Owner, Wildeye Brewing
It hasn’t taken much more than some tables, a patio and really good beer for Samantha Lindeman to make a name for herself and her company, Wildeye Brewing. The former wine industry worker opened Wildeye in June 2019, and though there’s no doubt the pandemic made life harder, the brewery that Lindeman started in her hometown of North Vancouver has created enough momentum to persevere.
Yes, sales to restaurants died out in a big way—accounts that would usually order four kegs a week were down to half a keg every three weeks, she notes—but Wildeye built out a covered patio and kept folks coming back, even in the winter months. Liquor store sales perked up, too, and the brewery’s cans are now available for purchase in about 300 shops across the province.
At Wildeye, Lindeman has also focused on collaborations with unlikely partners, like nearby pub Colony Northwoods. “I sit there often and talk to the girls there, and they say things like, We never make decisions on what we sell; it’s always corporate throwing stuff at us,” she recalls. “And I said, What if you got to decide the beer? And they said, Yeah, we’d totally sell the shit out of that.”
So Lindeman got Colony’s head office to sign off on bringing six Colony servers down to the brewery for blind taste testing. The result—a white IPA with mango—sounds incredibly tasty, but it’s likely not as significant as the prospect of women working together to make their mark on the male-dominated beer industry.
We’ll see what happens with COVID restrictions in the coming months, but one gets the feeling that Wildeye and its owner have more good things brewing.