Friday, May 30, 2014

the business of craft beer

a shout out to bc business magazine for their really informative "the business of craft beer" yesterday afternoon
jamie floyd killed it in his key-note address
joe wiebe was an affable moderator
parallel 49, bomber and red truck offered plenty of food for thought in the how to start a brewery panel
driftwood, central city and four winds represented in the marketing panel
and all the breweries who showed up to pour (ninkasi, red truck, bridge, bomber, parallel 49, central city, driftwood, four winds and prohibition - i don't think i forgot anyone) brought some really swell beers with them

i would have liked to mingle and network in a slightly larger space than the imperial
but otherwise the event was perfectly executed
i suggest all y'all check it out next year!

16 places to drink craft beer in vancouver

chuck hallett (aka barley mowat) compiled a list of 16 places to drink craft beer in vancouver for vancouvereater.com in advance of vancouver craft beer week
i have shamelessy borrowed his list
and provide you with links to my reviews of most of these places
(which were published in the bc craft beer news over the past year)
you know, just in case you haven't actually been to all of these places
(which i would only find credible if you don't actually live in vancouver)
and wanted to know allllll about them


33 Acres Brewing Company
Imagine a sleek Scandinavian Coffee House selling solidly produced sessional ales and lagers and you might have pictured 33 Acres. A sleek white-and-concrete interior kept immaculately clean makes you wonder whether or not you've slipped into an art gallery by mistake, then you realize that you have... The beer is the art. Highlights include Merckx (Saison) and Sunshine (French Blanche).
 
Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar
Some bars have great beers, some have a great view, but few are worth visiting simply for the room. Rogue is the exception to that rule. Lofty 30 foot ceilings and an ornate interior hark back to the days when the room was part of a train station. The excellent beer and well-executed American menu only add to the charm.
 


Brassneck Brewery
The cosy, wood-lined tasting lounge is owner Nigel Springthorpe's way of encouraging you to say "Well, okay, just one more" a few more times than you might otherwise. Since he also owns the Alibi Room, you could say that Nigel knows a thing or two about running a bar. Luckily, Brewmaster Conrad Gmoser also knows a thing or two about brewing beer. A constantly changing array of quality taps is backed by one or two regulars offering something for everyone. Definitely try Passive Aggressive (NW Pale Ale)
 
Tap & Barrel
Boasting not one, but two locations on Vancouver's iconic seawall, Tap & Barrel might very well lay claim to the best patios in town on which to consume craft beer. The broad-not-deep selection of all-BC beer (and wine) on 20+ taps should have something for everyone. Expect a long wait on sunny weekends but there are worse places to hang out than the Sea Wall.

my review in the march/april 2014 bc craft beer news


Parallel 49 Brewing Co.
Such is the expansion in the local beer scene that P49 is both one of the older breweries on this list and only just recently celebrated its second birthday. A large welcoming tasting lounge lets you sample their regular lineup and several of the never-ending stream of oddities that burst forth from brewmaster Graham With's imagination on a regular basis. There's no kitchen, but food carts have a habit of showing up when you get hungry.

Portland Craft
You don't have to travel all the way to Portland, Oregon to see what makes it the craft beer mecca of the world; Main Street's Portland Craft brings the best of the US to Canada. 16 taps of American craft beer (and one or two locals for good balance) play off a menu that takes food cues from Portlandia (e.g. "Put A Bird On It (Fried chicken and waffles)). Portland Craft can get quite busy in the late evening on Fridays and Saturdays, so go early or call ahead.
 
Tangent Cafe
A recent addition to the BC craft beer scene, Tangent Cafe demonstrates that raw number of taps isn't all you need to contend. Ten carefully curated taps offer up a mix of rare beers alongside their more mundane brethren. Pair with an East meets West Malaysian/Canadian menu.

my review in the november/december 2013 bc craft beer news

 
St. Augustine's Craft Brew House & Kitchen
Perennial winner of the silver medal for Best Beer Bar in Vancouver, St Augustine's actually boasts more taps than The Alibi Room and a similar lineup of rare ales. Its convenient location just off the Expo Skytrain makes this an ideal stop for an afternoon pint while out exploring Vancouver's eastern fringes.
also included in chuck's list, but not yet reviewed by yours truly are:
both biercraft locations
bomber brewing
tap & barrel convention centre
and wildebeest

Thursday, May 29, 2014

yaletown brewpub

yaletown brewpub will be adding 4 extra casks as part of their vancouver craft beer week celebration! and there will be a feature menu of craft beer inspired items as well.

Thursday May 29th: 4pm: Pale ale krausened with hefeweizen infused with Citrus
Friday May 30th: 4pm: Oud Bruin
Saturday May 31st: 11:30am: Belgian Dubbel infused with Port and aged on oak chips

Thursday June 5th: 4pm: IPA dry hopped with Galaxy
Friday June 6th: 4pm: Cherry Wheat
Saturday June 7th: 11:30am IPA dry hopped with Summer

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

beer column

my notes from yesterday's beer column
on cbc radio one's on the coast with gloria macarenko sitting in for stephen quinn

There really is no right or wrong way to pair food and beer, it really comes down to personal taste. Different beers bring out different flavours in food, leading to different experiences. There are some guidelines, like following the three c’s – complement, contrast and cut – but the best way to find an excellent pairing is to experiment for yourself.
 
The theory behind “Complement” is pairing like with like: chocolate stout with chocolate dessert. 

In contrast (ha ha), the “Contrast” is just like it sounds: pairing opposites, like sweet with savoury. 

To “Cut” is to use the carbonation in beer to cut through the fat in food or to use the bitterness in beer to cut through the sweet in a dish. 

These three “c’s” are a good starting point for beer and food pairing experiments.

Usually when we talk about food and beer pairings we are referring to taking an already existing beer and consuming it with a meal or appetizers. What about making a beer specifically to pair with food?

Why not?  It seems to be an obvious step.  But as far as I know it has only happened once on a large scale.  Estrella Damm, a brewery in Spain, released their “Inedit” a few years ago.  The Inedit is a beer that was created in consultation with a chef, with the express purpose of making a beer to pair with food in general, and haute cuisine in particular.  Sold in a 750 ml bottle, it is brewed with barley malt and wheat, and flavoured with coriander, orange peel and licorice. 
 
Estrella Damm says it was “Made to accompany the festival of flavours offered to us by modern cuisine. For Sommeliers, trying to accommodate different types of flavours has always been a nightmare... now there is a solution!” 

And I love this solution! You can't decide which wine to serve, or you have the thought of having to open multiple bottles of wine for each course of a meal - problem solved: serve beer instead!

Why do they say it pairs so well with food?  “With its delicate, sophisticated bubbles, this beer can take acid, sweet and sour by the hand. The symphony of flavours in each dish is different, but there is a common thread capable of unifying them all, due to a sense of continuity meaning there is no need to switch drinks. This beer has a rich and highly adaptable bouquet.”

There are mixed reviews in the beer world about just how good a beer the Inedit is. Regardless, it was a novel concept to consult with a chef when brewing the beer so that food pairing was of paramount importance in its recipe. Then they went and bottled it in a 750 ml bottle to make it easier for sommeliers to convince the haute cuisine eater that this beer is on par with a wine.
 
What is the next step in this progression? How about brewing a beer specifically to pair with a particular meal? That would make for a perfect marriage of flavours, right?

Fortunately for local beer and food lovers, it has just happened!

The R and B Chef Series is a first-of-its-kind collaboration in Vancouver between R and B Brewing’s head brewer Todd Graham and a select group of some of Vancouver’s most acclaimed chefs. In partnership, they’re creating a series of great beers and dishes with complementary flavours - especially designed to be enjoyed together.

The Chef Series is a line of 650 ml bottles set to launch sequentially every six weeks over the summer and into the fall. Five chefs are currently lined up, with interest from many more making this a series of beers that could continue indefinitely.
 
On board currently are:
 
Chris Whittaker (Forage) - Forage is located in the Listel Hotel at the corner of Robson and Jervis in Vancouver, BC. – 1300 Robson Street
 
Andrea Carlson (Burdock and Co) - 2702 Main Street
 
Owen Lightly (Butter on the Endive) – a catering company, not a brick and mortar restaurant
 
Robert Belcham (Campagnolo) - 1020 Main Street
 
Brian Skinner (the Acorn) - 3995 Main Street, at 24th Avenue

The five participating chefs were asked to choose a beer style and unique ingredients that they personally connect with. Todd from R and B then brewed five incredibly diverse beers, each one highlighting the personality of each chef and intended to pair perfectly with some of their favourite dishes.
 
Says Todd Graham, R and B’s head brewer: “The variety of beer styles now available in restaurants encourages diners to choose beer as an accompaniment with their meal. The Chef Series is intended to further stimulate one’s curiosity for beer and food pairing.”
 
The first beer in the series is from Chris Whittaker of Forage. It launched earlier today and is a California Common ale brewed with 15 pounds of mint, ginger and local nettles. Chris Whittaker paired the beer with appies that all featured nettles – keeping it local and seasonal.
 
You can find the bottles of “Nettle, Mint and Ginger” in private liquor stores and at Forage starting today.
 
R and B is very, very happy with how the beer turned out, and sales to liquor stores have been so brisk that they actually sold out before today’s release. Which means that you, the consumer, need to get to your local private liquor store on the double if you want to get some of this beer!
 
A suggested pairing for this beer is halibut. 
Upcoming beers will be:
· Robert Belcham's black ESB with burnt citrus filtered with pig bone charcoal.
· Brian Skinner's balanced pale ale conditioned with locally harvested spruce tips.
· Andrea Carlson's light end of summer ale fermented with organic burdock root and sunchokes.
· Owen Lightly's ale that tastes like the sea, conditioned with oyster shells and seaweed.
Look for the next one in six weeks’ time.
Beer picks:
 
Obviously the Nettle, Mint and Ginger!

Also the other two California Common beers in town: 

33 Acres of Life
VCBW (Vancouver Craft Beer Week) collaboration beer, PrevAle

Yes, that last one is a bit of a cheat since I suggested it last week too, but it is a limited supply, and sales support the Music Heals Foundation, so get on it!

 
A reminder that Vancouver Craft Beer Week starts on Friday night. There are still tickets available for some events, the website is vancouvercraftbeerweek.com

For all those interested in the business of craft beer, there is a pre-Vancouver Craft Beer Week event on Thursday afternoon at the Imperial on Main Street. Called “The Business of Craft Beer” it will be a panel discussion between many of the craft beer players in town – about the state of craft beer, the business of craft beer, the future of craft beer, and is a “must attend” if you have ever thought you should get into the business of craft beer. Of course, craft beer samples are included in the ticket price.



to listen to todd graham talk about the beers with stephen quinn on the early edition
follow the link and fast forward to around the 2:30 mark

to listen to my chat with gloria macarenko on on the coast
follow the link and fast forward to around the 2:18 mark

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

on the coast

i will be on cbc radio one's on the coast this afternoon at 5:50
sipping on beer and chatting about it with gloria macarenko

specifically we'll be talking about the chef series of beer from r and b brewing
which launches today!

and here is yesterday's press release:

RandBBrewingCoLogo2013
NEWS RELEASE
For Additional Information Contact:
Katharine Manson
katharine@mansoncommunications.com
604.318.9690

How Many Chefs Does It Take to Make Great Beer?
R&B Brewing Co. Launches the Chef Series

RandB_GingerMintNettleVancouver BC, May 26, 2014 - Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows that 'kitchen beers' are two of the most satisfying words a cook can hear. Not only does it signal an end to a very long day, it is the beginning of a nightly ritual that results in cold beer, comfort food and camaraderie. Beer has come a long way over the past few years, making its way from late night kitchen relief to prime time dining room enjoyment.

In collaboration with five of Vancouver's most celebrated chefs, R&B Brewing Co. presents the Chef Series: a line of 650mL bottled beers that are designed to pair with food. Each beer is set to launch sequentially every six weeks over the summer and into the fall.

R&B Brewing Co. head brewer Todd Graham invited chefs Chris Whittaker (Forage), Andrea Carlson (Burdock & Co.), Owen Lightly (Butter on the Endive), Robert Belcham (Campagnolo), and Brian Skinner (The Acorn) to develop their very own beer. Participating chefs were asked to choose a beer style and unique ingredients that they personally connect with. The result, five incredibly diverse beers that reveal a little bit about each chef and pair perfectly with some of their favourite dishes. Following the release of the first five beers in the Chef Series, a new list of chef collaborators will be announced.

"The variety of beer styles now available in restaurants encourages diners to choose beer as an accompaniment with their meal," says R&B Brewing Co. Head Brewer, Todd Graham. "The Chef Series is intended to further stimulate one's curiosity for beer and food pairing."

The first beer in the R&B Brewing Co. Chefs Series scheduled to hit store shelves on May 27, 2014, is from chef Chris Whittaker of Forage. Whittaker wanted a light summer ale to pair with halibut that incorporates nettles, an ingredient he is well known for. Graham chose a style in the vein of a California common, brewed it with local nettles and ginger, and finished it with mint.

Future releases in the Chef Series* include:
  • Robert Belcham's black ESB with burnt citrus filtered with pig bone charcoal.
  • Brian Skinner's balanced pale ale conditioned with locally harvested spruce tips.
  • Andrea Carlson's light end of summer ale fermented with organic burdock root and sunchokes.
  • Owen Lightly's ale that tastes like the sea, conditioned with oyster shells and seaweed.
* some ingredients may change due to availability.

Availability:
650mL bottles of the Chef Series Nettle, Mint and Ginger California Common can be found at Forage and private beer and wine stores in Vancouver.

Restaurants, bars, and craft beer and wine stores can pre-order bottles of the R&B Brewing Co. Chef Series by calling the brewery directly at 604.874.ALES (2537).

Consumers are encouraged to ask their local beer and wine stores, and favorite restaurants and bars to carry R&B Brewing Co. Chef Series bottles.

-30-

About R&B Brewing Co:
Committed to keeping things modest, independent and unique, R&B Brewing Co. makes handcrafted beer in the heart of East Vancouver’s historic brewery creek district. R&B Brewing Co. (derived from a clever organization of the two founding partners' names) is the combined hard work and lifelong goal of Rick Dellow and Barry Benson, who share more than 60 years experience in the international and local brewing industry. After spending many years installing micro-breweries and brewpubs and training brewers all over the world, they brought their wealth of knowledge and experience home to Vancouver, where they produce consistent high quality, hand crafted ales. R&B Brewing Co is located at 54 East 4th Ave. Vancouver BC V5T 1E8. W: www.r-and-b.com P: 604.874.2537

Interviews:
R&B Brewing Co. Head Brewer, Todd Graham, todd@r-and-b.com

High Resolution Photos: 


Suggested Tweet: @RandBBrewing collaborates with 5 of Vancouver's most celebrated chefs to present the Chef Series. #BeerAndFoodPairing #YVR #RandBBrewing

Monday, May 26, 2014

link love

what's link love without a top ten list?
or a top 100 list?

10 great summer beers
and dagnabbit, i haven't tried a single one of these

100 american beers you have to drink
part 1 - 100 - 81
i'm doing much better on this list!

an interview with chris bjerrisgaard of vancouver craft beer week

beer cocktails, a lovely summer drink

beer soaked grilled cheese sandwich recipe

brewdog beer and food pairing

the georgia strait on the evolving beer industry in bc
quoting none other than camra vancouver's adam chatburn
plus reps from granville island and central city

more on the health benefits of drinking beer

the canadian brewing awards schedule

the strait says to try these beers

vancouver international tequila expo
oooh, i do love me some tequila!
too bad it overlaps with vcbw

vancouver brewery map - updated to today
but likely out of date again by tomorrow!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

legacy liquor store

This is one of Vancouver’s more recent additions to the craft beer scene born out of a vision of enjoyment for the binding elements of life: spirit of community sharing, drink, food, conversation, space, and ideas. Influenced by the natural elements of their beautiful Pacific Northwest backdrop, 33 Acres is fueled by creative thinking, and driven to make the highest quality product available to the city. Along with other new craft breweries in the city, they are hard at work making Vancouver a craft beer destination that aims to rival that of Portland, Oregon. Check out these cleanly crafted and simple sublime brews, and be quick because they sell quickly in this glorious spring weather.

33 Acres Brewing Co. 33 Acres of Sunshine - $6.95
This is my go-to summer brew: easy drinking, refreshing and just plain delicious thanks to the inclusion of orange peel, anise and coriander in the brewing process. A hazy straw yellow, this French Blanche smells like fresh pizza dough on the nose with the coriander, anise and orange coming up big on the end. Palate-wise yeast deliciousness sprinkled with spice, citrus and a thirst quenching finish make this a beer worth revisiting over and over again.

Aaron Morten | Office Liaison | Legacy Liquor Store

33 Acres Brewing Co. 33 Acres of Life - $6.65
This is Vancouver’s approach to the California Common style and a good take on it too. Rusty amber in colour, it has plenty of malt on the nose accompanied by spice and orchard fruit such as apple and pear. On the palate more malt, fruit and spice appear to create a bigger and definitely more complex California common, making this brew a bit uncommon.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

33 Acres Brewing Co. 33 Acres of Ocean - $6.95
No beer line-up would be complete without a pale ale like this 33 Acres rendition. Brassy in colour with an assertive and floral aroma chock full of tropical fruit and fun, all of which pop on the palate once you put the mug to your lips. So take a sip and tip it on back.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store


Issac, Andrew, Franck, Dany and Luke of Le Trou du Diable bring a passion for the world of brewing coupled with many years of experience. The original brewers, Isaac and Andrew, have always dreamed of providing their hometown a unique handcrafted product through a brewery worthy of comparison to other Quebec breweries such as le Cheval Blanc, or to major European institutions such Chimay, Bass, Pilsner Urquell, and Fisher. After several set backs and with a bit of elbow grease Microbrasserie Le Trou du Diable opened in December 2005 in Shawinigan, Quebec. The name itself “Le Trou du Diable” or The Devil’s Hole, is a reference to a mighty whirlpool called “The Cauldron” located at the bottom of Shawinigan Falls. This name comes from the folk belief that this bottomless hole leads straight to hell; nobody that has entered it has lived to tell the story. Climbing podiums globally Le Trou du Diable has won numerous awards worldwide with their ability to mix old-school styles and new-school brews in both exciting and skilled ways. With a renowned barrel-aging program and award-winning creative designs, Le Trou du Diable offers world class beers for you to enjoy.

Microbrasserie Le Trou du Diable Dulcis Succubus - $27.55
From deep within the bowels of Le Trou du Diable devilishly delicious things are brewing. Barrel aged in Californian white wine barrels, this brew is hazy and tangerine in colour and pops with notes of peaches, pears and apricots that are all cozily nestled under a musky blanket of deliciousness. Stone fruit and a fantastic showing of brettanomyces all show up once you tip back the glass. This brew is well worth the price of admission… welcome to the dark side.

Aaron Morten | Office Liaison | Legacy Liquor Store

Microbrasserie Le Trou du Diable La Bretteuse - $27.55
One good Brett IPA deserves another, and Le Trou du Diable serves one up with a bit of Quebecois flare. Clear copper in colour, this beer hints of its 18 months spent in Syrah barrels, tasting of mandarin peel, funky wood and red berries. On the nose, this brew takes a step back from the aroma on the palate, but plays out beautifully with more funk and fruit to keep you sated. Sent straight from the beer heavens, this little gem of a barrel-aged beer wraps up dry.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Microbrasserie Le Trou du Diable Le Sang D’Encre - $9.45
An epic label for an epic stout from Quebec, this particular brew is jet black in the glass with prominent roasted malt, anise and dried fruit on the nose. Coffee, chocolate and more dried fruits (raisins and dates specifically) accompanied by some slight herbal hop show up on the palate, making this medium-bodied, dry-finishing stout a real hit.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Friday, May 23, 2014

northshore pub crawl

i went on a little pub crawl in north van last week
we only hit four venues
but i feel we did well for a friday evening

step one:
take seabus to foreign lands

step two:
avoid getting hit by train
on the way from seabus to black kettle


step three:
sample beers at black kettle
on tap: wheat ale, pale ale and ipa
i really enjoyed the wheat and the pale
the ipa was too well-balanced for me - i need more pacific northwest hoppiness!


step four:
walk back along tracks
take photos of interesting and unintelligible messages


step five:
stop for food at sailor hagar's
split hairs with server about their continued use of the name "brewpub" when no brewing is done on-site any more (howe sound brews their beers now)


step five.five:
enjoy a persephone pale ale instead of the house beers
(count this as the best beer i had all night)
eat waffle fries with ketchup and hot sauce and call it dinner


step six:
walk back to lonsdale quay and visit green leaf brewing
move very fragrant star-gazer lillies away from drinking area


step six.five:
consume taster paddle of berliner vice (ha!), les saisoniers, pie hole pale ale, and animal farm ipa
wonder if they have expanded their stable of beer styles too quickly as only the pale ale was actually palatable


 

step seven:
visit the lonsdale quay night market
attempt to snack more but food trucks out of food by 9:00
attempt to drink bridge brewing pale ale but get informed that they're out of that and now serving deep cove pale ale
enjoy the pale ale regardless

step eight:
take photo of lovely city i live in, from the other shore


step nine:
get back on seabus and return to familiar territory

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

bottle share

i got to attend a backyard bbq and bottle share over the long weekend

wanna see what we drank??









 
 

the two stand-outs for me were the breakside india golden ale and the double mountain devil's kriek
tree's serendipity no. 8 was also stellar

of the beers i regularly enjoy the gigantic ipa and driftwood 20 pounder continue to please me greatly!

and i just can't say enough good things about the 2 towns hop and stalk cider
i have one bottle of this baby left
i want to save it for a special occasion, but i need to drink it soon!
my life is really very difficult

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

the business of craft beer

interested in learning more about the business side of craft beer?
just before vancouver craft beer week starts, and all of our livers cower
there is an event that will bring together many of the movers and shakers of the local craft beer world to talk about the future of craft beer and how new breweries can give themselves a leg-up on starting and running a successful craft brewery
the keynote speaker will be jamie floyd of ninkasi brewing

the business of craft beer
put on by bc business magazine, it will be held at the imperial on main street
on may 29th from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
you can get tickets on eventbrite

i'll be there
along with a whole lot of other interested parties!
the networking opportunities alone make this event worth the $75
and there will be appies and beer samples - woohoo!



here's what bc beer blog has to say about the event



Monday, May 19, 2014

link love

happy long weekend!!

what some other folks have to say about the upcoming vancouver craft beer week:
joe wiebe
jan zeschky

vancouver patios that will be open until midnight this summer

how to talk like a beer snob
a primer for beginners

gcbf tickets on sale july 19th
for the festival on september 5 and 6, 2014

13 things you may not know about hops

and a new product:



We are pleased to announce that our BC Hopped Whisky is now available.
Barrel aged for five years, this whisky offers a well-balanced flavour that starts with spicy malt notes and finishes with a dry and hoppy kick.
The release is the first 'Hopped Whisky' of its kind in Canada and with only 300 bottles available we are expecting to sell out quickly.
The idea behind the 'Final Proof Master Distiller Series' was to allow the creative nature of our Distiller Peter von Hahn to develop a series of small batch specialty and unique whiskies that we will release over time.
The whisky is available to purchase direct from either of our two distilleries (Vernon or Kelowna), online at our website.
42% alc./vol. - 750ml - $64.95 including all taxes

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

beer column

my notes from yesterday's beer column
on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn:
 
If the fresh-hopped beer season in September is the best time of the year for a craft beer lover, then right now must be the second best time of year for Vancouver craft beer lovers.  The end of May and beginning of June is a special beer season here in Vancouver. It's Vancouver Craft Beer Week!
 
Vancouver Craft Beer Week is a nine day extravaganza of local and neighbourly craft beers, which begins Friday, May 30 and carries on until Saturday, June 7th. And there are events for everyone! Some events, like Hoppapalooza, sell out in minutes - this year it took just five minutes for all of the tickets for the Alibi Room's annual ode to hops to be sold - other events take a couple of days to sell out. And fortunately, some events are larger and haven't sold out yet - so if you haven't gotten tickets yet, fear not! There is still time. But don't delay! Tickets for the signature and feature events are available through the website at vancouvercraftbeerweek.com. There are 9 Signature and 12 Feature ticketed events and there will also be all sorts of beer pairing dinners, drink specials and other non-ticketed events cropping up all over town during Craft Beer Week.

This year is the fifth annual VCBW.  There is a different theme each year. This year's theme is hip hop and the tag line is "It's a Rap". The opening night party will be hosted by Prevail of Swollen Members and will be held at Gossip Night Club. $49 gets you not just in the door, but also entertained, libated and if you go dressed in your hip hop best, there will also be door prizes. 22 breweries are supplying the libations, including new breweries Steel and Oak, and White Rock Beach.
 
Last year the VCBW charity beer raised $3,500 for Mark Brand's A Better Life Foundation. This year the Music Heals Foundation will be the recipient of proceeds from the sale of the collaboration brew, named PrevAle. The Music Heals charitable foundation raises awareness of the healing powers of music and fundraises for music therapy and related services across Canada. Their mission is to unite music therapy-related charitable initiatives, and increase patient accessibility to music therapy in children's hospitals, seniors' homes, palliative care facilities, burn units, AIDS and HIV care at at-risk youth programs.

PrevAle was brewed at Central City Brewers' new location in Surrey. It is a double California Common-style ale. Gary Lohin of Central City and Matt Phillips of Phillips dreamt up the recipe at the inaugural Victoria Beer Week in March. They brewed it on March 28th with a little help from all the other brewers in the Province. We can expect a balanced full-bodied beer, rich in flavour. On sale at government and private liquor stores starting May 16, as well as on draft at participating VCBW venues.
 
Hoppapalooza, PDX Brewer's Delight, Rare Brews & BBQ, Craft Beer Bingo, and Hyper Local at Merchant's are already sold out.  But there are still tickets available for all of the other events.  Some high-lights are:
 
If you fancy a night out in Richmond, the Pumphouse's 35th anniversary party on Saturday May 31st promises to be a good time. $10 gets you in the door and a shuttle to the skytrain station, or an address in Richmond. 30+ US Craft Breweries will be on tap for $3 a glass.
 
If you missed out on Hoppapalooza tickets, never fear! There is a second IPA centric event on Sunday June 1st: The 5th Element will be held at Fan Club and it is a contest between 10 of BC's premier breweries to determine whose IPA is the best one on the market in a blind taste-test.
 
In da Pourhouse is a beer pairing dinner at Pourhouse on Tuesday June 3. $75 gets you a four course meal paired with beers from Driftwood, 33 Acres, Whistler Brewhouse and Dageraad Brewing.
 
For the cider lovers out there, this year's VCBW features a cider event. Called Cider Rules, it will be held at the August Jack on Thursday, June 5th, and feature ciders from Anthem, Reverend Nat and Finn River paired with appies.
 
And the week closes out as always with the VCBW beer festival on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The list of participants is enormous! Over 70 breweries are committed to participate. These festivals are an excellent way to introduce a newbie to the joys of craft beer, and for the already converted to taste beers that aren't always available locally.

There is another beer event in town from May 30 to June - EAT! Vancouver at BC Place Stadium.
EAT! Vancovuer is also an annual event, and while not beer-centred, it does offer a beer, wine and spirits tasting section. I go every year. There's always something new to try... and buy. The food is delicious and who doesn't love a free sample or twelve? And of course there's the beer and wine and spirits. Tickets are available from their website, eat-vancouver.com.  More than 40,000 visitors are expected to attend over the three-day festival.  Tickets are $17 for adults ($14 online), $15 for seniors ($14 online), and $9 for youth aged 13-16. Children 12 and under are free.

Beer exhibitors confirmed at the Sips area so far include Alexander Keith’s, Beverage Concepts Int’l, Mill Street Brewery, Singha Beer, Vancouver Island Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing Company and Yukon Brewery.
 

Beer Picks:
Of course I think everyone should buy some of the VCBW PrevAle!
And because it is Spring, go find some sunny seasonal beers like Storm's Lightning Wit, available at the brewery for growler fills and 33 Acres of Sunshine, available at the tasting room and for growler fills

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

on the coast

i will be on the radio tonight at 5:50
chatting with stephen quinn about vancouver craft beer week and EAT! vancouver
cbc radio one
on the coast
88.1 and 690 in vancouver

Monday, May 12, 2014

link love

another top five list
best breweries and bars in portland
how anyone can pick a portland top five is beyond me, but i do agree with a couple of her choices
(also a very appropriate link since i am in portland today)

sours are the next big thing
do you know your sours?  this oughta help

i love me a beercation
apparently i am not alone!

Friday, May 9, 2014

weekend

yikes, i've been back from vegas for over a week now
and i haven't had a minute to sit down to write about the beer festival and all the other amazing beer places i found downtown
(or write the couple of reviews i owe people...)
and now i'm off to portland for the weekend
(poor, poor me!)
there will be beer drinking of course,
and a trip to belmont station to find some fabulous beers to bring home with me,
but beer is not actually the focus of my trip this time
saturday is the launch party for cider riot - a kickstarter funded cidery
and since we'll be in town anyway, sunday i'll be at the timbers game, sitting with the army!
i am very much looking forward to taking to the streets,
and pogoing the night away,
not to mention getting my first taste of cider riot's ciders

legacy liquor store

from legacy liquor store in vancouver:

The season of the tallboy is in full swing with radlers, lagers, pale ales and more, all available to help you keep cool when you’re out enjoying the warm rays of the sun. To top it off, we’ve been seeing a lot more seasonal options roll through the doors, everything from rosés to hefeweizens and beyond. We’ll also be running tastings all weekend, so swing by the store and check out the Legacy Counter. You can see the full line-up down below.
Born in 1975, and brother to Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller, another great gypsy brewery, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø kicked off his career not as a brewer, but as a physics and English teacher. It wasn’t until 2010 that Evil Twin Brewing was founded by Jeppe, but it didn’t take long before it took off in a big way, launching more than forty different brews in 2012 alone and brewing out of ten different breweries in six different countries around the world. It was also in 2012 that Jeppe relocated to Brooklyn with his wife and children in order to be closer to the brewing action and to eventually make New York the beer capital of the world. Some of Jeppe’s most popular brews include Imperial Biscotti Break and Even More Jesus, but one that’s desired by all is made in collaboration with Brussels-based Cantillon, a lambic by the name Blåbær Lambik, a beer so famous that you have to pay up to $300 for it on eBay. Although we don’t have those heavy hitters, we do have some impressive Evil Twins of our own, so check them out!

Evil Twin Brewing Yang Imperial IPA - $5.55
Though it’s one half of Evil Twin’s Black & Tan, don’t fret because this Imperial IPA is just as good on its own. Hazy copper in colour, the big citrusy, piney notes work in combination with the bready malts of the aroma. Pulling through on the palate in much the same way, with surprise guest appearances by melon and honey, are more pine, citrus and of course bready malt, all of which mask the heavy hitting ABV. Half the brew, but just as delicious.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Evil Twin Brewing Lil’ B Imperial Porter - $5.55
Crack this beer and pour its jet black contents into a tulip glass and prepare yourself for an onslaught of chocolate, caramel and a bit of coffee on the nose. On the palate, more chocolate, caramel and again light coffee work into a mouth coating experience. A brilliant imperial porter.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store


LEGACY COUNTER

Thursday
TUSSOCK JUMPER WINES TASTING
4:00PM to 8:00PM May 8th, 2014

Thursday
CLOS DU SOLEIL WINERY TASTING
4:00PM to 8:00PM May 8th, 2014

Friday
VANCOUVER ISLAND BREWING CO. TASTING
4:00PM to 8:00PM May 9th, 2014

Saturday
ABSOLUT VODKA & LILLET COCKTAIL TASTING
2:00PM to 6:00PM May 10th, 2014

Sunday
KANAZAWA WINES TASTING
2:00PM to 6:00PM May 11th, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

link love

a first for craft beer - it outsells the big boys in, of course, portland!

the flickr account for the great vegas beerfest
no pics of me, alas, but great shots of the event
and a review of the festival
(mine is coming... eventually...)

jan zeschky's rundown of this year's hip hop themed vcbw
(that's vancouver craft beer week for those not yet in the know)

joe wiebe gives you the past 30 years in craft beer history in british columbia
and you can listen to him on the radio too!

another new brewery opens in the lower mainland!
white rock beach beer company, as reviewed by mike's craft beer

dimpled pint glasses are making a comeback according to the bbc
(i didn't notice they were missing in vancouver - plenty of places still use them... what does that say about vancouver - are we ahead of the curve or so far behind the world caught up to us again?)
my fave quote from the story:  "There are so many beards in Dalston, and they do love a dimple."

the seven worst types of people... on a beer forum

a canadian takes the record for running a beer mile
my friend is named james neilson, and he runs, and he drinks beer
but he assures me he is not the james nielsen record-holder in question
i kinda hoped it was a type in the name... i'd like to claim a champion as a friend

Thursday, May 1, 2014

legacy liquor store

Founded in 2002 by Gunnar Wiig and Kjetil Jikiun with one mission, to create fantastic full-bodied handcrafted beer. The name Nøgne Ø, which means “Naked Island,” is a poetic term used by Henrik Ibsen to describe the countless stone outcroppings that are visible off Norway’s southern coast. It also paints a symbolic picture of what two Norwegian homebrewers set out to do in 2002 in a country flooded with macrobeers. Uncompromising in their methods, Nøgne Ø creates gold from gold using malts and hops such as Maris Otter, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus. Quality ingredients for quality craft beers, it’s as simple as that. Since their founding, Nøgne Ø has grown from a 300 hl production to an estimated 3500 hl with more than 20 different styles brewed regularly. This Grimstad, Norway-based brewery is a testament to what two bold homebrewers can accomplish with a quality craft brew.

Nøgne Ø Imperial Rye Porter - $14.45
A collaborative brew for the rainy weather courtesy of Terrapin Beer Co. and Nøgne Ø. Pitch black when it hits the glass, roasted barley and malt hit immediately followed by sweet caramel and spicy rye. Plenty of chocolate, coffee and spice can all be found working together in perfect harmony. This particular brew hides it’s 9% ABV well, so be wary, but enjoy it regardless.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Nøgne Ø Sunturnbrew - $11.75
Brewed during the solstice of every year since 2008, this bold smoked barley wine is a unique little beer. Crimson in colour with a big smoky nose, think peated scotch with a complex palate of rich malts, burnt sugar, dried fruits, subtle hops and of course peaty smoke. Big, rich and delicious, sign me up.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store

Nøgne Ø Tiger Tripel - $10.65
From the cold shores of Norway, Nøgne Ø delivers a Tripel with a bit of Scottish inspiration. Golden brown in colour with rich ripe notes of stone fruit (peach and apricot) and a blend of spices such as nutmeg, pepper and anise on the nose. More stone fruit presents itself on the palate with even more spices like cinnamon, clove and a bit of paprika. Deceptively drinkable and just plain delicious, I say well played, Nøgne Ø.

Evan Doan | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store


Nomadic Brewers Javier Aldea and Sami Claret of Nomada Brewing Co. hail from a burgeoning craft beer scene across the Atlantic Ocean in Spain. Designing, creating and brewing exclusive beers at any brewery that will let them make beer has pushed them to the forefront of a Spanish craft beer revolution. Utilizing hops and malts commonly found in the Pacific Northwest (think Centennial, Cascade, Columbus, etc.) this young upstart brewery has managed to capture a sense of terroir by introducing the climate and soil of Spain into the growth cycle of PNW ingredients. The result, a selection of carefully crafted beers that have found themselves at the front of the pack, but you'll just have to sample some of these brews to decide for yourself. Salud!

Nomada Brewing Co. Papaya Crash Imperial IPA - $8.55

Hazy and dark orange in colour, this imperial IPA with papaya pops right out of the Spieglau IPA glass with notes of fruity papaya and earthy hops. Grapefruit pith, pine resin and caramel malt work well with one another and strike a near perfect balance, finishing slightly dry with the hops, malt and a bit of alcohol rounding out this impressive Spanish brew.

Joel Wilson | Beer Team | Legacy Liquor Store

Nomada Brewing Co. Royal Porter a la Taza - $7.05

A rich dark brown in colour with plenty of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate and coffee backing it up. As it warms up, this little devil gets more complex, but you can expect coffee beans, roasted malt and chocolate flavours right out of the gate. Extremely quaffable thanks to a very well hidden ABV and an exceptional flavour profile, this brew is not to be missed.

Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor | Legacy Liquor Store