Wednesday, March 29, 2017

beer column

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

I'm feeling optimistic enough about the arrival of Spring to talk about Spring beers.

I think we can all agree that it is nice to get out of the dark days of winter and celebrate with a beer that looks lighter in the glass than a stout.

Of all the seasons of the year though, Spring has the fewest beer styles associated with it.  Traditionally, and when I say traditionally, I mean in the Olde Worlde of beer (aka Germany and Belgium) – traditionally a bock was the beer style that indicated spring had arrived.

Bocks are strong lagers from Germany.  You know it’s a bock if there’s a goat on the label.  The beer style is said to have originated in Einbeck, and then when it was adopted by Munich brewers in the 17th century, it was often mispronounced as Ein Bock, which means a billy goat.  So the beers became known as Bocks and often the label goes for the pun with a photo of a goat.

There are several versions of the style:  

Maibocks or helles bocks are paler, hoppier versions brewed for drinking in the spring.
Doppelbocks are essentially a “double” bock – very high alcohol (7-12%) and quite sweet.  And a little more beer history for you – these are the beers drunk by the Bavarian monks during the fasting period of Lent, so they have become associated with Christian religious festivals like Christmas and Easter.  They usually have a name that ends in “ator”, after the original doppelbock brewed by monks – salvator (or saviour).

Weizenbocks are wheat bocks and generally more associated with the fall season.  They also tend to be ales rather than lagers.

Eisbocks are super strong beers made by freezing a doppelbock and removing the ice to concentrate the flavour and the alcohol.  These tend to be 9-13% abv.  The flavour is very rich and sweet.

Bocks are not a terribly popular style locally, but you can still find some bocks here.  Tree Brewing’s Captivator is a doppelbock – note the keeping up the tradition of their name ending in “ator”!.  Vancouver Island Brewing’s Hermannator is an Eisbock.   And Granville Island Brewing has a limited edition doppelbock as part of their new cellar series.

Aside from bocks, I love a Berliner Weiss or a gose in the springtime – both are lightly sour wheat beers, that are big on effervescence.  I will admit to drinking them all year long, perhaps because they feel like springtime in a glass to me.  The acidity from the wheat also makes them extra thirst-quenching.

In a Berliner weisse the malts are kilned at low temperatures to keep the colour down to a minimum.  These are very sessional beers, usually around 3% abv, and are fermented with lactic acid.  You will often see these beers served with an option of flavoured syrup (like raspberry or woordruff).

Goses are also often sessional beers of 4-5% alcohol, and are also fermented with lactobacillus.  What sets a gose apart though is its saltiness.  Goses also contain coriander.  I find the spice and the salt, along with the carbonation, very satisfying on my tastebuds and really savour these beers.

Saisons are also wonderful spring beers.  Saisons were traditionally brewed during the cooler months in Belgium, then stored for drinking by farm workers during the summer months.  Saisons tend to be fruity and light bodied, but historically they did not have set characteristics.  Rather they varied from farmhouse to farmhouse.  Now there is a set style profile, but brewers still experiment a lot within it – like with combinations of yeast strains, fruit additions and spices.  Regardless, saisons are very refreshing beers and that definitely draws me to them as the weather warms up.

Beer Tasting:

I brought in the Graff, which is a collaboration between Ravens Brewing and Steel & Oak brewing, and it is a collaboration between beer and cider too!

This is not a snakebite, which is a mix of beer and cider.  Nope, this is a different beast entirely!  This graf is brewed as a beer initially, then it undergoes a secondary fermentation with the addition of unfiltered local apple juice.  Then it gets dry-hopped!

Graf is one of those drinks that has quite an interesting origin – graf was an apple-based beer in the Stephen King series The Dark Tower.   There were no details on how to make graf in the books, so of course homebrewers started experimenting!  Because there are no style guidelines for graf, it’s up to the brewer to decide whether they’ll make a cider with some beer in it, a beer with some cider in it, or an even balance of the two.

Tasting Notes:  crisp, dry, juicy bouquet of pear, apple, tangerine and stone fruit

Beer Picks:

Granville Island doppel bock:  Last year’s version won silver at the Canadian Brewing Awards.  This year’s version has been tweaked a bit, and is the first beer in GIB’s new Cellar Series.  These small batch beers can be cellared for up to three years.  If you buy a few bottles, you can try them at various points in time and see what aging does to the flavour.  The doppelbock is a strong, full-bodied and sweet dark lager.  The doppelbock is only available at the Granville Island retail store in 650 ml bottles.  8.2%  And there’s a double-headed goat on the label!

Fieldhouse collaboration with Brassneck Brewing:  In this edition of their Coolship collaboration series, Fieldhouse teamed up with Brassneck to make a Wild Brett Wasp Sour.  If you think the name is a mouthful, wait until you hear about all the different elements that went into making this beer.  Yeast from a wasp was extracted and used in the beer.  The beer was also allowed to rest in the coolship overnight to attract some microflora.  Then it was finished with Brettanomyces.  Aromas of fruit and caramel, flavours of honey and tart fruit.  Light bodied and mildly sour.  6.5%.  Available in 750 ml bottles while supplies last.

(The coolship is a broad, open-top, flat vessel in which to cool the wort (the sugary liquid extracted from the malts that will be fermented into beer).  Because it is open-topped, the wort is exposed to any yeasts and bacteria in the air.  These microorganisms can spoil a beer – but they can also sour it!  The process is known as spontaneous fermentation, and is the process used in traditional Belgian lambics.  The results are unpredictable, but I think that’s where the real fun is for brewers.)

When I’m back in two weeks’ time, I’ll be giving away a ticket to the Siris Cask Festival – this is a celebration of women in brewing to be held in Port Coquitlam on April 22nd.  So make sure you’re listening next time for your chance to win a ticket!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

railway club

For Immediate Release
March 28th, 2017. Vancouver, BC
The Railway Stage & Beer Café to open with exclusive free admission show by The Zolas
New live music and comedy schedule to launch after opening on April 5th

The Railway Stage & Beer Café is thrilled to announce its grand opening on Wednesday, April 5th, headlined by The Zolas. This special free admission event will mark the rebirth of this legendary Vancouver venue and offer a chance to see The Zolas, 2017 Juno nominee, in an intimate club setting the night before their sold-out show at The Vogue Theatre.

Over the past weeks, work has been going on at full speed in preparation for the opening: With the final details for the room, programming, and menus coming together, The Railway will open its doors and return to life as a downtown destination for live music and comedy, and local craft beer.

The Railway Stage will be a key element of the room and, under the direction of local music impresario Thomas Anselmi, it’s been completely revamped with the aspiration of being the most beautiful intimate live room in the city. The audio system has been upgraded to offer top flight sound, and has been matched with classic staging and lighting. ““We’re really proud of how the stage has turned out, “ said Anselmi. “The new Railway will be a great experience for performers and audiences alike.”

Grand opening night will launch the weekly schedule of events which features Comedy Night Tuesdays, local music nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays, live music happy hours, Joe Rotundo’s Saturday Sessions, and special weekend events highlighting touring acts and the best up and coming music in the area.

The Railway Stage & Beer Café will be working with a creative locals to offer special events, and an inclusive, cooperative showcase for the best up-and-coming talent from in and out of town.

“We’re very committed to giving space to local up-and-coming acts,” said Chad Cole, partner at The Railway. “We’ve dedicated our Wednesday and Thursday nights to showcasing local acts, and bands who are interested in playing here are welcome to send their demos directly to me at”

The beer program will include 24 taps and four cask engines pouring the very best of BC, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. The taps will be 100% craft with ever-changing menus and lots of limited releases and seasonal offerings. Highlights of the first menu include Twin Sails Dat Juice, Moody Ales Intrepid Lemon Matcha Saison, and Brooklyn Bel Air Sour.

Capacity for this show is limited, and The Railway Stage & Beer Café is offering multiple ways for music fans to be part of this anticipated reopening. 70 General Admission tickets are being given away first-come, first-served at and 5 VIP packages will be given away on Instagram, where entering is as easy as following @railwaysbc and tagging a friend in a contest post. Entries may also be available at the door on the day of show, subject to capacity.

Visit for event information and updates.

Monday, March 27, 2017

As a fan of Red Truck Beer, we wanted to give you the opportunity to test drive your taste buds. On Wednesday, April 5, at 7:00 PM, Seasons in the Park (West 33rd Ave, Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver) will allow you to do just that with their latest Brewmasters dinner collaboration.
Indulge in a Chef-crafted five-course dinner menu paired with our classic and seasonal Red Truck offerings, with each course designed to cut or complement our delicious brew – all while you take in some of Vancouver’s most spectacular scenery. Tickets for the Brewmasters dinner are only $70 plus tax and they are going fast. 
Get your tickets before they are gone!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Purge!

WHEN: 2-9pm, March 26th
WHERE: EASTSIDE BOXING CLUB, 238 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X5
WHO: Beer Wars contenders from Vancouver and Victoria
WHY:  Beer, and the glory of being a contender at the April 29th Beer Wars

SPARRING SCHEDULE **Please note this is a rough timeline and is subject to change on the day

Women 119 - 130lbs 2:00 - 2:45pm   
Men 147 - 165lbs 2:45 - 3:30pm     
Women 130 - 145lbs 3:30 - 4:15pm
Men 200 - 215lbs 4:15 - 5:00pm   
Women 195 - 200lbs 5:00 - 5:30pm   
Men 170 - 180lbs 5:30 - 6:15pm   
Women 150 - 165lbs 6:15 - 7:00pm
Men 185 - 195lbs 7:00 - 7:45pm   

Men 215 - 235lbs 7:45 - 8:30pm   

Come out and support Eastside Boxing Club and the Beer Wars fighters!

$5 to get in, $5 beers
Cash only!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

new release

About Steamworks Brewing Company:  Named after the steam that flows through and powers its Burnaby brewery & flagship brewpub in Gastown, Steamworks proudly brews distinct, flavourful and award-winning craft beers. 

March 21st, 2017 (Burnaby, BC)

Canadians may still be waiting for Spring but Steamworks is getting fired up for Summer with the release of their new seasonal Summer Ale.

Crisp and thirst quenching with a distinct citrus aroma, this wheat ale gets a refreshing kick from sweet orange peel, lemon peel and grains of paradise. The balance of bright citrus, fruity hops, and spice make this lively brew perfect for any summer day.

Steamworks Brewmaster Julia Hanlon and her team set out to create a beer with versatility in mind. Easy drinking enough to pair with summer activities but enough complexity to keep things interesting. So whether you’re poolside or countryside Steamworks Summer Ale is the perfect accessory to summer adventures.

The beer will be hitting pubs and shelves everywhere in early April in a striking matte orange tall can 4-pack and in Steamworks new Summer Mash-Up. However, you can try it today at the Steamworks taproom in Burnaby and brewpub/LRS in Gastown.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

okanagan fest of ale

Celebrate Craft Beer & Cider in Penticton at
Okanagan Beer WeekApril 3 - 9, 2017
For Immediate Release – March 14th, 2017
Penticton, BC

Join 5000+ craft enthusiasts and 65 craft beer & cideries at the 22nd Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale, April 7 & 8, 2017 and taste your way through town at one, or more, of the craft themed events taking place during Okanagan Beer Week April 3rd – 9th, 2017 in Penticton.
In addition to the 2-day Consumer Tasting organizers of the 2017 Okanagan Fest of Ale are excited to be showcasing craft themed events throughout the week leading up to this years Okanagan Fest of Ale as a part of Okanagan Beer Week™.  Participating restaurants include Craft Corner Kitchen, Brodo, and The Pasta Factory each of which will be offering a unique craft themed dinner featuring local craft brews. 
“With 7 craft breweries and a dozen craft cideries throughout the region, Penticton has quickly become a destination for craft beer and cider enthusiasts.  We’re as excited to be working with area businesses to share and promote the excitement for craft beer and cider here in the area as we are to be welcoming craft brewers from out of the area to the main event this year” says John Cruickshank, Okanagan Fest of Ale Society President.
In addition to craft themed dinners, Joe Wiebe, The Thirsty Writer, will be offering a seminar and tasting focused on IPA’s at Bad Tattoo Brewing on the Thursday evening April 6th, local area breweries will of course be open for tastings throughout the week.
“The signature event will always be the 2-day consumer tasting which will feature 65 breweries from BC and beyond this year.  It’s by far the largest number of participants to date and includes a great mix of longstanding favourites and new breweries and cideries from all across the province,” says Cruickshank.  There will be over 175 quality-crafted brews and ciders for tasting including new releases, experimental brews and cask ales.  Guests of the fest can also look forward to fabulous food, with many restaurateurs incorporating a craft inspired twist on their dish, and live entertainment taking place around the venue both indoors and out.  
New for 2017, we will be offering guests the opportunity to purchase their tasting tokens with either cash or by card at various locations throughout the venue.  “The change is not only consumer friendly but also allowed us to rework our floor plan to accommodate a greater number of brewer vendors, and free up space for an few neat additions this year” says Cruickshank.
Cascade Casino, set open their doors April 5th, will be setting up a few gaming tables in the newly created area alongside various industry themed displays and information tables. Also new, and certain to be popular with our guests from the Kelowna are tasting trips being offered by Distinctly Kelowna Tours and West Kelowna Wine Tours – trip times and itineraries vary with service being offered from Kelowna and West Kelowna.
“All in all it’s shaping up to be one the best events yet” says Cruickshank.    “Tickets have been selling remarkably well with a notable increase in the number of 2-day weekend pass and ticket and accommodation packages sold to date. If you’re planning to attend we certainly encourage you to book soon in order to avoid disappointment.”

Make plans Sip, Savour and Celebrate the best in craft beer and cider at the
2017 Okanagan Fest of Ale during Okanagan Beer Week today!

Tickets to the event are available online at
Single Day Admission $29; 2-day Weekend Pass $47 (inclusive)
Ticket & Accommodation Specials starting at $99/couple at
Okanagan Beer Week events will be posted on as details become available


Operating as a non-profit society, and managed by a Volunteer Board of Directors, the Okanagan Fest of Ale Society hosts an annual Consumer Craft Beer and Cider Tasting that functions to support and promote the growing world of quality craft brewery products, promote local tourism and support charitable organizations within the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similakameen.  Since its inception, $537,660 in net proceeds has been gifted back to qualifying registered charities.
For further information please contact: 250.492.433 or


Monday, March 6, 2017

new release

Pucker up and play the sour note!

Odyssey NItro Porter

Sour Raspberry Brown Ale - 6.8% - 650mL

March 6th, 2017 - Pucker up and play the sour note! The first ever release from our Sour Note series takes an encore this week. This tasty sour is born as a medium bodied brown ale and fermented with a saison yeast. Following this, it is infused with raspberries and augmented with a lively Lactobacillus bacteria, the magical secret to sour. Like all of our special sour note releases, this brew features our own 'lacto' strain that was cultured in-house from our spent grain.
A tangy berry nose leads to a rich, slightly sharp raspberry tartness through the body that finishes puckeringly dry. This sour brew is proof that sometimes the best notes fall outside of traditional scales.

Thorny Horn is only available from private craft-focused liquor stores for a limited time!  If you find yourself in our neighborhood this Thursday March 9th, come on by between 4-6 for a special draft tasting.
Copyright © 2017 Phillips Brewing Company, All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

re-launch of vancouver island brewing


For Immediate Release March 3rd, 2017

Vancouver – Following a successful (re)launch in both Victoria and Vancouver, Vancouver Island Brewing (VI Brewing) is ready to showcase its incredible new lineup to the public. The unveiling saw a twist on three of their classic beers as well as a preview of four exclusive new ones.

This new stellar beer lineup consists of a Citrus Session, an IPA, a Mexican-style Cerveza and a Lager.

Sombrio Citrus Session

· A beer with noticeable hop content, and tons of bright flavour thanks to the proprietary blend of citrus zests added to each batch. The tastes of lemon, lime, and tangerine dominate this highly sessionable ale.

19 IPA

· A full-flavored beer with a silky malt backbone and a bright hop profile of tropical fruit, and citrus - it packs all the taste of an IPA with much more friendly alcohol content.

Juan De Fuca Cerveza

· Unlike it’s import competitors this beer has complexity coming from premium grain, malt and hop varieties.

The Victoria Lager

· This pale golden lager exhibits a classic clean character with notes of biscuity malts. Bitterness is akin to a German Pilsner with an aromatic aroma. Mouthfeel is firm and even, with an overall dry tone.

The Victoria Lager is currently available on draught at the brewery, and will be hitting the market in the next few months.

The rest of the portfolio of beers is now available across B.C. in both government and private liquor stores as well as in finer on premise establishments. Limited supply will also be available in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Vancouver Island Brewing, now under new management, has been a leader in the craft beer industry in Canada for over 30 years and epitomises the Pacific Northwest lifestyle and ethos. For more information please visit:

About Vancouver Island Brewing
Since 1984 Vancouver Island Brewing has been serving finer craft beers from the heart of downtown Victoria BC. Now starting a new chapter, Vancouver Island Brewing is redefining itself as a leader again in the craft brewing industry, under new ownership and management. Vancouver Island Brewing believes in connecting with the people who make our beer, sell our beer, and buy our beer, as well as the land & sea that surrounds us.

Friday, March 3, 2017

new releases

New Seasonal Releases from Central City Brewers & Distillers

Now introducing: Central City's easy-drinking

'Beer League Craft Brewed Lager'

Surrey, British Columbia. Beer League is the latest in craft beer to hit the market and show
an approachable style to craft beer flavour. Swinging for the fences, this new craft
lager will be available in British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba, in March 2017. Beer
League is the newest brand to come from Surrey, BC’s Central City Brewers & Distillers.
Brewed as a traditional craft lager, the Beer League recipe was created to be an
approachable, easy drinking, and flavourful, craft beer. Sports-focused, the brand plays
tribute to the weekend warrior and recreational team sports beer drinker. Nothing
says team spirit like sharing a 6-pack of Beer League after the big game.
Central City’s Brewmaster Gary Lohin adds, “We wanted to create a brand that could
get more people into craft beer with great flavour, affordable pricing and a relatable image.
Beer League is a beer that we are very proud of, and has the potential to get more
people across Canada enjoying the great flavour of a craft brewed lager."
The official launch date for Beer League Craft Lager will be March 15th at the Central
City Brewpub at 871 Beatty Street in Vancouver, BC. The launch event will focus on the
sporting nature of the brand, with games such as table hockey, darts, and bean bag toss.
A light-hearted approach to competition is true to the beer style and the beer league competitor.
Dedicated to supporting and engaging with athletes of all levels, Beer League is a
proud sponsor of sports teams in Canada. Beer League will be available at the Scotiabank
Nat Bailey Stadium through the summer of 2017. Packaged product and draught Beer
League Craft Brewed Lager will be available at select locations in British Columbia, Alberta
and Manitoba.
To learn more, visit, and follow Beer League on social media:
Instagram: @BeerLeagueBrew
Twitter: @BeerLeagueBrew
Facebook: /BeerLeagueBrew

About Beer League
Beer League Craft Brewed Lager is brewed by Central City Brewers & Distillers.
Twice winners of the coveted Canadian Brewery of the Year Award, Beer League was
designed to be a best in class craft beer with an easy drinking flavour. Whether
you are celebrating after a big game or simply looking for a refreshing craft lager, hit
it out of the park with Beer League.
Beer League Craft Brewed Lager 6-pack cans Central City
You can also see more from Central City at, and on social media:
Instagram: @CentralCityBrew
Twitter: @CentralCityBrew
Facebook: /CentralCityBrewing
About Central City Brewers + Distillers:
Central City is a craft brewery and distillery in the business of developing, producing
and selling international award-winning, premium craft beer and high quality distilled
spirits brewed without compromise. Based in Surrey, British Columbia, CCBD was
voted Canada’s Brewery of the Year in 2010 and 2012. Their Red Racer brand has
become a cult icon among craft beer enthusiasts throughout North America.


About Steamworks Brewing Company:  Named after the steam that flows through and powers its Burnaby brewery & flagship brewpub in Gastown, Steamworks proudly brews distinct, flavourful and award-winning craft beers. 



March 2nd, 2017 (Burnaby,BC)

Hot off the release of their award-winning Flagship IPA ,
Steamworks has turned their attention to a different ship:
friend-ships! Bad puns aside, the Burnaby brewery is
excited to announce a new collaboration brew.

Steamworks has been busy collaborating with their fellow
Burnaby based brewers at Dageraad Brewing. Aptly named
the “East of East Van Bottle Conditioned Saison”, these two
river city brewers have crafted a beer worth crossing
Boundary Ave for. This exotic saison features black lime and
white pepper, which gives it a spicy aroma, crisp flavor and
dry finish. Steamworks brewmaster Julia Hanlon expands
upon the release:

“We wanted to celebrate our brewery’s Burnaby roots with
our friends at Dageraad. The addition of black limes make
for a really unique release and it’s our first Bottle Conditioned
beer at Steamworks, who better to team up with, than
Dageraad, who are experts at the art of bottle conditioning!”

The saison follows the recently released Wild Muscari
Farmhouse Ale, a collaboration brew between Steamworks
& Fieldhouse Brewing out of Abbotsford, BC.

The East of East Van Saison is now available in very limited
quantities on-tap and in a 750ml bottle at Steamworks
Burnaby Brewery & Taproom and will be hitting private
liquor stores shelves later this week.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

new releases

Luppolo - Odd Society Collaboration

Odd Society Collab Release Friday March 3rd!

This Friday we will be putting a keg of our first collaboration with Odd Society Sprits on tap! We've been barrel ageing our Northwest Red Ale in their gin barrels for the last two weeks and are finally ready to release it. Odd Society will also be releasing a keg of the collab in their tasting room on the same night.

This is the first of many collabs we will be doing with Odd Society's barrels. Stay tuned!

Copyright © 2017 Luppolo Brewing Company, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Luppolo Brewing Company
1123 Venebles
Vancouver, BC V6A 2E3