL: Did you always dream of owning a brewery or was there a turning point in your career when you realized it was a possibility?

L: I don’t think any of us dreamt of this but we all love entertaining, we’re social and we love getting people together. Luppolo is an extension of that. It felt like together, with all the different skills that everyone brings to the table, that we could make it happen. My husband is an engineer, Eleanor is a teacher and Ryan was a mechanic/contractor/fixer of everything. It seems like weird backgrounds but we all have strong skill sets so it’s been good in that sense.

What has been your favourite part so far?

The beer part! Well, that’s not entirely true. Making the beer is fun, we would brew every week before permits came in to hone recipes and get them to the point that we wanted them. Being together every Sunday to get together and brew, talk about beer and hangout was so special. The phenomenal part is the community. The breweries in this area are so welcoming and now we know everyone and they all have something to share and it’s a lot of fun. You go out and you know everyone. We are really benefitting from other people’s experience.

How do you see Luppolo fitting into this Eastside hub of breweries?

The fact that we’re not packaging sets us apart because it’s all about what we’re doing within this space – our focus is here. Also having a constant variety of beers and a more robust food program sets us apart.

Did having a social hub motivate you to open your brewery?

That was part of our strategy – we are social and want to bring people together. We’re so community oriented and being self-employed is really motivating.

Luppolo is now opened! Visit them for a cold one today.