November Double Feature

Sunday, November 22

The Pattersons put together a most interesting pair of visits for the club in November. Two quite different businesses, but connected, as one member pointed out, by the dedication of their respective owners in following their passions. Indeed, as one member said, it was inspiring to see people pursuing their interests with such skill and enthusiasm.

The afternoon began at Hamsterly Beach parking lot where route directions were handed out. A short drive took us to the first stop, the premises of Whiplash Customs. Here we were greeted by Al and Wanda Lambeth, who welcomed us to the shop with a description of the work that is done within. Basically, if it is made of metal, Al will restore or customize it to a client’s wishes. Motorcycles are a speciality, but the list includes gas pumps, Coke machines, pedal cars, barber’s chairs and yes full-sized cars. And the paint shop can become a woodworking area when required.

Several motorcycles were undergoing work, as was an early Mustang convertible. Of note, a postwar Jawa motorbike had been brought in by a customer who wished to have it made into a chopper. However, Al suggested a proper restoration would be more appropriate and so the bike will be restored to original condition.

Next to the well equipped workshop, which includes some vintage (and fully functional) machine tools, is Al’s Diner, a fully equipped replica of a 1950’s diner. Here Wanda had tea, coffee and baked goodies awaiting . The diner is fitted out with 1950’s memorabilia – a very nostalgic look at the past.

Al and Wanda were presented with an OECC mug (with another to follow) in appreciation of a most interesting visit. Perhaps a return engagement can be organized in the future; we are sure there will be lots of new projects to see.

Back on the road, we headed south to Keating X Road, where Category 12 Brewing has their brewery. Owner Karen Kuzyk welcomed us with a history of the business, which has been in operation for just about a year. However, Karen’s husband Michael has been brewing beer for some 20 years. With a PHD in biochemistry, Michael worked in government and private industry before turning to brewing full-time and starting Category 12 Brewing. 

After this introduction, we were taken into the brewing facility itself, the equipment for which was made by Specific Mechanical Systems, a local company that is a world-wide supplier of microbrewery systems. Karen described the brewing process and ingredients used, malt from the lower mainland and hops from Washington (at the present time). Karen and Michael’s sons help out in the bottling phase of production.

Then it was back to the taproom, where samples of some eight beers were available. A Belgian style was first, followed up with a black IPA. Quite a few members were sufficiently impressed to make purchases, the most difficult choice being which variety to take home. The brewery is open Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 6:00pm.

Robin and Sue thanked Karen for a most interesting (and refreshing) tour and tasting and the group then departed for further refreshments at the Waddling Dog. Our thanks go out to the Pattersons for yet another great afternoon’s entertainment, focussed as it was on local people doing remarkable things.