Merridale building distillery and brewhouse at Dockside Green

Merridale is building a new distillery and brewhouse on Harbour Road in Victoria’s Dockside Green, with plans to be open next fall.

Beer, whiskey, gin and vodka will be produced in a contemporary-style building to be constructed at 356 Harbour Rd., across the road from Point Hope Maritime.

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A huge copper still is being imported from Germany, said Janet Docherty, co-owner of Merridale, founded in Cobble Hill.

“It has been a long time in the works, but we are finally here,” she said after the proposal won approval from Victoria city hall.

The 12,000-square-foot building, built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standards, will have three enclosed levels and a rooftop patio with a canopy. The patio will have about 40 seats, and sound barriers and greenery will be installed to muffle noise, Docherty said.

Merridale’s goal is to be a “good community partner,” she said.

One Vic West resident who wrote to city hall in support of the plan said attracting more people to the area would help Harbour Road feel safer: “Harbour Road is totally dead in the evenings.”

The goal is to attract neighbours and tourists alike, as Dockside Green develops.

A catwalk will be built and tour groups, such as visitors from cruise ships, will be able to visit the operation and learn about how it works.

Merridale is planning to use grain in its Victoria operations and will continue to rely on fruit at its Cobble Hill home. Its focus is on using local ingredients.

The ground floor of the new building will be dedicated to the restaurant, which will include brick ovens for pizzas. The second floor will hold the aging area and have space for tour groups, storage and staff.

The building’s design and materials will be consistent with a working marine theme, a city staff report said. Exterior materials include corrugated, galvanized steel and weathering steel, a steel alloy that becomes rust-coloured in the outdoors.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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