Category 12’s Simplicity Ale Now Available in 4-Pack Tall Cans

Category 12 Brewing in Saanich BC has announced that their Simplicity blond ale is now available in 4-packs of tall cans.

With a light body, moderate ABV, and a smooth mouthfeel from the use of spelt grain, this Belgian-style blond is incredibly crushable. Perfect for those sunny days that I’m told are just around the corner…

Cans are available now at the C12 tasting room and will begin hitting stores next week.


  • Signature hops: Cascade & Mt. Hood
  • Yeast: C12 House Belgian Yeast
  • Standout ingredients: Organic spelt grain
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • IBU: 16
  • OG: 1.050
  • SRM: 2.5

Showcasing organic spelt grain, this straw coloured, pearlescent ale starts with a lightly fruity and floral nose that leads into a subtle body with a crisp, dry finish. Clean and slightly bittered – with just a hint of European sass – Simplicity reminds us all to step back, relax and appreciate the finer details.


Last Week’s Craft Beer Tasting Notes— Mar 12–19 (35 beers)

I’ve skipped this weekly piece for the last couple of weeks, because it was so hard to keep track of all the beers I drank during Victoria Beer week. However, it’s back again!

Looks like I clocked 35 beers last week, between bottles at home, on draft at bars, and tasters. Where available, click the link to read a full review.


Bottles at home:

Str8 Flexin’ by Twin Sails Brewing

This first imperial stout from TS has big roasted malt flavours, with coffee, chocolate, liquorice, and fudge notes. It is full-bodied without being thick. I’m looking forward to aging a couple.

High Socks by Twin Sails Brewing

This Mosaic hop IPA had a nice herbal aroma with a touch of pine and citrus. Some people get onion from the Mosaic, but I only got it once I had it in my mind. Satisfying bitter finish.

No Fun Zone by Twin Sails Brewing

At first this one is rather sweet, but when once you get past that, you get an incredibly interesting combination of coffee, coconut, cocoa, and vanilla. You wouldn’t expect to get coffee flavour or such a stout-like mouthfeel from a blonde ale, so it messes with your head a bit!

Lush Crush by Twin Sails Brewing

For a 3.8% session pale ale, this is really hoppy! It has tons Citrus and pine hop character with a smooth mouthfeel from the oats. It is incredibly crushable!

Towers And Trains by Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

The Burgamot flavour is definitely lighter than the Salt Spring Island Ales Earl Grey IPA, but that might actually be a good thing. The Earl Grey adds a gentle floral aroma and lingering bitter finish.

American Farmhouse IPA by Powell Brewery

Light, floral, and citrusy with some fruity ester notes of pear, apple, and banana. Smooth and easily drinkable.

The Suburbs by Steel & Oak Brewing Co.

This First ever North American IPA from Dageraad and Steel & Oak has grapefruit and tangerine notes from the hops, with a backbone of bread and biscuit from the malt. Very solid!

City of the Dead by Modern Times Beer

This imperial stout is made with bourbon barrel-aged coffee beans! It has subtle bourbon and strong coffee notes with hints of bitter-sweet chocolate.

East of East Van by Steamworks Brewing Company

This is a really nice North American take of a Belgian-style saison. The black limes really enhance those fruity ester notes, while the the white pepper complements the clove-like spiciness. Full review.

Crazy Train IPA by Off The Rail Brewing

Pine, floral, grapefruit, and a touch of onions and turnip.

Double Secret Probation by Bomber Brewing

Rich and malty with notes of malted milk, caramel, leather, and floral and grassy hops. Warming with a silky mouthfeel.

White by Dageraad Brewing

Fruity, and lightly spicy witbier, with notes of citrus, banana, clove, coriander. Creamy mouthfeel.

No 82 Amaretto by Doan’s Craft Brewing Company

This altbier was made with No. 82 amaretto from Sons of Vancouver. It has notes of apricots, vanilla, and honey, caramel, and cookie dough. Just spectacular.

Son of the Morning 2017 by Driftwood Brewery

The world’s most evil beer is back! This wonderful Belgian-style golden ale has strong banana and pear-like ester notes, clove-like phenol notes, candi sugar, grainy malt, and some light floral and spicy hops.

Nectarous Dry-Hopped Sour (2016) by Four Winds Brewing

This refreshing dry-hopped sour has notes of papaya, mango, and guava. It is tart and has characteristic lactic acid sourness. One of the best dry-hopped sours out there.

The Last Strawberry (2016) by Fuggles & Warlock

This strawberry witbier is sweet, light, creamy, and smooth. It tastes like strawberry cheesecake. A full bottle is almost too much!

Casks at The Bent Mast

Gin & Lime Pilsner by Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

The light pilsner base really allows the gin and lime notes to shine through. This doesn’t really taste like beer any more, but I love it!

Choqlette Porter With Jameson Soaked Oak Chips by Bomber Brewing

This special cask had notes of Irish whisky, oak, chocolate, toasted malt, and coffee. It was fabulous. Perhaps even better than the bourbon barrel-aged version of the Choqulette porter.

On Tap at The Drake

Allocation II IIPA (Hop Shots Part Deux) by Boneyard Beer Company / Barley Brown’s

Citrus hop aroma with a touch of tropical fruit and resin. Hint of toasty malt backbone. Moderate bitterness for an imperial.

Mosaic Single-Hop Pale Ale by Pfriem Family Brewers

Hoppy nose for a pale ale! Lots of tropical fruit notes, including grapefruit, pineapple, and mango.

Otra Vez by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

This was a tart and salty gose with a touch of lemon rind, pear, and grapefruit. Tingling and mouthwatering mouthfeel. Super refreshing.

Oud Bruin by Les Trois Mousquetaires

Deliciously tart and acetic with notes of dark chocolate, cherries, and malt vinegar. Like a mix of Reynard and Duchesse de Bourgogne.

Rye Lager by Pfriem Family Brewers

I’m not normally a fan of lagers, but this one has a nice dry and spicy quality from the rye to complement the malt notes.

Black House by Modern Times Beer

This oatmeal stout has a silky mouthfeel with dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and toffee.

We’s the Juice by Mikkeller Brewing San Diego

This is a great juicy East Coast IPA. It has low bitterness and tons of citrus and tropical fruit juiciness.

On Tap at The Stickey Wicket

Honkers Ale by Goose Island Beer Co.

Lots of caramel malt with earthy/grassy hops. More like a red ale than a bitter.

Goose IPA by Goose Island Beer Co.

I’m sure this beer used to be better. It has notes of pine, resin, onion, and turnip. Bitter, but in a bad way.

Odyssey Nitro Porter by Phillips Brewing Company

This is always good on nitro. Velvety mouthfeel, bready dark malt, coffee, and nuts. Solid stout.

At a Copper & Theory IPA Tasting

Crooked Moon Double IPA by Mikkeller

Strawberries, grapes, banana, melon, oh my! There’s clearly some wild yeast in here somewhere because there’s a touch of funk. So good!

2×4 DIPA by Melvin Brewing

Tons of floral and orange citrus hop notes with a touch of pine and dankness. Incredible balance between juiciness and bitterness.

Melvin IPA by Melvin Brewing

Nice floral aroma with some fruity flavour and a doughy malt backbone. Not overly bitter.

High Voltage Winter IPA by Gigantic Brewing Company

It might be listed as a winter IPA, but it’s really a hoppy red ale with tons of bready malt to enhance the hops. I like it a lot!

Ginormous by Gigantic Brewing Company

This imperial IPA is super juicy and citrusy with low perceived bitterness for something listed as 100+ IBU. This is mostly to do with the sweetness of the pale and caramel malt creating a nice balance.

Long Shadows IPA by Blindman Brewing

Nice East Coast IPA. Not a ton of haze, but lots of tropical fruit flavour and low perceived bitterness.

4 Hop IPA by Rogue Ales & Spirits

Lots of pine and floral notes, but also that odd soapy taste I’ve found in lots of ISAs.

Longwood Brewery to Release Beetnik Root Stout

Longwood Brewing in Nanaimo BC has announced the release of a new beer called Beetnik.

They say this multi-layered root stout is a “mash up” of Nanaimo’s farm community and the brewery’s desire to source locally. They used lactic beet mash, cold steep, and step mash combined with local barley and hops to create this truly unique and rare style of beer.

Bottles are available right now at the Longwood tasting room and will be shipping out to store across BC next week.


Barkerville Releases 2017 Batch of White Gold Witbeer

White GoldBarkerville Brewing in Quesnel BC has released a new batch of their 2015 BC Beer Award winning White Gold witbeer.

This spring/summer seasonal is a light-bodied and refreshing wheat beer that starts out citrus on the palate, but finishes crisp with hints of stone fruit.

Bottles are available now at the Barkerville tasting room and will be shipping out to select liquor stores over the coming weeks.


  • ABV: 4.9%
  • IBUs: 10


Fuggles & Warlock Releases Kokoro Pear Sour

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks in Richmond BC has announced the latest release in their limited-edition kettle sour line.

Following the pattern previous entries like Rei, Kiwami, Kakaru, Hikari, and Yami, this new sour is called Kokoro, in reference to a Japanese manga series.

According to the label, this one will be a refreshing and delicate wheat sour brewed with fresh pears.

It is available on tap right now at the Fuggles & Warlock tasting room and bottles shipped out to metro Vancouver liquor stores today. It should start appearing around Vancouver Island this weekend.

  • Bottle: 650ml
  • ABV: 4.2%
  • Ingredients: Water, barley malt, what malt, pears, hops, yeast





Gladstone and Townsite to Release Collaboration No. 2: Algerine

AlgerineGladstone Brewing in Courtenay, BC has released their second collaboration with fellow Sunshine Coasters, Townsite Brewing in Powell River.

They first collaborated earlier this year on Algerme, which was a Belgian-style single that bottle conditioned with Brett.

Called Algerine, collaboration No.2 is said to be result of using left over ingredients to excellent effect. Combining the store rooms, talent, and equipment of Gladstone & Townsite and named for the ocean pass that connects them, they claim that this category-smasher of a beer is sure to be a pleasant surprise to even the most seasoned of craft beer connoisseur.

Unlike Algerme, this one will not be bottled, but is currently available on tap in the Gladstone tasting room, with a couple of kegs heading over to Townsite this weekend.

Tasting notes

Hazy as a glass of white grapefruit juice and oozing sweet and tart fruit aromas of apricot, tangerine, and pineapple, Algerine #2 is the second collaboration between Gladstone Brewing and Townsite Brewing. Classic saison tart prickles are complimented by sweet fruit and oat smoothness and enhanced by Ella hop dryness. High carbonation tickles the tongue and highlights pleasantly sour grapefruit notes before they fade into a comfortable sweetness of pitted fruits. If having the sun two feet from your head has got you down, this is the perfect beer to get you out from under the weather.

Vital Statistics

ABV: 6.5%

IBU: 20

Hops: Australian Ella


  • Belgian Pilsner Malt
  • Canadian Pilsner Malt
  • Malted Oats
  • Flaked Oats
  • German Acid Malt
  • Crystal Oat Malt

Yeast: wy3725 Biere De Garde

Representatives of Persephone, Crannóg, and Craft Brewers Guild Meet with Minister of Agriculture

persephone.pngIf you’ve not been following the developing story, Persephone in Gibsons BC and Crannóg Ales Sorrento BC are two breweries based on Agricultural Land Commission (ALR) plots where they grow their own hops, but neither company is able to produce enough grain to meet the 50% requirement imposed by the province.

Persephone applied for a non-farm use exemption from the ALR, but were turned down and given two years to comply with the ruling. However, they are hoping instead to appeal the decision and lobby the ALR change the rules to something similar to those that apply to wineries and cideries. This change would mean that breweries growing at least 50% of any ingredient used in their beer, or using ingredients grown on other B.C. farms, can operate on ALR plots.

They recently ran a petition to get a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, which was finally granted; however, in a message to supporters posted on Facebook, it looks like they didn’t walk away with the result they were hoping for.

Check out the message below:

Greetings Beer-farming and ALR Supporters,

We wanted to update you to let you know that thanks to your support we were able to get a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture. Rebecca from Crannóg, Ken from the Craft Brewers Guild and I (Brian at Persephone) were on a call with the Minister, his Deputy and Assistant Deputy Ministers. Unfortunately, we were underwhelmed with their offering.

The key points the Minister prefaced the call with included:

  • He reminded us that they’d consulted prior to making changes to the ALR – which, by the way, didn’t include either Crannog or Persephone.
  • That they intentionally took a cautious approach in including breweries in the ALR.
  • That he would not be able to speak to the ALC’s decisions on either their interpretation of the Regulations nor their decision regarding the rejection of Persephone’s Non Farm Use Application.
  • That there was absolutely nothing he could or would do before the election on May 9th, including instructions to staff who would stay at their positions regardless of election results.

He then invited our questions and discussion. We asked him these key questions:

• Given both the widespread support the public is showing and that obviously the Regs were not working for two of the most progressive beer farms anywhere, would he commit to changing the Regulations after the election?

Minister Letnick’s response was to say that he would be open minded and willing to consult key stakeholders such as the BC Ag Council, Local Government through UBCM and the ALC. When pressed, he said he’d consult with us actual beer farmers.

  • Would the Liberal Party be including any statement about breweries on the ALR in their platform for the election?

His response was that he couldn’t commit his party to that platform but that, if elected, he would be open minded and consult key stakeholders…

  • What, if anything, should we report back to our supporters?

He suggested we tell you that “we had a good discussion” (his words, not mine) and that (hold your breath), he’ll, if elected and appointed to the same post, have an open mind. He did say that his office would be responding in writing to our original Open Letter with some statement to the effect of his open mind.

This non-committal rhetoric does nothing to advance the provincial agricultural sector, add any jobs, spending or investment dollars to our communities nor address the dire situation faced by both Crannog and Persephone.

So, what’s next? We will settle in for a long road to get things changed.

We are going to try to work with the bodies that he listens to including the ALC, UBCM and BC Ag Council. And, we’ll be trying to bring up this issue many times over during the election.

Now, I suspect, you’re wondering how you can help – because you are awesome! Here are a few actions you could take on behalf of beer farmers and small business across the province:

A. Bring it up with the MLA candidates in your riding. Ask them directly, on social media, at all-candidates forums and anywhere else you see the opportunity. To date, the Liberal Government has said it wants to support farmers and small businesses so why wouldn’t they change these Regs. The attached article shows SOME candidates are taking this seriously.

B. Keep writing to any or all of the Minister (, the NDP Ag Critic Lana Popham (, the Premier (, Minister of Small Business ( plus your local MLAs.

C. Get your local municipality or regional district to bring the issue up to the UBCM, preferably using the changes to the regulations outlined in our petition. You can make a presentation to your regional district or municipality fairly easily in rural BC, just by asking to be on the agenda of their next meeting.

D. Local Chambers of Commerce are also being supportive, so if you belong to a Chamber, ask them to also bring this to their provincial body. We can help you with language or a submission if you like. None of these government and non-governmental agencies will be electioneering, so more can be done with them right away.

E. Host or help us put on events in your community to draw attention to this. If you own a pub or restaurant or farm, maybe you’d like to host a long table dinner, etc. Get people aware of the issue and discussing why or why not these changes should come about. Agriculture is everyone’s issue so let’s get everyone involved. The first such event is going to take place at the Cascade Room ( on March 30th, come join us! And, if you need beer to get the conversation going, give us a call, we’ll help you out.

F. Keep passing this petition around and get signors onboard. We are over 3100 now, imagine if we pushed up over 10,000 by the time the election arrived. I think the electors will need to do more than have an open mind with that kind of critical mass.…

G. Show your local farmers some love. Farmers work hard and deserve our support over and over. Buy their products, ask them how else we can help them, eat and invest local.

The momentum we have built to-date got us a meeting with the decision maker. Unfortunately, that meeting came too late to do something before the election. That could take the wind out of our sails OR it could fuel our campaign through and long after the election.

We aren’t looking for open minds, we are looking for changes that benefit our farmland, small businesses, and communities. Let’s keep this going!

With much love and appreciation,
Brian Smith and Rebecca Kneen