Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend one of the BC launch events for AleSmith Brewing‘s introduction to Canada.
For those who don’t know, Alesmith is a brewery located in San Diego that has been operating since 1995. The brewery has received much acclaim, with them being awarded”Small Brewing Company of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival in 2008. They were also voted #1 top brewer in the world by ratebeer.com in both 2006 and 2013—with several of their beers holding the lauded 100 score on the site.
The event I attended was held at The Drake in Victoria and hosted by Beerthirst. I’ve been to a number of tap takeovers and launch events before, but this one was on another level! They had 11 beers on tap, prize draws, shirts, a cap printer, and the place was decked out with banners, plaques, stickers, fact sheets and balloons. It was quite the spectacle.
Head brewer Ryan Crisp was also at the event and provided tons of fascinating insights into the history of the brewery and the beers on offer.
Now obviously all of this pageantry was very nice, but the cynical part of my mind was worried that there was just too much hype and that the beer wouldn’t be as good as people claimed. My first sip of their acclaimed Speedway Stout forced me to put my doubts aside—it was full-bodied with intense notes of coffee and dark chocolate over a roasty dark malt backbone. It was so rich, decadent, and boozy!
I’m a fan of my big stouts and Belgian beers and they had tons of these on offer. However, I even enjoyed the pilsner and pale ale, both of which are styles I don’t normally gravitate towards. Both my date and I agreed that every single beer on offer was one of the best examples of the style that we have tried. You can see my reviews in my weekly tasting notes post.
If you see any Alesmith beers on tap at your local craft beer bar, make sure to try them out. You will not be disappointed.