Jon Ludtke and Rod Alsop are hard at work preparing Bayview Brewery for a potential August open date. (Cole Schisler photo)

Construction starts on Ladysmith community brewpub

Rod Alsop and Jon Ludtke are hard at work preparing Bayview Brewery & Pub for a late summer open

  • May. 19, 2021 12:00 a.m.

It’s been a long road for Rod Alsop and Jon Ludtke, co-owners of Bayview Brewery, but they’re now in the home stretch of opening a community brewpub on Dogwood Drive.

Alsop and Ludtke started talking about opening a brewery back in 2017. Over time that idea morphed into a vision for a community brewpub. The duo obtained rezoning for the pub under the name Shoot the Moon back in 2019 and recently obtained building permits to begin construction inside. They opted to change the name to Bayview to avoid confusion with Moon Brewery in Victoria.

RELATED: Shoot the Moon pub passes public hearing stage

COVID-19 didn’t throw much of a wrench in their planning. Ludtke said that the pandemic allowed them to take their time through the process.

“If not for COVID we would potentially be open already because our mindset would have been different. It would have been pedal to the metal, whereas this has been a more natural fit,” he said.

Both men work at Ladysmith Secondary School — Alsop teaches band and Ludtke teaches culinary arts — something that Alsop called their “saving grace”.

Ludtke is an avid homebrewer and has won multiple local brewing competitions alongside his brewing partner Alfred Elviss. Alsop is the owner of the building and 1st Avenue Barber Shop, which used to occupy the entire space. The barbershop has been moved to a unit down the hall and has been booking haircuts by appointment during the pandemic.

RELATED: 1st Avenue Barbershop will remain at its current address

The brewpub will have a maximum capacity of 30 seats indoors and 30 seats on an outdoor patio. However, public health orders will limit the amount of seating available for the time being. Alsop says the patio will be roughly 12 feet by 30 feet at the front of the building. A sliding glass door will divide indoor seating from the patio so that it can be opened and closed with the seasons.

Their menu will include a wealth of healthy food options, including some of Ludtke’s renowned salads. As for the beer, Ludtke has a passion for brewing IPAs and sour beers but he has over 100 beer recipes that he’s excited to brew up.

Inside there will be two accessible washrooms, a small kitchen, a bar with beer taps, and brewing tanks where craft beer will be brewed on-site. The kitchen will be fully operational and there are no deep fryers. People will be able to fill up growlers at the bar and there will be limited on-site sales.

They’re hopeful that their licensing will allow the pub to be family-friendly so everyone in Ladysmith can enjoy the restaurant and patio.

“Virtually all of my friends in town have young children and it’d be a real bummer if they couldn’t come to the brewery,” Ludtke said.

There are 15 parking spaces in front of the pub, three more than the 12 spaces required through the development permit approval process.

Depending on how the pandemic trends, Alsop and Ludtke can see anywhere from six to 10 people working at the pub, including themselves. The core team will be Alsop, his brother Geoff, Ludtke and Elviss.

If everything goes right, Alsop and Ludtke expect to open Bayview Brewery sometime in August.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Alsop said. “We’ve been waiting patiently, doing our paperwork. Now all of the sudden there’s all this construction work. Everybody that we’ve talked to about opening a brewery has said ‘whatever your projections are, double them’. And that’s been true.”

Construction work at the 204 Dogwood Road site will be ongoing for the next three months.

Ladysmith Chronicle

Pop-up banner image