KAZUKO KOMATSU: July 1, 1948 to July 27, 2018
Kazuko Komatsu, OBC, the owner and CEO of Pacific Western Brewing, passed away peacefully July 27th 2018. Ms. Komatsu after a long and valiant battle against cancer. Ms. Komatsu came to Canada as a young woman and established a successful trading business exporting natural resources, fish products and housing units. Considered by many a virtual force of nature Ms. Komatsu purchased Prince George-based Pacific Western Brewing when it was on the brink of bankruptcy after many owners before her had tried unsuccessfully to revive the flagging brewery. Ms. Komatsu made it a global success. Ms. Komatsu rebuilt the company using two fundamental guideposts: quality and innovation. In 1998, Ms. Komatsu received the Order of BC. At the time, she was described as a new Canadian entrepreneur who “walked log booms selecting timber suited for the Japanese market,” and who “established a 2×4 training school in Japan.” The award also paid tribute to her service on the boards of the University of Northern BC (UNBC) and Royal Roads University, her membership on the Canada Japan Business Committee and her role as director of the Brewers Association of Canada. Ms. Komatsu was held in high regard across BC for her philanthropic initiatives. For almost the entire life of UNBC, Ms. Komatsu was a financial contributor to the university, supporting the library, scholarships and bursaries, academic conferences, the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre, and the Northern Medical Programs Trust. She also undertook an ambitious reforestation campaign in the BC Interior, gave bursaries to BC athletes and coaches, and spearheaded environmental reclamation projects. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Kordyban Lodge of the Canadian Cancer Society. There will be celebrations of her life on Thursday, August 16th at 2 p.m. at the Terminal City Club, 837 West Hastings St., Vancouver and on Friday, August 17th at 1 p.m. at the PWB brewery in Prince George. Ms. Komatsu is survived by her nephew Taizan and her niece Miki and the entire PWB family.
At PWB we’re proud to say: “This is us.”
Let’s raise a glass to PWB, BC’s fiercely loyal, doggedly independent home-grown brewery.
You’d be proud too if you’d managed, over several decades, to withstand the constant marketing assaults of the Big Three globally-controlled mega brewers and you’d managed to keep getting better and build a loyal following.
What’s the secret? There isn’t one … just constant dedication to brewing a quality product and selling it at a fair price. Over the past quarter century, that dedication has been instilled in our team by our owner Kazuko Komatsu. Who else in BC can brew a beer good enough to be exported into the Japanese market … one of the most demanding consumer markets in the world?
We are that good and we do it in the backyard of one of the finest Interior communities in this province. Prince George embodies BC’s entrepreneurial spirit. Like other BC communities, big and small, it has forged its identity and purpose from raw material and human grit. It has been the home of commercial brewing for 60 years and Kazuko’s singular focus for more than 25 years.
Yes, let’s raise a glass to PWB…
good beer, brewed right here
by hard working, dedicated British Columbians.
PWB has achieved many milestones including, being the first Canadian brewer to export to mainland China in 1991 and then to Russia in 1996. Here are just a few more PWB accomplishments: 2005 – Gold medal, Winner Industry International Awards in Munich; 1997 – First certified organic beer in Canada; 1995... Read more.
Cariboo Springs Lager reflects PWB owner Kazuko Komatsu’s goal of producing and marketing quality product that is the brewing industry equivalent of BC’s VQA wines. It also reflects her desire to support hard working BC farmers and families by using fine ingredients grown right here at home... Read more
Over the years Pacific Western Brewing has invested in improving the brewing process with a constant eye on making quality beer. This focus has been recognized by the achievement of ISO quality certification standard ISO-9001, the highest level of standardization available... Read more
Regrow the Forest
Celebrating 60 Years of Brewing in BC
Pacific Western Brewing – BC’s doggedly independent, home-grown brewery – has lost its inspirational leader. Owner Kazuko Komatsu has passed away. Tom Leboe, Kazuko’s Prince George brewery manager throughout most of her years as owner and CEO, said: “We are devastated by her passing. Kazuko has been an inspiration to all of us over the […]
3-Day Classic Rock Festival at PG’s EXHIBITION PARK After two sold-out, successful years hosting celebratory concerts on brewery property, Pacific Western Brewing, in partnership with CN Centre and RG Concerts is set to host the largest music festival in Prince George! Exhibition Park will be the site of Cariboo Brewing’s massive three-day classic rock music […]
Thanks to Pacific Western Brewing (PWB) and its customers, a team of more than 90 tree planters planted 100,000 seedlings this spring on Crown land scorched by last summer’s devastating Elephant Hill fire. Funded by PWB’s ongoing reforestation program, this project will help BC recover from last summer’s wildfires. More than 1,000 fires swept through […]
PRINCE GEORGE (April 9, 2018) – Pacific Western Brewing is proud to announce the release of the first batch of Pacific Free, “a gluten removed” lager for a discerning, health conscious generation of beer lovers. PWB Sales Manager Scott Rattee says: “Pacific Free is brewed just like other great craft beers. However, once the beer […]