Crannog Ales, a Shuswap microbrewery, is mourning the death of 15-year employee Greg Darling, a company driver and brew-hand. (Facebook photo)

Crannog Ales, a Shuswap microbrewery, is mourning the death of 15-year employee Greg Darling, a company driver and brew-hand. (Facebook photo)

Shuswap brewery saddened by employee death

Greg Darling was a beloved fixture at Crannog Ales in Sorrento

If ever a man lived up to his name, it was Greg Darling.

The well-loved employee at Shuswap microbrewery Crannóg Ales, described by many as a gem, has died.

Crannóg Ales made the announcement on its Facebook page on Saturday (March 27). Darling would have celebrated his 15th anniversary with the brewery as a driver and brew-hand this coming Thursday, April 1.

It is with heavy hearts that we tell you that our much-loved and indispensable Greg Darling, driver and brew-hand for 15…

Posted by Crannóg Ales on Saturday, March 27, 2021

“He came up from Vancouver to see how he liked it and somehow never left,” said the brewery. “You will all remember his indefatigable energy at festivals and delivering beer and his pride in being such a critical part of the Crannóg team. “

Darling’s long friendship with Crannóg Ales’ owner Brian MacIsaac was evident in their shared love of punk rock, art and do-it-yourself (DIY). In Vancouver, Darling always did high-energy things, from being a bike courier to running a couple of after-hours clubs.

Many will remember Darling from events at the brewery — stage-diving from a stage at a DOA show, belting it out along with the band and dancing like a demon. On top of that, Darling made sure the brewery’s long table dinners were served with grace and style and made sure always to look absolutely smashing.

“We will miss Greg’s sense of humour, his commitment, and his care,” said the Facebook post. “We’ll miss his willingness to pitch in and get stuff done and his high spirits for every festival and event. And his love of kitties. We will miss Greg every day.”

A GoFundMe page has been started for Darling’s partner, Debra Wheatley, who was in hospital when Darling died. The fundraiser will help Wheatley deal with the additional costs incurred by Darling’s sudden passing, along with her own health care — not to mention the kitties.

“The need is to cover all the death costs, as well as to help get Debra back and forth to the hospital for her own treatment and to meet costs while she is ill,” said Crannóg Ales’ founder Rebecca Kneen, who launched the page. “Every donation will help, and your support is very much appreciated.”

The goal is to raise the first $5,000 before April 10 to help with a memorial. Funds over that goal will help Wheatley with the next stage. As of Sunday, March 28, the fund had reached $2,610.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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