What's Brewing Spring 2018

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CAMRA BC • sour beers • Stanley Park Brewing • OKANAGAN PIONEERS • Stephen Beaumont • Thailand • Sea to Sky • CIDER HISTORY • Recipe Design






BROTHERHOOD Brewing for the love of the craft




Some of the Doan's crew lines up for our cover story shoot (see p. 20). We may call them a 'brotherhood'on our cover, but 'sisters' (not pictured) work there too. Photo: Brian K. Smith

























What's Brewing Produced by Line49 Design Group Inc. 300-1275 West 6th Avenue Vancouver BC V6H 1A6 info@whatsbrewing.ca www.whatsbrewing.ca Social: @whatsbrewingbc Editorial Group Editor & Publisher: Dave Smith Co-Editor: Paul Morris Copy Editors: Wendy Barron, Ivana Smith Contact: editor@whatsbrewing.ca Hopline & Newsroom Associate Editor, Hopline: Mallory O'Neil Contact: hopline@whatsbrewing.ca Associate Editor, Newsroom: Navin Autar Contact: newsroom@whatsbrewing.ca Contributors: Warren Boyer, Adam Chatburn, Ted Child, Lundy Dale, Monica Frost, Kim Lawton, Adam Leavitt, Chelsea McDowell, Lynn McIlwee, Stewart 'Scottie' McLellan, J. Random, J. Thunderfoot, John Rowling, Brian K. Smith, Paddy Treavor, Joe Wiebe, Malcolm Yates Chief Photographer: Brian K. Smith Illustrator: Emile Compion @montevarious


Social Media: Tim "10K" LaHay





Distribution & Events: Paul Morris, Jack Enwright, Alan Schroeder





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MAY 10-12, 2018


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Planning a Planning a Bachelorette or Bachelorette or Bachelor Party? Bachelor Party? Choose a Brewery Tour! Choose a Brewery Tour!


Spring: a time for renewal The theme for this Spring issue is 'Renewal & Revitalization'. In that regard: we try to improve what we're doing each year, and 2018 is no different. As this is written, we're close to rolling out a new website, with a revamped home page containing more of our departments at a glance. Both the new website and this magazine are also sporting some upgrades in the areas of layout and style, especially typography. After a couple of years with basically the same style, it was time for a bit of a refresh. Also being tweaked is our weekly email newsmagazine, the Hopline. Readers will notice that we've been featuring something new there, called Story Of The Week. It's a convenient way to share out some of the insider reporting our team generates from time to time. Recent examples included in-depth coverage of the Tap & Barrel buyout of Steel Toad, an adventure for Forbidden Brewing, and ruffled feathers in Stanley Park (see Adam's story on p. 12). If you don't already get the Hopline, see below to subscribe.


vancouverbrewerytours.com vancouverbrewerytours.com

The pre-Summer beer festival season kicked off in February thanks to a few significant events, but it really shifts into gear in March thanks to calendar stalwarts like these:

Victoria Beer Week: March 2-10 Nine days of craft beer tasting, learning and fun! Check out the schedule of events: victoriabeerweek.com/schedule Also read our coverage for an insider look at VBW: whatsbrewing.ca/2017/12/victoria-beer-week-experience

Okanagan Fest of Ale: April 13-14 Penticton has been a craft beer town longer than most places in BC. And their annual beerfest is the second-longest running in the province. www.festofale.ca

Discover more and book online at: Discover more and book online at: vancouverbrewerytours.com


We break down some beer trip preparation tips here: whatsbrewing.ca/2017/03/insider-tips-okanagan-fest

Great Okanagan Beer Festival: May 10-12 GOBF is Kelowna's primary annual festival: www.gobf.ca Prepare for a beer trip to the North Okanagan in May: whatsbrewing.ca/2017/05/insider-tips-okanagan-fest-2


COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS An Easter basket of cheers to these businesses that are putting a hop in our step, and helping What's Brewing deliver the BC craft beer news in 2018!

Beer Wars is back on April 8th! Get the scoop from Monica Frost at whatsbrewing.ca/2018/02/beer-wars. Photo: Guy Roland

Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival: May 19 This festival debuted last year to great reviews. Located outside the palisades of the Fort Langley National Historic site, it's a fantastic day in the sunshine with great beer and food. www.fortlangley.beer

Vancouver Craft Beer Week: May 25-June 3 Beer Week comprises many beer events held around YVR. Watch this space for the 2018 schedule: vancouvercraftbeerweek.com In addition, VCBW throws Western Canada's largest beer celebration at the end of each annual Week. New for 2018: grab a Weekend Pass for both Saturday and Sunday. You'll need it, because the beer lineup is massive. ticketleader.ca/events/vcbw2018.html For the latest in Craft Beer News, Events & Opinion, follow or subscribe to the Hopline e-news. New issue every Thurs! @whatsbrewingbc | #hopline | www.hopline.ca STAKE YOUR CLAIM™ TO THE QUESNEL CRAFT BREWERY WHOSE AWARD WINNING BEERS TELL THE STORY OF BC'S HISTORIC CARIBOO GOLD RUSH • • • •

Licensed Lounge & Tasting Room Locally-Sourced Food & Snacks Kids & Pets Are Always Welcome Get Your Growlers Filled Today

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We Live Great Beer In a world filled with mass-produced stuff, being connected with the things we consume brings us joy. Distinct, local, and our commitment to never cut corners on quality, character or style.

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Paddy Treavor speaking to those gathered at CAMRA BC's 2017 AGM, held at Yellow Dog Brewing



>> PADDYTREAVOR hen I took over as president of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC (CAMRA BC) last year, I made some bold comments.

I was critical of the fact that CAMRA BC had been stagnant for years and had all but abandoned their mandate of advocating on behalf of the craft beer and cider consumers of BC. In fact, I said I thought CAMRA BC had become irrelevant and all but forgotten by those who are in control of creating and enforcing BC liquor policy. My hope was to bring CAMRA BC back into the political realm and my main goal was to re-establish the society as a prominent consumer advocacy group and make our voices heard by the politicians and policy makers of BC. I am sure many members feel that I have failed miserably on that front, as CAMRA BC has done no public campaigning and the executive has kept a low public profile.

Although it appears that another year has gone by with CAMRA BC doing absolutely nothing, we have been quite busy and involved in meetings and consultations at the highest level in our province. We have been more involved and engaged than in 2013, when I was part of CAMRA BC’s delegation presenting our input to John Yap, then parliamentary secretary, during the Liberal government’s BC liquor policy review. S P R I N G 2018 WHAT'S BREWING 11

The Liberals’ 2013 review was well publicised, but more about the show than the actual consultation, since many decisions had been made before the process began. The current NDP government is conducting a second liquor policy review with a very different approach. This government is quietly meeting with BC liquor industry stakeholders and seems serious about making more meaningful changes based on priorities identified by those being consulted. In January, CAMRA BC Secretary Glen Stusek and I met with Attorney General David Eby and the general manager of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB), Michelle Carr, at the AG’s office in Victoria. I have been at this for years and this is the first time I have managed a face-to-face meeting with a politician of the status of the Attorney General. In the past, responses from the ministers in charge of the liquor portfolio came by e-mail, weeks or months after I wrote to them, and were almost always condescending, dismissive, and sometimes unrelated to my purpose in writing. This time, I had an invitation to speak with the Attorney General within two days of writing to him. It is also the first time I have been able to have a meaningful and direct interaction with the head of the LCLB. My experience has been that bureaucrats at that level hide behind their staff and rarely, if ever, respond directly to issues brought forward by groups like CAMRA BC. continued on page 44





n 2015, Labatt, a subsidiary of AB InBev, acquired the Turning Point Brewery from the Mark Anthony Group (MAG) and became the latest owner of the Stanley Park Brewing (SPB) name. Shortly afterward, in 2016, they acquired the Fish House restaurant in Stanley Park and announced plans to turn it into a brewpub. The history of the name and brewery—going back well over a century—is one of the most interesting stories in BC brewing, but not necessarily for the right reasons. Most of us are aware that the beers currently labelled Stanley Park Brewing are not made in Stanley Park. Strictly speaking, beer has never been made “in Stanley Park”. The original Stanley Park Brewery (an early photo of it appeared on some recent SPB labels) was located at the Coal Harbour end of Robson Street, where it meets Lagoon Drive, near where the tennis courts are now.

Before it was a brewery, it was a large family home built by G.G. Mackay, “the Laird of Capilano,” a colourful entrepreneur who bought tracts of land around BC and has his own fascinating history. The land cost a princely $1,000 in 1888, and was not considered part of Stanley Park, which had opened a few weeks before. In 1893, G.G. died and the house passed to his son and heir, Harry, who tragically died in 1896 at the age of 25. Here, the strange figure of Francis Foubert enters the picture. The legend says that “In 1897, Belgian pioneer brewmaster Frank Foubert established Stanley Park Brewery on the south shore of Lost Lagoon next to the entrance arch in Stanley Park.” This is only partly true. Francis was not Belgian—he was born in Ontario of French descent—and he never brewed a beer in his life. He was a hotelier by trade when he purchased the house for $2,000 and began converting it into a brewery. Foubert hired British brewer John Dyke as the first brewmaster, a bold choice. Lagers were the prevailing taste at the time, thanks to local beer barons from Germany, but Dyke launched a short series of porters and English ales. These flavours found some fans but were only modestly successful despite Foubert’s hyperbolic claims that his brand was fully the equal to Bass or Guinness. In the early twentieth century, the brewery was leased to Hose & Allen, local liquor merchants. Dyke continued as brewmaster, though the relationship seems to have been disharmonious. In


1903, Hose sued Dyke for $210, perhaps because Dyke was a shareholder in the newly formed “Stanley Park Brewery Limited” that attempted to purchase the business. Dyke fought back and won. He kept his job but the lease to Hose & Allen ended. The ailing Foubert refused to sell, and instead leased to someone else, again allowing Dyke to keep his job as brewmaster. The new lease-holders had been running the Cedar Cottage brewery, but now moved operations to The Stanley Park facility. During this changeover, Foubert died and ownership passed to his widow, Charlotte. Mrs. Foubert retained an income from the lease until 1908 when Jacob “Jake” Grauer “assisted” in the sale of the land and business to the City of Vancouver. He bought the land from her for $16,000 and sold it 24 hours later to the city for $23,000, an early example of Vancouver shadow property flipping. Production was slowed after the sale, and by 1909 the brewery ceased operations. Shortly after that, the building was demolished and the land left fallow. With the land’s proximity to the park and because it was being managed by the city, people began to assume it was part of the park, but that wasn’t the case until October 1985, when the mayor and council passed a motion to “consolidate the city-owned lands on both sides of Robson Street, northwesterly of Lagoon Drive… to create a park site.” And with this small and unremarkable decision, the land was finally made a part of Stanley Park and “care and custody” was passed to the Parks Board. The “Stanley Park Brewing” name passed into history and was forgotten until MAG’s Turning Point resurrected it when they launched their “1897 Amber Ale” in 2009. The story now shifts southwest to another historic edifice, this one truly within the boundaries of Stanley Park. This building opened in 1930 as the Sports Pavilion, a clubhouse used mostly by golfers and tennis players. It reopened in 1949 as the Third Beach Tea House, was reborn as The Beach House in 1974, and became The Fish House in Stanley Park in 1991. In 2006, the Silver Birch hotel and resort group took up the lease from the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. While the restaurant was successful and operated continuously, the group announced in May 2015 that they were planning to focus on their core business of hotels and would not be renewing the lease. Since then, the unoccupied building has begun to deteriorate. The city put out a request for proposals but was unable to come to a lease agreement with a new tenant.

continued on page 44




>> J. RANDOM hen is a beer unacceptable? When do you send it back?

A few years back, I smelled a diacetyl bomb as I raised a glass of stout at an establishment that became known for bad beer before it closed for other reasons. At the time, I suspected that my server would not know what I was talking about if I complained, and that management would not care. So I struggled through most of the beer, and then got annoyed with myself for not complaining. I transferred my anger to the server and management for being unreceptive to the complaint I had never uttered. While writing about the experience, I realized I was being unreasonable and couldn’t be objective, so I put the article on the back burner. Here we are, a few years later, and I have sent back a few unacceptable beers at various places and not been thrown out. I think we all make allowances when a craft beer is less than perfect. We know craft beer is more variable than the mass-produced product; that’s part of its charm. We understand that smaller breweries do not have the buying power to get the same specialty grains or hops year after year. We enjoy figuring out what has changed. We know small breweries don’t have the huge teams dedicated to consistency control that mega-breweries have (I was going to say quality control but that just stuck in the keyboard). Anyone who has ever talked to a craft brewer has some idea of the constraints they work under. We also realize it’s tricky for bars and restaurants to keep lines clean when serving beer that has not been filtered to within an inch of its life. Cask-conditioned beer is even more difficult to get right than keg beer; that’s why keg beer was invented. If you don’t like what you are drinking, at least there is typically something else decent available. One effect of the craft beer revolution is that most bars stock more than one or two beers worth drinking these days. Some people do not like a beer with a lot of character, so establishments have to provide alternatives. In times gone S P R I N G 2018 WHAT'S BREWING 15

by, if you did not like the house beer or its light alternative, you were generally out of luck, unless they had Guinness. Mass-produced beers were designed to be so inoffensive that anybody could tolerate them. However, it also meant that a lot of people did not like beer, because they had never encountered a beer that suited their palate. Thankfully, that has changed. Some people are fussy about cloudy beer and this often occurs with casks given inadequate time to settle. Although I know it is not “supposed to look like that” as I have been told in several American pubs, I don’t mind a little extra nutrition, provided it does not affect the flavour. The current trend with casks these days is to experiment with ever more crazy additives. But there is usually clear notification of what is in the cask, either on a label or on a noticeboard. If you order a pint of cheese/tomato/basil/green pepper and onion kölsch, then complain it tastes of pizza, you have only yourself to blame! A good server will ask if you have previously tried that radical style you just asked for and give you a taster of a beer they suspect you may not like.

Julie presents a pre-emptive beer sample

Some people are fussy about under-carbonation. Being of British extraction, I tend to be more concerned about over-carbonation. For the same reason, I am more concerned about a beer being too cold than not cold enough (no, I do not like my beer warm!). However, a frigid gassy beer becomes drinkable with patience, of which I have limited supply.

again. That is a pity if the diacetyl was a result of rushing a particular batch, or of dirty lines. Another batch, or in a place that cleans lines regularly, the customer may have loved that beer; that is an unfortunate consequence for that brewer and the entire craft beer industry if it happens too frequently. Diacetyl from contamination comes with a lot of other unpleasant off flavours. With modern keg-washing machinery, keg contamination is very rare, but one-off casks, particularly those with unsterile additives, are at greater risk of contamination.

While I make allowances for inconsistency in flavour, I do object to off flavours. Most people can recognize when a beer is vinegary, but it is not those truly obvious problems that I am talking about. For example, I have written about diacetyl in the past (What’s Brewing March 2008). It is similar to malty flavours, and small amounts provide character to certain beers, particularly Scottish ales. The ability to taste and smell diacetyl varies widely among the population. Many brewers have become desensitized. Consequently, it may not be an obvious off flavor in a beer you have not tried before. People sensitive to diacetyl tend to have one pint, then just figure they don’t like that particular beer and not order it

I wondered what effect one rejection of a glass of beer has on the establishment. So, I asked my favourite server: Julie, of The Whip Gallery and Restaurant, is the consummate British barmaid from Wolverhampton, where they don’t take any nonsense. “Not much,” she says. “It depends whether it’s a regular or known beer geek, or a new face. If it is somebody I know, I will taste the beer myself. If it is clearly off I will pull that beer off and switch the keg. If I am not sure and it is a beer we regularly have on tap, I may ask my regulars if it is OK.” The usual response to a person who is not known is to simply replace that one beer with another of the customer’s choice and take no further action. What if several continued on page 45





s spring peeks over the mountains in the Okanagan, there is a sense of revitalization and renewal in the air. At this time, our thoughts turn to welcoming craft beer lovers to Penticton for the 23rd Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale coming up on April 13th and 14th. This year, 65 amazing craft breweries will be onsite with a selection of over 175 craft beers, ciders and cask ales. Included in the mix are 60 craft breweries from BC and beyond, plus 5 cideries. Ten of the participants are new this year, so there are plen-

Okanagan Beer Week events. Joe Wiebe will be teaching a craft beer seminar at Bad Tattoo Brewing on April 12th. The popular Murderer’s Row Cask Fest will be at the Kettle Valley Station Pub at the Penticton Ramada on April 14th. There will be other cask events, beer-paired dinners and more. It’s a fun time for us in the craft beer industry as we all work together to welcome craft beer lovers, beer writers and bloggers, beer judges and fellow breweries to Penticton and the gorgeous South Okanagan for this wonderful time of year and this well-loved festival. Definitely leave time in your schedule to visit our local breweries. There are lots of new and exciting things happening in our craft beer scene. West Kelowna just opened their first craft brewery, Kind Brewing. It’s a great space, right on the

for their 2 newest beers, Dirt Road Double IPA (available in 650ml bottles, 473ml cans and on tap) and Motor Oil Coffee Stout (available in 650ml bottles and on tap). Highway 97 Okanagan Summerweiss, made with fresh Okanagan raspberries and lemon, will be back by popular demand. This unfiltered wheat beer was super popular last summer. Enjoy a pint on their patio or sit at the tasting rail and enjoy a pint while you check out the brewing action right in front of you. Penticton’s Tin Whistle is getting ready for spring with the launch of their yet-to-benamed White IPA. This will be available in 650ml bottles and on tap. Look for it at the brewery, private liquor stores, and some government liquor stores in early March. Oliver’s Firehall Brewery recently finished some interior design renovations in their

The CAMRA South Okanagan crew checks out Kind Brewing ty of reasons to come back this and every year. There are also lots of great food vendors, an onsite store, fabulous entertainment, and a fun photo booth.

highway, so plan to stop in for a visit and try a flight of their beers. Summerland’s Detonate Brewing recently celebrated their 1-year anniversary.

If you’re from out of town, visit the Fest of Ale website (festofale.ca) for great deals on sip and stay getaways starting at $135. Come early and stay late to enjoy other

As Penticton’s newest brewery, also celebrating its first year anniversary, Highway 97 now has 10 beers in their line-up. Watch


Beer Shop & Social space. Check out the fresh, new feel on St. Paddy’s Day, as Great White North performs live. Enjoy listening to their multi-talented Brewmaster’s band as you enjoy a pint of their Irish Cream Stout cask. Also, watch for their Table Beer Series and their Small-Batch Barley Wine, which spent a year aging in local continued on page 19

Pioneers In Okanagan Craft Brewing

Patt Dyck


WOMEN IN BEER | profiles

Lorraine Nagy


enticton’s Tin Whistle and Cannery Brewing are the longest-standing Okanagan craft breweries. Tin Whistle opened in 1995, then Cannery followed in 2001. Both breweries moved to bigger locations in 2015: Cannery started fresh in a new location closer to the downtown core, and Tin Whistle took over the old Cannery premises (making their previous location available for newcomer Highway 97 Brewing). I have met with Patt Dyck, Co-Owner of Cannery Brewing, on several occasions, including at the 2012 Women and Beer dinner (held annually on International Women’s Day, March 8th). Last year at the Penticton Fest of Ale, I finally got to meet Lorraine Nagy, owner of Tin Whistle since 1998. I am proud to introduce readers to these two great female pioneers of the industry in the Okanagan.

1) What brought you to the industry? PD: A love of great food and drink. LN: My family has always been in the service industry. We used to own a hotel and we had been considering installing a microbrewery. When the family opted to sell the hotel, I wanted to continue that dream, so when the opportunity to own a microbrewery presented itself, I couldn’t help but go all in.

2) Why did you choose to be a brewery owner? PD: Choice driven by like-minded people and opportunity. LN: When I was first considering buying a business, I had a number of options but the social aspects of a brewery just called to me.

3) What were you doing before you got into the beer industry? PD: My husband and I owned and operated a restaurant in Naramata, BC. LN: I had been involved in many businesses. All my life I have been involved in many facets of the hospitality industry: hotel,

restaurant, motel, beer & wine store.

4) How did you discover your passion for beer? PD: By drinking it! But also, by falling in love with the process. LN: The people in the beer scene are friendly and, especially in the early years, we all helped each other. We still have a good relationship with many people in the industry

5) What kind of training do you have? PD: I have a science-based bachelor’s degree and I have taken some business courses. I am not a brewer but I am certainly involved in the brewing process. LN: I haven’t any brewing training. I have worked with brewers who have had their own breweries and brewpubs. I have BHE, RD in food, and a bookkeeping diploma.

6) What kind of owner are you? PD: Definitely hands-on. Like most small business owners, I wear many, many hats. LN: I act in a more administrative role; but I aim to inspire my team to excel in every way possible.

7) Are there advantages/disadvantages in being a female owner in the industry? PD: Women tend to be more detail-oriented and in this industry that can be an advantage. Women can also be great multi-taskers and that is an advantage to any small business owner. LN: I have often wished that I were as physically strong as a man for all the aspects of brewery work where that is a plus.

8) What do you love about your job and the industry? continued on page 19

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PIONEERS continued

PD: I love our staff and our customers. I love the brewing community and the way that breweries and brewers work together. I love that my job continually demands more of me and that I get to drink great beer. I love all the relationships that we have with all the folks that work with us to make all this happen. It is always about the relationships. LN: I love how everyone is happy in this industry and there are so many new options and styles of beer to try out. The creativity is enormously inspiring.

9) How has the industry changed since you came on board? PD: This industry has changed so much in the last 17 years! In those days, we were craft beer missionaries, converting people one beer drinker at a time. More players have everyone making better beers, which is so exciting. LN: When I started in this industry it was such a niche group. There were approximately 15 breweries in BC. In the years I’ve been here, I’ve seen how much it’s grown (over 150 breweries now). Microbreweries are very popular and an exciting industry to be associated with.

10) What is your favourite beer of your brewery and why? PD: At the moment, my favourite is probably the Muse Extra Pale Ale. I love its balance of malt and fruity hop brightness. I also loved the Hop Chowdah, New England style IPA that we made last year. LN: I’m a big fan of our Coconut Hopfenweisse- our summer time release. It’s so fresh and tropical and it makes me imagine spending my day at the beach.

WEST KELOWNA continued

red wine barrels. Their slick new website www.firehallbrewery. com features upcoming events, merch, and seasonal beer releases. Mark the date for the 2nd Annual Penticton Beer Run coming up on June 2nd. Walk, run or crawl starting at Square One Hop Growers, along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, with multiple beer stops along the way, ending up at the finish line party in the Kettle Valley Station Pub. Registration for this fun run is now open. By the way, we’re bringing Penticton to Vancouver on March 8th for a Penticton Ale Trail tap takeover event at St. Augustine’s. Each brewery will have 5 taps, so there will be a total of 25 of Penticton’s finest beers on tap. Come join us and enjoy a flight or a pint, enter to win some great prizes, and meet the brewery teams. Cannery Brewing’s road trip continues with a ferry ride to Victoria Beer Week. Cannery Brewing will be participating in a variety of events, including a tap takeover at The Guild on March 10th. This will feature 8 beers including core, limited and special beers, some of which have never before been poured in Victoria, including Cannery Brewing’s first ever Kettle Sour! Whether you’re a regular in the Okanagan or you’ve yet to discover our hidden gem of a craft beer region, we’d love to show you why Expedia.ca recently named Penticton as one of Canada’s best beer towns. Kim Lawton is a craft beer fan, a long-time supporter of the craft beer movement, President of CAMRA South Okanagan and the Marketing Director at Cannery Brewing in Penticton. Kim can be reached via Twitter @DogLegMarketing

11) What is your favourite beer outside of your brewery and why? PD: I don’t think that I could choose just one! LN: I would have to say Mt. Begbie’s Attila the Hun; it’s got a wonderful honey taste to it. Quite enjoyable.

12) Any advice for fellow women in the industry or wanting to get into the industry? PD: Roll up your sleeves, find those rubber boots and dive in! Challenge your palate, be prepared to live outside of your comfort zone, and enjoy the ride. LN: I would say to prepare yourself for long but enjoyable hours.

13) Proudest acheivement to date? PD: The amazing, amazing, amazing team that we have here at Cannery Brewing. LN: When our Stag Apple Scotch ale became an award-winning ale. I was so excited when we won the bronze in the Canadian Brewing Awards. It was a very exciting day for everyone at our brewery. Lundy Dale Among her other contributions to the BC beer scene, Lundy 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.



Liam, Kevin, Michael, Evan and Jon in the Doan's Brewing taproom



rom the time they were young, Mike and Evan Doan had a strong bond. "He's like my best friend in the world", Evan said right off the bat, almost causing those present to tear up before our interview could get started. "We've always been able to relate to each other well." Part of that has to be down to their complementary personalities. Younger Evan is the artistic, free-spirited type, balancing the intellectual demeanor of his brother, Michael "Spreadsheet" Doan. "We have two completely different skillsets, and they're almost opposite, so they work together", says Mike, who runs the numbers and handles the business end of things for the brewery. "Evan has 20 WHAT'S BREWING S P R I N G 2018

Images: Brian K. Smith

the artisanal, creative side. If things worked out differently and I was the [lead] brewer, I would be brewing very scientifically guaranteed, regimented..." Evan interrupts: "We would have failed. Day Two." But he points out that if he had to do Mike's job, he would have burnt out immediately. Which might not have been the only danger. The farcical idea of Evan handling the brewery's finances immediately gave Mike visions of his brother blowing their (imaginary) brewhouse expansion savings on a new Lamborghini. As youths, the brothers had no way of knowing they would open


a brewery one day. But as Mike tells it, "We always had the same interests. We always hung out. Like mountain biking was a huge thing. We bought pretty much the same mountain bikes. We'd pop on...and just be out together 'til 10 PM every night, like four or five days a week." Evan says: "When you're biking, you have this 'I'll do it if you do it' kind of thing. You'll be standing on a 50-foot cliff you're about to ride down. That bonded us. But it also gave us an opportunity to talk. You're not always biking; you'll be sitting on the top of a hill, chatting." By the time they entered their 20s, the boys had an idea that they eventually wanted to go into business together in some form or other. Mike says that no big ideas came to them back then, so it was an open question as to what that business might be. But their bond was calling for something. As Evan says, working with friends is just not the same as family. "There's a lot of barriers you can't really cross", citing the level of transparency and honesty available to brothers. "With family, all those social components are immediately eliminated. You can tell each other, f*** you. Or, 'we have this much money, we have to make it work.'"

THE WHOLE TRUTH By the mid-2000s, they were both employed at the Whole Foods Market near Broadway & Cambie in Vancouver. "When you work in retail, and you're facing [aligning products on] shelves two hours a day at the end of your shift" says Mike, "it's a major motivation to think about what you want to be doing with your life." One of the notions that more and more frequently occupied those young adult minds was that they both enjoyed beer. " We were hanging out away from work, homebrewing and drinking good beer." It wasn't their goal to learn about business or boutique food manufacturing from Whole Foods, but to a certain extent, that's what happened. "There were a bunch of advantages from working at Whole Foods", Mike relates. "For me, in management: learning to manage [a business], invoice and all that stuff." And Mike notes it wasn't just him. "For Evan, working in the Specialty Cheese department, there was learning about local artisans; handcrafting, fermentation and natural foods. There was a lot of inspiration coming from all those facets." The boys both describe their parents as "borderline hippies" who raised them to take an interest in healthy foods. In fact, by this time, Evan had been a vegetarian for many years. But Whole Foods further elevated their existing awareness of food sources. They would, in fact, at some point, consider brewing organically. As it turned out, they discovered that they could brew some nonGMO products by using certain imported German malts. That realization can be attributed to their older brother Jon's influence on their beer development, something not to be underestimated. At this point in our conversation, Evan realized that his time working in food retail was good exposure to another important business planning aspect. "Big time. I never even thought about it, but: branding." Mike: "We would stand and look down the Whole Foods aisles, and notice things like colour blocking. Or: how does this brand of juice stand out from the 700 other brands on the shelves." Evan: "Or: why does this brand make so much more money and is so much more money than this brand, which is a superior product at a lesser price?"

They noticed that products with the best branding could beat other products that were cheaper and better. They realized the importance of details like typography and artwork. This would eventually lead their fledgling beer company to engage a local Vancouver artist to create the signature, award-winning artwork which has become associated with Doan's.

THE PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT The boys' first motivation for learning to homebrew was to get beer into their mouths for the least cost. Evan had learned something about beer while studying Archeology at the University of Calgary, thanks to a prof who would bring back "real beer" from around the world. He also learned about the local good stuff. In that time and place, that meant Wild Rose Brewing (founded by Mike Tymchuk, who now presides over the brew kettle at BC's very own Cumberland Brewing Company). During Christmas break, Evan filled Mike's ear about the wonders of these flavourful brews. Mike's gateway came through imports. While studying at Queen's University in Ontario, he liked to be seen drinking the 'premium' brands like Stella Artois. Or, when drinking on the cheap with bandmates, the go-to was Danish import Faxe. By around 2003, midway through his time in college, he got into local Ontario stalwart Creemore Springs, which still had some heft to it in those pre-Molson days. Back here in BC, naturally the local brews followed: Granville Island, then Howe Sound (Mike loved the giant bottles). In those days, the Vancouver beer scene was not yet fully formed. Evan's first understanding of BC craft came from the more established Victoria breweries like Phillips, and later, Driftwood and Hoyne. Then followed a series of "blips" where the boys stumbled across some palate-changing beers. "Green Flash Imperial IPA. Kaboom!", Evan recalls. A turning point for them came when Legacy Liquor Store opened. Soon they were hooked on premium beer shopping. "I remember Midas Touch by Dogfish Head. You could pick it up for $22 for a four-pack", Mike relates. Evan, who, according to Mike, has long had the better cellar, remembers once spending his entire $160 Whole Foods gain-sharing bonus on beer at Legacy. Of course, in their hands, the beer wasn't just entertainment, it was an education, especially for Evan's palate. He says that now, as an experienced brewer, "I can taste a whole series of grains, and know how to make a beer before actually brewing it." They both laugh about the fact that they got into homebrewing to make 20L of beer for $35, but later, a $40 bottle became completely justifiable. By that time it was clear that it was no longer "just beer" to them.

THE ARDUOUS QUEST Even though the boys were getting serious about homebrewing during their time at Whole Foods, it still wasn't ordained that their dream business would be a brewery. Mike was quite into kombucha, and if things had been different, the Doans might have gone all-in on fermenting a whole other type of beverage. But as young beer fans living in Vancouver, they would have felt the first tremors of an impending craft beer explosion. Like many significant players in BC's current brewing scene, they became members of a brew club, in their case the Vancouver Homebrewers Association (you may know it as Vanbrewers). Now they were stove-top brewing regularly and learning their chops. But things got serious when they laid down the cash for a Brew Magic system. By 2010, S P R I N G 2018 WHAT'S BREWING 21


five years before they would open their own brewery, the Doan brothers began test batching with a purpose. The Brew Magic, which is basically a homebrew kit on steroids, was housed in a sublet 600 sq ft commercial space down below Marine Drive on SE Kent Rd. in Vancouver. The landlord was a woodworker who collected miniature motorbikes; the boys would try riding them while waiting on a boil. Evan relates that to this day, brewing is his favourite sensory experience. The aromas involved in mashing in, opening a fresh bag of hops; "It's beautiful", he insists. No issue about the love of the craft. By this point, "How can we make money doing this" was the driving question. But before that could happen, they would undertake an extended phase of dues-paying that any Mississippi bluesman would be proud of. It was all based around their work schedule at Whole Foods. "We would wake up at 5:30 in the morning, get to our test batch facility, spend 7-8 hours brewing a double batch, then go work an 8 or 9 hour afternoon/evening shift...on the opposite side of Vancouver", Evan relates. "Then the next day, potentially do it again." All this with no car, riding BC Transit's finest. Sometimes they'd bus to Dan's Homebrew Supply (where Evan worked for a while) north of Hastings, then all the way South to the brew spot. And if Mike forgot the yeast, he just had to bus all the way back home and get it. Turns out that the guys who would open North Van's Black Kettle Brewing a year before Doan's—Bryan Lockhart and Phil Vandenborre— also knew the same shop owner, and used their own Brew Magic at the facility during their testing phase as well. To the boys' knowledge, there were only three Brew Magic sets in the entire province (Graham With of Parallel 49 being the owner of the third), and two of them made their way, at some point or other, into this one random South Vancouver woodworking shack. Talk about practicing like a bluesman; this was "woodshedding" in the literal sense.

A KNIGHT APPEARS There is something else that came out of the boys' experience at Whole Foods which turned out to have a lasting effect on their dream. That something is a someone, named Kevin Sharpe. Significantly older than the two boys, Kevin is their mature sounding board. A former trucking company owner, he would turn out to possess the critical business and self-employment background the brothers would need in order to pursue their dream. But as it happens, before he could join Whole Foods and eventually meet his two young future partners, he had to go through one of them in order to get a job. "I interviewed Kev" says Mike Doan. "I was Assistant Manager in Grocery at the time, and Kev came in. He gave a great interview, one of the best interviews ever. He was customer service to a 'T'. Uncompromising. I was like, 'We've gotta hire this guy.'" Working in the grocery store alongside the brothers, Kevin noticed that these two engaging coworkers would constantly talk about beer. Kevin is a teetotaller, and, by rights, should have had no interest. However their enthusiasm struck a chord with him and he couldn't help but eavesdrop. Even though he didn't drink beer, he picked up on the creativity behind brewing, an aspect that appealed to him. Eventually, he asked questions about their plans. "I haven't had a drink since July '96", he shares. "Beer [the liquid] is not my forte. But I like the business aspect of it; making something and selling it, and the brainstorming." Oddly, he also liked the idea of coming along on the boys' visits to brew shops. 22 WHAT'S BREWING S P R I N G 2018

BosaGrape is a well-established Burnaby brew supply outlet that the boys frequented, and Kevin would learn about behind-thescenes aspects of brewing by being part of those shopping trips (it helped that he had a car). Despite not drinking alcohol, he enjoyed how beer made other people happy. Beer was something he could see himself getting involved in. Evan credits Kevin for providing focus to the group. "We were always dreaming and dreaming. Kevin would say, 'No, no, we can do this. Let's do this.'" Kevin came on board as a serious partner in brewery planning by 2012, and pushed the boys to undertake a series of fact-finding road trips, sending them to places like Portland and Victoria. "We went on a [beer-related] road trip to Seattle", Kevin notes. "That really helped bring us together." He says that seeing the small breweries in Seattle "gave us more passion, more drive to make this [business] a reality." Kevin helped start the search for a place to open a real brewery. "We couldn't find a place to lease to start the business", he says, and talks about the struggle to find a bank that would lend them money. Business Development Bank of Canada said 'No' right off the bat. It wasn't easy; as Kevin says, the key word was 'tenacity'. But now there were three of them working toward the dream.

LEAVING YEAST KENT Even with Kevin on board, the team needed the right opportunity to finally make things happen. Maybe the most critical challenge was location. "We almost took a place under the Oak Street Bridge", Kevin recalls. He and the boys were working with Colliers Real Estate on a couple of spots around there, plus both North Vancouver and South Van, but as he says, "I'm so glad; it was meant to be that those didn't work out." Instead, opportunity finally presented itself in an industrial district that was becoming known as Yeast Van. Mike: "Evan knew David [Bowkett, Owner of Powell Street Craft Brewery, as it was then branded] pretty well from the homebrewing scene and Vanbrewers. David was super admired by homebrewers because it was the OG journey: Homebrewing Guy Opens Small Brewery in East Van. That's the story that everyone was hoping to do at the time." David and PSCB's claim to fame was a shocking win at the nation's highest level for beer contests, the May 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards. When Old Jalopy Pale Ale took home Beer of the Year honours barely six months after Powell Street's modest facility opened, PSCB was catapulted onto a higher trajectory than the then-nanobrewery could have anticipated. Then misfortune struck. David injured himself, to the point that he temporarily needed help to keep brewing. In stepped Evan and Mike. "Ev and I came over, signed the [work injury disclaimer] agreements, and helped him brew two batches in two days”, Mike recalls. “That was the beginning of a really solid relationship with David and his wife Nicole." About the couple, Evan agrees: "They're like family." Kevin mentions, "I think it gave them an inside sight into what David was doing, because then we found out that David was going to leave" the tiny location, and ultimately move into bigger digs just up the road. "We were able to get in contact with the landlord and get our foot in the door, letting them know we were really interested." Fortunately, that landlord was receptive. When PSCB moved out, Doan's would become their new tenant.

Liam, a smiling Doan's staffer, serves up a pint


Mural: Ola Volo


Mike: "David was super helpful too. All along the timeline, he reviewed our business plan, our financial projections, and gave us advice: how many upgrades we'd have to do to the building...all of it." Kevin found an architect that maximized the building's modest square footage. One of the quirks of the Powell Street brewery's original design was that, when it opened in late 2012, there was no such thing as a "tasting room" in BC, at least not the way we know it today. Back then, "tasting" literally meant "evaluating a maximum 12 oz sample before you make a purchase." Thankfully, those handcuffs were off by the time Doan's came online, and the former quaint Powell Street tasting bar would be remodelled as a small modern beer lounge. The financial advantage this provided was massive; nanobreweries like Doan's now had a basic source of income right away, long before they could ramp up their sales of packaged beer. And the neighbourhood didn’t hurt. As Kevin says, "This is the perfect place; right here with all these other breweries. It was the right size... I was disappointed when those other [location opportunities] didn't work out, but it was worth waiting for this."

THE STORK ARRIVES As brother Jon mentions, when Evan and Mike helped David brew at Powell, some in the beer community noticed that the results turned out really well, which provided a confidence factor for the boys in terms of their commercial brewing chops. The sports analogy: they'd been called up briefly from the minors and showed potential. Now it was time for them to prove they could hold their own, full-time, in the big leagues. But just when they were getting close to dropping the puck on that long-awaited inaugural season opener, one of their star players found himself on the disabled list. Mike Doan had a serious accident in January 2015 from which he emerged with limited mobility for some time. Just like David Bowkett before him, the soon-to-be co-owner of the little Powell Street brewery that could, temporarily couldn't. It brought the team even closer together. Kevin says, "I'd go pick him up, and we'd still have meetings... Mike got hurt, which is terrible, but we were still able to get it together and move forward with it." The word tenacity was invoked again. Doan's Craft Brewing Company opened for business during May 2015, not long before Evan's 29th birthday. It's no small accomplishment to be the co-founder/owner of a respected brewery while still in your 20s. That's something all team members involved should be proud of.

ART OF A FOLK TALE The decor of that newly-opened tasting room would be dominated by a large mural, a singular piece of artwork which greets all visitors (see next page). Its creator would prove to be an important part of the Doan's story. Early on, with the marketing lessons learned at Whole Foods securely in mind, the boys had engaged a local Vancouver artist to try to find an image for the new company and its planned flagship product. Ola Volo's mural-driven folk art style adorned the bottle artwork for their Rye IPA, and formed the basis for a series of subsequent art pieces. Ola astutely isolated the fairy-tale, folklore nature of the brothers' struggle and the brewery's origins, capturing their spirit by flavouring her already-intricate style with touches inspired by a vacation in the German town of Kassel, home of the Brothers Grimm. That first bottle featured Mike, Evan and Kevin. Follow-up cans 26 WHAT'S BREWING S P R I N G 2018

and bottles would alternate team members. Ola's black and white work has helped bring recognition to the brewery, and in 2017, that packaging took home two coveted BC Beer Awards, for can design (Crystal Weiss) and cardboard packaging {for their Happy Pack).

A BREWING FACTORY This article is about the semi-miraculous birth of Doan's, not everything that's happened since. But it's worth talking about at least one serendipitous subsequent occurrence. In early 2016, your humble author heard tell of an under-construction Vancouver beer facility to become known as Factory Brewing Ltd. from its founder, Andrew Harris, about a year before its 2017 opening. I went away from that conversation with the impression that Andrew's project might bring unwanted competition to Vancouver's beer scene by brewing foreign beer here. In hindsight, I don't think Mr. Harris knew just how ecstatically his new project would be received by the space-constrained breweries of BC. Factory creates and packages beer on contract in its large production brewery for many BC breweries who don't have the capacity, capital, labour, room, or simply the desire to expand their brewing operation. It has made a world of difference for Doan's. The signature form factor rolling off Factory's assembly line—the seemingly-becoming-ubiquitous tallboy can—is literally putting the Happy in Doan's Happy Packs. As great as it is, the Powell Street location alone might not have been enough to keep the brothers' dream afloat. "We were struggling to see how we would keep the doors open", Evan confided. "There is no way to grow in this type of location and have a wage." His take is that Factory's unforeseen debut can be summed up in three words: "Dream. Come. True."

HAPPILY EVER AFTER Mike still works at Whole Foods. As brother—and former grocery coworker—Evan says, "We have to get him out of there." But Mike's pragmatic about that, and shyly admitted something during our conversation that I really respect. "Working in retail sucks", he candidly opines, surprising nobody. "But off the record, I could love doing any job. I love working, and the people I work with. So I could do pretty much anything." Sorry Michael, but that, to me, is so thoroughly admirable that it's on the record. Evan is a strong reason why the Doans' dream will probably succeed in the long run. He is a magnetic figure. His ability to be friendly and engaging, conveying genuine interest in people, is an unteachable gift. And he knows what's important in life. When I asked him to look back and talk about something that’s worked out well, that he's pleased with, Evan said, "We're still in business. That's the big thing. You don't get into the [craft] beer business to make money. So just keeping the doors open is awesome." Doing it for the family dream. Speaking to the editor of a magazine that exists purely for the love of the craft, he could not have said anything more satisfying.

Dave Smith is an accredited member of the BC Association of Travel Writers, and the Editor of What's Brewing Magazine. Along with wife Ivana, he has has been collecting beer and beer experiences for two decades.



la Volo's wall mural, a truly distinctive signature piece for the brewery, is another way that Doan's is about family. Most in the craft beer industry and fan community are aware that Mike and Evan are represented in two of its three German-inspired, Magical Mystery Tour-like caricatures. Everybody who knows them knows that the middle figure is Evan. Many have probably figured, like I did, that Mike (usually seen wearing glasses) is the one on the right. Turns out that Ola drew Mike on the left when he had longer hair and was sans spectacles. The mystery man on the right is the other Doan brother. Jon "Doc" Doan is the eldest of the three boys, five years older than Evan (Mike came along halfway between). As the non-brewery-founding sibling, Jon is the odd brother out from that perspective. But he's fully invested in the brewery emotionally. He's also a big part of how Doan's came to be known for its beer. One of the brewery's early advantages was that it didn't just make "generic beer." It's a good idea to specialize when you're a new brewery, especially when you're the smallest of many, many breweries in one neighbourhood. Their secret advantage was their big brother Jon. The eldest Doan had a penchant for travel and, over the years, that has often meant Europe, specifically the Fatherland. "When I go to Europe, I like to visit the great beer-producing countries" Jon admits. "The Czechs brew great beer; the Belgians brew great beer. But to me, in Germany, the beer was more than just a product; it was a culture; a way of life." Asked when he's been to Germany, he rattles off, "2003, 2006, 2009, 2011..." Starting to sound as common as going to Oregon for some beer folks here. Jon, who learned a bit of German in university, would get away with "looking Germanic" when travelling there, and blended in with the people in the beer halls. He remarks with awe, "The Germans take their beer so seriously. I asked a Bavarian guy once, 'Don't you guys worry about drinking too much?' He said, 'No, one and a half litres per day is perfectly healthy'."

In Germany, he says, "It's not just about how good the beer is; it's how you consume it. Tradition is very important, and one of the traditions there is the large tables in the bier halls and biergartens, where you have no choice but to socialize with others in your community who you might not know. Every time I ever went into a beer hall I made friends." One of the first things the Doans wanted to do in their new miniature beer hall was make it a similar place to socialize, hence the big table that forms the centre-piece of the lounge. Kevin agrees that "It's because of their older brother going and seeing this in Germany." Jon says, "There's no TV in here. To me, we have so many problems in this society; everyone has their blinders on and nobody talks anymore. People are desperate for an opportunity to socialize. And what better place to do it than a brewery?" He continues, "When you go to a beer hall in Germany, some of them are ornately decorated. Some of them are 800 years old. It inspires you. I went to small monasteries in the countryside that had been brewing beer for 1000 years, and I talked to the monks that are still brewing. I learned about how much passion they have for what they're doing." About his brothers, he says, "These two guys have that same kind of passion." After being in Germany and drinking a lot of the local beer, he was bitterly disappointed on his return to Canada. "German beer, even by good [local] brewers...was not proper." Evan points out that the other BC breweries doing German beers at that time weren't trying to do them "ultra-traditional." They were using domestic malts, rather than the imported German varieties. Evan continues, "Our first 40 or 50 [test] beers that were drinkable were IPAs. We went hop crazy." But he says Jon was the one that introduced the idea of a Kölsch. The boys tried some of the other offerings from breweries around BC, and enjoyed them, but Jon would say, "This

is not at all like a German Kölsch." "Mike was just getting into water science at the time", Evan reveals. "He looked up the Köln (Cologne, in Germany) water chemistry. So we mimicked that perfectly. That literally changed our beer forever." Mike doesn't argue: "That revolutionized it." Water treating would become an important tool in capturing their passion for German style in a bottle. Evan says, "When we did that, we used all Best Malt out of Germany, and I'll never forget it; ever. We made it as German as we possibly could...and that first one: it was better than those [others they had tried]. And it was just because we went all traditional." The passion didn't stop at just German beers. "Then we started putting chalk in beer, which no one did in stout [locally to their knowledge], and we won best stout in BC [their first year in business]. We took a harsh stout: chocolate malt, chocolate rye, rye malt, rye flake...all things that impart a whole whack of flavour... and the chalk just balances it out. So the water chemistry changed our beer." Evan continues, "Then Mike bought the Altbier book, and he found the Kaiser malt, which is all Munich malt, which was never done here, ever. When I told people in the industry, they were like, 'You can use it as 100% base malt?' People were blown away, but we had been doing it for two years. That's what we do today." Evan continues, "It was really fun to have that ultra-traditional German perspective, and it was all this guy", pointing to Jon. "People were, like, 'You opened with a Kölsch and an Altbier? What the f*** were you thinking?'" Jon remarks, "I remember being in [the brewery] once when there was a guy from Köln who had the Kölsch, and he said, 'That's the best Kölsch I've had outside of Germany'." Evan remembers the gentleman's words: "'Thank you for bringing me back home.' That's the best compliment we could ever have."

- Dave Smith S P R I N G 2018 WHAT'S BREWING 27


Breaking Barriers in

THAILAND It's a quest to find real craft beer in the land of sun and fun, as Brian K. Smith reports


ver the past year, I have had the opportunity to visit three different countries in Asia to check out their craft beer scenes. Leading the pack is China, with many craft breweries in cities throughout the country. In Taiwan the craft beer scene is starting to take off, with a few craft breweries around Taipei producing a great line-up of top notch beers. My most recent trip was to Thailand, and I was curious to see if the craft beer revolution has swept into the land of "smiling people" (Siam). As I found out during my 19-day tour, some things are not black and white in the land of sun and fun. The news is not all dark, otherwise the story would end here. As we have seen in our own environment, if there is a will, there is a way.

History seems to repeat itself when it comes to craft beer world wide - the permits and regulations around the making, serving, and marketing of beer are all very complicated. In B.C we had the heavy cloak of the Prohibition Years (1917 - 1921) and, in the aftermath, the muscle of the industrial breweries. That made the provincial government sluggish, with rules and regulations building walls faster than they could be taken down. But things can change once government bodies realize that the general populace is fed up with draconian rules. I have traveled to many places in recent years where this struggle is still playing out. Mega breweries control the regulations which governments push at the entrepreneurs and consumers of craft beer worldwide. On this particular trip I boarded at YVR for a 16 hour flight to Bangkok, Thailand. My first exposure to craft beer in Thailand was the Tawandang German Brewery, which seems more like a cabaret than a craft beer pub. Beers are served in sizes 28 WHAT'S BREWING S P R I N G 2018

from 330ml, 500ml, 750ml and 3 litre Plexiglas towers. There are three offerings - a lager, a dunkel and a weisen beer. These beers were closer to the homebrew I drank as a teenager in the dark, dank, pubescent basements of my friends’ homes in Nanaimo than to anything I would call craft of the West Coast in the 21st century. This legal craft beer has to be made in huge quantities: 100,000 litres/year. Bottling and canning are not allowed, just on-site consumption. Of course, you need a 1000 seat restaurant to fulfill that requirement. If a few hundred litres accidentally go down the drain, there’s no real loss. On my quest to find real craft beer, I headed to Chiang Mai. Only a one hour flight away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, the second largest city in Thailand is nestled in the picturesque North. On my first day I borrowed a bicycle from my hotel and went on a self-guided tour within the walls of the old city. I highly recommend this, as there are endless alleyways to explore, crisscrossing past monuments and temples. My first stop for craft beer was outside of the wall, near my hotel. The Riverside Bar and Restaurant has been in operation for 33 years and prides itself on a 500+ food item menu with a selection of craft beers. GM Peter Buckland told me that three years ago they decided to start selling craft beer and they have never looked back. I sat with Peter for a flight of craft that included "Local" Chiang Mai Brewing Red Truck Pils and Red Truck Ale, as well as Deschutes Hazelnut Brown Ale and Stone Go To IPA. The CMB "local" beers are actually produced in Cambodia. The rest of the craft beers are from America. Peter uses local beer broker Beervana to supply his craft beer. We had a wonderful visit and I was invited back for a River Boat Dinner cruise. The deep fried Tabtim fish and deep-fried mushrooms in batter with garlic sauce were amazing with the malty CMB Red Truck Ale.

I got back on my bike for a pedal two km down the road to visit Namtons House Bar. Here I met Em, Namton's husband, who is an avid brewer. He first showed me the many varieties of hops that he is growing, including Willamette, Sterling, Cascade, Chinook and Liberty. I was curious how he got the hops to Thailand, but he could not comment on this. Inside the cozy house bar I met his smiling wife Namton. The couple’s passion for beer is evident by the number of taps (12) and bottles in their fridges. Em has a special fridge that is just for himself and those he likes to share with. By mid 2018 he hopes to expand to 20 taps. Em told me he has been arrested 3 times in the past 3 years for selling his own beer. The fines were around $500. He said if he gets arrested again it could be $25,000 and 6 months in jail. He does not seem to be perturbed by this threat. I was fortunate to try a number of rare beers from all over the world with this couple. Interestingly, they had an empty bottle of Thor's Hammer - and I just happened to be wearing a Central City t-shirt. Later in the evening, we went to their new bar, Parallel Universe Of Lunar 2 On The Hidden Moon: Local Craft Beer Bar with 10 taps, including Ballast Point, Deschutes and Schneider Weisse, and a good selection of bottled beer. On the 5th floor balcony, I enjoyed a Mein Adventinus Wheat Doppel Bock while taking in the breathtaking view of jets ascending from the nearby airport. On my last evening in Chang Mai I headed out to two more craft beer pubs. At Beer Republic I found craft from all over the world, and the quality was very good! Especially good was Brewdog Punk IPA (Scotland) and the Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA (Portland). They were served in pint glasses for 330Baht ($13cdn). I also visited Beer Lab which has the largest selection of draft craft in Northern Thailand. continued on page 30

Mai: Chiang in d brewe ia d o b Cam


Beer Republic: 16 taps of international craft plus 200 bottled. Then visit BeerLab, only two blocks away.

The next day I was back in Bangkok and my nineteen day trip was rapidly coming to a close. There were two more craft brewpubs I wanted to visit in the Big Mango. First was the quaint Dok Kaew House Bar. Its location in an 80 year old house contributed to the feeling of going to visit a friend. Much to my surprise, Off the Rail IPA was on tap and Parallel 49 was in the fridge. Who would expect to find an East Van craft beer in the middle of BKK? Damn, it's hard enough to find in nearby Fort Langley! An added bonus was two craft beers made by the staff. I got to sit down with Supot "Pot" Onmark and Pope, two of the six partners that run the establishment. On tap were two illegal beers from one of the partner’s "Nectar Brewery". I got to taste them both. I really enjoyed the Double Stout (9%). Sometimes they will host a home brew night with 6 to 8 local craft beers. Another partner, Bamee, talked about change in the Thai craft beer scene "The big wave of Thai craft beer has been in the last three years. There are now hundreds of Thai craft beer brands and more are coming soon - things will change in a better way." All the partners here share in pouring, so you are guaranteed to meet at least two at any one time. Along with my beer I had a tasty bowl of Leng - a sour and spicy pork rib soup. Next, I made a dash to Hair of the Dog in the centre of Bangkok. They have two locations and both are convenient to get to by BST (Bangkok Skytrain). The interior decor is rather interesting - a combination of OR/ medical lab and morgue. I was told by one of the partners that it’s unlikely anyone will try to create a knockoff bar to compete with them! I would agree. Here you will find 330ml glasses of premium craft for 340baht

($13.50cad). It is pricey, but as the owner, Pete Spaulding said, “where else can you find these beers in Asia?” While I was there I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Bartusch from Beervana (the largest craft importer in Thailand) and John Pemberton (brew master) from Heart of Darkness Brewery in Saigon. Brian told me that there are over 1000 serious craft brewers in Thailand. Beervana supplies over 500 craft beer pubs with their imported products. Mostly they focus on West Coast USA beers, such as Stone, Rogue and Deschutes. Brian said the larger industrial breweries, such as Chang and Singh are trying to buy out illegal brands that are very popular underground, and mass produce them. John mentioned that Saigon has had 16 craft breweries open in the last three years. Sounds like a beer lover’s nirvana! If John’s beers are any indication of craft beer in Vietnam - I'm booking a ticket there soon! If you go out exploring the craft beer market in Thailand's central and northern regions you will find craft beer - very good quality craft beer. You will also find those beer frontiersmen who are willing to break the law to bring local craft beer to your glass. For that reason alone, it is worth the adventure to witness the beginning of a new age in Thailand. Brian K. Smith, MPA is an accredited member of the BC Association of Travel Writers, and is Chief Photographer for What's Brewing.

From top left: Phillips, Postmark and P49 at Dok Kaew House Bar; Phillips beers at BeerLab; Central City at Namton's House Bar; Beervana's Brian Bartusch and Heart of Darkness' John Pemberton at Hair of the Dog

SEA TO SKY BEER GUY | regional report



We get the 411 from our #1 S2S field correspondent, Malcolm Yates


kay folks, let’s start macro and get micro. Don’t panic; I’m not suggesting we all shotgun a corporate can before cracking into a crafty. I’m talking about adjusting the focus of our brewery binoculars from British Columbia at large (big is beautiful, BC, and you wear it well) to zoom in on my home, the Sea to Sky corridor.

If BC were a buxom beauty, the Sea to Sky Highway might be the seam on the side of her dress. That seam starts at Horseshoe Bay, former home to BC’s first microbrewery. But the first Sea to Sky breweries you will encounter these days found purchase in the outdoor-adventure tourism town of Squamish. First up: founded in 1996, the iconic Howe Sound Brewery & Inn is a veteran of BC’s craft beer community. A little further north, you’ll find newcomers A-Frame Brewing Co. and Backcountry Brewing. These welcome additions to the Squamish beer scene are located within blocks of each other and opened their doors within months of each other.

SPOTLIGHT: A-FRAME BREWING A-Frame Brewing Company just celebrated their first anniversary this past December. Husband and wife ownership team Jeff Oldenborger and Caylin Glazier want you to feel welcome and relaxed when you walk through their doors. Like, “summers at the cabin” relaxed, or “feet danglin’ off the dock” relaxed, or “Adirondack chair” relaxed. Their mission statement invokes the idea of lakeside livin’, and this is made manifest in the warm wooden features, tree-stump stools and open concept; it’s a place where you can share good beer and good times with good friends, old and new.

Now, let’s continue up that seam. Unless you’re travelling on a Friday afternoon with fresh snow forecast for the weekend, the drive to Whistler from Squamish should take you 40 minutes. As you approach the world famous ski town, turn left at the lights about 10 minutes south of Whistler Village. Here you will find Function Junction, and two worthwhile stops. Whistler Brewing Company started out in 1989, then after some trials and tribulations, rebranded and came back onto the scene beautifully in 2009. Around the corner from WBC is Coast Mountain Brewing, which owner/brewer Kevin Winter breathed into being in the Summer of 2016. CMB fans have been hyperventilating ever since. You could spend your entire day drinking beers in Function Junction and not venture into Whistler Village at all, but then you’d miss out on the Whistler Brewhouse and its award-winning beers. As a brewpub, the product is sold on site. So if you want to try their 5 Rings IPA, you’ve got to show up. And that, my friends, used to be the end of the line for breweries on the Sea to Sky. But at the top of the seam in Pemberton, Back 40 Brewing and Pemberton Valley BeerWorks (both featured in this magazine’s Winter 2017-18 issue) are set to open in March 2018. Barring calamity (and whoever heard of new breweries experiencing glitches in their stitches?), Pemberton will have breweries by the time you read this story. And that’s it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this primer on the piece of paradise known as the Sea to Sky corridor. Come visit and let’s hoist a pint! Now let’s head back down to Squamish for this issue’s brewery spotlight.

Malcolm Yates is a guy in the Sea to Sky region who digs beer, BC, and the written word. Check out his musings at the Sea To Sky Beer Guy blog.

Jeff Oldenborger

Their brewmaster, Andrew Sawyer, has carefully crafted A-Frame’s core lineup so that the beers are balanced, approachable interpretations of their styles that stand up to scrutiny and go down with calls for another. The porter, the pilsner, the saison, the pale, three IPAs, a brown and a cream ale are all named after both prominent and little-known lakes that dot our beautiful province and contribute to the “cabin on the lake” experience. With a gorgeous deck and food trucks on the reg’, A-Frame more than meets their mission statement and is a must-visit, whether you’re in town for the day or staying to take in more of the area’s gems.

A-Frame Brewing

38927 Queens Way #1 Squamish, BC V8B 0K9 www.aframebrewing.com S P R I N G 2018 WHAT'S BREWING 31

for Watch rails le T A w e n hing launc ! mmer u s is th

The BC Ale Trail is the definitive online resource for lovers of BC craft beer, offering touring itineraries that connect breweries with restaurants, tap-houses, cafes, hotels and activities in communities across the province.

#ExploreBC #BCAleTrail #BCCraftBeer


llustration: Montevarious




f you're the type of beer lover that's not satisfied with conducting all your brew exploration at the closest tasting room or bottle shop, you might already be a fan of what we like to call "craft beer tourism." If so, you may already know that Beautiful British Columbia is home to ~150 breweries that would love for you to pay them a visit on your next craft crusade. Spring Break is looming and travel season starts right now, so quick like an Easter bunny, hop on your laptop and make those plans. But where do you find a beer map of BC? Well, the What's Brewing BC Craft Beer Map is a good starting point to get your bearings and pick a region. Find it at www.whatsbrewing.ca/ map.

More than just Vancouver and Victoria We know that BC's two major centres are hubs for craft beer. But you can find world-class breweries in many other regions of BC, and enjoy the province and its outdoors along the way. Looking for clues? What's Brewing contributors know how to get around, and we've been a great source of #StaycationBC beer travel insights over the years. Look up our stories at www.whatsbrewing.ca/travel, or just click these links to see what we have to say about beercations around BC.

ISLAND & COAST Visit the Sunshine Coast, loop up to Powell River then down via the North Island, Mid-Island & Cowichan Valley. Read 12 Breweries Make One Week and Why Beer Drinkers Come to Cumberland. On the way back, go Gulf Island Beer Hopping or take a Sea To Sky Vacation Adventure.


Then, once you're ready to dig in deeper, you'll want to visit our friends with brewery list benefits:

This spring, it's beer festival season in Penticton and Kelowna. Make it an Okanagan Beer Festival Getaway with our tips, Part I (Fest Of Ale) and Part II (Great Okakagan Beer Fest).

BC ALE TRAIL: North America's most comprehensive regional beer tourism website. www.bcaletrail.ca

Or, this summer, take a Staycation BC in the South Okanagan or the Thompson/North & Central Okanagan.

THE GROWLER: BC craft beer guidebook & directory, $2 at most tasting rooms and craft beer outlets. www.thegrowler.ca

Want to go farther than that? Try Roaming the Beer Frontier in Northern BC, or take a Staycation BC in the Kootenay/Rockies.

BEER ME BC: Brewery map & listing with links to beer reviews. beermebc.com/bc-breweries


Beer photography by Lynn McIlwee

presented by







Warren Boyer, BJCP-Certified home and commercial brewer, and past President of CAMRA Vancouver



Paul Pyne of Drink Smarter: Certified Cicerone® & beer tutor.

Diana McKenzie, Owner, Callister Brewing: beer & soda maker

Mike Ansley, aka The BeerRater: offering an unfiltered view on the world of craft beer

Lynn McIlwee of Hops Canary: blogger, experienced beer event judge and homebrewer.

...absent for the first time: Chelsea McDowell, who is dearly missed this round and we want her back. Keep punching, young lady. XOXO

Note: neither What’s Brewing nor Legacy Liquor Store bear responsibility for the opinions expressed within, which are solely those of the individual panelists..



A few years ago, this general classification of ales took off in popularity around North America. Folks who typically drank wine or ciders and didn't enjoy the "taste of beer" found many sours accessible. Ironically though, there was probably a time in history when most beer people drank was sour, since the acidic flavour comes from bacteria and yeasts which occur in nature but are discouraged in "normal" modern brewing.

The beers evaluated this round included:



Faculty Brewing 323 Sourweisse



Foamers Folly Boysenberry Tart



Four Winds Nectarous



Fuggles & Warlock Kiwami Plum Sour


Inspiring the modern wave of sour beers are certain traditional ales of Belgium and surroundings, some of which can be quite challenging. Our Spring batch, however, aims for the lighter side of this category.


Moon Under Water Copper Kettle Sour



Our unsanctioned competition uses a Zagat-like 30-point rating with a weighted scale based loosely on the BJCP Scoresheet. Panellists are instructed to give an honest rating, so don't expect a sugar-coating on each review.

Nectarous was the Canadian Brewing Awards 2016 Beer of the Year. Seems it's still good to drink, according to our panel.

CATEGORY SCORES: SOUR BEERS Here's a general overview of how our candidates did as a group.

6. Parallel 49 Bodhisattva Dry Hopped

Look up the other awards the beer has won on Four Winds' website. We just know they'll add our cute Tasting Panel ribbon to that list real soon.





Got questions about craft beer? Talk to Jordan!

1633 Manitoba Street Vancouver, BC V5Y 0B8




6.0% 7.0%



Faculty 323 Sourweisse 2.6/3


20.6/30 2.0/3



Very tart but clean. Slight dry astringency on sides of tongue.


Tart apple with a lingering lemon note. Higher ABV and denser body than a typical Berliner Weisse means it could use a bit more carbonation but still super refreshing.


Foamers Folly Boysen 2.0/3



Would probably enjoy this boysenberry. Not much tar


Classic saison character wi boysenberry coming throug

Prominent citrus notes on nose and palate. Mild tartness.


Tropical fruit, earthy, hints of sweetness. Dry aftertaste


Light and spritzy hef with a tangy twist. Fun in the sun beer.


Lots of fruity nose aromas a


Well hello there you fickle little flower. At first you may not think much of this beer, but if you pay attention there's a subtleness that begs for more expression. I liked what I tasted, I just want a bigger slap in the face from it.


This is a tasty little beer th brunch as we discuss my b in the warmer months due easily crushable at any time

Fuggles Kiwami Plum Sour 2.6/3






Tart but clean. Not vinegary. Great silky creamy head.


Bright and tart - plum character stands out right away in the aroma. Some membrillo and apple notes. It would pair extremely well with aged white cheddar or manchego.


Lots of fruit on the nose and palate: plum, apple, pear, apricot, peach. Well-balanced hop and malt profile. Crisp and refreshing.


Light and refreshing with an acidic sharpness.


There's a big risk with writing an actual fruit on the label. When I read plum, I want to have that plum come up to me and introduce itself with a firm handshake. Instead I got a bro-nod from across the room. I'm not saying that this is a bad beer, I just want more plum dammit!






Moon Kettle Sour Aza 2.4/3



A bit of malt flavour lead vinegar burn.


Tropical notes of pineapp Good high carbonation. W


The hops add tropical no palate. Consistent carbon aftertaste that lingers. The


Light and fruity with tart,


This beer is just like a day activity. Once it's all over cesses of your mouth. Per like this, once you swallow where.


nberry Tart 2.0/3

19.8/30 5.4/8

s beer more as a plain saison without the rtness, not sure why it's in this flight.

ith fruity, earthy, spicy notes. Not a lot of gh, in colour or flavour, but very drinkable.

of cloves on the nose. Tartness fighting a bit e.

and a dry finish.

hat I would gladly share with my Mom at brothers' shortcomings. I'd say best enjoyed e to its light and refreshing character, but e if you so choose.

acca Hop 2.0/3

21.0/30 5.4/8

ds to a tart bite with a fairly clean finish. No

ple and passionfruit are strong on this one. Would make a great food pairing beer.

otes, apple, and pear both on the nose and nation on the tongue. There's a dry, musky e final pour was very cloudy.

, acidic bite.

y at the beach; bright, shiny, and filled with r, you're left with digging it out of the rersonally, I love sours that coat your mouth w, there's delicious tartness lingering every-

Four Winds Nectarous 2.6/3


24.0/30 2.2/3



Quite tart but crisp. Doesn't linger.


Fresh tropical fruit and citrus peel pith stand out over a slightly bitter finish. Very clean and dry. Hoppiest of the samples.


Citrus, tropical fruit, apple, pear, apricot, and floral notes. Great balance and level of tartness.


Rich, aromatic and tart. Light and refreshing.


Feeling down? Need a little smile in your day? Get Nectarous in your face stat. If the gentle tartness up front doesn't make you grin, the soothingly citrus finish will calm your soul.

Parallel 49 Bodhisattva Sour 2.5/3



21.0/30* 5.7/8


A bit vinegary. Very tart.


I've had this beer before at P49's tasting room and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, my bottle had a heavy acetic/vinegar note which made it undrinkable. * ED. NOTE: manufacturing/packaging flaw assumed, omitted from mean score (18.8 if included)


Citrus, tropical fruit, pear, apple, and floral notes. Mildly tart, not acidic.


Crisp and dry. Tropical and fruity.


I liken this beer to a relationship ended amicably - It's a good beer, I'm sure many people will like this beer, but it just doesn't work for me. Although it has many enjoyable qualities, the lacto and fruity combo just isn't my cup of tea.





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HOPS CANARY | profiles




ichael Stewart started his brewing career in East Vancouver back in 1989, long before it became known as Yeast Van, at Shaftebury Brewing Company. Shaftebury was one of the original microbreweries in Vancouver and was located across from Parallel 49’s current Triumph Street location. Stewart recently assumed the role of head brewer at Andina Brewing Company on Powell Street, mere blocks from that first brewing job. Welcome back, Michael! Stewart didn’t set out to be a brewer; in fact he worked for the predecessor to Electronic Arts as a computer programmer, writing code for games. Back then, the gaming industry wasn’t the hot ticket that it is today, so Stewart answered an ad for a brewer at Shaftebury. He had been a homebrewer for many years and decided to take that passion and turn it into a career. It’s a decision he has never regretted. During his seven years at Shaftebury, Stewart worked with some names you are bound to recognize: Barry Benson, formerly of R&B Brewing Co., and Iain Hill, brewmaster and co-owner of Strange Fellows Brewing. These brewers are among those who helped shape what is now a vibrant community of craft breweries in Vancouver. After leaving Shaftebury, Stewart worked at a brewpub in Coquitlam, for Backwoods Brewing (now Dead Frog Brewing), Big River Brewpub, and, most recently, at Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks in Richmond. He estimates that during his professional brewing career, he has brewed 75 to 100 different beers and has over 3,000 brews under his belt. When asked which beer he is most proud of, he reflects back to his early days at Shaftebury. It isn’t the flagship Cream Ale that he mentions, but the Shaftebury Rainforest Amber Ale. He created the recipe, came up with the name, and was involved in the marketing. Previously, the Shaftebury Man had adorned the top of their tap handles until Stewart suggested they use a tree for

the Rainforest Ale. While marketing a specific beer and tap handle might be a no-brainer today, it wasn’t something that was commonly done back then. So what’s on Stewart’s agenda for Andina? More rotating and seasonal beers. He wants to have at least one beer with either Colombian coffee or South American fruit on tap at all times. When I visited Stewart, he had a guava saison and a coffee Kölsch on tap. I believe the Vancouver market will enjoy both of these well-made beers. Along with his new coffee series, Stewart is planning a sour series based on the unique South American fruit they import. He’s hopeful that barrel aging will be a part of the future plan, and is intrigued by what other characteristics these fruits could produce over time. In addition to Andina’s current canned products, the new seasonals will also be packaged in bottles or cans. Stewart is looking forward to experimenting and trying new styles as Andina’s head brewer. He still enjoys developing new recipes. Every day is a learning opportunity, and as consumers’ tastes evolve, so should a brewer’s beer. Stewart sees his role at Andina as an opportunity to experiment with new styles, especially with the South American influence that Andina is known for. As someone who has been brewing for almost 30 years, Stewart’s advice to someone starting out is to experiment and step out of the box. Don’t be afraid to screw up, as you’ll learn from the mistake and find a way to correct it. And don’t let small setbacks dissuade you, just stay with it. It sounds like with the addition of Stewart, we should expect to see more one-off and rotating seasonals hit the taps at Andina in the near future. It’s always a pleasure to visit the Andina team and Stewart’s outgoing personality and creativity seem to be a great fit for Andina. S P R I N G 2018 WHAT'S BREWING 39



BREW CLUB SPOTLIGHT: FULL BARREL Caption Here Brandon Bauer, Ian Kanski, Kevin Larsen, Jason Armitage and Dave Henry


ull Barrel Homebrew Club started in 2016 and is made up mostly of brewers in the Langley area, though we have members from Surrey, Cloverdale, White Rock and Aldergrove. We’re based around a Facebook group, and several core members meet on Thursdays at Trading Post Brewing in Langley. In 2015 I joined the Fraser Valley Fermentalists, but the commute from Langley to the Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge area prevented me from attending any meetings. So, in early 2016 I decided to start my own club close to home. I teamed up with Tristan Stewart, who was at B’s Craft Beer Lounge at the time, and Full Barrel was born. (Tristan has gone on to create his own brand in Vancouver, Temporal Artisan Ales at Luppolo Brewing, but still participates in group discussions and attends some of our events.) A couple of weeks after we started, Trading Post Brewing opened and immediately became our home base. Since the beginning we’ve had a symbiotic relationship with the brewery. Brewmaster Tony Dewald and Assistant Brewer Jason Armitage have been our two biggest fans. They are always around to answer questions, teach us through their “Training Post” seminars, and slip us the odd yeast culture.


Brew Westminster (Google Group)


BrewVic: Website | FB Group


BruBC (FB Group)


Cranbrook Brewing Culture (FB Group)


Fraser Valley Fermentalists (FB Group)


Full Barrel Homebrew Club, Langley (FB Group)


Nanaimo Brew Club (FB Group)


Ok Brewers, North Okanagan (FB Group)


Royal Canadian Malted Patrol (FB Group)

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 editor@whatsbrewing.ca

We’ve had some very early successes. In early 2017 we were judged the Best Amateur entry at the Tri-Cities Pro-Am Cask Festival and that created a lot of interest in the club. Our membership has increased steadily ever since. We now have our own cask night at Trading Post on the first Thursday of every third month, which is always busy, with casks selling out early in the evening. In late 2017 we brewed one of my recipes called Sessionable Imperial Stout, which sold extremely well at the brewery. Who knows what lies ahead for our club. We’re just having fun and learning a ton about brewing. - Dave Henry, Full Barrel Homebrew Club

We are Northwest Hop Farms—a full-service hop farm and hop distribution company based in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. From our family farm in Chilliwack, we harvest, package, and ship hops to 17 countries worldwide. In addition to our own hops, we partner up with the best farmers in B.C., U.S.A., and around the world, to offer over 180 varieties of quality hops to the brewing industry. Our mission is to raise the profile of our many partner farmers in the area, as well as to promote the resurgence of hop farming in British Columbia. We are incredibly passionate about hops and the craft brewing industry and we are excited to share our passion with you!

NORTHWEST HOP FARMS Chilliwack, B.C. 604-845-7974 • sales@northwesthopfarms.com www.northwesthopfarms.com






t a recent homebrew club meeting, one member talked about the ingredients that went into one of his beers, and it soon became clear why the beer tasted a bit odd: it seemed like he had given no consideration to what the final product might taste like. So, this round, let’s talk about beer recipe formulation and design. Lately, I have been making pilot batches at home for a commercial brewery I work for. I have been making styles I have never made before, and yet the recipes are coming out very close to what I imagined. Some of that comes from experience and getting to know what certain ingredients will bring to the beer, but part of it comes from understanding styles and knowing how to use brewing software properly. Software can save time and guesswork by giving you accurate information before creating a new recipe. The two most popular software solutions for homebrewing are BeerSmith (multiple platforms) and Brewer’s Friend (beta version, Windows only). I have used both and found the interface for Brewer’s Friend slightly easier to understand. I also like that it is cloud-based and I can access my recipes from any device connected to the internet. The best part is that Brewer’s Friend is free to use. You can only save three recipes with the free version, but that’s no problem: just print out and delete an older recipe before creating a new one. I eventually paid for an annual membership, as I wanted to save many recipes. When creating a new recipe, I start by thinking about the taste of the final product and what style would be closest to how I want the beer to look and taste. Once I have a style to go on, I get some recipe ideas. I often start with a classic recipe from a book, such as the ones published by John Palmer. I enter the recipe into Brewer’s Friend and set my efficiency to 65%. (This number can be adjusted as you take measurements and learn your actual efficiency.) Then I adjust malt weights to get the desired original gravity. I generally adjust the yeast attenuation to 75 or 80%, as I have found that gives me a better idea of where the final gravity will end up. I then select the style from the drop down list by clicking “more” to expand the top section. This shows how well the recipe fits within style guidelines. I can make adjustments at this point to adhere to those guidelines. Next, I enter the weight of hop additions per the recipe and adjust until the software indicates the IBU I want to achieve. At this point I start thinking about how to adjust the recipe to make it fit the flavour profile I have in mind. This could mean adding or subtracting specialty malts to change the malt sweetness, nutty or bready character, roastiness, etc. I may change out the hop varieties to something more citrusy or spicy. Finally comes the yeast selection, which can have a huge impact on the final beer. It took me a while to discover yeast strains that 42 WHAT'S BREWING S P R I N G 2018

The author, working on a commercial beer

I prefer. To experiment with yeast, I highly recommend making a simple SMASH or pale ale recipe and brewing it identically every time but with different yeasts. This will show you how a particular yeast affects the flavour. Brewer’s Friend has a great new feature: slider buttons to increase or decrease the percentage of the malts in the recipe. Very helpful when you have a recipe that is only given in percentages. After measuring is done and efficiency determined, I can “edit” the recipe and “scale” the efficiency. I quite often use Brewer’s Friend to scale up a recipe for commercial purposes: first I scale the efficiency from 65% to 80%, and then I scale for size. I sometimes need to adjust malt to match the original gravity or hops to match the desired IBU, but recipes generally scale up quite well. Users can also access Brewer’s Friend’s database of recipes—useful when looking for a clone recipe of a favourite beer—and can also share their own recipes so that they are included in the database. Brewer’s Friend also has a brew day log, with a step-by-step checklist. Entering the pre-boil gravity and post boil gravity helps calculate kettle losses, which can be adjusted for the equipment set up. Efficiency is calculated based on the measurements entered at various steps. Now go create some recipes and then make some beer! Warren Boyer is an award winning homebrewer, Certified Beer Judge, former President of CAMRA Vancouver, and and occasional Professional Brewer. E: homebrewboy@shaw.ca

On The Coming of Spring:


OUT & ABOUT | cider

Wassail, at Sea Cider in Saanichton BC



already had visions of fruit trees in flower, apples, orchards, and cider in my mind when I got the What's Brewing editor’s email suggesting Renewal and Revitalization as a theme for this issue. I had seen fruit blossoms on Saltspring out in colour and this was only two thirds of the way through January. A great new growing season is coming!

It struck me that I haven’t talked much about cider in the last few years, but this ancient beverage is enjoying renewed popularity in these modern times. Cider and cider events are happening everywhere. In my vagabonding life, I have visited cider taverns, pubs, houses, cafés, orchards, and country farms. I’ve enjoyed cider with local folks in taverns, inns, and restaurants, in villages in France, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Canada, the U.S., and of course the U.K. I’ve been lucky enough to drink pints of cider in UK country pubs where they don’t normally serve outsiders pints, and with the farmers who grew and made the product. I’ve had Dorset rough scrumpy for starters. I have done a number of cider stories for What’s Brewing over the last 27 or more years, and I remember the local pubs, ciderworks, and villages well. Old traditions hang on for centuries and we see

cider now in the social media world, fully out front, and revived in a new way. In some places, the fermentation of choice has been cider since time immemorial. In the U.K., the counties of Devon, Dorset, and Somerset are known for their cider, but cider culture is strong all over the U.K. I have tavern yarns from Yorkshire, the Cotswolds, Scotland, and Wales, too. I learned a lot about cider in the Brittany region of France, where it was paired with sweet and savoury crepes. Cider can be found all over France and has always been part of the people’s culture. The same is true of a small region outside Budapest, where village lore ties into the orchards and cider taverns. Cider was readily available throughout Hungary even two years after the fall of communism; local craft cider was coming back. Even with beer culture being so prevalent, every little hamlet, village, town and city in Germany and Austria has had cider for centuries and locals would not change a thing. It’s just always been there but has now emerged into the world of media, local events, and creative image marketing. continued on page 45

STANLEY PARK continued

CAMRA continued

Proposed Brewpub. Image: Vancouver Park Board

The Park Board cited the significant costs of necessary renovations in this heritage space and the general risk of opening a new restaurant in this city as likely reasons for the lack of interest that year. I contacted Doug Devlin, Marketing Director at Stanley Park Brewing, who said, “...we got the original RFP in summer/fall 2015 but didn’t put in a proposal. We then got a call from the Park Board in early 2016 asking if we’d be interested in submitting a proposal.” The proposal was duly submitted and approved by the Park Board. The $4.5M plan would turn the 120-seat restaurant into a brewpub and growler bar with a capacity of around 100 (kept smaller in order to accommodate a 4 bbl / 5 hl brewhouse). In the community consultation phase of the planning permission process, local residents rejected the application. Much of the input was around noise from construction and patio operation disturbing the heron colony in the area but the Stanley Park Ecology Society does not seem at all concerned. Apparently, herons find that human activity discourages their predators. Perhaps it was fear of Big Beer that has some people concerned; certainly, some of the comments on social media were more about stopping Budweiser than anything else. So SPB, the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch and the Park Board held a public meeting with 80 people to listen to and assuage their concerns. On January 17, 2018, Vancouver City Council approved the liquor-primary licence, required for a brewpub, with an amendment to create a community liaison committee to monitor the Good Neighbour Agreement over the six-month probation period.

Members of the 2017-18 CAMRA BC Executive

It was an interesting meeting; Glen and I addressed a number of topics, including the Fess Up to Serving Sizes (FUSS) Campaign and ways to give consumers greater access to BC craft beer and cider products. The government representatives hinted at changes being considered based on proposals from other special interest and lobby groups, and asked our opinion of these changes. Although the government did not commit to looking at CAMRA’s proposals, the meeting was fruitful; Attorney General Eby said he wanted to keep the dialogue with CAMRA BC open, as he sees the value in getting input from the consumer perspective, and recognized that the consumers are often ignored in this type of policy review. He also asked me to contact his newly appointed liquor policy advisor, Mark Hicken, who is leading the current policy review. Mr. Hicken, known for his Wine Law blog and advocacy on behalf of BC wine consumers, is already familiar with CAMRA BC. I met with him in 2013 to talk about issues BC wine and craft beer consumers jointly faced at the time. I have spoken at length with Mr. Hicken twice, by phone and faceto-face in early 2018. These meetings were refreshingly candid. I feel strongly that CAMRA BC’s message was heard and taken seriously. Mr. Hicken made no commitment to act on the issues I raised, but I think we found some common ground among CAMRA BC wants, the opinions of other liquor industry stakeholders, and the government.

When asked how he felt about the decision, SPB General Manager Brian Kuhn said: “We are very excited to move forward with transforming the former Fish House into a new community-oriented restaurant with a small batch brewery that celebrates the spirit of the park. We believe that our concept will...respect the ecology and lifestyle of the Stanley Park community, and maintain the building’s status as an important and historic landmark.”

Mr. Hicken will take his priority list back to the government and they will appoint a panel made up of stakeholders who will formulate policy based on what the government wants addressed. I lobbied hard to have a consumer voice on that panel, and the message was received. There is a slim chance that CAMRA BC will be invited to be a part of that panel. It took CAMRA BC a while to get moving, but I feel the society is back in the mix and ready to take the next steps.

My disdain and distrust for Big Beer is well known in the craft beer community and well documented, but if AB InBev has the desire and the budget to bring new life to the heritage building in Stanley Park, surely that’s better than letting it fall into rack and ruin?

While waiting for the right moment to begin advocating, we were busy fixing administrative issues behind the scenes that threatened the existence of the society. Those problems have been mostly cleaned up and we are leaving the society in better shape than we found it for the next CAMRA BC Executive.

Adam Chatburn

Paddy Treavor

is head brewer and loudmouth at Real Cask Brewing, and a former president of CAMRA Vancouver. Follow him at @real_cask on Instagram and @realcask on Twitter. He doesn’t post very much but when he does it’s awesome.

has been President of CAMRA BC and two of its branches. Self-described hophead, craft-beer advocate and wannabe reporter. Read more from Paddy on the VanEast Beer Blog


ULLAGE continued

CIDER continued

Cider culture came to the USA with the first colonial settlers; in the first taverns, cider was the strong grog of choice. Apples followed the trail of settlement in the early USA and remained strong into the eighteen hundreds, when beer stole the spotlight. In Canada, British heritage made cider a part of the landscape across a young country. Nova Scotia, British Columbia, the Niagara region have always been apple, pear and fruit tree centers. Again, when I started writing in What’s Brewing, most of the cider in Canada was imported from U.K. Now, as in the rest of the world, cider has taken its place in the craft beverage movement. The varieties are seemingly endless; a large variety of other fruits creates a diverse range of ciders to suit all tastes. Canada has almost 150 cider producers: 54 in Quebec, 48 in Ontario, 33 in BC, 8 in Nova Scotia, 3 in New Brunswick, 2 in Alberta, and 1 in Saskatchewan ; and I am sure things can change daily on a planet gone wild for craft everything.

JAN 21: SEA CIDER WASSAIL Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse is less than 2 miles from my home. Today they are having a Wassail, which they explain as follows:

Julie does one better

people reject the same beer? Julie says “Then I will switch the keg. I would also normally inform the brewery. Craft breweries will typically refund our money, but it depends on the brewery.” Lukas Girou, general manager at Devil’s Elbow, says, “If a customer just does not like a beer, I will replace it, provided they have not drunk too much of it. It’s just how I was trained. I will always ask why they don’t like it because that helps me figure out what beer we have on tap they might like. I have mostly worked for brewpubs or breweries, so other restaurants may handle things differently.” When it comes to a customer complaining that a beer is faulty, Lukas says, “We clean out our lines every week.” But what if the fault lies with the brewery and is not obvious when the keg is tapped? “If I don’t know the customer, I will ask their background. Are they in the business? If know them I tend to trust that. I will taste the beer in a clean glass and if necessary, I will change out the keg and try the next one of the same beer.” Of course, the approaches above come from places I choose to drink in. I hesitate to ask the same questions in places that are less knowledgeable about what craft beer should actually taste like. In those locations, I may just continue to send back beer with a stated reason and hope that there are more people like me that will do the same. If this happens frequently enough, we may create a rising tide of quality that will float all boats. If you are encountering beer that is just drinkable, but somehow not quite right, do consider educating your palate by taking advantage of the education programs provided by your local branch of CAMRA BC. CAMRA Vancouver is particularly active in this area.

“Wassailing is an ancient custom in which we bless the orchard and scare away all the evil spirits. Wassail celebrations involve singing and drinking to the health of trees in the hope that they will thrive. The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘good health’.” I enjoyed this mellow event at Sea Cider. Absolutely historical, going back centuries, and right in character. Kristen (owner) did tours for the visitors of the grounds, cider house, kettles and tanks, orchard and talks. She had lots of attention from the crowd. Inside the cider house was center stage for local crafted, interesting food; a Thai curry box 4 bucks, and various other craft hors d'oeuvres, sliders, pulled pork cup, and the like, 2 bucks. Patrons enjoyed ciders, and artisan food, in an relaxed family atmosphere. Cider tasting glasses cost two bucks. They do a range of exciting ciders. They had a one day sale: 2 bottles of sparkling cider $30.00. Thanks to the team: Kristen, Mike (Sales Manager) and Sara who makes it happen in the marketplace. What’s Brewing and Sea Cider have been acquainted since their first day. Weather for the event was fantastic when the sun came out, as if on cue, from noon till 2.30 then it slipped behind the clouds. A local musician did tunes which allowed the guests to converse easily in the cider house while folks happily enjoyed their food and cider. People talked and talked. The ambience was perfect for it. People just had community going on. What’s Brewing made new readers and friends. We had Morris Dancers, set up around the hand-crafted British chairs that were in the original Brother John’s in Gastown of long ago, chairs that have seen many a celebration of drink and dance. They did a true historic Morris Dancer act. The English heritage dates to 1448 in the U.K. and it has big story, complex and involved. At 2:30 they blessed the orchard, and the cider world continues like it has for centuries. On that note, let's raise a cheer to the trees, and to the season.

J. Random

Scottie McLellan

is a former VP of CAMRA Vancouver, beer fan for 4 decades and occasional homebrewer. Has been penning the Ullage & Spillage column for What's Brewing since 2003.

is a craft beer industry veteran and longtime supporter of BC’s Craft Beer Movement. He has written for What's Brewing for over a quarter century.





tephen Beaumont is one of his generation’s greatest beer writers, and he happens to be Canadian. Starting out in 1994 with The Great Canadian Beer Guide, one of the first beer books I ever read (if you stumble upon a copy, pick it up for me), Beaumont has now authored or co-authored more than ten books. Two of his newest are the revised and expanded The World Atlas of Beer (2016) and the pocket guide Best Beers (2017), both co-authored with Tim Webb.

I was more than pleasantly surprised to find out that the book launch for Best Beers was happening at The Drake in downtown Victoria on an evening I wasn’t scheduled to work. It is very rare to be able to shake hands with a writer you respect as much as I do Beaumont. Best Beers is technically the third version of 2013’s Pocket Beer Guide. If you own the original version, don’t hesitate to pick up the newest version; Best Beers is such a different book that it does justify the name change. In the original, Beaumont and Webb, with the help of a team of international beer experts, looked at a cross-section of the most important breweries in each country at the time. They included a star rating for each brewery’s most important beer, with a brief description. However, with the massive growth in the number of breweries worldwide, as Beaumont explained at the book launch, that approach today would create a book so huge it couldn’t be considered “pocket”. The new book is much better for its increased focus, and does away with the star ratings since all the beers featured “are at the top of their class”. It also allows for more in-depth tasting notes. Best Beers is an indispensable resource for those who want to hunt the crème de la crème of beers. Another revised Beaumont and Webb book, The World Atlas of Beer, is equally deserving of your attention, even if you have the previous version. The beer landscape of countries such as Canada, Iceland, Ireland, and others has changed so much that large portions of the book have been rewritten or expanded. Even in countries with long brewing traditions such as the Czech Republic, much of the book deals specifically with the recent past, since this is when so much has changed. Another book, National Geographic Atlas of Beer, was recently released and, although it’s a fine book, it lacks specific beer recommendations, outside of noting some historically important brew46 WHAT'S BREWING S P R I N G 2018


eries and offering just a single recommendation for each beer style. For instance, the two Canadian beer suggestions are Postmark Raspberry and Unibroue La Fin Du Monde. At first glance, the newest version of The World Atlas also seems to lack beer seeking guidance, as they have done away with the recommendations that ran along the bottom of each page in the original. However, the authors have peppered suggestions throughout the text, making them easy to find once you are actually reading. The price point between the two atlases should also be noted: CDN $34 for the Beaumont book, while the NG Atlas is CDN $50. Beaumont and Webb don’t shy away from making their presence known in The World Atlas. As Webb writes in his foreword, “If enthusiasm breaks through our reportage occasionally, we ask your forgiveness.” No forgiveness needed as far as I’m concerned; the well-informed authorial asides are some of the best parts. For example, the discussion of what Guinness has been doing lately ends with, “We sense the limits of understanding oft found in the corporate mind, plus an allergy to live yeast.” This is exactly the kind of thing I love in my beer books. Best Beers has similar insights embedded, such as the short chapter on beer trends. Either way, The World Atlas of Beer is one second edition of a book you should definitely seek out. It is a deep, well-informed book about all things beer and its current situation around the globe. Speaking of all things beer, if food and beer pairings or cooking with beer is an interest of yours, then you might also want to check out Beaumont’s Beer and Food Companion or the Beerbistro Cookbook. Both are written with the care and understanding that Beaumont applies to all his books. I envy the beer fan who has yet to discover the books and writing of Stephen Beaumont. He is a national treasure. For those of you who may own earlier versions of his books, I highly recommend updating as soon as possible. The World Atlas of Beer and Best Beers are two of the most important beer books published in the last few years, and your bookshelf will not be complete without them. Ted Child is a Recognized BJCP Beer Judge and award-winning homebrewer. He is also What's Brewing's in-house book reviewer. Look for his assessments of the latest beer books and publications in each issue




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