Reflections on a Year of Beer Blogging

It’s been one year since I decided to legitimize my developing alcoholism by hiding it behind the facade of a craft beer blog… just kidding… maybe!

I started this blog as an outlet for my love of craft beer and my long-neglected passion for writing. When I started out, I thought I knew a lot about beer, but looking back, I’d only really scratched the surface. Writing this blog has taught me so much about craft beer and the brewing industry, to the point where I’ve become something of a beer evangelist—spreading the good word and converting people to the church of Saccharomyces!

Not only this, but I’ve made tons of great connections at breweries, liquor stores, bars, and with other craft beer enthusiasts over the last year. Many of these connections have turned into friendships, some of the best friendships I’ve ever had, actually. In fact, I met my girlfriend though these very friends, and she’s the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time!

This time last year, I was pretty sad, lonely, and introverted. Now I’m happy (for the most part), have a girlfriend, lots of great friends, and an active social life. It’s pretty safe to say that craft beer has changed my life for the better!

When I first started writing this blog, there were about 200 people a month viewing the site. Last month month it was up to 2000, so I guess I’m doing something right! Thank you so much to every one who has read this site over the last year and provided feedback. I’m hoping to make it bigger and better over the next year! (Anyone fancy helping me migrate this off wordpress.com and making it look like a real site?)

To celebrate a year of blogging I split a 5-year-old bottle of Old Embalmer barleywine from Wildmer Brothers and it was amazing!

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GCBF Celebrates 25 Years in Style

20170908_151617The Great Canadian Beer Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary this year by hosting 66 individual breweries (14 new), along with an additional seven breweries in The Drake Cask tent.

To mark this momentous occasion, I decided to attend both days of the festival  for the first time ever, along with three tap takeovers on the Thursday night and a couple of other events throughout the weekend. Pity my liver!

Like most years, Friday was the quieter of the two days, with the crowd mostly consisting of industry folk, the press, and beer nerds. In contrast, Saturday had more of a party atmosphere, with the crowd consisting of mostly casual beer drinkers and people looking to socialize and have fun.

There are pros and cons to both days of course, but I prefer Friday, because you hardly ever have to line-up for tokens, beers, or even the bathroom, which means more time for drinking. To put it in context, I went through 45 tokens on Friday and only 25 on Saturday, because it took so much longer to line up for everything.

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I definitely wouldn’t recommend both days for everyone. My girlfriend did not make it to day two, so I had to leave her at home while I groggily made my way out in the rain for day two. It was definitely a rough start for me, but after half a dozen beers, the world started to seem almost acceptable again.

The plus side of this rampant alcoholism is that it allowed me to try a lot of beers and get a fair judgement of what, in my opinion, was good and bad. So here’s my thoughts.

Best beer: Quadrennial—Four Winds

I previously tried this beer at Farmhouse Fest but still went to try it out… a couple of times! It’s a dark sour that was wood-aged for four years then conditioned on blackcurrants. It was everything I’ve ever wanted in a beer.

Best festival offerings: Moody Ales

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Some breweries just put on their regular line-up for festivals, while others have one seasonal or a cask. Moody ales was not messing around. They were pouring three limited release beers and two casks, and they were all great! That how you do a festival!

Best Brewery from outside BC: Brasseries Dunham

Dunham is one of the best breweries in Canada and every beer they make is close to perfect. Not everything on offer was new or unique, but they were all world class!

Best first-time brewery: Twin Sails

There were a lot of new breweries this year and while all were decent, none were Twin Sails! They had such a great line up one, their year-round Dat Juice, their seasonal Con Leche Horchata-style milk stout, and their Dad Jokes tasting-room exclusive DIPA. These guys just put the competition to shame!

Best Cask: Sooke Oceanside Brewery

SOB was pretty smart with their casks. On friday they put on a rye ale for the snobby beer nerds, then on Saturday they put on a strawberry rhubarb ale for the masses. Despite the different ends of the beer spectrum, both beers were just wonderful and some of the best ones on offer at the show.

All in all, this was probably my favourite beer fest ever. Part of that might have been the great company I had, but even on the second day when I was flying solo, I still had a good time.

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I do have a few couple of things I would like to see at future festivals though:

  1. More breweries from outside BC. Sure, there were three breweries from Quebec and one from Ontario this year, but let’s get a bit more of a spread in there. It is called the Great Canadian Beer Festival. I want to try beers from all over Canada!
  2. Start taking card payments via Square. I go to a lot of beer festivals and everyone lets you pay by card these days. I honestly never use cash, so having to line-up for an ATM is a bit of a pain.

Not really gripes, but more constructive criticism. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us next year!

 

The Unmissable Beers of GCBF 2017

Selfi_guyThere’s a lot of great beers being served at this year’s GCBF. With such a wide variety of brews on offer it can be a little overwhelming to chose what to try in the limited time available.

I realize that not everyone is like me with the alcohol tolerance of a Norse god and a replaceable liver, so I thought it would be a good idea to make list of what I think will be this year’s unmissable beers.

In addition to the below, make sure to check out The Drake cask tent, where they will have tons of interesting and unique one-off beers on offer.

Four Winds Brewing– Quadrennial

Four Winds is by far the best brewery in BC and a contender for the best in Canada. I got a chance to try Quadrennial at Farmhouse Fest this year and I still have dreams about it. It’s a four-year barrel aged dark American-style sour ale, conditioned on blackcurrants. OMFG!

Twin Sails Brewing – Dad Jokes

I might have a little bit of an obsession with Twin Sails. There… I said it. These guys just make fun beers and love to play around and experiment. To that end they make almost-weekly small batches of test beers that are only available in their tasting room and this 100% El Dorado hopped DIPA is one of those! Hopefully they are kind enough to bring me a can for my ever-growing collection. Hint! Hint!

If you haven’t tried them yet, also try Con Leche and Dat Juice—I love those beers.

Faculty Brewing – 713 Balsamic Stout

This one is definitely not for the casual beer drinking. Faculty loves to experiment with their beers and the numbers assigned to the beers indicate how challenging they are—713 is pretty up there.

For this one they infused their award-winning Oaked Stout with balsamic reduction. I’m imagining a maltier and less sour version of Duchesse De Bourgogne.

Steel & Oak Brewing – Steinbier

Steel & Oak specializes in traditional German-style beers. For this unique lager, they collaborated with Germany’s Freigeist Bierkultur. 

Steinbier which translates to “stone beer” in German was created by pouring the wort over hot granite rocks, instantly bringing it to a boil, causing the malt sugars to caramelize and creating clouds of piping hot hot steam—resulting in a lager with a malt-candy-like finish.

Moon Under Water Brewery – 4 Year V (cask) 

Moon Under Water just release their 5th year anniversary wheat wine, but as a special treat for this year’s GCBF they’ve taken this year’s release and blended it with barrels of last year’s 4th year anniversary wheat ale, which has been aging for 12 months. Beware though, it’s 11.5%!

Field House Brewing – Field House X Brassneck – Wild Brett Wasp Ale

Inspired by a Brassneck beer called Buzzkill, this beer was fermented with yeast harvested from a wasp’s gut and finished with Brettanomyces. It was then left overnight in Fieldhouse’s Copper Coolship with elderflower and hops, allowing the beer to collect micro flora and fauna from the cool pacific night air, while naturally bringing it down to fermentation temperatures. 

Brassneck Brewery  Red Currant Changeling

Brassneck’s Changeling is a very tart kettle sour that is brewed using a different fruit every time. This new variant is brewed with red currants and if it’s like any of the previous iterations, it should be divine!

Moody Ales – Boss Juice Double IPA

I’m a sucker for my hazy NE IPAs, especially DIPAs. They even added Saccharomyces Trois to this one to this one to give it a little tartness and funk. They say it has notes of pineapple, mango, and citrus—sounds amazing!

Salt Spring Island Brewing – Apple Belgian (cask)

I got to try this one up at the Cowichan Beer Festival last month and was really impressed. It is brewed with Begian yeast, crystal hops, specialty malts, and 100% pure BC apple juice to create a crisp summer ale with subtle hints of spice and malt sweetness. 

Lighthouse Brewing – Ryujin

This plum-infused tripel is a special collaboration with Fuggles & Warlock and is said to have aromas and flavours of spice, clove, and plum. I can’t wait to try it.

While you are there, also make sure to try the new Ahtanum hop variant of their Numbskull IIPA.

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Last Strawberry-Guava Wit (cask)

This special cask of their Last Strawberry wit has been infused with extra strawberry puree, guava puree, and honey!

Also check out their Gin & Lime pilsner. That stuff is legit!

Townsite Brewing – Bois Savauge (cask)

This unique barrel-aged ale was fermented with wild yeast found in the Townsite barrel room. Expect farmhouse funk and tart acidity with notes of cherry and stonefruit on the palate.

Hoyne Brewing – Dark Side of the Farm (cask)

It’s very rare that Hoyne puts on a special cask for this sort of event, so I’m very curious to try this one out. They say that it is dangerously dark, mysteriously light, and magically infused with Sea Bluff Farm’s blackberries.

Sooke Oceanside Brewery – High Tide Rye – Imperial Rye Ale (Friday cask)

I’m a big fan of rye in beer. It just gives beer such a dry spicy character that I love! This imperial ale is brewed with unmalted rye and a big dose of North American hops. 

Vancouver Island Brewing – Burton Ale

This is a special collaboration with Gladstone Brewing. The Burton ale is an amber ale that originates in 16th century Burton-on-Trent, England and acted as the inspiration for modern IPAs.

Category 12 Brewing – Brett Pale Ale (cask)

C12 always brings a great unique cask to GCBF. This year they are bringing a pilot-brewed Brett pale ale that is said to be deliciously fruity with a smooth, subtle finish.

Beau’s All-Natural Brewing – Buenos Dias Gruit Ale

Buenos Dias is a gruit, which is centuries-old style of ale that uses bittering agents other than hops—in this case, organic lime juice, organic orange, lime peel, and sea salt. This refreshing summery ale has pronounced citrus notes with a touch of salt and hints of coriander. The finish is clean and dry.

Brasserie Dunham – Berliner Mango Weisse

This non-traditional Berliner weisse from one of Canada’s best breweries was brewed with mango puree. They say that it is dry and sour, with an exotic and spicy character. It sounds like a perfect beer to drink on a warm summer day.

While you are there, also try their Saison du Pinacle and Tropicale IPA. They are to die for.

 

 

 

10 Tips for Surviving GCBF 2017

Selfi_guyThe 25th annual Great Canadian Beer Festival will be held at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria this coming Friday and Saturday.

Whether this is your first time attending the festival, or even your 25th, these tips are sure to make your experience a lot smoother and much more enjoyable.

1. Eat a good brunch

You are going to be drinking for a good five hours. Make sure you have a solid meal before you head down to the field. There will be tons of food options at the venue, but you really want to line your stomach ahead of time, then top up with tasty food truck grub.

2. Have your e-tickets and ID ready

Good news! Ticket Rocket will be scanning tickets off of phone this year, so there’s no need to print your tickets off and waste paper. Make sure to have your e-tickets ready though, so you don’t have to hunt through the dozens of spam emails on your phone and hold everyone else up.

Also, make sure to bring two pieces of ID. It sounds like an obvious thing to remember, but you’d be surprised.

3. Take lots of cash

Beer tokens and food can only be purchased with cash. They don’t have the ability to take credit cards. There are ATMs on site, but do you really feel like lining up to get in, then lining up to get money, then lining up to get tokens, then lining up to get beer?

4. Hydrate

I cannot stress this one enough. Make sure to take an empty water bottle with you to fill at the hydrate centre, then take a good chug of water after each beer. It’s going to be a hot day and you are going to get very dehydrated if you plan to hit a lot of booths.

5. Make a list of the beers you want to try

There is going to be a huge amount of beer to try at the festival and if you wander around without a plan, you are going to be lost. Make sure to check out the GCBF site and make a list of the beers you want to try and where to find them.

6. Hit your “must haves” first

The temptation is always to save the best to last, but seasoned pros know that the last half an hour or so of the festival is basically people lining up for any beer that is still pouring. If you haven’t had your “must have” beers by this point, then you are pretty much out of luck.

7. Arrange a meeting place

It’s incredibly easy to lose your friends in the packed field. Take your eyes off them for one second and they will be gone and you will never, ever find them again. Make sure to pre-arrange a meeting place in case you lose them.

8. Get your friends’ phone numbers

When you lose your friends, you are going to want a way to get in contact with them. I’d recommend text messaging / calling over Facebook messenger and the like. However, if you do need to message them, the venue will have free WiFi sponsored by Tesseract Computers.

9. Take Hand Sanitizer

Have you ever used a porta potty after someone who has drunk a lot of beer? That’s all I’m saying here.

10. Plan your route home beforehand

After five hours of drinking in the sun, you are going to want to want to have an exit strategy in place. Whether you are going to an after-party or going home to collapse into bed, you should plan your transit route before drinking, otherwise you will be fighting for a taxi.

Oh, and this should go without saying, don’t drink and drive!

I left My Liver in Vancouver, or How I Visited 43 Craft Breweries in 48 hours and Lived to Tell the Tale

Do you ever have a really stupid idea to do something, then against your better judgement, do it anyway? Well, that’s pretty much a way of life for me!

In May I had the ridiculous idea to visit Vancouver for the weekend and attempt to visit 43 craft breweries by public transit. It was quite an adventure, with lots of highs and lows—mostly resulting from the dangerous amounts of alcohol I imbibed. 🙂

I did it, so you didn’t have to. You are welcome!

Day 1

I arrived on the ferry at 11 a.m. with a suitcase containing 20 bombers of beer for a friend I trade beer with on the mainland. He was supposed to pick me up and collect the beer, but messaged me to say he’d had a family emergency, so I was a little screwed, as my AirBnB wouldn’t let me check-in till 3 p.m and I couldn’t really go all over town with this huge amount of beer.

I quickly changed the plan and decided to start with Four Winds, Fuggles, and Brittania, but as I was stressed out, I ended up getting the express bus to River Rock and completely missing them. Damn!

It was 1:30 by now, so I decided to head over to Dogwood, which was close to my AirBnb at Oakridge. Bit of a later start than I originally intended…

Dogwood

Vancouver’s only organic brewery. This place is a bit off the beaten track, but has nice a little tasting room, with plenty of benches, a relaxing atmosphere, and lots of games to play.

As this was my first stop after a stressful morning, I did a flight of six beers. This may not have been the best decision to start off the day.

Super flight:

  • Organic Fest
  • Organic IPA
  • Organic Stout
  • Apricot Sour
  • Vanilla Bean Lager
  • Organic Honey

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Finally, I got to my AirBNB and was able to offload my heavy suitcase of beer.

Now that I was unencumbered by luggage, I decided to head down to the Mount Pleasant area to try out the first big cluster of breweries. How could I start anywhere bu the inimitable Brassneck.

Brassneck has a fantastic tasting room with a nice warm environment and an amazing selection of some of the best beers in BC. It’s the sort of place you could hang out and relax in all evening. However, as I was settling into my flight, I got a message from my friend saying he was waiting outside in his car and didn’t want to some in, so I had to chug all of this fine beer. 😦

Flight:

  • Ambiguation
  • Bjørn Again
  • Free Radical
  • The Geezer

Strathcona

The plan was to head out to Port Moody, but my friend decided to stop in at Strathcona to pick up their new Beach Radler. Much like my previous visit to this place, I came away with a sour taste in my mouth, and it wasn’t from the beer. The service was just abysmal—It took forever to get served and the server was very surly.

Glasses:

  • Left Imperial IPA
  • Rye ESB

Steamworks

Then we made an impromptu stop into Steamworks’ Burnaby location. I’m not a huge fan of the touristy downtown brewpub, but this was my first time going to the Burnany location and I was very impressed. The tasting room had a really nice open atmosphere and much, much better prices than the brewpub. They also had an old fashioned car right in the middle of the lounge for some reason.

Glasses:

  • Tropical Tart Ale
  • Killer Cucumber Ale

IMG_20170527_182129Twin Sails

… and I finally got to Twin Sails! If you read my blog, you will no doubt know that I am a huge fan of this brewery. As an added bonus, they were releasing their new Disco Nap double IPA that same day, so I got to pick up a 4-pack straight from the brewery and try it on tap. I was a little happy

Glasses:

  • Slam Dank
  • Disco Nap

Yellow Dog

A short stumble next door took us to Port Moody’s first brewery, Yellow Dog. These guys are probably my #2 Port Moody brewery, so I was super excited to finally check this place out. The tasting room / lounge was large and funk, but sadly, while they had a huge tap list, I’d drunk everything on offer multiple times. Whoops…

Glasses:

  • VCBW Hazy Pale Ale
  • Super Secret Sour Ale

The Parkside Brewery

We then took a quick stop into Port Moody’s newest brewery, The Parkside Brewery. These guys have been in business a year now and they’ve begun to break away from their standard line-up and experiment a little, with great results. The tasting room was awesome and had a nice community environment. It also had a large patio area featuring fake grass to fit the park side theme.

Flight:

  • S.M.a.S.H Ekuanot
  • Radical Red Ale
  • Dim Wit
  • Hampstead Brown Ale

Moody Ales

Last but not least was Moody Ales, the second brewery to open on the row. Another warm and inviting tasting room with a great little patio and great ales on tap. Fellow Blogger Mike Garson of mikescraftbeer.com even joined us here.

Flight:

  • Sublime Pineapple Hefeweizen
  • Dry Irish Stout
  • Intrepid lemon Matcha Saison
  • Special Bitter

20170527_222739Parallel 49

I really needed food at this point, so somehow we ended up at the new P49 street kitchen and tasting room. I wanted food, but you know, there was booze too!

The new tasting room is pretty cool and had a nice “street” chic to it, but I kind of miss the old tasting room, as it was a lot more low key. They had 40 taps of P49 beers on though, which was insane!

Flight:

  • Experimental IPA 005 (Trash Panda V2)
  • Experimental IPA 002 (Trash Panda V1)
  • Tasty Mon
  • HBC 344 SMASH IPA

Glass (not that I needed it at this point):

  • 2014 BA Barley Wine

After this, sleep was needed, so I got driven back to my AirBnB. However, I got dropped off a few doors down and didn’t know where I was, so I decided to call a cab, which drove me half way across town before I demanded he stop. After a huge argument with the cab driver, my phone died and I was lost. Eventually I found a bar where I could charge my phone and finally made it back around 2 a.m. Urgh!


Day Two

Day two started with a gentle walk from Oakridge down to Main Street. Thankfully, with no hangover!

20170528_121356Main Street

First stop of the day. They have a smaller tasting room, but it had a nice atmosphere and good staff. They’d only opened a couple of minutes earlier, so it was a little empty.

Flight:

  • Witches Brew
  • Flahute
  • Breffny Irish Red Ale
  • One Man Band

Red Truck

As tempted as I was to go back to Brassneck. I didn’t want to repeat myself, so I popped into Red Truck. I’m not a huge fan of their beer, but their restaurant / tasting room is probably one of the most unique I’ve ever been to. Called The Truck stop, it’s done up like an old fashioned diner.

Flight:

  • Blackberry Bourbon Ale
  • Tropic Thunder
  • Ryzenshein Crystal Rye Gose

Steel Toad

More a brew pub than anything, Steel Toad is pretty much a swanky restaurant that brews its own beer. Their beer was OK and they had a legit guest tap list, but they’ve since started serving sub-zero macro beer and I am not a fan of that!

Glasses:

  • Kermode
  • Blood Orange Sour

20170528_130608Faculty

Faculty is an awesome little brewery with a dinky little tasting room where you can literally touch the tanks from your seat. They always have interesting beers on and the staff is always fantastic.

Flight:

  • Rhubarb Pear Sour
  • 404 Cashmere Pale Ale
  • 699 Earl Grey Ale
  • 710 Oaked Stout

R&B

Last time I went to R&B I guess I was a little drunk and just went to the growler bar, but they have actually have a full restaurant and bar set-up where you can also order fantastic pizza. Who knew?

Flight:

  • Belgium Amber Ale
  • White India Pale Ale
  • Lil Haze IPA
  • East Side Bitter

33 Acres

I’m not a huge fan of this place. It’s far too hipster for my taste. Everything is decorated in white, all the beer labels are black on white and even the beer tastes a little white.

Flight:

  • 33 Acres Of Darkness
  • 33 Acres of Genesis – Batch 2#
  • 33 Acres of Sisu
  • 33 Acres of Euphoria

20170528_141912Big Rock Urban

I chose an interesting day to attend. They had a special collaboration beer event the day before, so had none of their regular beers on tap, but I got to try some amazing collabs leftover from the event. This is something of a bonus, because their regular beer is a little bland.

Flight:

  • Kicking In Speakers (Twin Sails / Boombox)
  • La Casa (Four Winds / Luppolo)
  • Fotzel (Powell / Strnage Fellows)
  • Hoppy Mess (Big Rock / Strathcona)

Granville Island

Huge-ass tourist trap parading as a craft brewery. I had a drink and left quickly.

Glass:

  • California Common

Yaletown

Another tourist trap parading as a craft brewery. Meh.

Glass:

  • Ariana Golden IPA

Postmark

This place has a fancy restaurant in a gorgeous building with these massive ornate wooden doors. Their beer is decent, but it’s not the sort of place I’d like to hang out and drink beer in all day. Good for a date, maybe?

Flight:

  • Loral IPA
  • Mandarina Wheat
  • Raspberry
  • IPA

20170528_154530Powell Brewery

Now we’re getting back to the good stuff. Formerly called Powell Street Craft Brewery before randomly changing it to Powell Brewery, these guys make some fantastic beer. The tasting room is an intimate affair, but the place was full of beer nerds and the staff was really friendly.

Flight:

  • Old Jalopy
  • Ode to Citra
  • Dive Bomb
  • Cumulus Lupulus

Andina

Andina is East Van’s new kid on the block. Founded by Columbian/Canadian brothers, Andina has a distinctly South american influence, with Hispanic music playing, Andean food on offer and much more. It’s a very different experience and a lot of fun!

Flight:

  • Monita – Blonde IPA
  • Andina Session Ale
  • Totuma – Kölsch
  • Mapalé – Milk Stout

Doan’s

Do you like rye? Because Doan’s has all of the rye! I love these guys. Lots of solid German-style beers with a twist and a tiny but fun tasting room.

Flight:

  • Rye IPA
  • Altbier
  • Kölsch
  • Doan’s German IPA #3

Coal Harbour

Dang! they don’t have a tasting room. Come on guys! Get on that!

IMG_20170528_165412Storm

Storm brewing is one of the oldest breweries in East Vancouver and also one of the sketchiest. That’s kind of what I love about the place though. It has an odd smell and you drink beer out of plastic cups by donation. They’re really capturing the East Van vibe. 😉

Oh god, the beer! I love how they have a beer labeled as a cinnamon bun ale and it will actually taste like a cinnamon bun. They are not fucking around. It’s like black magic!

  • Root Of All Evil
  • Cinnamon Bun Ale
  • Vanilla Whiskey Stout
  • Raspberry Apple Ale
  • Old Fashioned Ale
  • Storm Damage

Bomber

After those big Storm beers, I was a little tipsy and I dropped my phone. It’s a Galaxy S7 Edge, so the case did little to protect it from the impact. Oh well, just a casualty of my war on my liver.

Next up was another East Van Classic. Bomber has a decent size tasting room with a bar and ample seating. I love being able to watch people brew through the glass behind the bar.

Flight:

  • Red India Session Ale
  • Marzen
  • ESB
  • Pilsner

20170528_181301Callister / Boombox / Lightheart / Real Cask

This one is cheating a bit. Callister is a sort of brewery incubator. It’s four breweries operating out of one location, so I’m counting it as four!

I love the variety you get in this place. every brewery has a very distinct style. Sorry to the other guys, but Boombox was my favourite! Sadly they’ve now moved on, but I was lucky enough to try some of the leftover beers at Farmhouse Fest a couple of weeks ago!

Flight:

  • Short N’ Stout (Callister)
  • Sabroso (Lightheart)
  • Blood Moon (Real Cask)
  • Tropic Thunder (Boombox)

Off the Rail

At first glance, you wouldn’t think there was a tasting room here, but after wandering up the stairs to the second floor you will find a really nice little tasting lounge that looks down on the neighborhood.

Flight:

  • Equinox ISA
  • Raybuck Red Ale
  • Belt Up ESB
  • Classic Pale Ale

Luppolo

Luppolo is an Italian-inspired brewery with a warm and inviting tasting room with an inviting rustic feel to it. The beer isn’t really Italian-style, but a mix of different styles from across the globe.

Flight:

  • Hoppy Rye Saison
  • West Coast Farmhouse Ale
  • Table Beer w/ Peach
  • Black Lime Gose

20170528_185041Strange Fellows

Another favourite of mine, Strange Fellows specializes in creative takes on traditional styles. They brew lots of wild ales, sours, IPAs with experimental hops, and more. I’m actually a member of their Fellowship club, so get access to lots of rare barre-aged beers not available to the public.

Flight:

  • Saison De Printemps
  • Cyclhops Bramling Cross IPA
  • El Jefe
  • Guardian White IPA

Central City

Central City has an impressive custom built production facility out in Surrey that is almost as big as some of the macro brew facilities. They have a nice beer tasting bar, retail store, and cocktail bar right in the lobby.

Glass:

  • Thor’s hammer

Steel & Oak

Another favourite. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad beer from S&O. The tasting room is more of a bar than anything. You don’t get to see much of the production side of things, but the atmosphere is always good.

Flight:

  • Radler
  • Red pilsner
  • Dark Lager
  • Smoked Lager

Dageraad

Oh wow! The last time I came to Dageraad, the tasting room was ridiculously small, but they’ve since built a new one that is gorgeous and incredibly spacious. I’d have spent more time here if they we’re closing in five minutes!

Glass:

  • 10° (2017)

20170528_210239Deep Cove

My friend Greg then drove me up to North Vancouver. I don’t know what I would have done without him. I’d have been screwed!

This place had a swanky-ass tasting room with barrels all over the place and a gin still in the corner. I’ve never tried their beer before, but they had some pretty good choices.
Flight:

  • Picnic Apricot IPA
  • The Crawl Stout
  • Scout Rye IPA
  • Yuzu Wit

Bridge Brewing

Probably the most well-known North Van brewery. The tasting room is small, but cozy, which I kind of like. Some of the fancy swanky restaurant ones feel artificial to me.

Glass:

  • Oat ISA

Greenleaf

This place had a nice little tasting room and patio. This was the first time I’ve friend their beer, so I had to go with something special.

Glass:

  • 2 Years Oak Aged Brett

Black Kettle

This place has a nice little tasting room that is right is smack bad in the middle of the brewery. Well, not as bad as Storm, but close. It’s cool to see all of the tanks around you. The beer is so-so.

Glass:

  • White IPA

20170528_212853Hearthstone

Heathstone is a great brewery with a really nice restaurant and bar attached to it. They put out some really unique beers and try a few things that no one else does locally.

Glass:

  • Chocolate Milk Stout

Craft Beer Market

Not a brewery, but holy cow, this place has an insane amount of taps and amazing food. This was the best way to end the night!

Glass:

  • Mountain View Black Currant Sour

Day Three

My last day! My friend steven picked me up and we hit the last few stops on the way to the ferry.

20170529_113307Four Winds Brewing

What better way to start the day than drinking Four Winds and eating delicious tacos? Four Winds is my favourite BC brewery and perhaps one of the best in Canada. I’ve never had a beer from them that was less than excellent!

Glasses:

  • Elementary Lager
  • Wild Marmalade Farmhouse // Coolship Collaboration Series 04/04

Fuggles & Warlock

Fuggles! I am a huge geek, so how can I not love this place with all of its nerdy decorations and old school video game machines. I wish I could have stayed all day.

Flight:

  • Yuzu
  • The Last Fruit Salad
  • Takumi Saskatoon Berry Wheat Sour
  • Personas

Britannia Brewing

One last stop on the way to the ferry. Basically another restaurant that brews some beer. The beer wasn’t bad, though.

Glass:

  • King of the Sea Saison

And done! I arrived at 11 a.m. on friday and left at 11 a.m. on Monday. 43 breweries and a craft beer bar. I’m not sure how I did that.

I even went out on a date when I got home and had a few more beer!

Vancouver! I am Coming for Your Beer!

Well, the time has come. This weekend I will be heading over to Vancouver with the aim of visiting every craft brewery in the Metro Vancouver area and having either a pint or a flight at each. That’s about 43 breweries. There’s also a couple of small brew pubs, but I’ve heard they aren’t worth bothering with. Wish me luck!

Here’s where you can expect to see me this weekend:

  • 33 Acres Brewing
  • Andina Brewing
  • Big Rock Urban
  • Black Kettle Brewing
  • Bomber Brewing
  • Brassneck Brewery
  • Bridge Brewing
  • Central City Brewery & Distillery
  • Callister Brewing
  • Boombox Brewing
  • Lightheart
  • Real Cask
  • Coal Harbour Brewing (no tasting room)
  • Dageraad Brewing
  • Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers
  • Doan’s Craft Brewing
  • Dockside Brewing
  • Dogwood Brewing
  • Faculty Brewing
  • Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks
  • Granville Island Brewing
  • Green Leaf Brewing
  • Hearthstone Brewery
  • Luppolo Brewing
  • Main Street Brewing
  • Moody Ales
  • Off The Rail Brewing
  • Parallel 49 Brewing
  • The Parkside Brewery
  • Postmark Brewing
  • Powell Street Craft Brewery
  • R&B Brewing
  • Red Truck Beer
  • Steel & Oak Brewing
  • Steamworks Brewery
  • Storm Brewing
  • Strange Fellows Brewing
  • Strathcona Beer Company
  • Twin Sails Brewing
  • Yaletown Brewing
  • Yellow Dog Brewing
  • Steel Toad Brewpub

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Brian Chapman Raises Funds for MS by Cycling to Every Vancouver Island Brewery

17634381_255512384918933_7370273114851191553_n.pngPeople often think of me as the guy who cycles everywhere and drinks all of the beer, but Brian Chapman is about to steal my crown.

Brian runs the website http://www.everyhundredmetres.com, where he is raising money for MS by riding his bike. In 2018 he plans to ride his electrically assisted bicycle 10,000 kilometres all over Canada, from coast to coast, in order to raise $10,000 for the MS Society of Canada. This ride will be a Guinness World Record attempt for the “Longest Journey on a Motorized Bicycle.”

He called the initiative “Every Hundred Meters” because during those 100,000 kilometers, he will theoretically pass a Canadian with MS every hundred meters.

Prior to this grand effort he is planning to warm up with a special 650km ride around Vancouver Island, visiting every craft brewery and cidery on the rock, finishing up with a party at Moon Under Water on May 18.

That sound like my kind of cycling tour!

Check out the inventory below and make sure to donate here.

Island Tour de Brewers – May 11-18, 2017

650 km’s all over the island to visit every craft brewery and cider on our big beautiful rock!

May 11th – Beach Fire Brewing and Nosh House, Merecroft Village Brewpub
May 12th – Forbidden Brewing, Gladstone Brewing, Cumberland Brewing, Royston Nanobrewery
May 13th – Loveshack Libations, Twin City Brewing
May 14th – Tofino Brewing (after a very hard grind!)
May 15th – Mount Arrowsmith Brewing
May 16th – Longwood Brewing, Wolf Brewing, White Sails Brewing, Riot Brewing, Craig Street Brewpub, Red Arrow Brewing, Merridale Cidery/Distillery
May 17th – Sooke Brewing, Sooke Oceanside Brewing
May 18th – Axe and Barrel, 4 Mile, Category 12, Sea Cider, Tod Creek Cider, Twa Dogs, Lighthouse, Spinnakers, Canoe, Swans, Phillips, VIB, Hoyne, Driftwood, Moon Under Water

There will also be a wrap-up fundraising party at Moon Under Water on May 18.
chhaoman