Thursday, July 30, 2015

could this be good news?

well, that took me by surprise!

changes to the provincial cabinet leave suzanne anton out of liquor

the liquor distribution branch is no longer under the purview of the solicitor general
it's now with small business and red-tape reduction

hopefully this means some better handling of the revisions to the liquor laws
(dare we hope for a new look at the pricing model???)
and more red-tape reduction

best bet for change though?
vote the liberals out when you get the chance!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

bc beer awards

For Immediate Release
July 15, 2015
Contact: Monica Frost


The BC Beer Awards & Festival Returns to Vancouver October 24, 2015

In Short:

Vancouver, BC (June 24, 2015): The 6th Annual BC Beer Awards & Festival is set to return to Vancouver on Saturday, October 24, 2014 from 4 9pm at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive). The signature consumer tasting event of BC Craft Beer Month , this festival celebrates the very best in craft brewing from across the province. A one day only event, it features both the BC Beer Awards ceremony hosted by CBC ’s Stephen Quinn and a craft beer festival with over 50 breweries and new this year cider.

Also returning will be our community booths, craft beer focused vendors and our Brewers Challenge! Last year the BC Beer Awards brought the bitter Purl forward as an experimental cask competition. 2015 has been dubbed by the craft beer community to be the “Year of the Sour Beer” and we have challenged BC’s Brewers to create something puckering (or not so puckering).

Early Bird tickets are $30 (plus tax) for the BC Beer Awards & Festival are available August 26, 2015 until September 30, 2015. Regular priced tickets are $35 (plus tax) as of October 1, 2015.

The Full Story:

The BC Beer Awards & Festival (BCBA) has become one of the most anticipated beer tasting festivals in the Lower Mainland. We will be returning to the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver) again this year as this venue has been the perfect location for our event for the past three years.

Tickets for the BC Beer Awards & Festival will go on sale Wednesday August 26th at the Early Bird price of $30 via . On October 1, 2015 tickets will be available for $35 (plus taxes).

Last year's BC Beer Awards judging drew over 460 unique entries from over 60 BC breweries and brewpubs, with winners selected in 17 distinct categories. Judges included certified beer judges, cicerones, sommeliers, journalists, as well as noted beer and food lovers. The BC Beer Awards adheres to standards set by the Internationally recognized Beer Judging Certification Program (BJCP).

The mandate of the BC Beer Awards is to reward excellent beers even if not brewed exactly to strict style guidelines. Secondary is ensuring that every beer brewed in BC can be entered regardless of whether it fits in a style or not. Craft Brewers across the province are well known for their innovation and creativity, something that the BCBA organizers are keen to help celebrate. With 22 new breweries having opened in BC in 2014 and an estimated 20 opening in 2015, we’re set to hit 100 craft breweries in BC this year!

The exclusive media sponsor and sponsor of the People’s Choice Award is CBC Vancouver. The BC Beer Awards & Festival would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. This year we have Tap & Barrel , Chrislan , and Direct Tap on board. Would you like to be a sponsor? Please contact Rachaal Steele for more information.

For more information on our event please visit or follow the conversation on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

gladstone brewing

Vancouver Island's Gladstone Brewing Co. makes its Vancouver Debut

VANCOUVER, BC – After six months of serving up West-Coast and Belgian-inspired brews to Vancouver Island's Comox Valley, Gladstone Brewing Co. is headed to Vancouver for the first time to showcase its award winning beer with a tap takeover at Commercial Drive's Tangent Cafe on Wednesday August 26, 6pm.

Gladstone Brewing Co. is one of Vancouver Island's newest breweries and is headed up by owner Daniel Sharratt and head brewer John Adair (formerly of Parallel 49 Brewing). Adair's Porter recently took home bronze at the Canadian Brewing Awards.

The tap takeover at Tangent Cafe will include six Gladstone beers: Belgian Single, North American Porter, West Coast IPA, Pilsener, and two new, yet-to-be released seasonals – a Saison and a Kettle Sour.

The 20,000 litre capacity brewery started out with just 4,000 litre production in January 2015, but has quickly grown in the first six months due to increasing demand. Currently Gladstone sells the majority of its beer out of the brewery tasting lounge, which is also home to a pizza restaurant, Pizzeria Guerrilla. Their beer can also be found on tap in three locations in the Comox Valley and occasionally at the Drake in Victoria.The thirst for craft beer in the Comox Valley is definitely proof of Vancouver Island's growing beer scene.
Gladstone has plans for bottle production later in the year, but currently only sells beer on draft.

Gladstone Brewing Co. is a small brewery in the heart of Courtenay in the Comox Valley that believes making great beer is equal parts artistic precision and mad science. Their beers are inspired by centuries of Belgian brewing traditions and by the flavours of the Pacific Northwest. The brewery was founded in January 2015 by owners Daniel Sharratt and Alexandra Stephanson, and head brewer John Adair.

Tangent Cafe is a restaurant on Commercial Drive that offers great breakfast, a rotating craft beer taplist, delicious pub food, and Malaysian curries. The Commercial Drive bar is one of the most intimate venues to catch live music and jazz in the city.

big news in bc beer land


For Immediate Release


July 28, 2015

􀀃Most customers at a distillery lounge are visiting for the spirits 􀀃however, thanks to the latest government liquor update, they will now also have the option to order a beer, cider or glass of wine, if they prefer.

Previously, a winery could only sell glasses of vino it produced onsite, and a brewery could only
let you buy a glass of its local beer. This would sometimes mean that some visitors would choose to not purchase anything, if they'd rather have a cider or a mixed drink, for example. No longer is this the case. Starting today, distilleries, wineries, cideries and breweries with licensed lounges or special event areas can sell liquor they don't produce, for customers to enjoy during their visit.

By making this change, it also means that, in many cases, customers throwing a wedding or other event at one of these locations won't have to apply for a separate Special Occasion Licence to reap these benefits either - 􀀃one less thing to worry about when planning the big day.

This latest change, made as a result of feedback heard during the Liquor Policy Review, will cut red tape for B.C. liquor manufacturers and help them further support and promote their allies in the industry, while offering a new, value-added service for their visitors.

Over the next few months, government will continue consulting with liquor manufacturers about these on-site tasting options and the process for getting a liquor licence, to find areas where further red tape can be cut.

Suzanne Anton, Minister of Justice 􀀃-
"How many British Columbians have been on a cidery tour and wanted to buy a glass of B.C. wine at one of their stops and been turned away? How many people have held a wedding at a winery and been forced to apply and pay for a special occasion licence because they knew some of their guests would want to have a beer or a mixed drink? Well, as of today, these issues are a thing of the past."

"We are doing away with B.C.'s archaic liquor rules. Today's change will both create more selection for consumers, and support B.C. tourism, small businesses and our many incredible liquor producers."

John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform -􀀃
"Our government is making small changes with big impacts, as we update our liquor policies based on the feedback I received from industry and British Columbians during the Liquor Policy Review. Today is a great example of the work we are doing to open up the market to create more choice and convenience for consumers - 􀀃while also creating more opportunities for B.C.'s burgeoning liquor industry to reach its full potential."

Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture -􀀃
"These changes mean there are more opportunities for B.C.􀍛s artisan spirit, wine and beer producers to showcase and sell their products to local residents and visitors, and compete with products from around the world. The growing demand for craft B.C. beverages highlights the consumer demand for local foods and creates new markets and customers for B.C. growers and value-added producers, a key goal in our Agrifoods Strategy to grow B.C.'s agrifoods sector into a $14 billion a year industry by 2017."

Tyler Dyck, president, Craft Distillers Guild of BC -􀀃
"This is a perfect way to allow craft B.C. distilleries, wineries, cideries and breweries to showcase one another, in an effort to cross-promote and support the local B.C. industry. Our distillers have been asked on a daily basis why we can't serve craft B.C. beer and wine in our lounges - 􀀃and now we will be able to share the good news with our customers that they have that option."

Miles Prodan, president and CEO, BC Wine Institute -
"This is a welcomed enhancement to the B.C. wine industry, both from a business perspective and also for our customers' 􀀃convenience. While we know many of our visitors are exploring our world-class wineries to experience B.C. wine, it's also nice to be able to offer consumers the option of a mixed drink or a beer."

Quick Facts:
􀂇- In order to ensure the focus remains on the manufacturer's own unique products, sales of other liquor will be capped - 􀀃only 20% of their sales each quarter can be from alcohol produced off-site.

-􀂇 As of July 28, 2015, government has implemented 35 recommendations from the Liquor Policy Review.

-􀂇 Government has adopted a phased-in approach to modernizing B.C.'s liquor laws, and will continue consulting with stakeholders and reviewing the changes made, in order to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.

Learn More:
Share your ideas for on-site tasting options and the process for getting a liquor licence until
Aug. 21, 2015:
Read the B.C. Liquor Policy Review final report:
Learn about the B.C. Liquor Policy Review:
Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

win a bike from tree brewing

Congrats to our first cruiser bike winner Greg Hlady!

We've given away one cruiser bike..
We have two more for July & August!

How do you win?

1. Come to the Beer Institute every Tuesday
2. Drink a pint of delicious Tree Beer
3. Receive one entry to win a cruiser bike!

Tree in the Community

Dukes Cider Now On Sale!

$8.99 6 Packs in Participating Liquor Stores

What's On Tap at the Beer Institute

Friday, July 24, 2015

30 days of ipa

30 Days of IPA returns for another hoppy year in August
Third annual celebration includes beers never tapped before in BC

While craft beer trends come and go, India Pale Ale, better known as IPA, remains the signature style of Pacific Northwest craft beer culture. With the Donnelly Group’s third annual 30 Days of IPA set to kick off August 1st, now is the time for fans of this iconic beer style to pick up a calendar and start planning their month of hops.

Each day from August 1st - 30th, a different IPA  will be tapped at one of eight Donnelly Group pubs across Vancouver. The festival kicks off 11:30AM on August 1st at BC’s oldest pub, The Lamplighter in Gastown, where a keg of Immortal IPA from Seattle’s legendary Elysian Brewing will be tapped; the first of 30 unique and delicious IPAs sourced from 30 craft breweries across North America being poured during the month.

The driving force behind 30 Days of IPA is Donnelly Group Bar & Beverage Director Trevor Kallies who has chased down a collection of the best and rarest IPAs being brewed. Craft beer fans will be thrilled at the thought of tasting some beers which have never before been tapped in the BC.

“British Columbia’s beer industry has always had a strong backbone built on the IPA,” said Trevor Kallies. “It is a style that brings out creativity, competitiveness and hop-prowess in local brewers. We run 30 Days of IPA in August so people can take a break from the white, fruit beers and radlers that tend to take over in the early part of the summer.”

30 Days of IPA will be showcase for the ever-widening range of flavours and interpretations of the IPA, and the month will features  a large number of rare and limited edition beers including one-off casks and even fruit IPAs. One of the event highlights will be the tapping of Raised by Wolves, the newest IPA from the ever-amazing Driftwood Brewing which is set to be tapped on Monday, August 17th at the Lamplighter.

The complete calendar including location and quantity to be poured is available at or by picking up the handy printed guide at any Donnelly Pub including participating venues The Bimini, Cinema, The Lamplighter, Library Square, The Blackbird, The Butcher & Bullock, The New Oxford & Tavern and The Three Brits.

It’s time for beer fans to pick up a calendar, and plan their month of IPA exploration during 30 Days of IPA.

Established in 1999, the Donnelly Group is a dynamic, independently owned management company from Vancouver. Founded by Jeff Donnelly, the Donnelly Group has grown from one Kitsilano pub –The Bimini– to include nine public houses, three night clubs, two cocktail taverns and five barbershops. Experience Donnelly Pub culture at The Bimini, Cinema, The Lamplighter, Library Square, The Blackbird, The Butcher & Bullock, The New Oxford & Tavern and The Three Brits.

opening today!

Central City’s Red Racer Comes to Beatty Street
New Restaurant Serves Up Smokehouse BBQ and Award Winning Craft Beers

Vancouver, BC – Central City Brewers + Distillers is pleased to announce the upcoming grand opening of their brand new Red Racer Restaurant on Beatty Street in downtown Vancouver. The new restaurant will feature an authentic smoked barbecue inspired menu specializing in build-your-own-burgers unique to Central City, and 40 draught taps offering Central City craft beers as well as from other BC craft brewers.

The highly anticipated public grand opening is slated for Friday, July 24 and is Central City’s first venture outside of their home base of Surrey, B.C. where their current Central City Brew Pub and state-of-the-art brewery are headquartered.

“We’re excited to add a downtown Vancouver presence so we can offer a one-of-a-kind casual dining experience, our award-winning craft beers as well as from other great craft brewers, to beer fans living and working in the city” says Darryll Frost, president and founder of Central City Brewers + Distillers. “We’ve had huge momentum in the last couple of years, with new craft beer and distilled spirits products and now our new Red Racer Restaurant. We’re eager to whet the appetites of foodies and beer fans everywhere.”

Located at 871 Beatty Street in downtown Vancouver near BC Place and Rogers Arena, the new 4,800 square feet (446 square metres) Red Racer Restaurant on Beatty Street pays some homage to the iconic former Dix BBQ & Brewery, retaining some of its original brick and beam character, mosaic tilework and design.

The new 200-seat restaurant features a modern Victorian steampunk motif with overstuffed leather and upholstered furniture, industrial lighting and design elements, including timeless leather barstools, natural hardwood, and oversized handmade wood tables made from BC willow trees. At the heart of the restaurant sits a prominent cherry wood foeder barrel where its sour beer will be aged.

Anchoring the restaurant is a 38-foot long bar, serving 40 local craft beers on tap including 14 of Central City’s own Red Racer and limited release beers, Hopping Mad Cider, as well as some of the best beers from BC craft brewers. The restaurant also features wine taps, a wine wall, and bench seating in the lounge area.

Central City’s Executive Chef Carl Sawatsky has designed a mouthwatering menu with authentic barbeques slow-smoked daily the old-fashioned way, featuring their signature build-your-own-BBQ-burgers, and exquisite dishes infused with Central City’s award-winning beer, including:
  • Devils on Horseback: Herbed goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in crispy beer bacon and served hot with an IPA sauce.
  • Quinoa Cobb V Salad: Black bean & roasted corn salsa, avocado, crumbled blue cheese, quinoa, sliced free range egg & mixed greens. Served with an avocado herb dressing & squash chips.
  • The Zeus Burger: Lamb Patty, goat cheese, lamb bacon, tzatziki, roasted garlic, onion rings, fried egg, butter lettuce, vine ripe tomato.

For more information on Central City’s Red Racer Restaurant on Beatty Street, visit or @CentralCityPub on social media, hashtag #CentralCityBeatty.


Central City Launches Mayor Kolsch as Next Character-based Beer
Gritty storyline continues with the mythical world of Central City

Surrey, B.C. – Central City Brewers + Distillers has launched the latest offering in its unique series of character-based beers, Mayor Kolsch. In the continuation of its mythical storyline following the launch of Detective Saison, Kolsch is Central City’s self-elected Mayor and scion of a powerful family. He plans on bringing change to the underground world of corruption but his secrets could bring a new lawlessness to town.

In a city where corruption and crime rule all, justice is brewing…

The Central City plot continues from where Detective Saison left off, digging deeper to find the truth behind the city’s brewing corruption.

Mayor Kolsch is an easy drinking, pale-coloured, traditional German-style ale that is full of flavour with a mild bitterness. It is brewed with Heidelberg and German wheat malts, German Hallertau traditional hops and Kolsch yeast. But don’t underestimate Mayor Kolsch's dual nature: a crisp, refreshing, full-flavoured craft beer that offers a smooth dry finish, with a mild bitterness. An ideal summertime craft beer.
“This is the next chapter in the Central City character-based beer series and storyline,” says Tim Barnes, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Central City Brewers + Distillers. “Detective Saison, who is the city’s moral compass, is now joined by Mayor Kolsch, who is crisp and smooth with a hint of bitterness. Just where he fits into the storyline, we’ll have to wait and see as our plot thickens.”

More characters will be revealed with each specialty beer release that will continue Central City’s gritty narrative. The story and characters will live in the mythical world of Central City.

Mayor Kolsch (5% ABV) is available in draught and in 650 ml bottles and will be in liquor stores in BC and the Prairies in middle-late July.

Visit for more information and follow Central City on social media: Instagram @CentralCityBrew, Twitter @CentralCityBrew, Facebook CentralCityBrewing.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

new release

Phillips Logo
Barnstormer Saison IPA

July 21st, 2015: Barnstormer Saison IPA is a brand new Phillips
seasonal that just left our hangar!  Pouring a golden straw colour with
a marshmallow white head, fruity esters on the nose lead to flavours
of banana and cotton candy.  Invert the bottle and throw your 
tastebuds for a loop-de-loop!

Barnstormer clocks in at 7.2% and 
is available from private, 
craft-focused liquor stores for a limited time only. 

We will be hosting a special draft 
tasting of the Barnstormer Saison
IPA here at Phillips on Thursday July 23rd from 4-6.

For more information:
Matt Lockhart
P: 250.380.1912 x114
F: 250.380.1913

Phillips Brewing Co
2010 Government St.,
Victoria, BC
V8T 4P1

Copyright © 2015 Phillips Brewing Company, All rights reserved.

New Belgium Brewing’s Long Table Farmhouse Ale,
Adds a New World Spin to this Old World Style

New seasonal is an ode to the bucolic, table-friendly Belgian Saison

Ft. Collins, Colo., July 15, 2015 – As a brewer of Belgian-style beers, New Belgium Brewing has always had an affinity for Farmhouse Ales and now it’s brewing its own – Long Table Farmhouse Ale. This seasonal release pays homage to the rich heritage of this brewing style, which first started as a simple, rustic ale brewed on farms in old Flanders. Over the years evolution, refinement, interpretation and re-interpretation has led to the farmhouse ales of today.

Long Table, an ode to the communal Belgian Saison, is a sunny, golden ale with a billowy head that pours a rustic sheen. But not everything about this farmhouse ale is traditional – Belgian yeast creates a juicy burst of pineapple and banana fruits that whisk a taste of the tropics and a new spin into this Old World beer. Traditional grains of Munich, pale malt and rye lend a wash of toasty, spicy bread, while exotic Nelson Sauvin and citrusy Chinook hops buoy the fruity flavors of the Belgian yeast.

“When creating this beer we pictured sharing it among friends at a long table, where there’s always plenty of room for great buddies and delicious beer,” said Lauren Salazar, New Belgium’s Specialty Brand Manager & Wood Cellar Blender. “Long Table brings back an old style we love, but we gave it a sweeter side, with a saison-y kick of tart and a clean, bitter finish.” 

At 6.2 percent ABV and 20 IBUs, Long Table is a complex, medium-bodied farmhouse ale that starts off with a smooth initial mouthfeel that turns juicy and spritzy. Grab a seat and get ready to hoist it amongst the company of good friends – it’s now available in six- and twelve-packs, as well as on draft.

To find Long Table Farmhouse Ale near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool:

For more information about New Belgium Brewing, visit You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook at and Twitter @NewBelgium.

About New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, one of World Blu’s Most Freedom-Centered Workplaces, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews ten year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Slow Ride Session IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Lager, Blue Paddle Pilsner, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

cbc website

and from the cbc website:


6 beer cocktail recipes you can make at home

Bubbly and flavourful beer makes an extra refreshing summer drink, expert says
Jul 21, 2015 7:04 PM PTOn the Coast, CBC News

Share this story

Beer cocktails, including the 'beergarita'AUDIOdia duration:
  • ay audio fBeer coWhat exactly is a beer cocktail, and what makes it a good summer beverage?  
Although the official definition of a cocktail is a drink containing three or more
ingredients, generally speaking a beer cocktail is one that mixes beer with at least
one other alcoholic drink, said On the Coast beer columnist Rebecca Whyman.
"Beer is already bubbly and flavourful, so why not add to that and make an extra
refreshing summer drink?" she asked.

Keep reading for six different beer cocktail recipes you can use to mix it up.

Black Velvet

"If it's too hot for that stout that you've been craving, half and half it with champagne."
5 oz champagne
5 oz Irish stout beer
Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir.
Source: Public House at The Venetian

Beer Margarita, or 'beergarita'

If you're looking for a blended drink, limeade, beer and tequila makes a "beergarita,"
Whyman said.
6 oz each of frozen (undiluted) limeade
6 oz tequila
6 oz lager
Blend with ice until smooth. If you feel so inclined garnish with a slice of lime.
Source: The Drinks Business

Cucumber Blonde Bloody Mary

"I often find that a Caesar or a Bloody Mary feels a little thick in the summer,"
said Whyman who suggests this alternative.
2 oz Cucumber Vodka
4 grape tomatoes
1 dash celery salt
1 dash pepper
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce
½ oz lime juice
2 oz blonde beer
Garnish: celery stick
Muddle tomatoes, celery salt and pepper in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining
ingredients except beer. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass filled with
ice. Top with beer and garnish with a celery stick.
Source: David Nepove, mixologist

Weissen Sour

"A whiskey sour? You might not want a great big glass while you're sitting out on
the patio, worried that it'll be too high alcohol content, so lighten it up by throwing
some white ale in there."
2 oz. bourbon
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
¼ oz simple syrup
Barspoon of orange marmalade
2 dashes orange bitters
2 oz white ale
Combine all ingredients and gently shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice cubes into a
highball glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Source: Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen, San Francisco, Calif.

Lambic Sangria

"Instead of a wine in a sangria, use a lambic. Perfect!" Whyman said.
750 mL of a raspberry or peach lambic
4 oz Tequila
1 oz Cointreau
the juice from half a lemon
3 peaches
Simply combine all these ingredients in a large pitcher, stir and enjoy.
Source: The Drinks Business

Bloody Hell: Blood Oranges, Jalapeno, Whiskey and Beer Cocktail

This one is Whyman's pick for best name.
2 oz blood orange juice
1 ½ oz bourbon
1 tbs agave
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 oz IPA beer
In a shaker filled with ice add the blood orange juice, bourbon, agave and sliced
jalapeno. Shake well. Pour through a strainer into a highball glass with ice. Add
beer. Stir.
Source: The Beeroness

If your idea of summer relaxation doesn't involve mixing your own drinks, you can
find beer cocktails around town, including at Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar's three
locations, L'AbbatoirBitter Tasting Room and Central City Brew Pub in Surrey.

To hear the full interview with Rebecca Whyman, listen to the audio labelled: 
Beer cocktails, including the "beergarita."

beer column

my notes from yesterday's beer column on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn:

Beer News:

CallisterBrewing is now open.  This is a new brewery concept for Vancouver, taking collaboration to a new place.  Independent brewers lease Callister’s equipment to produce their own lines of beers, which are brewed under Callister’s licence and are available on tap at the tasting room.  These include cask ales available on a beer engine from Adam Chatburn’s Real Cask, IPAs from Machine Brewing’s Adam Henderson and Belgian table beers from Brewery Creek Brewing’s Chester Carey – all familiar names to craft beer nerds.  Callister itself will be offering an altbier, an apricot ale and a rye pale ale to begin with.  Callister is located at 1338 Franklin Street. Check Facebook for their daily opening hours.

Central City’s new Red Racer pub is opening on Friday in the old Dix Brewing location at 871 Beatty Street.  They’ll have 40 taps - 14 of them carrying their own beers and cider, and the rest guest taps.  The menu is bbq–centric, and photos of the space are beautiful.  It will be a pub to begin with, adding a sour program when all the licensing pieces fall into place.

And Big Rock Brewing supplied a lovely IPA to the folkfest this past weekend.  Citradelic was brewed right there at the Urban Brewery on West 4th Avenue and was a great addition to the usual Folkfest beer garden line up.  Soon to be available in bottles across the province, it’s a single-hopped ipa, 6.5% with 60 ibus of citra hoppiness.

Beer Cocktails

You may have seen some ads around town telling you to “ice your beer” by adding Smirnoff Ice to it.  This is a little trick that people have been doing for years and I guess someone in the marketing department got wind of it.  People mix the Ice vodka cooler with beer to make a beer cooler cocktail – and I have been known to do it when the beer selection left me sad and there wasn’t a cider available to made a snakebite instead.  The traditional snakebite is with cider and lager, but through very thorough research I have come to the conclusion that just about any style of beer can be successfully snakebitten!  And likewise, any beer can be iced too, if that’s your thing.

The ads, though, got me to thinking about all the things you can do with beer – like make other beverages out of it!

Mixing other beverages with beer is nothing new:  Radlers – those delicious half juice half beer concoctions that are so perfect for a hot day – have been around for many years, although they only recently hit popularity in Vancouver (and you can easily make your own by adding some grapefruit juice to your beer).  Pouring flavoured syrups into tart Berliner Weiss beers is a European staple.  Lime cordial in lager is a British tradition, or lemonade for a shandy.  In Mexico there’s the michelada, a savory drink that includes hot sauce, tomato juice, soy sauce and Maggi seasoning among its ingredients.  A black and tan is a layered drink of stout and lager.  And then there’s the beer cocktail, which has its own event at Vancouver Craft Beer Week.

What exactly is a beer cocktail?

Well, it's a cocktail made with beer and other spirits.  Although the official definition of a cocktail is a drink containing three or more ingredients, generally speaking a beer cocktail is one that mixes beer with at least one other alcoholic drink.

Wine and spirits are often the go-to booze for mixed drinks. But beer works really well too.  Beer is already bubbly, and flavourful, so why not add to that and make an extra refreshing summer drink??
Like a dark n stormy with ginger flavoured beer instead of ginger beer.

Feel like it’s too hot out for a stout?  Mix it with equal parts champagne for a “Black Velvet”, which if you’ve got a deft touch can be served layered.  

Love a whiskey sour, but looking to lighten up the alcohol percentage a little?  How about adding some white ale for a weissen sour?

A fun blended drink is the beergarita – or a beer margarita.  Blend frozen limeade, tequila and lager with ice and voila you’ve got a beergarita slushie!

Looking for a lighter version of the Bloody Mary or Caesar?  Crush tomatoes into cucumber vodka, add all the Caesar spices and pour in some blonde ale.

Having a party and want a new twist on the usual sangria?  Use a peach or raspberry lambic instead of wine.

I think my favourite name for a beer cocktail goes to the Bloody Hell, a combination of blood orange juice, jalapenos, bourbon and beer.

You can begin your beer cocktail mixologist career with a recipes created by the experts.  For the more adventurous – just start throwing beer into existing recipes and see what you end up with!  The easiest place to start would be substituting beer where you'd normally add tonic or soda.

Much like cooking with beer, it’s hard to go completely wrong by adding beer.  Some combos will obviously be tastier than others, but if it sounds good in your head, it’ll probably taste good too!

One of the best things about cocktails is that you can be as plain or as fancy with them as you'd like. You can serve them straight up and simple, or you can add any number of garnishes to fancy them up.  And never underestimate the fancying power of glassware!

For those whose idea of summer relaxation doesn’t involve making their own drinks, you can find beer cocktails around town, including at Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar's three locations, L’Abbatoir, Bitter Tasting Room and Central City Brewpub in Surrey.

Beer cocktail recipes:

5 oz. champagne
5 oz. Irish stout beer
Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir.
Source: Public House at The Venetian

6oz each of frozen (undiluted) limeade
6oz tequila
6oz lager
Blend with ice until smooth. If you feel so inclined garnish with a slice of lime.
Source: The Drinks Business

2 oz. Cucumber Vodka
4 grape tomatoes
1 dash celery salt
1 dash pepper
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce
½ oz. lime juice
2 oz. blonde beer
Garnish: celery stick
Muddle tomatoes, celery salt, and pepper in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients except beer. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with beer and garnish with a celery stick.
Source: David Nepove, mixologist

2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
Barspoon of orange marmalade
2 dashes orange bitters
2 oz. white ale
Combine all ingredients and gently shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice cubes into a highball glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Source: Kevin Diedrich San Francisco, Calif.

750ml of a raspberry or peach lambic
4oz Tequila
1oz Cointreau
the juice from half a lemon
three peaches.
Simply combine all these ingredients in a large pitcher, stir and enjoy.
Source: The Drinks Business

2 oz blood orange juice
1 ½ oz bourbon
1 tbs agave
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 oz IPA beer
In a shaker filled with ice add the blood orange juice, bourbon, agave, and jalapeno sliced. Shake well, pour through a strainer into a highball glass with ice.  Add beer, stir.
Source: The Beeroness