2017 Year In Review • Yeast Van • KPU BREW SCHOOL • Pemberton • FACULTY BREWING • Wheatwine • Atlas of Beer • POWELL RIVER • OKANAGAN
BC'S AL OF N R U O THE J
ME MOVE R E E B T
CALL THE RIOT SQUAD! Bonus 8-page pull-out:
Vol.27 Issue 4 Winter 2017-18 ABOVE: RIOT BREWING, CHEMAINUS BC
The Panel tastes: beers for Breakfast
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winter 2017 THE JOURNAL OF BC'S CRAFT BEER MOVEMENT
SPECIAL FEATURES 10
2017 In Review: Newsmakers of the Year
1st Annual BC Craft Beer Holiday Gift Guide
Hops Canary's Craft Beer Gift Giving Tips
What's Brewing Magazine by Line49 Design Group Inc. 300-1275 West 6th Avenue Vancouver BC V6H 1A6 firstname.lastname@example.org www.whatsbrewing.ca Social Web: @whatsbrewingbc
Tasting Panel's Best Beers For Breakfast: Coffee, Milk & Oatmeal Stouts
Yeast Van, Canada’s Craft Beer Capital
Editorial Group Editor & Publisher: Dave Smith Co-Editor & Distribution: Paul Morris Production Editor & Newsroom: Navin Autar Copy Editors: Wendy Barron, Ivana Smith Contact: email@example.com
Best in Class: KPU Raises a Generation of Brewers
What’s Brewing Biography: Riot is Their Life
Ladies of Faculty Brewing
Team & Contributors: Warren Boyer, Adam Chatburn, Ted Child, Lundy Dale, Jack Enwright, Tim LaHay, Kim Lawton, Chelsea McDowell, Ligia Margaritescu, Lynn McIlwee, Stewart 'Scottie' McLellan, Khatira Omar, J. Random, J. Thunderfoot, John Rowling, Rick Green, Susan Jones, Brian K. Smith, Paddy Treavor, Joe Wiebe Chief Photographer: Brian K. Smith Illustrator: Emile Compion @montevarious
BEER IQ & BREWING 29
Book Review: National Geographic Atlas of Beer
Perry: Sparkling Cider from Pears
Brew Club Corner: Spotlight on Nanaimo
Homebrew Happenin's: What is a Wheatwine?
TRAVEL & TOURING 40
Pemberton: Its Time has Come
Beers, Beaches & Breweries South Okanagan's Winter 2018 Beers
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CAMRA Powell River Festival: A Look Back
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Out & About: On the Beer Trail in the Maritimes
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A creative exercise for holiday sharing This issue marks the first time we've produced a "craft beer gift giving guide". Not that we're the first to think of creating a beer gift list. The idea makes its way to beer blog holiday posts every year, but we've never seen it go farther than that. When we sat down to figure out what a Gift Guide would look like, it wasn't hard to find examples. Retailers by the hundreds create them and post them online in booklet form. Which is why we went so far as to release our Gift Guide as a standalone booklet, at whatsbrewing.ca/giftguide. It took a number of contributors to arrive at its content and design. Most visually obvious is the work of our amazing illustrator, Emile Compion, aka Montevarious. His artwork brings life to the guide's cover (draft above) as well as the rest of the pages (look closely at his snowflakes; you'll see the craft beer tie-in). Thanks also to Lynn, Khatira, Navin and the others who put work into it. You will find that our 8-page Guide starts on page 21. If you're reading this in print: go ahead and grab those middle pages, pull them right out, and you'll have (we believe) the world's first printed craft beer holiday gift-giving idea booklet.
A Riot of colour We're excited to spotlight Riot Brewing this issue. But the Riot Squad might be even more excited (hey, why do you think they're freaking out on our cover). They are without question one of the more fascinating stories in BC's young history of craft brewing, as the excellent biography within demonstrates.. As happy as we are for Riot, we're even happier for the author of their profile, Mr. J. Random (oops, I've disclosed his gender). Mr. Random has been writing for What's Brewing since 2003, and has never had a story make the cover. After almost 15 years, it's finally his turn. Want to know what Mr. Random looks like? He's right there on the cover, joining in with the rest of the Squad. Many thanks to Squad member Ryan Jones for snapping that eye-catching pic.
Dave Smith, Editor
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2017: The Year In Beer
OCT Newsmaker # 2: Persephone Brewing & the NDP. At an October news conference, BC Agriculture Minister Lana Popham hints that the new government would be relaxing ALR rules, saving the beer farm. This is later confirmed.
BC Craft Beer Newsmaker of the Year:
The BC Ale Trail
ast year, What’s Brewing produced an issue themed Year In Review which listed many of the top BC Craft Beer stories and events of 2016. That issue’s News Story of the Year was the BC Ale Trail. It turns out we have back to back consistency here, because the Ale Trail is also our Newsmaker of the Year for 2017. During 2017, the BC Ale Trail has
• Expanded its coverage to 15 routes throughout British Columbia • Launched the all-important Vancouver trail • Become a finalist for Canada’s most prestigious Travel Marketing Campaign award, at the Canadian Tourism Awards, presented by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. At those awards, BCAT was up against stiff competition: the Calgary Stampede, and eventual winner Tourism Toronto. There was no dishonour in coming up short, considering the impressive nature of this nomination. Paul Kamon is Lead Administrator of the Ale Trail project. As Executive Director of Sunshine Coast Tourism for over a year now, as well as Tourism Powell River for five years before that, he is well connected in the BC tourism industry. Under Paul’s watch, BCAT is now entering its 3rd year with over 20 local BC community tourism regions involved and investing. Asked how BC Ale Trail is regarded amongst the BC Tourism community, Paul notes that “this program has become one of the largest marketing projects in the Destination BC Cooperative Marketing Program, 10
and is well-known as one of the best”. Kamon mentions that BCAT cross promotes with other sectors. “Beer pairs well with so many things”, he opines. “We’ve already worked with the mountain bike sector, and are currently working on a promotion with the BC Fishing Resorts and Outfitters Association.” Paul is also a Director with Vancouver Craft Beer Week, BC’s largest beer festival. VCBW is working closely with BCAT and the BC Craft Brewers Guild (themselves a partner in the BCAT initiative). He notes, "Our goal is to create an affordable option for distant BC brewPaul Kamon eries to have their beer served at the festival, without having to buy and staff their own booth. Hopefully, this will have the effect of inspiring festival attendees to travel to those regions and visit those breweries on their next vacation." Joe Wiebe is the BCAT’s Director of Content. He keeps busy overseeing the constant updating of the website to keep up with new breweries (22 added in 2017 to date). Joe notes that they have added a podcast component, and they’re about to launch a new feature called Tasting Notes. Joe says that this is “a longer photo essay sort of thing, with a dynamic map that moves with you as you read the story”. Wow! The website has come a long way since our mini review of it last year. The website’s blog—which is managed by longtime beer writer Jan Zeschky and features several writers who are new to the team in 2017—
NOV NDP Government announces intent to form new liquor industry review panel. Pictured: Mark Hicken
AUG Newsmaker #3: Craft community responds to worst-ever #BCWildfires with tens of thousands in fundraising. Pictured: Tim LaHay
CAMRA Vancouver stages high-profile, peaceful public drinking demonstration at English Bay
Kelowna's Boundary Brewing attacked by hate groups over anti-Nazi flag; community shows support
BC businesses question the value of BC Liberal liquor licensing 'open season'. Pictured: Matt Phillips
has been active throughout the year. Joe says the participation of many contributors brings lots of different perspectives to their content. Joe also can’t say enough about Victoria-based creative firm The Number, who handle many of the project’s design and marketing chores. Joe has worked with them on several projects, most prominently the BCAT and Victoria Beer Week, and says that their involvement has been crucial to the success of both of those projects. “The Number’s team is a highly creative bunch of beer lovers. I think they work extra hard on the BC Ale Trail because they are so passionate about the subject”, he relates. “The Number’s own Melanie Ransome (and Chris Long before her) sits on our executive team, acting as the BCAT Project Manager, coordinating all the moving parts and ensuring we keep hitting or even surpassing the targets we set our sights on.”
OCT Mount Arrowsmith wins Brewery of the Year at BC Beer Awards in its first year
BC Craft Brewers Guild debuts a new annual conference and an Independently Crafted mark
Newsmakers of the Year: 1. BC Ale Trail
DEC Spinnakers re-opens 9 days after damaging fire; Victoria community rallies to support Canada's oldest brewpub
2. Persephone Brewing & the BC NDP 3. BC Craft Breweries | Social Media Producer Tim LaHay Results of What's Brewing beer writers survey held November 2017
We’re pretty proud of the work that these folks and others (like the Guild’s Ken Beattie, for example) have put into the initiative, and their efforts show in the success of the project on many levels. Cheers to keeping BC visible in the new frontier of North American Beer Tourism.
a view from the cellar I
first heard the term Yeast Van when Parallel 49 Brewing team member—and living legend—PGT (yes, that’s his name) used it to describe the brewing scene around the industrial North side of East Vancouver. I think it apt and cute, though I realize some folks are turned off by the mention of “yeast” for some reason. I really like that the name unites all the alcohol producers in the area (since both cideries and distilleries rely on this magical fungus). This colloquial term loosely demarcates one of the major brewing areas in the city, creating a friendly rivalry with the Main Street (Brewery Creek) contingent.
>> adam chatburn
Some visitors are pleasantly surprised to find so many breweries in proximity and praise us for our foresight in planning. This is very nice of them, but as I have to point out, only a few parts of the city are zoned for our industry, and that’s where we have to locate. Who would have thought that this area of the city, previously an infamous red-light district filled with drug users and derelict warehouses, would become a major tourist spot? Back in 2013, as President of CAMRA Vancouver, I (and others) spoke to the Mayor and council about changing the rules so that tasting rooms could become the beer lounges we know and love today. They voted unanimously to allow lounges, but remained dubious that this problematic area, which had been in decline for years, would become the tourist draw we predicted. When I launched Real Cask Brewing in conjunction with Callister, we were introduced to a casual working group of representatives of all the breweries in the area. We met once a month and talked shop, inviting the as-yet-unopened breweries to the table to give them advice and help. We planned events like the annual Hop Circuit open house, for anyone interested to come and see behind the scenes. We also printed maps that you might have seen in hotels or on ferries, to help navigate the mean streets of the colourful East Hastings corridor. For our group’s purposes, Yeast Van is generally defined as the area from Main Street in the west to Nanaimo Street in the east and from Burrard Inlet in the north to Terminal/East First Avenue in the south. It encompasses Strathcona and the mouth of former Brewery Creek, but most breweries are in the Hastings Sunrise/East Village commu12
Canada’s Craft Beer Capital
nity. Breweries included are Andina, Bomber, Callister, Coal Harbour, Doan’s, Luppolo, Off the Rail, Parallel 49, Postmark, Powell Street, Storm, Strange Fellows, and Strathcona. Sunday Cider and Odd Society Distillery are also members. Nowhere else in Canada can match this level of density, quality, and variety. People unfamiliar with the brewing community in Vancouver are often surprised that, instead of being cutthroat competitors, we are not only friendly but very co-operative and social. After all, many of us were craft beer drinking buddies before we opened breweries. As more and more companies joined the group, it became clear that we needed to incorporate as a legal entity (in a loose, East Van kind of way), so we are in the process of becoming a co-operative of organizations. Our current project is to brew a collaboration Double Pale Ale involving all 12 breweries, with each contributing a different hop variety. If everything goes to plan (and there are a lot of moving parts), Volume I should be hitting the shelves around the time this article is published. A few awesome suppliers, including BSG Canada, West Coast Canning, and Summit Print offered to donate malts, cans, and labels respectively. To pay that forward, we’ve earmarked proceeds from sales equal to the donation value to go to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. The rest of the revenue will be spent on awesome top-secret projects to solidify the neighbourhood’s position as Canada’s craft beer capital.
Follow us and tag us @yeastvanbc on Twitter and Instagram.
Adam Chatburn is a brewer and loudmouth at Real Cask Brewing. Follow him @real_cask on Instagram and @realcask on Twitter. He doesn’t post very much but when he does it’s awesome.
>> chelsea mcdowell
Raising a Generation of Brewers at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
s the BC craft beer industry has rapidly expanded, so has the need for qualified, well-educated brewery staff. In 2013, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) put together an industry advisory council with the intent of providing an option for education in BC and developing a curriculum that met the specific needs of the local industry. The Brewing and Brewery Operations diploma program launched at KPU’s Langley campus in 2014. The two-year program includes academic subjects, and students develop hands-on skills working in the state-of-the-art brewery purpose-built on campus.
Mike Garson (of Mike’s Craft Beer) and I toured the facility in early November. This is no cute mock-up - the 4,500-square-foot space is full of gleaming stainless steel and has all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a modern brewery. “We always knew we wanted to have a good hands-on practical component; we knew that we needed an actual real brewery because that’s what the industry really needs. There’s a lot of opportunities for just classroom-based learning, but I think that nothing can replace experience,” instructor Alek Egi said of the brewery. There are six manual pilot systems with a capacity of 40 litres each, as well as a fully automatic mini-brewhouse donated by Newlands Systems (NSI) with a capacity 200 litres per batch. “The NSI system was really designed for teaching,” Alek says. “Once [students] become comfortable brewing on the NSI or the pilot system, they can easily go into a larger brewery. This is what sells the program. When people come here and look at it. . . this is obviously what everybody would like to do here.” Along with twelve 200-litre fermenters, the brewery houses two 200-litre brite tanks, a new 400-litre brite tank, transfer and filtration equipment, kegging and bottling equipment, a grain room, a cold room, and a growler fill station. KPU also invested significantly in quality control equipment, giving students the opportunity to use high-tech machines that provide detailed analyses of samples collected throughout the brewing process. Although not every brewery will have access to this level of equipment, the process of data analysis is extremely important. “We are constantly collecting samples from every stage of brewing. We do that from the very beginning, from the very first brew
day,” Alek states. They use this information in their course on calculations, determining things like brewhouse efficiency. “And then [students will] be able to comment on where is the room for improvement, what can we do better? We try to combine all the hands-on practical knowledge with everything we do in the classroom, and we go back and forth.” Significantly, KPU is the only Canadian school to achieve recognition from the Master Brewers Association of the Americas. “It was very comprehensive what they reviewed,” DeAnn Bremner, communications coordinator for the KPU program, said of the accreditation process. “Down to what kind of resource materials we supplied to students through the library, to how much brewing time they get, the equipment they’re learning on, to the backgrounds of all the instructors, and the variety of all the courses they’re learning. It was a pretty cool acknowledgement that they looked at Nancy More, Instructor our program and recognized it as offering a standard of excellence and education around brewing.” In late 2013, Nancy More and Dominic Bernard sat down to develop the curriculum for the program. They looked at what a student would need to know, coming out of the program and going to work in a brewery, and what grads would need to know, on a higher, industry level, to open their own brewery. Brewing is a mixture of art and science and Nancy and Dominic found that balancing the two created some challenges in developing the program. “We get a lot of people applying to the program who don’t actually understand how much science there is to brewing beer and don’t have the high school science prerequisites to be able to do it. Making beer is science. It requires an understanding of that. If you’re going to be the person solving problems and developing recipes, you need to understand your science. How do we balance that with opening it up to as many people as we can?” Another challenge is the wide variation in brewing methods in the industry itself, from tiny microbreweries operating with limited technology and sometimes even DIY equipment to massive breweries with serious investment in automated systems and in-house quality control labs. Nancy said that the KPU program’s goal is for students to learn process control methods for quality assurance in the absence of high-tech tools as well as understanding how to use the quality control tools when they are available. DeAnn says another goal of the KPU
Alex Egi and Neil Sullusky at KPU program was to create a consistent experience. “If [on-campus work] was just all classroom and lecture and they were going out to different breweries [for hands-on experience], everybody kind of has their own way of doing things. So there was the intention to create generations of new brewers who had the same level of quality control, Worksafe, etc. So they were really learning from a place of agreement, but at a high level, and then taking that into the industry so there is more of a standard.” The students spend four semesters at KPU learning a combination of theory in the classroom and practical experience in the brewery. They typically brew on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, producing about 400 litres per day. On Thursdays. the beer is packaged, either into 20-litre kegs for dispensing at the growler fill station, or into bottles for sensory training and quality control purposes. The students work in teams of two on the manual systems, and two or three on the NSI system; there is also a transfer and filtration team and a quality control team. In addition to gaining experience at the brewery, the students are encouraged to find work in brewing while in the program. “I pretty much got a job in the industry a week into my first semester, as assistant brewer at Yaletown Brewing. I wouldn’t have found out about it if it wasn’t for KPU letting students know these jobs are available when people are starting to look, and it’s only grown since then”, says Ashley Brooks, a student from the first graduating class. “KPU has done a really good job of finding out who’s looking for people and letting students know.” Ashley moved on to work at Big Ridge as head brewer during her second year in the program and is now at Four Winds. DeAnn also spoke of the growing level of interest from the industry: “They get to know the grads and they’ve hired the students on. There is a huge amount of respect for the students and the grads that are coming out of the program. They are excited.” KPU also sees its program as part of the development of a center of excellence for brewing in BC. This plays a role in KPU’s international recruitment programs, and the program has seen interest from South America, Asia, the US, and even Europe due to the unique styles being developed out of the west coast. “There is going to be a high demand for skilled workers. People who want to start up a brewery are still going to do it, and this will help them succeed. It will set a baseline for the quality of work that is needed to get a job at a brewery,” said Michael Nicholson, another alum from the first graduating class, who joined Britannia Brewing as they were starting up. “It’s going to be a bit of competition for shelf space; the quality of the beers is going up. I think KPU is going to play a big part in that, too, by improving the quality of the work, and I think the industry is going to thrive because of that.”
Chelsea and Mike’s full interview with the faculty and students at the KPU Brewing Operations Program are available on https:// pacificbeerchat.com as a three-part episode. More of Chelsea’s writing can be found at BrewtifulBC.ca.
O8b²ËF²bÉu¢O O8b²ËF²bÉu¢O O8b²ËF²bÉu¢O 15
ullage & Spillage >> j. random
A rarity in craft brewing – a purpose-designed building.
nybody who has set up a brewery in BC will tell you it took a lot longer than they thought possible. There are so many hurdles: paperwork, zoning and code compliance, sewage discharge permits, not to mention the seemingly capricious nature of building inspectors. For many of the new entries to the market in recent years, financing has not been an issue. People looking to invest in a business, who see craft brewing as a growth industry with reasonable financial returns and a fun thing to be involved with, have simply hired brewers and employed companies to set up breweries for them. This business model has been around for a while, but it used to be more common for a trained brewer to strike out on their own, maybe with one or two friends, and set up their own operation using whatever financing they could cobble together. Matt Phillips’ story of multiple maxed-out credit cards is well known throughout BC’s craft beer community. Phillips retained ownership, but a lot of other brewers lost control to investors who subsequently dumped them.
Aly Tomlin and Ralf Rosenke decided early on that they would retain control of their dream brewery, no matter what it took. And it took a lot out of them over the last seven years. The enormous grins on their faces today are a welcome change from the rapidly disappearing smiles and “still plugging away” refrain of past years. In 2009, Aly was working at East Vancouver’s R&B Brewing. Being a young female brewer in a mostly-male industry, she developed a reputation for verbal riposte (her self-described “junk punch” attack). Meanwhile, her roommate Ralf, who worked at an upholstery company, would come hang out at R&B (“more than I care to remember”, he says now). The pair began dreaming of opening their own brewery, seriously thinking they could target 2010 to do so. It’s an understatement to call that optimistic, but they never imagined it would turn into a seven-year epic that would see them become life partners (a platonic relationship that only Aly and Ralf really understand and neither can adequately explain). Aly was let go from R&B in June 2010, and began working seriously to turn the dream into reality. Word got around, and a few investors approached the new partners. However, they all wanted at least 51 percent ownership, and for Aly and Ralf, that was a non-starter. They also wanted to see a business plan, so Aly set out to write one. This was her first major obstacle. There is a large gap between a dream and a plan that an investor will buy into, and although Aly was familiar with most aspects of a brewery operation, she had never delved into the finances or business side. Determined to do it herself, she spent weeks, then months, with nothing solid accomplished. 16
In June of 2012, Aly’s exasperated mom said, “Come over to Duncan and we’ll work on it together. It will take a couple of weeks.” Eight months later, in February of 2013, they had a workable business plan, and it’s pretty much the one they are using today. Even before the business plan was completed, they had shifted their focus from Vancouver, where building costs were skyrocketing, to Duncan. At that time, local Craig Street Brew Pub, along with Nanaimo’s Longwood Brew Pub and Wolf Brewing, represented the only Island craft brewing operations north of Victoria. Aly is from Victoria, and a return to Island life was tempting. Duncan looked like a great base from which to serve the many towns and villages between Victoria and Nanaimo, and it was close to ferries for shipping product to the mainland. Aly moved to Duncan in April 2013 and started looking for local investors; Ralf kept working in Vancouver. Discussions with potential investors led nowhere. They were not serious, or they wanted control of the business, or they lost interest after realizing it was not just a way to get free beer. While other breweries were opening, our two working-class heroes were just getting frustrated. Aly was barely getting by, with no job, no car and few friends nearby. At least Ralf had a salary—until his company announced they were laying him off. Ralf moved to Duncan at the end of 2014 and ramped up the investor quest. They also started looking at buildings in the Duncan area. Most were run-down and would need a hell of a lot of work to fix up. Then things started to get weird. Everything in Duncan was more difficult than it needed to be, and they started to sense a lack of support from the community. Aly got occasional tempting job offers, but refused to give up the dream. Ralf and Aly were sweeping parking lots, cleaning houses and working in the home-grown herb industry to make ends meet. Their friends and family began to question their sanity. In a particularly low moment, Aly lamented, “How did we f—k up our lives so badly and we are not even junkies?” Enter Morgan Moreira, Ralf’s former co-worker, and now the third player in Riot’s management team. Ralf had started talking about his brewery dream once he was given his layoff notice, and Morgan was becoming increasingly interested; he had come into an inheritance, which opened up a lot of options. He liked the idea of being his own boss, and had already considered operating something like a food truck. Ralf introduced him to Aly at Brassneck Brewery in January 2015. It so happened that a host of brewers were at Brassneck for drinks before heading to Main Street Brewing for a Brewdog filming. Next day, they all headed down to Central City cask festival. Seeing Aly amongst her peers, Morgan realized how well-known she was in the
IS THEIR LIFE!
craft beer community. A close look at the business plan convinced him the dream brewery was viable. Morgan says, “When I came back to Canada after my father passed away, I felt like something within me had changed. I was determined to accomplish something but I just didn’t know what it was. I believe everything happens for a reason. When I met Aly and Ralf to talk about this project, I immediately shared the vision, and realized Riot was that reason.” Being a temporary foreign worker, he was only allowed to own 10% of the business, but the two life partners “adopted” their first real investor and took him on as a third partner. He quit his job and put all his energy into the brewery project, unpaid. Morgan injected a dose of youthful energy and enthusiasm, and a certain Gallic charm, along with the much-needed cash. The name of the brewery had gone through a number of evolutions but Riot was in the running from the beginning, and they had registered the name back in 2010. Setting up a real business, they had to settle on a final name. Nobody came up with anything better, so Riot Brewing it was. Morgan’s financial injection was a pivotal moment in the saga, but two years of trying to set up in Duncan had drained their energy. Time just seemed to be slipping away. The trio considered other locations, like Campbell River and even Powell River. They had a good relationship with Economic Development Cowichan and word had got around about their struggles. Another pivotal moment came with a phone call: “Chemainus wants you!” Brian Green, the Head Planner for North Cowichan, is an English expat who appreciates good beer and recognized the economic impact craft breweries could have in small communities heavily reliant on tourism. Most people in BC have heard how Chemainus reinvented itself through theater and murals after the threatened closure of their major employer, the local sawmill. The Riot family barely had time to absorb this news before they got another phone call. Brian had given their number to a developer in Chemainus, who
offered to custom-build a location for them in his new open-air mall, which was to have an old cannery/sawmill look to it. The developer offered a loan to help with the interior construction of the brewery and tasting room. At one point, they even had a chat with the mayor. “As soon as we decided to move the operation to Chemainus, everything started to come together,” said Ralf. With other people putting their faith in the dream, Ralf’s parents took out a small line of credit on their house and pitched in. Bankers started to give them a lot more time, and they played one bank off against another. Their seemingly inexhaustible perseverance and enthusiasm inspired their business banker to threaten to quit if the bank did not provide a loan. It did. They started ordering equipment and, ever optimistic, targeted a November 2015 opening. They were always planning to have a Newlands system and they had been working with Shae De-Jaray. They got seriously worried when Shae decided to leave Newlands and open Deep Cove Brewing, but he volunteered to continue acting as their project manager. Most
Ralf and Aly in the Chemainus Village Square parking lot during construction
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Fabi and his non-evil henchmen, Ryan and Jesse
of the system was ordered from Newlands but Shae got a handle on a cheaper source of fermentation and bright tanks from China, which helped with the budget. Other breweries like Longwood, Spinnakers, Axe and Barrel, and Central City were also very supportive. Parallel 49 gave them an old keg washer and keg filler. They did not open in 2015. Another key component fell into place when Fabian Specht approached the team about being their brewer. The partners jumped at the chance, knowing Fabi’s pedigree, working with Gary Lohin at Sailor Hagar’s and then at Central City. He had been very happy in the brewpub but was not so keen on the move to the stand-alone production brewery. He decided he wanted a change of lifestyle with a move to a smaller town, and Vancouver Island looked very attractive. Through early 2016, the building was going up, but the business still did not have enough money to get operational. The search for investors continued. What they really needed was a large cash injection for ingredients, among other things, but they also desperately wanted a canning line. At this point, Aly says, “Riot Brewing was all smoke and mirrors.” Ralf and Aly were still doing menial jobs to pay the rent. All the financing they had put together could so easily fall apart. In July of 2016, a couple stopped by the building to see what was going on in that corner of the mall. They later phoned and talked about investing: they offered enough capital to get Riot operational but not enough to also buy the canning line. They involved their daughter and son-inlaw in reviewing the business plan and, after a lot of negotiation, the four of them came back ready to invest more than they had initially considered, but only if Riot went back to its original plan and bought the automated canning line.
Their first brews were Lipslide Lager, Junk Punch IPA, Life Partners Pale Ale, Working Class Hero Dark Mild and Sorry We Took So Long Saison. Aly says she lets Fabi do what he wants with beer recipes. They have no small-scale system, so test brews are full-production sized. Fabi says, “Why bother with the problems of scaling up?” That hands-off approach seems to be paying off. They won silver at the 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards for their Good Vibrations Classical Pilsner. Fabi played classical music to the brew in the fermenter and the bright tank for eight weeks through his primeVibe guitar seasoning device. Sound nodes were attached to the tanks and the music resonated throughout the beer. Ralf says, “It was surreal walking into the brewery late at night and hearing that music echoing around the building.” The story by the local CTV station was picked up across the country, raising Riot’s profile enormously. It is amazing how fast the brewery has fit in to, and changed, the local community. Triggered by the availability of local brews, the developer decided to add The Sawmill Taproom to the mall. In addition to beers from across the parking lot, they have an eclectic selection from across BC. Riot’s growler sales have really taken off, and local real estate agents are putting “walking distance to the brewery” on their property details. It’s perhaps a coincidence, but there has been another resurgence in new local businesses and people moving into the area. Property prices have gone up so much, their staff, mainly refugees from Vancouver, have trouble finding affordable accommodations. Other elements of the community were slower to embrace craft beer, but you can now find Riot Brewing Taps alongside Lucky Lager in the Shoe pub and the Green Lantern, south of town on Chemainus road.
They don't care. See next page.
That cash injection was the final piece in the puzzle. Ralf, Morgan and Aly still had to complete their own interior construction, other than plumbing, electrical and other building code compliance aspects. The tasting room alone is a testament to their design and construction skills. The usual cost of such an operation is about $2 million. The Riot family showed it could be done for $1.3 million. The three partners own 70% of the brewery between them, meaning their dream can’t be taken away from them. Aly now declares that 70% is worth seven years. To her friends and family, she says, “Sorry we took so long.” Riot started brewing on October 3, 2016 and had its ultra-soft opening on November 10, 2016. They did not even tell their friends and family, they were so apprehensive.
You do have to know where to look for the brewery, since it is not visible from the road. Locate the Sawmill Taproom at the northernmost of the two traffic circles in Chemainus and drive into the mall entrance just down Oak Street. The purpose-built structure is beautifully designed with a tasting room, shaded outdoor seating and space in the brewery for expansion. They don’t serve food but there is great pizza available as take-out from the restaurant. There are events in the lounge most nights of the week, featuring musical acts, comedians, and magicians. Riot Brewing is a fascinating study in contradictions. Aly still wears a hoody, but these days she sits on the board of the Chemainus Chamber of Commerce. Riot has a skateboard/punk theme, while supporting community events, including The Riot Cup hockey tournament. Their logo is branded onto both temporary tattoos and dog biscuits. 19
"The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day..." - Joel 2:31
Some say the Orange Moon is a sign of the apocalypse or end of days. We don't know about all that, but nights are getting longer so we thought we'd illuminate them with this big, bright Wit fermented with Mandarin orange.
8.2% ABV. Limited Quantity
Lacey refilling the magazine stand Their bathroom signs gained appreciation from the LGBTQ community and the mobile in the tasting room was made by the local art teacher. They make beer, and they work with dry grad. While their beers are on-style sessionable ales and lagers, their labels are wild and crazy. If you did not know the background, you would think they were just a pastiche of skateboard art, but the real story is a lot more authentic. The partners outlined what they were looking for to a marketing company specializing in craft breweries in the USA. That company got in touch with Jimbo Phillips from Santa Cruz, legendary graphic artist in both the skateboard and punk rock scenes. He agreed to branch out into beer labels. Aly, Ralf and Morgan are personified in so much of what Riot Brewing does – ownership does have its privileges. Aly approached me to write this story for What’s Brewing because we have known each other for around 15 years. I recruited her to fill the newly created role of Industry Liaison in the first executive committee of CAMRA Vancouver. Ralf basically came free with the package and was the first Secretary. When she was at R&B, Aly set up the second regular cask night in Vancouver at The Whip Gallery and Restaurant and I am still a Sunday regular. I have also followed Aly and Ralf’s progress, and lack of progress, following their dream for the last seven years. I have a particular affinity for people who succeed through sheer dogged hard work. I visited Riot to interview the team on the way back from the Great Canadian Beer Festival this year. It warmed my heart to see their dream come true.
J. Random has been penning the Ullage & Spillage column for What's Brewing since 2003. Disclosure: After accepting a writing assignment and submitting this article, the author was inspired to become a minor investor in Riot Brewing.
et's Get Crafty
But wait: remember how so many of your friends and relatives have been discovering craft beer lately? What if their love of beer could help somehow? Relax. What's Brewing columnist—and beer gift expert — Lynn McIlwee (of HopsCanary.com) is here to walk you through some creative ideas for your craft-loving friends and family. As Lynn says, "If you’re looking for a gift for the beer-loving person in your life, here are some ideas that go beyond the usual".
Don't end up like this. Let us help you source holiday gifts that have the right kind of appeal.
creative beer gifts
Do you dread the pressure to come up with nifty gift ideas every holiday season? You're not alone.
Hop Pendants & Earrings Creations (like these, by beloved, pioneering BC artisan A. Brown Designs) are hard to find online, but try these Etsy and CafePress links, especially MagsBonham. In Canada, there's Mashed In, and Vancouver artist Luna Negra.
Etsy is the perfect web site to peruse for one-off gifts.
Beer Muse Wooden Beer Crafts If you have a custom beer/hop gift in mind, Beer Muse might be the person to create it for you. After purchasing some wooden hop earrings ($18) from Beer Muse on Etsy, I contacted her about some custom pieces. She quickly made me wooden hop cufflinks ($16) for my husband, which are now available on her site. www.beer-muse.com
Bath Accessories Did you know: when one purchases a hop shower curtain ($65) from Concord Collections on CafePress, one needs matching 3-inch wooden hop cone shower hooks from Beer Muse.
After we saw some beer-related chalk art at Sierra Nevada in Asheville VA, we connected with local Steveston chalk artist Chalkstar, who created a custom piece that incorporated our garden hop varietals, descriptors, and the inner workings of a hop cone, and our name (Three Dawgs Bierhaus).
Photo Enlargements Does your significant other take a lot of photos of beer, hops, or breweries? Of course they do. Find a good, unique photo and blow it up. Cost for 16 x 20 " might be about $20 per frame, available at many retail outlets.
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Holiday Food & Drink
Custom Gift Baskets! We’re making gift-giving easy with custom beer baskets. Have a beer style or brewery in mind? Our beer team will work with you to put together the perfect gift, or pick up one of our ready-to-crack sets.
BC Brewery Advent Calendars! Count down with your favourite local brewery calendars like the Phillips Snowcase or Red Racer/Parallel 49's Great White Wonder collab, because nothing says Holidays quite like 24 beers in 24 days. Browse the Legacy online shop
Granville Island Small Batch Cellar Series With GIB's small batch cellar series gift pack, featuring Doppelbock, Japanese Biere De Garde, Belgian Quad and Barley Wine, craft beer lovers are guaranteed to be impressed. This pack is suitable for cellar aging up to 3 years, allowing its flavors to deepen and further develop. Learn more at www.gib.ca/beer
Tip: try beer-flavoured goodies for the foodie on your list. - WB Columnist Kim Lawton
Christmas Cocktail Spirits Crafted locally in Cowichan, Merridale’s artisan spirits — with their distinctive flavour and smooth finish — are the perfect gift for the cocktail connoisseurs on your list. Ask for them at private liquor stores or at the farm in Cobble Hill. Learn more
Beer isn't just for drinking; you can eat it, too. When in Port Moody, pick up some beer-flavoured ice cream at Rocky Point. Try Penticton's Cannery Brewing for beer infused mustard, syrups, jellies and beer soaps. Your local brewery will have more great ideas like these. Pictured: Spinnakers' Vinegars
Feeling crafty? Check out my easy stepby-step guide to making your own Super Awesome Beer Advent Calendar™. - Lynn
Foamer's Folly Gift Pack Set of 4 Juicy Double Dry-hopped White IPAs: the 3 ghosts of (rebrewed) batches past of original Juicy Double w/ Strawberry, Juicy Double ll w/ Mango and Juicy Double lll w/ Kiwi Fruit, exclusively available together with the newest Juicy Double lV w/ Pomegranate. Learn more
Strange Fellows: the Fellowship
Looking for a really exclusive beer gift? A $200 "Fellowship" membership offers "aficionados with a taste for extraordinary beer the opportunity to receive rare, barrel-aged & exclusory Limited Release Beers." Learn more
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
TOURing & TASTING A gift card for a brewery tour is a super way to treat a loved one to a great day or night out on the town (especially if you get to come along). So are taphouse tastings with lots of beer choices, and early bird beer festival tickets! Vancouver Brewery Tours Gift Certificates! What to get for the beer lover who has all the "stuff"? How about the ultimate craft beer experience with Vancouver Brewery Tours. Gift Certificates are available for purchase in our online shop and make the perfect holiday gift. Shop Online
Canadian Craft Tours Give the gift of a "Locally crafted experience" with Canadian Craft Tours. Brewery & Winery tours are a great gift for that special someone who has everything. www.canadiancrafttours.ca
Cheers Cowichan Tours Getting there is half the fun! Experience the sights & flavours of the Cowichan Valley Wine and Craft Brewery Region! Stagettes, Stags, wedding/event transportation on Vancouver Island. Corporate day trips/staff rewards, gift certificates. Friendly local drivers, cozy/fun buses with daily tours, year round. www.cheerscowichan.com
More BC Beer Tours
Don't forget BC's other craft beer tour operators in your area, such as:
Victoria: West Coast Brewery Tours
Nanaimo: Vancouver Island Expeditions
Penticton: Grape Friends, Hoodoo Adventures
Vancouver : Vancouver Beer and Wine Tours, Taste Vancouver Food Tours
CRAFT Beer Market: Gift Card Christmas Bonus! It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to give beer! This holiday season, for every $50 worth of gift cards purchased, get a $10 bonus gift card. For every $100 in cards purchased, get a $20 bonus. Buy them at the restaurant or Shop Online
This new festival, unique in Canada, will bring craft breweries and coffee roasters together on February 24th 2018 to celebrate two of Vancouver's favourite beverages. Tickets on sale December 16th. Save $7 via early access registration
The What's Brewing Beer Caddy Where do lucky people at beer festivals get those amazing handsfree adjustable tasting glass holders you've seen? From us, now that we have them, just in time for stuffing that Christmas stocking. Only $10. Free Shipping within BC for online orders. See back page for more info. To order: whatsbrewing.ca/beercaddy
Victoria Beer Week: Discount Code! Tickets to Victoria Beer Week are the ideal gift for that beer lover on your Christmas list. And they've made it even easier for you, by offering $5 off on most of their events. to get this sweet deal, use promo code WHATSBREWING Early Bird tickets during December
Fully adjustable; holds any size of glass from any festival
Vancouver Craft Beer Week: Early Bird!
Okanagan Fest of Ale: Early Bird!
Check out the Super Early Bird pricing and new VIP ticket packages for the 9th annual VCBW Festival coming up June 2nd & 3rd, 2018. Tickets prices starting at: Single Day $29, Weekend Pass $45 (very limited). Early Bird Tickets on sale while supplies last
Work your way on to the nice list this year with tickets for a Weekend Getaway to the Okanagan Fest of Ale under the tree. Weekend pass only $42. Early Bird Tickets on sale until Jan 15, 2018
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Books & reading
Four issues home delivery Like to read What’s Brewing as a hardcopy? Don’t blame you; it’s fabulous in its glorious glossy printed format. Subscribe to home delivery of our quarterly magazine Receive 4 issues of What’s Brewing, including postage. $20 per year (4 quarterly issues). www.whatsbrewing.ca/order
From our 2017 book reviews Ted Child reviews books for What's Brewing. Here are a few items Ted reviewed in the past year, as well as links to other book coverage in What's Brewing. Atlas Of Beer
My Beer Year
Oh Beautiful Beer
Comic Book Story of Beer
Jonathan Hennessey & Mike Smith
The Growler You shouldn't be surprised that we read and recommend BC's Craft Beer Guide. Subscribe to home delivery of The Growler for even less than we're charging! $18.99 per year (4 quarterly issues). the-growler.myshopify.com
Homegrown beer books Lonely Planet gets Joe's nod Let Lonely Planet’s local experts help you plan your next beer-soaked voyage. They’ve got pretty much the whole world covered, from Addis Ababa to the Yarra Valley. British Columbia is well represented, too, with Vancouver singled out as “the venue for much of the best beer being brewed in Canada today.” - Joe Wiebe Lonely Planet Global Beer Tour
Here's a few "Made in Canada" and "written in BC" craft beer books to check out, including some written by past and present What's Brewing contributors. Pocket Beer, 3rd edition
Stephen Beaumont & Tim Webb
Craft Beer Revolution
How to Drink Beer in Mandarin
Fine Old Ales & Barley Wine
150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels
Lawrence C. Sherk
What the Heck is a GROWLER?
Learning & Appreciation
If you’re looking for some education to pair with your beer, there are a number of choices. - Lynn
Join BC's pre-eminent beer enthusiast's society for comradeship, education and insider discounts. CAMRA BC has five established branches. Individual Membership: $25/year. Find the one near you: www.camrabc.ca/branches
The CiceroneⓇ Certification Program has a number of nerdy gift ideas at your disposal. You can purchase a gift card for any of their study materials, courses, and exams, such as the Certified Beer Server (USD $69) exam.
Or how about a homebrew club membership? Brewing is easy and a great way to learn about beer. See our list of BC homebrew groups in Brew Club Corner.
They also have a number of study materials, from beer style flashcards ($15) and course books ($99) to off-flavour sensory kits ($149 to $749).
Vanbrewers annual membership: $30 www.vanbrewers.ca
Need some more material to pass the CiceroneⓇ exam? Beer Scholar Study Guides will provide you with real practice exams, a study guide, and flashcards.
Serious Beer, taught by Chester Carey, Canada's first Certified Cicerone®, is held at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and offers a broad spectrum of beer style history, brewing mechanics, beer tasting, analyzing off-flavours, and food/beer pairing. Next session: Level 2, January 2018. $750
Malt or hops-embedded business card holders from Mashed In $20
At Home: Bar & Brewing Make your home brew stand out with custom bottle caps ($0.14+ each) and bottle labels ($0.60+ each) from Bottlemark.
KPU's Brewing and Brewery Operations program is for people that would like a career in commercial brewing. Visit the website at www.kpu.ca/brew
Personalized Growlers! Amazing custom engraved refillables from Vancouver's Sigil & Growler
Taps & Handles For the home brewer in your life, you can have a custom tap handle made. There are many options around $50 to $70 including Beer Designs, Mashed In, and locally, Smooth Edge Design. This Stainless Steel Intertap Faucet has a modular, threaded spout which can fit a variety of different attachments including a growler filler or a stout spout. $45 at Beyond The Grape
for Serious Beer Nerds
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Glassware Collection! It's hard to go wrong with glassware as a gift, especially if your beer lover has less than 100 of them already. Support your local BC brewery by picking up their branded shaker glass. But you can go so far beyond that by collecting the many shapes and sizes available to match different beers. Then get your beer lover an affordable shelf to keep them in at IKEA (from $50).
Meet: THE BEER CADDY
Who needs this? Who would want to be seen wearing one of these at a beer festival? Here’s who: •• •• •• ••
People who eat things People who own smartphones, or other things that require hands People who use washrooms People who don't love to put their glass down on things in those washrooms •• People who don't have a well-trained butler present at all times •• People who would love to never drop or lose their taster glass again •• People who possess two hands or less
•• Generally anyone who attends beer festivals and is not an octopus
Does that sound like you, or someone you know? Now you can now own this craft beer accessory for only $10. And we’re offering free shipping within Canada! WHATSBREWING.CA/BEERCADDY
Now you can own the Beer Caddy! $10 including tax & shipping within Canada.
Some people try to make their own, but handmade and crocheted beer lanyards fit only one size glass and soak up sticky beer. Don’t spend time or money on those when you can have the professional, one-size-fits-all Beer Caddy.
Features •• •• •• •• ••
Completely adjustable! Holds any size glass from tiny taster to pint Classic black; matches any outfit Reversible strap: plain or branded sides Water resistant polyester, wipes or rinses clean Strong, reliable velcro holder
Benefits •• •• •• •• ••
You will never drop or lose your taster glass at a beer festival again Busy beer pourers will never mix up your glass with other people's People will admire your beer festival sense Makes an amazing birthday surprise, holiday gift or stocking stuffer Shows off your support for What’s Brewing, who in turn support BC’s Craft Beer Movement
What's Brewing Gift Guide 2017 Inspiration and/or perspiration acknowledgements go to: Navin Autar Wendy Barron
Ted Child Emile Compion Kim Lawton Ligia Margaritescu Lynn McIlwee Khatira Omar Dave Smith Ivana Smith Joe Wiebe
ave you ever seen those lucky people at beer festivals with a lanyard that holds their tasting glass? What’s Brewing is proudly your source (and the only source in Canada, that we’re aware of) for these handy beer festival accessories.
Books In Review
>> TED CHILD
National Geographic Atlas of Beer By Nancy Hoalst-Pullen & Mark W. Patterson
h e Feb r u a r y 2 017 i s s u e of Na t iona l G e o g ra ph ic magazine featured an article on humankind’s nine-thousand-year relationship with booze. Reading it, one might feel as if a piece of the puzzle—of the world and human beings’ place in it—had fallen into place, as if a magazine article on a very specific subject made broader topics more understandable. If only Na t iona l Geographic would narrow the focus even more, to just beer. Lo and behold: they have done just that. Not with an article, but with an entire book!
Atlas of Beer’s different approach will make it a useful addition to your beer-book shelf, alongside 2012’s World Atlas of Beer and other references. Rather than specific recommendations of beers and breweries, Atlas of Beer focuses on beer terroir—local water, hops, yeast and cereal grains—and how it affects local beer culture around the world. The authors focus on how “distinct differences and idiosyncrasies” of local beer culture, such as New England’s love of Ringwood yeast, become “a reflection of place.” The book is peppered with this kind of historical insight. National Geographic's Atlas of Beer will help break you out of whatever your beer rut might be and rediscover the joys of trying strange and diverse new beers. It will help readers understand how these unique and sometimes bizarre beers and customs came to be. On top of that, it will help you order beer in other languages and give you more historical insight than most of the locals will have. Big and impressive, and too large for most carry-on luggage, this will have you price-compar-
Christmas has come early for beer readers and travelers, in the form of National Geographic’s Atlas of Beer. The authors explore beer in a way ing flights by the end of the first pint. only National Geographic can. They will ignite your love of strange, November 16, 2017 local oddities of beer around the world, such as Curitiba’s Bodebrown Wee Heavy, Osaka’s Yuzu Ale, South Africa’s “original craft beer” UmTed Child is a Recognized BJCP Beer Judge and award-winning Full Colour qombothi, Tanzania’s banana beer Mbege, or even Atacama’s fog homebrewer. also What's Half Page ad Horizontal 7.5” WideHex is4.85” Tall Brewing's in-house book reviewer. Look for beer. his assessments of the latest beer books and publications in each issue.
• WELL CRAFTED packaging solutions. • One stop shopping! 6 packs, 12 packs for cans or bottles, labels and trays all under one roof. • Announcing our NEW DIGITAL LABEL press, small runs! We know you work hard crafting a great beer, but there are other important steps to help get your beer to market. You need an eye-catching box to grab attention and a label to help tell your brand story. At Great Little Box Company, we take care of all of that, by providing great standard and custom packaging solutions, so you can put all of your focus on what you do best – crafting great beer.
phone: +1 (800) 661-3377
Time for your
Beer photography by Chelsea McDowell
The Best beers for Breakfast with
Meet this issue's Tasting Panel Good morning! Our five perky volunteer beer experts are: Warren Boyer: BJCP-Certified home and commercial brewer, and past President of CAMRA Vancouver. Lundy Dale: founder, BC Craft Beer Month, CAMRA Vancouver, Barley's Angels' Pink Pints Chapter, and Past President of CAMRA BC. Also TAPS Magazine writer and homebrewer.
Lynn McIlwee of Hops Canary: blogger, experienced beer event judge and homebrewer. Chelsea McDowell of Brewtiful BC: blogger, experienced beer event judge and homebrewer. J. Random: What's Brewing contributor since 2003, former VP of CAMRA Vancouver, beer fan for 4 decades, homebrewer.
Panellists are instructed to give an honest rating. Neither Whatâ€™s Brewing nor Legacy Liquor Store bear responsibility for the opinions expressed within, which are solely those of the individual panelists.. 30
Coffee, Chocolate, Oatmeal & Milk It's Saturday morning and you're not in a rush. There's a mild throbbing in your temple, a residual effect of Friday night's frisky festivities. Tsk, tsk. Now how are you going to get motivated this morning? What you need is a jolt of caffiene. Or how about a bowl of oatmeal? That calls for a spot of milk. Hmmm. Fortunately all of these options are waiting in your beer fridge, thanks to BC's thoughtful craft brewers. Yum yum yum. For fun this round, we've chosen a sampling of Stouts, Porters and such with a breakfast theme: coffee, oatmeal and milk. There are plenty of other outstanding breakfast beer choices in BC, including chocolate milk beers and more. However, what we've selected here is a good representation of the best styles you need in order to get your day off to a damn fine start.
The Beers ABV Faculty 599 Cold Brew ESB 3.3% Hoyne Voltage Espresso Stout 5.6% Parallel 49 Nitro Coffee Porter 6.0% R&B Dark Star Oatmeal Stout 4.6% Strange Fellows Blackmail Milk Stout 4.5% Tofino Dawn Patrol Coffee Porter 6.5%
Beers evaluated include:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
And the winner is:
Ed. note: Love coffee and beer? See the Hopwired Festival on page 25!
How judging is done Our unsanctioned competition uses a Zagat-like 30-point rating with a weighted scale based loosely on the BJCP Scoresheet.
Relative newcomer Faculty Brewing! Turns out that nobody had much bad to say about Faculty's 599 Cold Brew ESB. It's notable that it was the only non-Stout or Porter in the group, because the heavy beers are what we originally set out to choose for our Winter issue. At only 3.3% ABV, you really could start every day with a 599.
overall category scores
Here's a general overview of how these beers did as a group. Pie chart tip: start at top of legend and work clockwise from 45 degree mark (3 o'clock).
Balance: malt vs. hop
Meet Jordan Knott, craft beer expert at Legacy Liquor Store
Got questions about craft beer? Talk to Jordan!
Legacy Liquor Store 1633 Manitoba St, Vancouver, BC 604.331.7900 email@example.com
Online Order Desk
THE WHAT'S BREWING TASTING PANEL: BREAKFAST BEER SPOTLIGHT
Faculty 599 Cold Brew ESB 2.0/3
26 25 22 23 26
I would love to see more carbonation , but think it would be a great beer for a beer float or a beer cocktail Tastes of cold brew coffee. Stronger aroma than flavours, light body and carbonation. Coffee notes linger on the palate This would make a great breakfast beer, especially at 3.3% A superb breakfast beer. Enough coffee to wake you up but not too much alcohol so you might get something done that day.
R&B Dark Star Oatmeal Stout
21 n/a 23 21 13 32
This is a coffee beer. Not overly strong or sweet though. Decent malt backbone. Great breakfast beer.
23 20 25 24 20
More subtle flavours on the nose, chocolate, hints of coffee and grainy/ bready are more prominent on the flavour. Grainy/bready linger on the palate. An interesting beer, but the astringency on the finish makes it difficult to imagine having a full pint. Not much on the nose. Might benefit from more oatmeal, especially for breakfast.
Well balanced beer. The coff
Would have liked to see more
Well-balanced, not too bitter,
Nicely balanced with a good cheesecake or another rich d
Coffee was a little harsher th
Lundy works at R&B! She was excused from duty on this one. :) The other scores were averaged to calculate the overall scores above.
Strange Fellows Blac
Silky smooth from the oatmeal. Balanced chocolatey roast.
Hoyne Voltage Espress
15 26 26 19 18 Chelsea
Clashing flavours. Spicey a Like a molasses halloween
Roasted malt, chocolate, lig but isnâ€™t bitter.
Although the smokey flavo easy to drink.
A very nice gentle beer to w have expected a tad more approach
See www.whatsbrewing.ca/tasting-panel for full set of scores
Parallel 49 Nitro Coffee Porter 3/3
18 23 23 28 25
ffee is not overwhelming. Good breakfast beer.
e espresso flavour come through
, great coffee notes that linger on the palate.
d complexity of flavour. This would go well with dessert.
han other coffee beers I have tasted.
Aroma: full roasted coffee with hints of caramel and chocolate. Flavour: coffee latte Smooth, well-balanced, and subtle flavours of coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Rich, roasted, toasted notes with an emphasis on coffee, followed by chocolate and a hint of smoke. A beer to really wake you up, provided you were not planning to drive to work immediately.
and piny hops with malty roast grains. candy- liquid version :-)
ght caramel notes. Coffee lingers on the palate
our is a bit intense, it remains fairly mild and
wake up to. Diehard milk stout fanatics might e lactose-sweetness, but I preferred the subtle
20 25 24 28 16
Strong and boozy. Although the coffee is present this wouldn't be my choice for a breakfast beer.
Tofino Dawn Patrol
Head collapsed quickly. A bit too much residual sweetness for my tastes. Nice combination of coffee, vanilla and bourbon- balanced Chocolate, coffee, slight toasty notes. Nicely balanced, not a strong coffee presence This is the most balanced out of the group so far. All of the elements come together to create a very flavourful beverage that is easy to handle early in the day (this was authentically tasted at breakfast). The alcohol in the flavour suggests a higher ABV than billed. More of a nightcap than a breakfast beer.
profiles: women in beer Two Ladies of Faculty Brewing >> lundy dale
BREWER: JAQUIE LOEHNDORF
espite the fact that Faculty Brewing is only 2.5 blocks from where I work, I really only got to truly connect with some of the ladies over a weekend during BC Craft Beer Month in October. I wanted to start working on this interview last fall when the whole team including the brewer at the time, Inge, created a cask for one of my Women and Beer events. I loved the energy between them all and the variety of roles they all fill in the brewery. Inge left about 3 months ago to get back into travelling, which opened up an opportunity for one of the recent female KPU Brewing graduates, Jaquie Lohendorf. Let's get to know Jaquie, as well as co-worker Kelli Sturkenboom. How long have you been in the position?
JL: Two months. KS: I’ve been working with Faculty since December 2015. I started out working with owners Alicia Medina and Mauricio Lozano as the Marketing Developer (their first employee—wahoo!), became Tasting Room Manager when we opened, and in the last few months transitioned to this new role as our company grew and we started selling packaged product outside the tasting room. Did you always want to be in this position, or was it an opportunity to work your way up? JL: This is the position I wanted to be in, it is what I applied for! KS: When I started with Faculty, all I knew was I wanted to help manage and grow this new business. I have sort of organically found new aspects of the business I enjoy. Mauricio has given me the freedom to explore what I’m good at and create my own role, which has been an amazing opportunity for me. What brought you to this specific choice? Did you choose? Or did the job? JL: My love of beer and science is what drew me to the industry. I enrolled in the Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Brewing program. I knew I wanted to be a brewer, but started in packaging at Parallel 49. I applied for the brewing position at Faculty and love it.
SALES/SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER: KELLI STURKENBOOM KS: I kind of fell into the beer industry; I met Mauricio and Alicia a bit randomly. I think moving into sales was a result of us deciding to package our product, and me deciding I wanted to be responsible for the sales and logistics related to doing so. It seems that people that get into the microbrewery business have passion. How did you discover your passion for beer? JL: My passion for beer has grown through my time spent serving it in bars and restaurants. Trying new styles and flavours made my love for it grow. Learning all about it at Kwantlen has really made me passionate about the process and results of brewing. KS: I think it all started with the discovery of Dieu du Ciel while I was living in Montreal. I was still a broke student, so didn’t go there much, but I remember being fascinated by all the different styles and their beautiful tasting room. When I came back to BC, going to tasting rooms in Vancouver became a thing I would do. I realized I wanted to learn much more, which, luckily, I’ve had the chance to do while working for an awesome new craft brewery. How important is schooling? How were you trained? JL: For me, schooling was the right choice, as I did not have a background with beer other than serving it. I believe that school is awesome but practical experience is equally valuable. I was trained at KPU and continue to learn and grow at Faculty. KS: My schooling was in Art History and Management. Although not directly related, I think my schooling prepared me to deal with deadlines and organization. With a new business, everyone is learning— even the owners. I’ve had most of my “training” trying to solve problems or complete new tasks that neither Mauricio nor I had to tackle before, like dealing with the Liquor Distribution Board, or figuring out what licenses we needed. Are there advantages to being a woman in the industry? JL: There is an amazing amount of support for women in the industry and not just from the amazing women that are in it. I have received a lot of great help from others on my way to becoming a brewer. 35
KS: Yes! There are so many awesome women in this industry that I get to learn from, look up to, and be friends with. I feel like the ladies in the beer industry are all so supportive and wonderful. It’s such a great community to be a part of. Are there disavantages to being a woman in the industry? JL: So far, I have not experienced any, but some, other females in the industry have had difficulties moving up to brewing positions at their workplaces, and have had their hard work taken for granted. KS: There are definitely some disadvantages. Being a 23-year-old woman in the beer industry, there are a lot of people that are very condescending. People seem to assume I have no idea what I’m talking about, especially in sales meetings. Also—creepy dudes! Dudes, why are some of you so creepy? What do you love about your job and the industry? JL: The industry is very supportive, it is amazing and not something you see in any other industry. I love being a part of an awesome team, and making products from start to finish that people enjoy. KS: As I said, it’s such a tight-knit and fun industry to be a part of. When my job gets stressful, (which is often), I always remember that I’m lucky to always be surrounded by good beer and great people. I could be selling printers. Or used cars. We have it pretty darn good in this industry.
anced and drinkable. Dry-hopped with Citra. . . ohhhhh baby. How about outside of your brewery? JL: I always have a hard time choosing a favourite! There are so many delicious beers being made. I am really loving the current trend of juicy/hazy IPAs that is happening with everyone exploring all of the beautiful flavours that hops can impart. KS: This is so tough! If I have to answer, one that comes to mind right away is Sierra Nevada Otra Vez—their cactus and grapefruit gose. Who’s your favourite female in the industry? Any advice for fellow women in the industry or wanting to get into the industry? JL: I am very lucky to be learning from Nancy More at Kwantlen. She has an amazing wealth of knowledge! My advice is to not be afraid of hard work and starting from the bottom and working your way up. I also believe it is helpful to make as many connections as you can. KS: So many wonderful ladies, but my coworker, Rachel Warner, definitely takes that title. She’s been with Faculty since we opened and is insanely passionate about beer. Her love for beer and brewing has inspired me to continue learning and take the cicerone exam next year. My advice would be to get out there and start applying! Reach out to your favourite brewery (or any new breweries opening) and show them your enthusiasm.
How has the industry changed since you came on board?
Biggest acheivement to date?
KS: With all the new breweries popping up, many brewers are experimenting and pushing boundaries with their beer. It’s so cool watching BC beer evolve. People in our industry are so creative, and I love it.
JL: At the beginning stages of my career in this industry: being hired as a brewer has been an awesome achievement for me.
What is your favourite beer at your brewery, and why? JL: I love the IPA at Faculty; it is flavourful and well balanced; our ESB comes in a close second. KS: Our 778 IPA. IPAs were how I got into loving craft beer, and I think ours is one of the best out there. It’s extremely aromatic, but well bal-
KS: I can finally double stack 50-litre kegs and load them into vehicles. I have not been that proud of myself in a long time. Lundy Dale writes for TAPS Magazine, is a founder of CAMRA BC's Vancouver chapter, Barley's Angels' Pink Pints Chapter and BC Craft Beer Month, and Past President of CAMRA BC.
>> Sheridan Mohammed
Not that apples have anything to be envious about. I just want to elevate the noble pear, historically planted as a protective wind screen for the apples to grow in their shelter.
s the days grow shorter and darker and the nights colder, may I suggest a way to hang on to those final rays of lingering autumn sweetness and wrap your senses in the legacy of
the last harvest?
With so many seasonal festivities, how does one choose what to bring where (and who to avoid at the staff party)? And if one were inclined
This winter season, why not pair your tapas, cheese board, or first courses with a sparkling perry? The delicate dry and subtly sweet flavour of pear partners well with many foods and cuisines. The flavours and textures of fresh or dried figs and grapes (the black or purple varieties have a longer season), dried black or red currants, almonds, pistachios, Gorgonzola, spiced Gouda, smoked Cheddar, and dessert Stilton with mango and ginger, all complement or contrast beautifully with perry. Perry can also accommodate heavier dishes like pasta or Thai curry. Because pears have a higher level of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol not easily metabolized by yeast, the end result is a delicate dry sweetness that is not linked to the amount of residual sugars.
would create a unique and memorable experience?
Where to buy or try? A fine example comes from Sea Cider Farm and Cider House of Sannichton, BC. You can’t go wrong with their limited-release, medal-winning craft perry, as one example.
As What’s Brewing reported in our Fall Harvest issue, craft is not just a
Enjoy yourself safely this season!
to entertain at home, what creation from a west coast craft kitchen
prefix for beer; it can also be applied to cider (made with apple juice), and, because I am a true pear fan: Perry (a cider beverage made with specially-grown “perry” pears). 36
Sheridan is a long-time craft beer enthusiast and member of the Vancouver BC craft beer scene.
Small batch cider, crafted on our farm. Long fermentation and maturation 100% juice. No water to dilute, or refined sugar to sweeten Apples grown in our four orchards: Victoria, Kelowna, Saanichton and Duncan Wild fermentation brings out the complexity Small batches that are hand-crafted the traditional way
Swing by our tasting room next time youâ€™re on the Island! Weâ€™re open Wed to Sat, 10am to 5pm 273 Prospect Lake Rd Victoria BC V9E 1J7 Tel. 250.590.0214 todcreekcider.com facebook.com/todcreekcider
Brew Club Corner Spotlight: Nanaimo Brew Club
his round, we spotlight the Nanaimo Brew Club, a primarily-online resource group founded in January 2015 for sharing ideas and topical material about homebrewing beer. The group, currently more of an online resource group than a physical meetup, is over 140 members strong on Facebook.
Homebrew Club Listing 1.
Brew Westminster (Google Group)
BrewVic: Website | FB Group
Member Scott Innes, who provided the information for this spotlight, joined in January 2017. Scott says, “We don’t have a homebrew store in Nanaim,o so ingredient sharing is a common theme in the group. Every request for help or supplies has been met with open arms”.
BruBC (FB Group)
Cranbrook Brewing Culture (FB Group)
Fraser Valley Fermentalists (FB Group)
The first actual meeting that Scott participated in was the second annual Brewed Right Here event, hosted by Lucky’s Liquor Store back in June (see photo). Eight homebrewers joined in the competition and tasting, complete with a trophy, prizes from local breweries, and the right to brew with one of those breweries.
Full Barrel Homebrew Club, Langley (FB Group)
Nanaimo Brew Club (FB Group)
Ok Brewers, North Okanagan (FB Group)
Royal Canadian Malted Patrol (FB Group)
Scott tells us that writing to What’s Brewing has inspired him to see if the Brew Club can meet once a month. Sounds like a great goal. By the way, Nanaimo, once home to a CAMRA BC branch, is now home to a brand new Nanaimo Craft Beer Society, who will soon hold their first-ever event, “Crafternoon” (how come no-one else in BC has used that name yet?). Find them at www.nanaimocraftbeer.com Nanaimo already has three excellent craft breweries, and now it looks like their grassroots beer scene is solidifying too.
10. Stonehouse Brew Club, Maple Ridge (FB Group) 11. Ten Corners Homebrew Club, Fraser Valley (FB Group) 12. Tricities Brew Club (FB Group) 13. UVic Wizards of Beer (FB Group) 14. VanBrewers: Website | FB Page | FB Group
If we missed your club: write firstname.lastname@example.org
homebrew happenin's What the heck is a Wheatwine?
inter for me means sipping a strong beer indoors with friends. I will be bringing out some barleywine I stashed away from last year, and I’ll be making something new to cellar for next year. I was considering a Russian Imperial Stout but, after some consideration, I have decided to go the route less travelled: wheatwine. “What is wheatwine?” you may be asking. Well, it's like a barleywine, but it uses a large amount of wheat malt.
Wheatwine can contain as much as 50 percent wheat malt, which gives the beer medium-to-full body and a silky mouthfeel. These high-alcohol sippers have a significant grainy or bready flavour. Complexity comes from the malt, hops, fruity yeast character, and alcohol. Wheatwine now has its own category in the BJCP guidelines: 22D. The guidelines indicate that IBU should be between 30 and 60. Of course, I have increased that substantially, because I prefer lots of hops. To make a more authentic version, use half as many hops as in my recipe. This beer should age well, so put a few bottles away for next winter. Now go make some beer!
Warren Boyer is an award-winning home and professional brewer, Certified Beer Judge, and Past President of CAMRA Vancouver. Reach Warren at homebrewboy13@ gmail.com. 38
For approximately 22 litres: • • • •
5.85 kg Pilsner malt 0.85 kg Munich Dark 5.35 kg wheat malt 0.40 kg rice hulls (helps keep mash open with wheat malt) 1. Mash at 65 degrees C for 60 to 90 minutes. 2. Collect enough wort to end up with 22 litres after the boil. Boil for 60 min. 3. Add 65 grams of Galaxy hops (14.6 AA) at beginning of the boil. 4. Add 25 grams of Chinook (13 AA) for the final 20 minutes. 5. Add 34 grams of Centennial (8.5 AA) and 50 grams of El Dorado (14.6 AA) during the whirlpool or while the wort is chilling. 6. Pitch with San Diego super yeast. OG should be close to 1.113 and FG around 1.020, providing about 12% ABV. IBU is calculated to be 128.9.
>> warren boyer
have camera, will travel Shining a Light on Pemberton >> brian K. smith
he breathtaking, world-class, scenic Sea to Sky Highway (Hwy 99) is lined with distractions: views of velvety snow-capped mountains dropping into Howe Sound, waterfalls cascading down glistening granite cliffs, and beautiful emerald-colored Howe Sound itself. Forty-five minutes from Vancouver lies Squamish, with its three award-winning breweries. Tempting as it may be to just stop here, so much more lies ahead. Just 40 minutes further up the road are two amazing craft breweries at Function Junction, and one more in Whistler proper. And soon there will be a compelling reason for the craft beer wanderer to keep going beyond Whistler.
The lush green Pemberton Valley is known mostly as a potato farming community, but that is about to change dramatically. Sitting 1,600 feet lower than Whistler, with a temperate climate, its attractive environment is comfortable all year round. Mountains rise straight out on both sides of the valley floor, with Mount Currie's broad white top dominating the sky high above to the south. With potatoes so abundant, a distillery was naturally first on the scene. Pemberton Distillery, the only distillery between Vancouver and the interior, produces a multitude of organic spirits and has done very well. Just down the road in the same industrial park is Back 40 Brewing. With tanks installed and the tap room almost complete, Back 40 hopes to be pouring the first craft beer in the Pemberton Valley sometime in December. Not far behind that schedule is Pemberton Valley BeerWorks. Twelve kilometres west of the Pemberton junction, along a prairie-flat road, PVBW is a true first in the craft beer industry. The owners have one of the largest potato farms in the valley and are ready to add another chapter to the farm’s 120-year history. Able to grow their own barley and hops, and with spring water in abundance, PVBW is set to become the first farm brewery that supplies all its own ingredients—totally sustainable. The Millers are planning to have regular live music entertainment and an Airbnb on the farm. There are rumours of a large brewery, with its own malting facility and 100 acres of hops, further down the valley. During a recent visit, I met up with both breweries for a short interview.
Back 40 Brewing Company Chief Brewer - Jeff MacDonald Pemberton Industrial Park (6 km East of Junction) “Back forty” is an agricultural term for the most distant portion of a farm, sometimes unused, a little wild, and off the radar. The brewery is in the final stages of construction and should be open sometime before the end of the year. Brewer Jeff MacDonald plans to showcase a variety of beers—IPA, pale ale, lighter ale, and stout— and then expand to include seasonals, fruit beers, and other varieties sourced from the valley. Jeff hopes that more of the basic ingredients will become available in the valley as the beer scene grows. A farm at the western end of the valley has planted 100 acres of hops, but it will be three or four years until they can be harvested. For the time being, some of the hops will be sourced from HOOH Hops in Lillooet. The brewery has an open display with a 10-hectolitre system, with plans to produce 1,500–2,000 hectolitres a year. 40
Jeff MacDonald, Chief Brewer at Back 40 Brewing Company With a growing industrial park, Jeff expects a fair number of the folks who work in the area, and those who live nearby, to come in. In the summer months, he hopes to attract the people taking Highway 99 up to the Duffey Lake area or into the interior. Jeff mentions that some of the reclaimed wood in the tasting area came from the local log mill, and some is old barn wood from a farm property. The weathered wood imparts a wonderful warm feeling to the interior of the brewhouse. Back 40 will be filling growlers and offering samples, and getting a lounge license as quickly as possible. Packaged product will be available in the coming year. Jeff has worked in the Whistler hospitality business over the past couple of decades and has always had a passionate interest in beer. Three years ago, he and his partner bought a sophisticated pilot system and started brewing. It turned out to be what they loved doing more than anything else. "We are really excited to bring craft beer to Pemberton,” Jeff says. “We are definitely of the mind, ‘the more the merrier.’ If there are two or three breweries plus Pemberton Distilleries, then people are more than likely to come from Whistler and beyond. We can collaborate with tour companies and arrange visits to other breweries and hop farms."
Pemberton Valley BeerWorks Will, Brenda, and Bruce Miller The first organic brewery in the Pemberton Valley is a family affair with Brenda, Bruce, and son Will at the helm. Brenda first pitched the idea for a farm brewery to Bruce thirty years ago. In the last three years, he became receptive to the idea and Brenda did an apprenticeship at Coast Mountain Brewing in Function Junction. They both agree that, thirty years ago, it would had been a dismal failure. "It used to be that no one knew the name Pemberton, but that has now changed and the timing is perfect for us." A local annual festival got them to thinking that the time was right. Brenda says, "I have been brewing beer for a long time and we have this Slow Food Cycle with 4,000 participants that goes through Pemberton ever summer. We thought it would be so cool to sell this beer that is 100% from here during the event. When we set out to participate, we found out that legally we had to be a full brewery; we could not sell out of our garage. It was cost-prohibitive to produce beer just for the one event, so it developed into becoming this big brewery. Instead of being this garage thing, it is pretty well going to be suited to the size of our whole farm.”
Whistler has great breweries but they will never be Whistler's thing; they will always be eclipsed by skiing, biking, and the resort. But for Pemberton, if you put a couple of farm breweries in, it strengthens the image of a craft beer destination. The Miller family is excited to see the changes the craft beer movement will bring to their community and to their 120-year-old family farm. Sharing beer along with farm life seems to be right up their alley. "Being day-to-day farmers, it is fun to see your life through brand new eyes. So next summer, we are hoping to share that with people. We have always wanted to make this a place we can share and have guests hang out on the farm, see the animals—it puts the magic back in it." They are excited that there are other breweries in the valley and that this is the time for Pemberton to shine. Brian K. Smith, MPA is an accredited member of the BC Association of Travel Writers, and is Chief Photographer for What's Brewing.
"It is good that it has taken so long because it really has stepped itself up as we have gone along,” Brenda says. “This year we grew Willamette hops. This coming year we will make one beer with 100% Willamette.” Their goal in the first year is to make a 100% zero-mile beer, with everything sourced from their own land. It has been their goal from the beginning to have the "terroir" from the area. All the little pieces are coming together, including some they thought were impossible a year ago, such as getting their all their organic malt back. They have to truck it to Alberta for malting and then truck it back. But even if it is not as convenient or cost effective, they are excited to find out what the beer looks and tastes like with their barley. For yeast, they are talking about experimenting with open fermentation. PVBW plans to open with five beers on tap. Brenda is working on a wit beer as number six. Watch for a chanterelle scotch ale and a potato pale ale. "We want to have really good beer that makes people go OMG! When people come to our farm brewery, they get to sit and enjoy the view, hear the animals, enjoy life the way we have it—a slowed-down pace—where you get to sit down and feel the sun in your face. And we will have a place to stay for people and there are also a lot of places in the neighborhood, if people wanted to come and take in Whistler sights or bike riding in Pemberton or hiking. Or just ride up the road and have a beer at the end of the day and a place to stay—watch the sunset like we get to, and take entirely for granted." Will adds, "In the past, Whistler and Pemberton stood for opposite things—Whistler is very corporate and Pemberton is authentic—and we like to play into that. People who live in Whistler, they like to support Pemberton stuff because they feel it is more in line with them.
Bruce, Brenda and Will Miller of Pemberton Valley BeerWorks 41
BEERS, BEACHES & BREWERIES
Mark the date and plan to head to the 5th annual Brewski Craft Beer, Cider and Spirits Festival, February 17, 2018 at Apex Mountain Resort. Tickets on sale December 2017
Winter in the Okanagan
inter came early this year in the Okanagan. As I write this, it’s cold and the snow is falling. There is lots of snow already in the mountains and our local ski hills will soon be filled with people strapping on skis, snowboards, and snowshoes. As the snow falls, breweries are getting ready to launch their big, rich winter ales, perfect for the cold days ahead. You’ll see lots of stouts, porters and other delicious winter beers out of the South Okanagan this year. Cannery Brewing’s Maple Stout is back for the winter. It has a new look and a new name: Heist Maple Stout, a nod to the great Maple Syrup Heist in Quebec, back in 2012. The Kindling Breakfast Stout, made with Red Beard Coffee from Kamloops, chocolate, and oats will also be back in time for Christmas. Tin Whistle Brewing recently launched a new hazelnut espresso stout called Extortionist. They are also bringing back their Chocolate Cherry Porter in early December. This winter favourite is a delicious dark ale made with fresh cherries and cacao. Bad Tattoo Brewing recently released the fourth vintage of Cerveza Fuerte, a limited-release Belgian quad. At the same time, they also released Día de los Muertos Resurrección, a brandy barrel–aged version of the third vintage of Cerveza Fuerte. Head brewer Robert Theroux and his wife recently released a new Porter. Born on November 4, this one goes by the full name of Porter Young Theroux. Porter will surely be best friends with owner Lee Agur’s baby girl Kiana, who was born on September 12. The Barley Mill Nitemare Brown Ale, with flavours of chocolate and caramel malt, has a roasty finish, perfect for the season. Meanwhile, down in Oliver, Firehall Brewery is bringing back their popular Stop, Hop & Roll Oatmeal IPA this winter. They are also releasing a new vintage of their website with up-to-date info on holiday events and new Beer Department swag available for online Christmas shopping. And speaking of Christmas shopping, if you’re looking for beer or beer swag for the craft beer lover on your shopping list, maybe a trip to the South Okanagan is in order. Our local breweries have lots of sweet new beer swag, growlers, and Christmas gift packs. You can visit the breweries and go shopping at the same time. It’s a win/win. 42
>> KIM lawton In all seriousness, if you are thinking of a winter Okanagan getaway, the Penticton Ramada’s special Penticton Ale Trail accommodation package is available until the end of the year. The Penticton Ale Trail package includes two nights at the Penticton Ramada for two adults, two bottles of Bad Tattoo beer in your room, and a $40 gift certificate that can be used at either Bad Tattoo Brewing or the Kettle Valley Station Pub. With five craft breweries within a few minutes of each other, you can easily visit all of the breweries on the Penticton Ale Trail. You can also head north to visit Detonate Brewing in Summerland and south to visit Firehall Brewing in Oliver. If you like craft beer and hitting the slopes, come join us for Brewski, a craft beer, spirits, and cider festival, coming up at Apex on February 17. It’s hard to believe, but this year marks the fifth annual celebration. This event, held at The Gunbarrel Saloon at Apex Mountain Resort, has become a signature event at the hill. Last year it sold out in record time, so watch for tickets to go on sale via Eventbrite in December. Your Brewski ticket also gives you a discount on lift passes, so plan to spend the weekend on the hill. Hit the slopes during the day and then celebrate the Apex après-ski vibe at night. Ask about Brewski accommodation rates when you book your weekend stay. Another great reason to plan a trip to the Okanagan is for the 23rd annual Okanagan Fest of Ale coming up on April 13 and 14 in Penticton. Early bird tickets are on sale now until January 15. Also check out the Sip & Stay ticket and accommodation getaway packages. Join us at the fest for great craft beer and cider, live entertainment, and delicious food. If you haven’t been to visit lately, come see for yourself why Expedia.ca recently named Penticton one of Canada’s best beer towns. We offer a fabulous four-season playground where you can play by day and sip craft beers by night! Until next time, cheers.
Kim Lawton is President of CAMRA South Okanagan and the Marketing Director at Cannery Brewing in Penticton. Kim can be reached via Twitter @DogLegMarketing.
winter is coming.
Coming DeCember 2017
wednesday thru sunday, 2pm until.
WINTER CREME ALE PREMIuM CRAFT PILsNER AMbER ALE RED IPA sMokED ChoCoLATE PoRTER ExTRA sPECIAL bITTER IsLAY sCoTCh ALE Because... liFeâ€™s a road trip
Coastal Currents >> Paddy Treavor
Festival goers mingling, chatting and laughing while sampling craft beer, cider and spirits made in BC
CAMRA Powell River Craft Beer Festival: A Look Back
ince I got involved with the Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC (CAMRA BC) about seven years ago, I have been proud to advocate for changes to BC liquor policies on behalf of BC craft beer consumers and, at times, the craft beer industry.
It was exciting to be invited to sit down with government officials during the consultation with stakeholders during the BC liquor policy review, and to help get Vancouver to change its by-laws to allow on-site lounges. But the thing I am most proud of is helping found the annual CAMRA Powell River Craft Beer Festival back in 2014. This year’s event, which took place November 4 in a deconsecrated church, was bigger and better than ever and, by all accounts, was a huge success. I was like a proud Papa wandering through the event, watching Pow Town locals and visitors alike mingle, chat and laugh while sampling some of the best craft beer, cider and spirits made in BC. My pride wasn’t from a sense of accomplishment for helping organize a great event; this year, I didn’t lift a finger other than to tip back a glass of beer during the festival. I stepped down as CAMRA Powell River branch president last year, and handed the event off to the new executive to do with it what they wanted. The new exec not only kept the event alive, they added a pop-up liquor store and raffles for great prizes and increased ticket sales to double that of the inaugural event. My pride was born from seeing the event had grown from an idea four and a half years ago to taking on a life of its own in town. My original idea was to raise the profile of craft beer in town, bring in beers to the market that were normally not available, and solidify Powell River on the craft beer tourism map. The CAMRA Powell River Craft Beer Festival has definitely played a role in helping create a great craft beer scene on the Sunshine Coast, and has become a big thing here in town. 44
People come from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island for the event every year now. Locals no longer wait until the last minute to buy their tickets, because the event sells out every year. Local hotels get a boost in business in a traditionally slow part of the year, and those guests spend money in the restaurants and pubs in town. Brewery representatives ask to be involved. Local businesses get involved and add to the event. Local charities and special interest groups benefit from CAMRA Powell River donating the profits back into the community. Local media take notice and highlight the event. The event has grown in size, stature, and popularity. Year One, 2014, saw me calling up old friends from the craft beer community and asking them to come be a part of something new here in Powell River. Many came as a favour to me, believing they had little chance of selling much in a small, isolated market where Townsite was just beginning to make waves and introduce craft beer to locals. Eight breweries, one cidery, one distillery, and one beer importer poured their products. We managed to sell out 150 tickets, and 40% of attendees were from out of town, people I had contacted via the CAMRA grapevine. Many locals who attended had never been to a beer festival and were amazed that you could drink green apple pie ale or double IPA. Two bars in town provided venues for after-parties and made it a full day of craft beer revelry. It was a success, but a small one. The festival made a little money, and CAMRA donated a few hundred dollars to local charities. But the seed was planted, and the event began to grow. CAMRA Powell River’s membership grew. Persephone Brewery folks, having liked the Powell River event so much, fashioned their own Sunshine Coast Craft Beer Festival after the event, inspired by their experience in Powell River. Brewery representatives who attended promised to be back, and many have been back every year since.
The craft beer boom began to drift up the Sunshine Coast, lured here by the success of Townsite & Persephone breweries. Many of the breweries who attended the first festival managed to get their products onto the shelves of local stores or poured from local taps in a few establishments that were willing to bring them in. In 2015, we sold 175 tickets and hosted 15 breweries, two cideries, and a distillery. Breweries in Courtenay/Comox came over, establishing a strong craft beer link between our communities. More locals bought tickets, although there was still a strong out-of-town contingent at the event. A local bar added an event the night before the festival and was slammed with people wanting to get a head start on the weekend. More beers made their way into the market in liquor stores and bars/restaurants. And again, CAMRA Powell River donated a few hundred dollars to local causes. It was a success, but a small one. The third year saw similar growth, with 200 tickets sold with little need for advertising. About 70% of the tickets went to locals. New breweries participated and the Ale Trail featured heavily: eight of the participating breweries were on the loop from Gibsons up through Powell River, over to Comox and down to Nanaimo. More local businesses wanted to be involved in the event and in drawing festivalgoers to their establishments. The festival grew from an oddity put on by a fringe group to a yearly expectation from a well-established organization. And, due to a combination of figuring out the best way to do things and thirsty attendees, CAMRA donated more than $2,500 to local charities. I didn’t think the event could get better, but this year, it was off the hook with 17 breweries, one cidery, and one distillery. There were three hundred tickets sold, an on-site pop-up liquor store, and the festival turned into a weekend-long celebration with parties the night before and after the event. And it looks like more than $3,000 will go to local charities this year, bringing CAMRA’s total donations to the community to over $6,000 in four years.
CAMRA Powell River will use proceeds from the festival and funds donated by Townsite Brewery to launch an industry education incentive program. This program will help fund the education of servers at participating craft-beer-friendly business wanting to earn Level 1 Cicerone certification (Certified Beer Server). Better-educated & informed servers will provide a better experience for craft beer consumers in town. And once again, the event drew beer tourists to town, raised the profile of CAMRA and craft beer among locals, and provided a great weekend during a traditionally dreary and quiet time of year in Powell River. It may not sound like much to folks from Vancouver and Victoria, who see festivals with thousands of people attending, but here in Powell River this is a big deal. Craft beer arrived in town five and a half years ago when Townsite rolled their first keg out the door and 4.5 years ago 99.9% of locals thought CAMRA had something to do with photography. It is very gratifying to have been part of helping grow the craft beer scene here, and even more gratifying to step back and let the next generation of craft beer lovers drive the train while I sit back and enjoy a cold one. The current CAMRA Powell River executive, who did an amazing job with this year’s event, are already thinking about next year. I for one can hardly wait, and even though I will be two years removed from the organizational aspect of the event, I expect once again to be a proud Papa.
Paddy Treavor has been President of two different CAMRA BC branches. Self-described hophead, craft-beer advocate and wannabe reporter on the politics of the Vancouver/BC craft beer scene. Read more from Paddy on VanEast Beer Blog.
fErNiE dOeS wInTeR.
Out and about: IN THE MARITIMES
y trip started in Halifax, NS and ended in Fredericton, NB, where I have some roots. It had been my plan to do this trip for decades.
The scene is thriving in both provinces, but you can only buy beer retail at government stores and brewery tasting and tap rooms. Both provinces showcase craft breweries’ products in government liquor outlets, and we spoke to many store staff about craft beer when shopping for the road-trip cooler. Enthusiasm is high, options range widely, and everyone has a new place to recommend or a story about a new brewery or a new beer. Lobster was on the menu at many pubs and restaurants, and you can buy it in retail lobster stores in both provinces. My research on this trip shows that fresh-from-the-sea lobster pairs well with a wide variety of craft beer styles. Many thanks to all folks at all the places visited on this trip, including Breton Brewing, Sydney, NS; Governors Pub, Sydney, NS (including
POWELL RIVER’S FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD BREWERY
>> Scottie McLellan
their outside all craft beer garden in the later part of the afternoons); The Sea Gull Restaurant (Cabot Trail), Cape Breton, NS (lobster); Keltic Lodge (Cabot Trail), Cape Breton, NS; Saint John Ale House, Saint John, NB; Picaroons Brew Pub, Saint John, NB; Big Tide Brewery, Saint John, NB; Grimross Brewing, Fredericton, NB; Graystone Brewing, Fredericton, NB; King Street Ale House, Fredericton, NB; Holy Whale Brewery, Alma, NB (in an old church); Collins Lobster Shop, Alma, NB; Big Axe Brewery, Nackawic, NB; Evandale Resort (last of riverboat hotels), Evandale, NB. There were grand beers and moments throughout, and of course the travel cooler I carry on all sojourns. Stopping for a picnic of local breads, cheeses, fresh grown fruit and craft beers has been a mainstay of my beer travelling since the start. Thanks to all who talked with us and shared their story in the continuing and expanding story that is Canada’s beer movement. Read more of Scottie's latest adventures in his full column at www.whatsbrewing.ca.
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Published on Dec 1, 2017
Volume 27 Issue 4 is our Winter issue. Its 48 pages contain 15 stories and features, including a 'Year In Review' 2017 retrospective, featur...