BC Craft Beer Survey • Beer Gifts • Spotlight on Porters • The Death of Casks • Brewery Logos • Urban Orchards • Wax Dipping
NA L JOU R
'S C OF BC
M OV E BEER RAF T
BEST IN CLASS How a brewing school became BC's Brewery of the Year
VOL.29 ISSUE 4 Winter 2019-20 KPU Brewing & Brewery Operations Program
aft Be r C C B the
PURCHASE THIS MONTHâ€™S FEATURED PANEL BEERS IN STORE OR ONLINE AT LEGACYLIQUOR.COM I N TH E H E A RT O F FA L S E C R E E K | 1 6 3 3 M A N I T O B A ST R E E T, VA N C O U V E R
WINTER 2019-20 THE JOURNAL OF BC'S CRAFT BEER MOVEMENT
Our Winter issue features highlights from our unique annual Holiday Gift Guide. View the full Gift Guide online at whatsbrewing.ca/giftguide
SPECIAL FEATURE: BC CRAFT BEER HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
COVER: CLASS OF BEER: THE STORY OF KPU BREWING
WOMEN IN BEER: NANCY MORE: LEGEND
CIDER: HARVESTING THE URBAN ORCHARDS
OPENING REMARKS: BEER ME BC SURVEY INSIGHTS
ULLAGE & SPILLAGE: SERVING IT RIGHTEOUSLY
A VIEW FROM THE CELLAR: THE DEATH OF CASKS
WAX ON, WAX OFF! THE FOLLY OF WAX DIPPING BOTTLES
BEER IQ 22
TASTING PANEL: DARK & SILKY: A PORTER SPOTLIGHT
BOOKS IN REVIEW: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE TO BOOKS
HOMEBREW HAPPENIN'S: HOMEBREWER GIFT GUIDE
BC BREWERY BRANDING PART II: LOGOS
TOURING, TRAVEL & REGIONAL REPORTS
What's Brewing Produced by Line49 Design Group Inc. 300-1275 West 6th Avenue Vancouver BC V6H 1A6 email@example.com www.whatsbrewing.ca Social: @whatsbrewingbc Editorial Group Editor & Publisher: Dave Smith Co-Editor: Paul Morris Associate Production Editor: Navin Autar Copy Editors: Wendy Barron, Ivana Smith Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Hopline & Newsroom Associate Editor, Events: Edward Kaye Contact: email@example.com Associate Editor, Newsroom: Navin Autar Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors: Mike Ansley, Adam Arthur, Warren Boyer, Adam Chatburn, Ted Child, Lundy Dale, Ed Kaye, Kim Lawton, Stewart 'Scottie' McLellan, Leif Miltenberger, Jeff Nairn, Mathieu Poirier, J. Random, Brian K. Smith, Paddy Treavor, Carnell Turton, Abby Wiseman, Malcolm Yates Chief Photographer: Brian K. Smith Illustrator: Emile Compion @montevarious Web & Admin: Navin Autar, Ligia Margaritescu, Susan Jones
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HAVE CAMERA WILL TRAVEL: CRAFT BEER & WILDERNESS
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A DEMOCRATIC SURVEY THAT'S WORTH THE WORK
uring November, What's Brewing's sister website Beer Me BC conducted its seventh annual BC Craft Beer Survey. Since 2013, it has provided insights about craft beer in BC, including the preferences and opinions of you, the BC craft beer fan. And we take the part about you seriously. To make it possible to know what each one of our >1000 voters really thinks, we allow people to write in any choice for Favourite Beer, Cider, Brewery, Event and so on. What does that mean? A lot of work for our data analyst, who has to decode all manner of entries and misspellings. Of course we could limit our work, and people's choices, by providing a curated shortlist of only those breweries which we, or other beer media, happen to think are BC's very best...but we know we'd be omitting most of BC's beer community in the process. Also, we might be disappointing a large percentage (if not a majority) of our voters, who may not want to elect one of the "established elite" with their ballot. As a result, we have a lot of deep data. Here are some bonus insights for WB readers.
2019 SURVEY: INSIDER PEEK & HONOURABLE MENTIONS Favourite Brewery: it was Field House in a landslide, up from second last year. Also Parallel 49 and Dageraad shot up the list. Behind the scenes, we see many votes for these breweries who deserve Honourable Mention: Bad Tattoo, Cannery, Dead Frog, Foamers' Folly, Mariner, Moody Ales, Red Truck, Steel & Oak, Storm and Twin Sails. Bonus: Pacific Western Brewing got one vote, which is fair. It's a democracy! New Brewery: congrats to North Van's House of Funk for running away with this. Unsurprisingly, Victoria's ĂŽle Sauvage, open for a year now, still killed it too. But hats off to Port Moody's Bakery, Langley's Five Roads and Penticton's Slackwater for their strong showing. Favourite Cidery. New this year! Topping the votes were Island-based Sea Cider and Merridale. There were a surprising number of votes for smaller operators Salt Spring Wild Cider, Fraser Valley Cider and Dominion Cider of Summerland, too. Favourite Event: the Top Five perennials saw little change, but right behind them were Fraser Valley "newcomers" Fort Langley Beer + Food Festival and Clover Valley Beer Festival. There's more to the Survey than a popularity contest. Look also for some interesting industry analytics that we make public annually (cheers to Beer Me BC founder Dustan Sept for his work behind the scenes, and thanks also to our sponsors). You'll find the rest of the story at BeerMeBC.com. 6 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS Many thanks to these supporters who help bring What's Brewing to you! Find a printed copy at whatsbrewing.ca/find
BC CRAFT CALENDAR
with Ed Kaye
inter is traditionally a bit of a slower time for beer events, but this seems to have changed over the last few years. A number of seasonal events are popping up, focusing on all of the wonderful “big beers” that breweries produce for the colder months. On December 1, Parallel 49 Brewing hosts an Imperial & Strong Beer Festival at their street kitchen. This event takes the place of their old Brawnywine festival, with an expanded variety of boozy beers like imperial stouts, baltic porters, eisbocks, and the like. The first weekend of January brings The Drake’s 6th annual Wild & Sour Beers event. This day sees them dedicate their taps to pouring some of the world's finest tart and funky ales. There’s usually a ticketed lunch portion that comes with a curated flight. Don’t forget to bring Tums. Later in the month, Weathered Beer Celebration returns for its sophomore year on the 25th and 26th. Weathered is a curated beer and art event celebrating imperial stouts, barley wines, extreme hops, wild ales, and lambic. If Farmhouse Fest is the highlight of my summer, then Weathered is definitely my winter highlight. Early February brings Island Beer & Spirit Festival to the Strath Hotel in Victoria. This event focuses exclusively on beer, cider, and spirits produced on Vancouver Island. February 29 brings the 3rd annual Hopwired Festival to the Croatian Cultural Centre in East Vancouver. Hopwired is Canada’s first and only specialty coffee and craft beer festival. If you love coffee and beer, this event is for you! For info and links to all of the above, see our Top Picks Calendar at whatsbrewing.ca/calendar/featured 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
Canada's Original Dedicated Beer Radio Show:
Just Here for the Beer with Joe Leary and Rick Mohabir
Saturdays + Sundays on TSN 1040 Listen online: www.tsn1040.ca W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 7
VA N C O U V E R B R E W E R Y T O U R
GIFT CERTIFICATES HAVE A BEER LOVER ON YOUR LIST? Just in time for the holiday season, brewery tour gift certificates make the perfect experience gift for the beer loving friends, family and co-workers in your life. Visit us online to grab one today VA N C O U V E R B R E W E RY T O U R S .C O M /S H O P
I N FO@VA N CO U V E R B R E W E RY TO U RS.CO M | 6 0 4 318 228 0 | VA N CO U V E R B R E W E RY TO U RS.CO M
Learn more at centralcitybrewing.com
COVER | BREWERIES IN PROFILE
KPU Brewing faculty L-R: Jon Howe, Dominic Bernard, Martina Solano Bielen, Nancy More, Alek Egi, Derek Kindret & Stan Wong. Not pictured: Ken Beattie
CLASS OF BEER
How a Langley university is helping BC brew better >> DAVE SMITH
Images: Brian K. Smith
ince 2010, the BC Beer Awards & Festival (BCBA) has championed microbrewing excellence in British Columbia. During a decade of furious expansion in this province’s craft beer sector, the Vancouver-based competition’s rotating panel of judges has annually appraised a growing multitude of product samples and styles in order to select deserving prizewinners. Each time, its overseers have dutifully compiled the extensive results in order to extrapolate the identity of the ultimate victor—the ‘Brewery of the Year’. For nine years, the succession of small brewers basking in the elation of overall triumph has involved a uniformity too ordinary to notice: each one of those winning breweries, no matter how large, small, successful, fashionable or obscure, has been a for-profit commercial entity. It took until the tenth year of the festival for that invisible pattern to break in dramatic fashion, when Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Brewing & Brewery Operations program was crowned champion at the BC Beer Awards this past October. For the first time ever in Canada (and maybe only the second time in North America), a brewing education program at a registered not-for-profit institution faced off against well over 100 commercial breweries in a fully adjudicated, top-level regional brewing competition and beat them all for top honours. Certainly, the question here cannot be ‘why did it take ten years?’. The question is: how did this happen at all? W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 11
Riding A Golden Wave
Those same ten years have comprised an amazing decade in the BC beer renaissance, during which a series of advancements in both liquor policy and consumer experience has driven mass acceptance of a new craft beer subculture. The heroes of this movement are its head brewers, many of whom honed self-taught skills as passionate homebrewers before successfully negotiating a path to competence in a commercial operation. With a bit of reflection, one can imagine that the learning curve involved would have been significant, and that success in the industry was never guaranteed for these self-starters. There was probably also a leap of faith for the new BC brewery owners employing many of them. But what choice did they have in candidates, given that dedicated brewery education programs were an esoteric luxury offered in far-flung locations like Northern California, Chicago, Scotland and Germany—not here in Canada. At least, that was the case until 2010, when the Niagara College Teaching Brewery (NCTB) was formed. Based in pastoral Southern Ontario, Niagara College had founded a Teaching Winery by 2002, prompted by the growing success of local vineyards. As is often the case, beer followed wine when NCTB launched a new two-year diploma program. Amazingly, the Teaching Brewery began competing with commercial breweries within a year and winning awards for individual beers at the U.S. Open Beer Championship as early as 2011. Since then, NCTB has become part of the fabric of the Ontario brewing scene. Continued on page 12
COVER | breweries in profile Continued from page 11
In 2016, All About Beer magazine published a feature on the brewing education scene in which it identified that there were at least a couple dozen US colleges offering beer and brewing programs. That same year, the people behind the U.S. Open also apparently noticed that there were a lot of schools competing for mainstream brewing awards, so it forked off a standalone competition called the U.S. Open College Beer Championship. The top honour for best college brewing program at the inaugural U.S. College Open went to...Canada, as Niagara was crowned Grand National Champion. Little did anyone know that in a mere three years, there would be a second such honour for Canada.
A Stroke of Fate
Martina, Dominic, Alek, Stan & Nancy in the office
There are occasions when the right person happens to arrive in the right place at the perfect time to make a difference to many. One such example is when Dr. Alan Davis came on board as President of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2012. Among Davis’ past educational appointments was a term at Niagara College in the early-mid 2000s, beginning soon after their Teaching Winery was established. This experience clearly made an impression on Davis, because early in his KPU tenure, he made an interesting suggestion to another new arrival.
Thus formed the large, loose steering group termed the Advisory Committee, comprised of the very industry members that the new program would be constructed to serve. This grassroots community engagement helped the program start off on the right path for serious potential.
Dr. Elizabeth Worobec (better known simply as Betty) became Dean of Kwantlen’s Faculty of Science and Horticulture in 2012. In her first year, she was asked to assess the feasibility of a new program. “Coming from Niagara College,” she recalls, “President Davis thought we should have some kind of credential around wine and winemaking.”
Developing A Team
As she tells it, “We arranged for a consultant to come out from Niagara, then toured some local wineries. To fill out our day they had us visit two craft breweries,” referring to Surrey’s Central City Brewing and Russell Brewing. Dean Worobec continues, “I went to each of the establishments with two questions: 1. 2.
If we provided a trained workforce, would you hire? If you would, what sort of credential would you require?”
The wineries were noncommittal, leaving Worobec skeptical. But both breweries told her, “We will hire five people today. Here is the type of training they should have.” Beer wasn’t on the menu at first, but it now had Worobec’s attention. So, she followed up. “I think I called every craft brewery in the area and asked them those same questions,” the Dean reveals. “Every single one I talked to was so excited and welcoming; that was the impetus that kept us going.” They investigated other programs such as Niagara, Alberta's Olds College, Oregon State University and U.C. (Davis) until they settled on a two-year diploma program. Worobec recalls, “In 2013, when we were putting together the proposal for approval by the University and the provincial Ministry of Higher Education, we brought together a group of BC craft beer specialists.” Ken Beattie was newly minted as Executive Director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild. Brad McQuhae had founded Newlands Systems Inc., who ultimately donated the school’s main brewing system. They and some local head brewers met in a room with a whiteboard and drafted a bare bones outline for a two-year diploma program. 12 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
“The impression that remains with me is: collaboration was at the core of the decision-making process,” Beattie shares. “The University was completely focused on the feedback the brewing community was providing them." At that point, as Dean Worobec explains, “We then needed to hire content experts to create the courses and curriculum. We put out a want ad and had two amazing candidates with different skill sets apply: Dominic Bernard had a strong science background, while Nancy More had the science along with amazing business acumen; both had considerable brewing experience. They divided the courses in half and went on to develop the curriculum.” Outside of Beattie, Nancy More is easily the KPU faculty member best known to the BC brewing community—and in terms of being celebrated, she gives Ken a serious run for his money. Considered by many to be the first female Brewmaster in North America, Nancy is an international brewing industry veteran who worked for decades at Interbrew (Oland, Labatt) and Diageo (Guinness). She’s also now officially a Legend in BC brewing (you’ll find out more about that in Lundy Dale’s Women in Beer interview, right after this story). After rising to senior management and holding positions in the UK, Russia, Asia and Africa, she came back to Canada in 2013 with the intent to retire from the industry...until a friend saw a job posting on Kwantlen’s website. “It was pretty random”, Nancy says of the happenstance that brought her into the KPU fold. “I was in Nigeria acting as the Technical Director for Guinness.” The next thing she knew, she was applying for a job in Langley BC and helping develop a fledgling educational program. With her experience in training brewers, creating a curriculum wasn’t completely new, but as Nancy says, “I discovered that teaching takes way more time than I ever expected. I tell people it’s a lot easier to run a multi-million-dollar organization than it is to teach two university courses at the same time.” She’s gained new respect for higher education, noting “Academia has its own special language, and I had to learn the thinking processes, language and culture.”
COVER | breweries in profile
Derek continues, “You might want to be a brewer, but you also need distribution, you need health & safety, you need sales.” On that latter point, Stan notes, “It’s an evolution from being a homebrewer into the business of beer, and making sure that the great products that you’re making are saleable.”
Everybody Loves an Underdog
Nancy, Jon and Derek with Dean Worobec
The person Nancy was partnered up with had a head start in formal education: Dominic Bernard is a former high school teacher with a chemistry degree from SFU. When a friend at Granville Island Brewing said Dominic should work in beer, he started homebrewing. After running into James Walton of Storm Brewing at the Great Canadian Beer Festival, he sat in on a brew day and met veteran Lower Mainland brewers like Tim Brown, then at Mission Springs Brew Pub. Dominic hung around Mission Springs doing things like filling bottles until he was finally hired and trained to brew by Brown, who would himself eventually do a tour of duty as a KPU instructor.
Bit by bit since its debut, the KPU Brewing program has climbed up the ladder of success. In 2016, first-round alum Ashley Brooks was the first KPU graduate to take gold at BC Beer Awards, while brewing for Surrey’s Big Ridge. The next two years, the program won its own BCBA trophies. Recipes for submitted samples are typically designed by the instructors, but production involves the brewing students. In 2017, the year after Niagara took top honours at the inaugural U.S. Open College Beer Championship, KPU placed second overall. Then in spring 2019 they reached the pinnacle: Grand National Champion among all North American brewing schools. Half a year later, they were crowned BC champion brewery, period. It’s hard to imagine what else there is to win at this point. Why all the fuss about the BC Beer Awards win? Consider that BCBA invites commercial breweries doing professional work daily, many for quite some time. For instance, Vancouver Island Brewing was founded three decades before KPU’s program was. The Brew Lab
Dean Worobec continues, “Once the program was approved by KPU and the Province, we needed to hire our main brewing faculty. We knew we wanted to hire both Dominic and Nancy but needed another full-time brewing expert, who turned out to be Program Chair Alek Egi.” Alek came to Canada from the University of Belgrade, landing at Halifax’ Dalhousie University under a prof who was doing some interesting research in brewing. He soon interned at a malting facility in Alberta, and ultimately became long-time Brewing Manager at the Canadian Malt Barley Technical Centre in Winnipeg. His background with malt has given him an special perspective as a brewery instructor. Worobec concludes, “The hiring committee knew from the first interviews with Nancy, Alek and Dominic that they would be able to lead the program to success. We were also fortunate to hire the other great instructors we have today, including Martina Solano Bielen, Ken Beattie, Stan Wong, Jon Howe and Derek Kindret.” The latter two, dubbed ‘the twins’ during our photo shoot, are KPU graduates who decided it was also a good place to work. Jon recounts, “I learned a whole ton in my first year, then got picked up at Bomber Brewing.” Then in the fall of 2016, a posting went up online and he applied for the faculty position. “It’s the best of both worlds for me,” Jon reveals. “I get to stay in that University environment where I’m constantly learning new things, but I’m also practicing my brewing skills. It’s very cool to be around a group of people that are so passionate about it.” Derek adds, “It’s hard to find a cohesive group that collectively knows so much about all of the topics of brewing.” “It’s a well-rounded program,” states Martina, whose superpower is microbiology. “They get to do Chemistry, Biology, Sensory, Mechanical Engineering, Marketing, Business Management…” W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 13
Rare as the BCBA win was, Kwantlen isn’t the first school in North America to beat the pros—although it probably didn’t miss being first by much. The only equivalent win we’re aware of belongs to the Culinary Institute of America, whose teaching brewery was awarded New York State Brewery of the Year in March 2019—a mere seven months prior to KPU in what seems to be a stellar year for post-secondary brewing. (Credit goes to BC Beer Awards co-founder Chester Carey, a culinary expert himself, for digging that tidbit up.) Chester explains how the school was chosen by BCBA as champion: “The title is awarded to the brewery with the highest medals-per-entry averaged score. The total medals each brewery wins is divided by the number of beers that brewery has entered into the competition.” That’s a relatively common approach at similar events. It does mean that there might be another brewery which won more total awards, which was the case in October when Dageraad Brewing took home an astounding nine BCBA trophies. But judging by Brewery Manager Mitch Warner’s comment to this author that “It’s pretty awesome KPU won,” one can tell that the former Canadian Brewery of the Year holds no grudge. It’s hard not to root for the underdog. Continued on page 14
COVER | breweries in profile Continued from page 13
Is this lab a real Brewery? Every Friday from 1:00-6:00 PM during the school term, you can visit the KPU Brew Lab at Kwantlen’s Langley campus and buy yourself a growler fill. It’s a bit odd to drive up to a university for that weekend beer run, but it’s a great way to support the students and find out if their beer is really good enough to win all those trophies. To get to the pouring station, you’ll walk by the brewhouse. With its columns of tiny fermenters that accommodate multiple brew teams, it resembles an alien laundromat. Given its modest capacity (2 hl NSI system), some might question whether this lab could properly be called a brewery. The answer: go look at the awards shelf. Building a teaching brewhouse isn’t the same as establishing your typical science course. As Dean Betty Worobec recalls, “Our first class began September 2014. I really thought the brewery would be ready by then. But we had to do a lot of adjustments because we couldn’t get into the brewery until February. So that first class was different than the ones that came after.” Delays in construction and launch. Sound familiar? If nothing else, that should convince anyone familiar with craft industry start-ups that KPU Brew Lab is a real brewery. During that building phase, the team continued community outreach, meeting many of the brewers Dominic knew at places like Parallel 49, Coal Harbour, Main Street and Strange Fellows. He and Nancy also toured Delta’s Turning Point Brewery (aka the Stanley Park label, now owned by Labatt) as well. After the program was underway, there were student field trips to places like the Molson brewery on Burrard, when it was operational.
Student at work
That highlights something in KPU’s approach that differs from the other BC institutions that have explored the beer education space. For instance, the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) offers a craft beer appreciation course, and in 2020 Okanagan College will do the same.
Then there’s Simon Fraser University, who actually beat KPU to the punch when a Science of Brewing course kicked off at its Surrey campus in January 2014. That effort was followed by a wider Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials program targeted at homebrew hobbyists and working industry personnel looking to brush up on their knowledge. The name of the program reflects the obvious current appeal of learning “craft” brewing, so the program wasn’t conceived to train people who might want to work in a large-scale commercial operation. KPU wants no such limitation. Instructor Martina Solano Bielen says, “Within the first month, some students might decide, ‘I would like to work at Molson. What can I do to get there?’ Then there will be students who would never want to work at Molson.” Nevertheless, the goal of KPU’s two-year program is to educate 14 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
At the growler fill station people—with hands-on training—to the level that they would be seriously considered for work anywhere from an esoteric craft outlet to a giant international brewery. For instance, one KPU grad was hired as production manager at Granville Island, which is a subsidiary of Molson Coors. That’s a respectable job. The understanding that brewing jobs aren’t only out there in fashionable micros probably stems from the experience of the faculty, with BC Craft Brewers Guild leader Ken Beattie originally coming from Molson and Sleeman, Nancy More from Labatt and Guinness, and marketing instructor Stan Wong previously at Labatt. They are all invested in the BC craft scene, but they also recognize the technical excellence of many brewers at the Big Beer level...and they’ve helped shape a program with the chops to vie with the ones that inspired it in a relatively short time. In fact there is one category in which KPU has indisputably outdone the competition, thanks to their 2017 designation as a Recognized Program by the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA), for meeting its “approved guidelines and learning outcomes.” As of this writing, only a dozen other US institutions have met the necessary stringent requirements, leaving KPU as the first (and so far only) MBAA-approved school in Canada. That potentially makes KPU tough to compete with. On that note, it so happens that there’s currently a notice on the SFU brewing website that their brewing program is undergoing a review “as part of SFU’s program renewal cycle.” It states that “We are taking this opportunity to offer all courses within the program one last time as we explore the program’s future.” Sama Ghnaim, Associate Director of Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials at SFU Continuing Studies, confirms that it’s too early to comment on the future of the program. However, she notes, “We’re proud to have played a role in supporting the local craft beer community. Our instructors have helped our students to network and connect with the brewing community, helping them to accomplish their goals and become part of this tightly-knit family.” About Kwantlen’s recent success at BCBA, she opines, “Awards like this shine a spotlight on the craft beer community and what it is capable of.” Yes, they do; they probably also demonstrate the return on investment a serious teaching brew lab has provided KPU. Continued on page 16
COVER | breweries in profile Continued from page 14
What’s on Tap Next Nancy More realizes that it’s an exciting era for beer. When we spoke, her fridge was packing Ravens Hot Chocolate Porter and Deep Cove Method Pale Ale. It’s not random: she grabbed the beers when visiting former students at those breweries. It works the same way when she sees students at beer fests: “I like going around and tasting what they’re making,” Nancy concedes. She contemplates, “I look back, and many of the things that are being brewed now, were being brewed in the Labatt Technology Development Centre decades ago. I remember that one of our trainees brewed a Vanilla Stout with bananas. There was all this cool stuff going on...but the scale of these breweries was simply too big to bring that sort of thing to market. So, I think it’s wonderful that there are so many people out there now [in craft beer] with the ability to be creative.” Alek Egi feels that KPU has come a long way to meet that need in the last five years: developing the courses, creating standard operating procedures and getting the brewery how they’d like it to be. As for where to go from here, he notes, “We’re constantly trying to improve things. For instance: developing Continuing Studies courses to offer to the existing brewing industry.” Dean Worobec explains, “A lot of the students are in the workforce, and brewing might be a second career. We’ve always been talking about some kind of a part-time model so we can address the need for people to work.” School and work go hand in hand. “Every Fall when class starts, I’m impressed by the number of students working at local breweries while attending the program,” shares Ken Beattie. “I lost count, at 28, of the number of KPU alumni who walked across the stage as members of medal-winning breweries at this year’s BC Beer Awards.” Dominic notes, “When we started, beer people would ask, ‘What’s Kwantlen?’ These days, when we go to a beer event, people know us. We’ve got so many alumni working locally at BC breweries, the beer festivals feel like home.” “Students and graduates are spread out over the entire province,” notes John DeJong, Sales Manager at Ravens Brewing. He goes on to make a great point that “These students have a built-in network—because of the pre-existing relationship—that will make collaboration among breweries even stronger.” John is well aware of KPU’s benefits because Ravens’ head brewer Dan Marriette was in the inaugural graduating class. Cole Smith, Head Brewer at Dead Frog Brewery, also graduated in that class. “I went into the program looking for some validation and credentials for my passion and ended up with a whole lot more than that,” Cole shares. “From being able to read MBAA technical papers to orchestrating a scheduled microbiological monitoring regimen, the KPU program really helped to bridge the gap between art and science, and to tie all the loose ends together for me.” Advisory Committee member Graham With is one of those homebrewers who successfully transitioned into a head brewer’s position, when Parallel 49 Brewing launched in 2012. He sees the 16 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
KPU faculty & alumni celebrate the big win value in what KPU is doing, describing them as a ‘welcomed addition’. P49 has had a few KPU interns who have finished their diploma then returned to a full-time position. He notes, “We look for individuals who have the science and production knowledge who are able to troubleshoot issues and problem solve as things arise.” As a result of managers like that, Program Chair Alek Egi states, “Our graduate employment rate is over 90%. Almost anyone who finishes this program and wants to work in a brewery can get a job.” Surprisingly, that success can lead to a certain challenge for KPU Brewing. “We encourage our first-year students to go out, intern and find [summer] jobs in the industry”, explains Dean Betty Worobec. “The employers see how great they are after only one year. So, every year we lose some [who drop out to begin their new careers early]. It’s not something we had thought about when we planned the program!” On the flip side, thanks to their amazing 2019, Worobec is expecting a lot of interest from new applicants. Let’s face it: there is probably no other science department that has the built-in appeal that brewing beer does, both for the students and the public. But a little extra PR can’t hurt. Sometimes it’s good to be the champ.
Dave Smith Editor of What's Brewing & Beer Me BC, and past contributor to various beer & liquor industry publications. Craft beer fan since the late 1990s.
WOMEN IN BEER | profile
Learning From a
LEGEND Q&A WITH NANCY MORE
INSTRUCTOR, BREWING & BREWERY OPERATIONS PROGRAM, KWANTLEN POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
>> LUNDY DALE
ancy More is a true legend of the brewing industry, in BC and internationally. She has done a lot for women in the brewing world in her 40 years working with beer, mostly without even trying. In 1985, she was appointed Head Brewmaster at Oland’s Brewery in Saint John, New Brunswick—the first female head brewer in North America. She has since had stints in Europe, the Ukraine, Russia, and back in BC. She co-founded and teaches in the brewing program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. In honour of a landmark anniversary and all her contributions to the industry, the BC Craft Brewers Guild announced a scholarship in her name in October. To complement that honour, Nancy received a Legend award at the 2019 BC Beer Awards. Nancy will always make time to help anyone who has a question about the industry, or about beer, especially over a beer. You leave the conversation knowing more than you thought there was possibly to know about beer and wanting to know more. I met Nancy a few years back at one of our annual International Women’s Day Pink Boots brew days. She attends as many of these brews as her time allows and brings female students with her. Last year she led a large group of students and many KPU senior faculty members to their first International Women’s Day brew. We hope many more will follow. W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 17
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR PRESENT POSITION, AND WHAT ROLE DID YOU PLAY AT FIRST? In October of 2014, Dominic Bernard and I started to develop the curriculum for the KPU Brewing program, so I helped shape the content of the courses that were going to be given. Dominic and I worked together to ensure the individual courses included the appropriate content, and that they built on, and complemented, each other. Our goal was to have graduates who understood the fundamental science behind brewing and could competently apply that in the real world.
WHAT ROLE DO YOU PLAY NOW? KPU gave me the opportunity to come out to Langley and teach one day a week, so I started teaching in January of 2015. I co-teach the Brewing Industry course with Ken Beattie, and Microbiology and Fermentation as well as Brewery Management.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU INTO THE INDUSTRY OVER 40 YEARS AGO? Like any university student, I liked to drink beer. I worked at the Protein Lab at the National Research Council in Saskatoon the summer between my third and fourth years at university. During that summer,
I met two people who had applied to, or were in, the Labatt Breweries Technical Training program. I thought that would be fun, so when I went back to the U of Alberta to finish my chemistry degree, I decided to apply. Rumour has it that the year I applied, people in operations at Labatt were told they needed to start hiring women. So, after three sets of interviews, I was offered a position. I decided to take it and stay until it wasn’t fun anymore. I stayed with Labatt for 27½ years.
HOW WERE YOU TRAINED? The training program was a three-year experience where we did every job in the brewery, studied the technical literature, kept voluminous notes on what we were learning and how it applied in the brewery, and wrote exams on each section. We were trained in brewing, packaging, distribution, and quality, and acted as supervisors in the areas we were being trained in at the end of that section.
WHERE WERE YOU THE FIRST FEMALE BREWMASTER IN NORTH AMERICA? In 1985, I was appointed as the Head Brewmaster for Oland’s Brewery in Saint John, New Brunswick. That was pretty exciting, more for the opportunity to do the job than for the distinction and publicity that was given for being the first female. And moving to the Maritimes was my first experience in really learning how to work in a (slightly) different culture.
WHAT WERE YOUR LAST MAJOR JOBS? I then moved from one coast of Canada to the other, and I really loved my time as the Brewery Manager at the Columbia Brewery in Creston. The people at Columbia have such great passion for what they do, and they absolutely work together in a team to make the best beer possible. In 2001, I was given the opportunity to move to Europe where SunInterbrew had 14 breweries across Russia and the Ukraine. Then InBev wanted to use my combination of technical expertise and business management experience to work within the Global Technology Development team. That was another exposure to new ideas and new countries. Finally, in 2005, Guinness came looking for me, and I joined Diageo in London, working in International Beer Supply. In 2006, I became Supply Director, which I think was the type of role that I had been looking for all my life. Continued on page 19
Continued from page 17
WOMEN IN BEER | profile
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR PASSION FOR BEER? I think what I originally loved was the combination of art and science. At that time (do I sound old?) we didn’t know much of what we do now about the science behind it. We had to trust the expertise of the people that we learned from. And gradually, I realized the great pride in being able to watch people enjoy the beer that I brewed and know that I was contributing to their celebrations.
DO YOU FEEL RESPECTED IN YOUR PRESENT ROLE? HOW HAS THIS CHANGED OVER YOUR 40 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY? I think there are two types of respect: respect for position and respect for the person. People who know me have the second, which is more important to me. My CV acts as an introduction to people who don’t know me but understand that I wouldn’t have got where I am unless I knew something. I think that, in the brewing industry, what we do and the passion that we all have for beer is the same. We face the same challenges, but the priorities differ depending on the scale of the brewery. We always need to think about what the right solution to the specific situation is, which will depend on the size, the priorities, the capabilities, the geographic locations, etc.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING A MINORITY FEMALE PRESENCE? DO YOU FIND YOUR ROLE HAS BEEN A HELP GETTING MORE WOMEN INVOLVED? When I started as a young woman, I think I believed my gender wouldn’t make a difference. My father always brought me up to do whatever needed doing. I hope that I have served as a role model to women and that young women realize that there is a place for them in this world.
IN 2018, YOU DECIDED TO LEAD A PINK BOOTS BREW AT KPU. DID YOU FEEL THAT IT WAS A BENEFIT TO THE WOMEN AT KPU?
Nancy accepts the second annual Legend award at BC Beer Awards 2019. Bottom: she celebrates with colleague DeAnn Bremner. Photos: B. K. Smith/ What's Brewing and J. P. Grafstein/JustJash
I had a great time with all the women who came to Langley last March 8. We also invited the senior women from the other faculties at KPU and I think that we opened their eyes to what we were doing. In everything in life, community is the source of much support so the more we can build that community, the stronger we will be together and as individuals.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE FEMALE IN THE INDUSTRY AND WHY? Professor Inge Russell for her ground-breaking research and persistence in being a world-renowned researcher. Claire Wilson for starting her own brewery (Dogwood Brewing). Julia Hanlon (Steamworks Brewing) for showing that you can have a family and be a great brewer and leader. Karyn Westmacott for her continued passion on making better beer. And all my wonderful female students who are so successful. If I start calling them out, I’ll miss some and I don’t want to do that. They know who they are.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR WOMEN GETTING INTO THE INDUSTRY? Keep encouraging them, let them see the successful women in our industry and know that they can do it. Build a community that they can see themselves as part of.
ANY GOALS FOR YOURSELF OR KPU? My goals are for the continued success of the program, for our ability to develop the brewers that the industry needs going forward, and to get to a gender-balanced program.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BEER OF THE BREWERY AND WHY? KPU is always brewing new beers. Right now, I have been drinking the Birra Rossa that won at the BC Beer Awards.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BEER OUTSIDE OF YOUR BREWERY AND WHY? I have different beers that I drink depending on the occasion. That is the joy of the craft beer movement now; there are always new things to try. So, I really move around to see what others are doing. But there will always be a soft spot for Guinness in my heart. How can you not love a brand that has been around for 250 years? Lundy Dale Lundy is a founder of CAMRA BC's Vancouver chapter, Barley's Angels' Pink Pints Chapter and BC Craft Beer Month, Past President of CAMRA BC, and the first ever recipient of the very same BC Beer Awards Legend award that Nancy just won.
W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 19
AN IN-CIDER'S VIEW | cider
Harvesting The Urban Orchards
>> JEFF NAIRN ou see the most when you’re really looking.
Our journey started over two years ago when my wife Nathaly and I took a serious leap from home cider production to a fully-fledged cidery, using apples from city trees. The first promising tree we found was along Grandview Highway, back from the road with a heck of a lot of apples that seemed ready for picking at the end of August 2017. There are about seven trees on that stretch—a mix of yellow crab apples and red and green apples—but this one looked like the safest bet. Other trees overhung the busy road and picking them would surely have involved death-defying stunts. The seed from an apple is a hybrid of its parents, like human babies. That Grandview tree likely grew from a discarded apple core, and we have no idea what kind it was; our best guess is a Baldwin cross. We picked about 80 pounds from that tree: enough to ferment our first 20 litres of 100% East Van Cider. For the past three summers we’ve cycled up and down alleyways, mapping apple trees. Last year we picked 1,000 pounds of apples from about 25 trees throughout Vancouver, and this year it grew closer to 4,000 pounds. This has opened our eyes to the huge abundance of fruit growing just over our heads. This city has hundreds of trees and many urban orchards growing with no pesticides or pruning. Amazingly, many of these trees are heritage varietals—Winesaps, Cox’s Orange Pippins, Winter Banana— planted dozens of years ago by newcomers to the city. One stretch of East 17th Avenue is lined with 15 apple trees. As far as I can tell, they are Gravensteins. The trees are completely unpruned and growing wild. In the autumn, Knight Street is lined with these apples; they fall to the pavement and roll down the hill to meet their fate. Along the way, they hit cars or roll through people’s yards. As far as I can tell, no one knows how this urban orchard got there. The City of Vancouver’s database of trees on public property lists the species as Malus pumila but has no indication of when they were planted. And that’s just one urban orchard we’ve visited. There’s an ongoing project to rehabilitate the Copley Community Orchard, located beside the SkyTrain line just north of Trout Lake. A community group has been pruning and picking the older trees in the park and planting and nurturing new trees. The group hosts a pick-and-press in the fall and is always looking for help. Another local community group maintains a small orchard in China Park North. One tree we’re especially fond of is on the way to our daughter’s school in East Vancouver. The tree is old and, up until this past year, was unpruned. The tenants of the property started taking care of the tree last year and it now grows a lot of fruit. We’ve been told it’s a Winesap apple tree, and this past year we picked close to 500 pounds from it and helped clean up fallen apples from their yard. We’ve also found and picked a gigantic tree in the back yard of a 20 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20 2018
Apple trees on Knight Street
convent in New Westminster, and an absolute giant of a tree in the back yard of a stately home in Shaughnessy, among others. The theme here is food waste and food security inside of our city. Most of the fruit from these apple trees, as well as plums, quince, pears, grapes and more, typically goes into the dumpster. Fallen fruit attracts rats and racoons in the city, and bears on the North Shore. It’s a shame that it creates such a problem, waste and otherwise, but a family (or group of families) can only eat so many apple pies and bottles of apple sauce every year. Across the country, Canadians waste over $30 billion worth of food per year. That is 47% of all the food produced in Canada, which becomes over 25% of residential garbage in the city. We’re not dealing with a lack of food supply, it’s a lack of proper distribution that leaves people hungry.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED The Vancouver Tree Fruit Project, headed by Maddie Hague, collects unwanted fruit every year. They have a volunteer list of close to 650 people, organized under eight pick leaders. The picked fruit is donated to 17 community groups like Cedar Cottage Neighborhood House and to charities like the United Gospel Mission. Since they started in 1999, they have picked over 70,000 pounds of fruit. This year alone, 61 picks gathered 4300 pounds — their best haul since 2014. There are groups in Victoria and North Vancouver that also run the same sort of program. If you want to get involved, here are some great resources to check out: • Vancouver Tree Fruit Project vancouverfruittree.com • Find out what species your apple is: www.applename.com • City of Vancouver list of street trees: data.vancouver.ca/datacatalogue/streetTrees.htm • A map of fruit trees on Vancouver public property: publicfruitvancouver.blogspot.com
Jeff Nairn is the co-founder of Windfall Cider, a craft cider producer based in East Vancouver. His column tackles items fermented, not brewed, focussing on issues related to BC's burgeoning craft cider industry.
dark & SilkY A Spotlight on Porter
Beer photography by Abby Wiseman
CHRIS BONNALLIE IS YOUR CRAFT BEER EXPERT AT LEGACY Got questions about craft beer? Talk to Chris!
Call 604.331.7900 firstname.lastname@example.org
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THIS ISSUE'S PANELISTS
Warren Boyer: BJCP Certified award-winning home and commercial brewer, past President of CAMRA Vancouver and Pacific Beer Chat member Adam Chatburn: home and commercial brewer, cellarman, WB columnist and past President of CAMRA Vancouver
THE ORIGINAL MACRO BEER
Abby Wiseman of Small Batch Vancouver reviews food & drink Mike Garson, legendary founder of Mike's Craft Beer, Pacific Beer Chat and Brew Crime, and occasional event judge Carnell Turton of Breward Inlet: if the beer isnâ€™t good heâ€™ll say it
n 18th century London, before it became a beer, Porter first meant "a labourer who carries things around at, say, the docks." When a trend toward stronger, dark brown beer developed that century, it took its name from those thirsty workers because this is the style they drank...and they drank a lot of it. Considered by many to be the first industrially-brewed beer, its demand created monster breweries in England (eg, Whitbread) and Ireland (Guinness). Porter's value stemmed from its ability to provide malty sugars (and a hit of alcohol) to those coping with a bruising physical workload.
Congrats to Four Winds for brewing a porter that took first place hands-down amongst our panel. We thank all participating brews, including the ones which deviated from core style for the sake of variety.
OVERALL RATINGS Scoring involves these five categories, for a total possible score of 30. For a full list of individual scores, turn to next page.
Once porter achieved its massive popularity, it gave name to a place to drink it ('porter house'), a food (the steak), and an even more dominant beer style ('Stout Porter', now just Stout). Its demand was not without repercussions: raise a glass to those who lost their lives in the most famous beer flood in history.
WHAT WE SAMPLED The beers evaluated this round included:
Backcountry Prestige Worldwide Robust
Coal Harbour Charcoal Porter
Dead Frog Black Frost Dry Hopped Porter 6.0%
Driftwood Blackstone Porter
Four Winds Oat Porter 5.5%
6. VIB Nanaimo Bar Porter
BALANCE: MALT VS. HOP
6.0% 6.2% Porter, like many English ales, is originally a very malty style.
Pie chart tip: start at top of legend and work clockwise from 45 degree mark (3 o'clock) >>
As noted already: porter was always meant to be a highly drinkable style.
WB SPRING TASTING PANEL RESULTS. MAXIMUM SCORE = 30
Backcountry Prestige ROBUST Note: neither Whatâ€™s Brewing nor Legacy Liquor Store bear responsibility for the opinions expressed within, which are solely those of the individual panelists..
21 18 19
Deep dark brown with a rocky tan head. Head dissapeared quickly with little lace. Roasted malt with light caramel flavours.
While I would not say this is a perfect robust porter (for me) it was an enjoyable brew. It just seems to have more bitterness than I would expect.
My wife says I may be scoring Porters low because I wish they were stouts. While that may be true, if they all hit the bar Backcountry has maybe I wouldn't be so Team Stout.
24 26 19 21 23
22 26 20 24 14
A great package from Backcountry. Great to see their stouts can hang with their IPAs. Itâ€™s a very complex beer with lots of high citrusy notes and a bitter finish. I find it a bit unbalanced and feel like it could be rounded out with more malt.
Driftwood Blackstone 2.4/3
Coal Harbour Charcoa
26 25 23 24
A really great porter, just the right blend of chocolate and treacle, thick dark head and easy to drink. Excellent. Generally a nice beer. Very middle of the road and sippable, but not particularly memorable. Seems more bitter than I would expect for a standard porter.
Toasty and roasty, without being so bold in any one area as to be off-putting. A fine example of the style.
Deep brown with a rocky with balanced hop bitterne
Really interesting beer; act unexpected. Has a peculiar Nice drinkable porter. Not
Just the right amount of bitt brew. Definitely a well-mad
I taste the charcoal and som love it to be more bold and
Four Winds Oat Porte
Deep brown to black with a deep tan head. Roasty, coffee, chocolate. Not sweet. Bold.
Deep brown to black with Roasted coffee and chocol
Four Winds still crushing
Nicely balanced. Not ove easy sip.
This is definitely a great o zy beers and standard bee
When I reach for a Porter body paired with nice roa of oats, which imparts a ro the Backcountry offering.
SEE WWW.WHATSBREWING.CA/TASTING-PANEL FOR FULL SET OF SCORES
Dead Frog Black Frost
21 18 14 20
tan head. Some lacing. Roasty and malty ess.
tual charcoal at the bottom of the glass was r, slightly pleasant grittiness. sure about where the charcoal fits in.
tterness to match with the sweetness in this de brew.
me dark chocolate which is fine, but I would d robust. As it is, it leaves me wanting more.
The hops are a nice wrinkle, but as it warmed up toward the porter flavours, the hops didn't help. Didnâ€™t love it. Hops left an odd sort of soapy aftertaste. Definitely feels like it is more on the Black IPA or Cascadian Dark Ale side than a Porter, for the amount of bitterness it has. Juicy dark fruit flavours are most noticeable but not very welcome in this Porter, which lacks the rich roasty flavours of a typical Porter. This would be an interesting take on a Cascadian Dark Ale.
h a deep tan head. Decent lacing. late. Fruity with a bit of sweetness.
21 17 13 21 23
g it: a great Porter all round.
erly intense in flavour, which makes it an
one from a brewery that can make both craers very well.
r, this is the flavour profile I look for. Solid asty malts. Really benefits from the addition obust body, although not quite as robust as .
Hazy deep brown with a rocky tan head. Balanced hop presence.
VIB Nanaimo Bar Porter
Deep dark brown with a tan head. Some lacing. Vanilla and coconut are subtle yet present. Roasted coffee notes and some warmth. Mercifully, not too sweet. Another great entry from VIB, although it didn't really give me a huge 'nanaimo bar' experience. The malts fell flat in flavour, making for too much bitterness. For a beer called Nanaimo Bar Porter, this beer tastes almost nothing like a Nanaimo Bar and is quite bitter. For my tastes this is a fine porter with a decent body. But am I missing something? Where is that Nanaimo bar at?
ULLAGE & SPILLAGE | opinion
Serving it Righteously C
>> J. RANDOM
hange is good, as long as it represents progress (as defined by me, of course). Self-serve craft beer bars are progress, particularly for those of us not endowed with patience. Rumours of their existence began filtering out of the country to the south of us a few years ago, but only recently did I get a chance to check them out. A trip to Denver for some serious beer tourism had to include stops to see two different systems in operation.
Pushing your fancy glass down onto the unit opens the valve in the bottom of the glass and starts the flow of beer. Back at your table, your glass leaks onto your pants because the valves aren’t perfect and they don’t provide coasters.
First Draft Taproom and Kitchen is a craft beer bar in Denver’s River North (RINO) district. RINO is an old industrial area full of craft breweries, similar to Yeast Van, but with the bonus of numerous bars and restaurants on the two main north-south streets. At First Draft’s pay desk, you exchange your credit card for a fob with an RFID chip. Applying the chip to the sensor next to the tap of your choice activates that tap. You pour any amount of beer you want and are charged by the ounce. You can have several quick tasters or fill your glass, all without waiting for a server. The setup they have is from I Pour It. Drink Command, ISuds, and The Table Tap are three more manufacturers of similar beerwall systems. Some places use cards or wristbands rather than fobs, some work with an app on your phone. In each case, the electronics are sophisticated but the taps are standard.
Fans attending games at BC Place will be familiar with Bottoms Up dispensers where they are operated by serving staff. So when are you going to be able to serve yourself at Lions and Whitecaps games? The BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch said this about how they’d respond to such an application:
Closer to downtown Denver we were guided to an even more At First Draft Taproom and Kitchen exotic system. Broadway Market is like a food court, but with higher-class food and without the mall. I suspected if I ate too much from one particular stall, my beard would grow neater and bushier and I might develop a man-bun in my bald spot. Again, you pick up an RFID card and you can charge beer and food at any of the stalls. The big feature for us was a Bottoms Up beer system with self-serve capability.
26 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
At Broadway Market
• As part of government’s goals of safe establishments and safe communities, self-service of liquor is not permitted in British Columbia. • In order to serve alcohol, licensees are required to ensure it is poured by employees who are qualified through the Serving It Right program. • This helps ensure that patrons are not over-served, and that they do not put themselves in a position that threatens their own safety or the safety of others. And that’s pretty much what you’d expect them to say. BC’s glacial liquor law transition after Prohibition has taken nearly 100 years already, so don’t look for beer walls in this province any decade soon. The closest places for British Columbians to experience this phenomenon are Downtime Taps in Bellingham WA and Barney’s Pub and Grill in Leduc AB. Clearly these are both towns where the drinkers are so much more adult and responsible than the general public in BC. Let us know if you find somewhere closer! J. Random 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.
THE DEATH OF CASKS and my part in their downfall
Central City Summer Cask Festival 2018
>> ADAM CHATBURN
n 2013, I became president of the Vancouver branch of the Campaign For Real Ale BC (CAMRA BC), with a mandate of modernization, greater consumer advocacy, and membership growth. I also had a private agenda: to advance “real ale” in BC by curating cask festivals, promoting cask nights, and supporting establishments with a cask focus. I took the “RA” in “CAMRA” to heart. Beer in BC has generally been served in artificially-carbonated kegs rather than naturally-conditioned casks. Craft brewers keen to show off their art have produced a few casks, particularly at brewpubs and occasionally at beer festivals. (CAMRA BC has always supported cask events but, unlike the original CAMRA UK, was never dogmatic about only promoting cask-conditioned beer.) By 2013, cask nights were everywhere. Increasing the size and scope of the CAMRA Session Cask Festival may have boosted the momentum of other cask events such as the massively popular biannual Central City Cask Festival and Hoppapalooza at the Alibi Room. We helped increase the attendance of cask meetups at the Railway Club, Yaletown Brewing, St. Augustine’s, The Whip, and others. CRAFT Beer Market, Tap and Barrel Olympic Village and Main Street Brewing opened with casks on the menu; even Parallel 49 Brewing put a beer engine in their tasting room. Things seemed rosy for casks when I left CAMRA after two years to pursue my next phase in cask domination: opening Real Cask at Yeast Van’s Callister Brewing Co.
I spent my last farthing on casks, hops, and sparklers, bringing a mix of classic real ale and some new-world cask craziness to Yeast Van. (Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to my Kickstarter). Word got around to the real ale enthusiasts of the Pacific Northwest that something was happening. A number of bars approached me to have casks on tap but I was careful to not overreach our miniscule (7 hectolitres per month) capacity or leave the Callister taproom short. I also politely refused to supply those who had no appropriate equipment or those lacking interest in, or knowledge of, proper cask management.
The author debuts Real Cask at CAMRA Session Cask Fest, summer 2015
I offered training where possible, but as I learned during my brief time as a publican in Vancouver, staff turnover is a massive problem. (I do love to teach, but enthusing about a thousand years of brewing history to largely-uninterested servers every other month is not exactly fun.) I decided to keep only a few key taps and ensure they were well-served and maintained.
During my three years at Real Cask, I only occasionally supplied cask nights at other places. Some places did not serve the cask the way I felt it should have been done (see my rants in early issues of WB). I had my casks at festivals that passed my quality tests, but these dwindled in number and scope. Usually the casks for these events were created from beer already on tap at supplying breweries, and some establishments expected them for free. Economically, cask nights weren’t profitable for me once I considered all the costs. Hopefully they acted as an advertisement for the Callister tasting room, where I served cask beer the way I believe it should be done. However, as everyone knows, exposure doesn’t pay the bills. In my last year with Real Cask (2017– 2018), I noticed a sharp drop-off of cask nights around Vancouver. When the Alibi Room quietly phased out their cask program, the writing was on the wall. Yaletown, CRAFT Beer Market, Railway Club, St. Augustine’s, even Sundays at The Whip, have all ended in quick succession. Parallel 49’s new Street Kitchen has 40 taps, but none are for casks. A few establishments keep their beer engines as breweriana furniture, but those previously proud pumps are now just dusty relics of a now unfashionable boondoggle. I must, however, give serious props to those who nevertheless persist in doing great cask work, such as Sundown Brewing, my old friend Bill Riley at Main Street Brewing, and Moody Ales. Cask festivals are now also few and far between. The lovely folks at Tri-Cities Cask Festival Society enjoyed great success but have switched gears to open their own brewery in Port Moody; at the time Continued on page 28 W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 27
A VIEW FROM THE CELLAR | opinion Continued from page 27
of writing there are no cask events scheduled. Central City’s semi-annual cask events have bounced around two different locations but don’t attract as many fervent cask fans as in the past. The only other cask event in the GVRD is Caskapalooza at CRAFT Beer Market.
GET SIDETRACKED! COMMERCIAL DR
CAMRA BC appears to have given up on organizing cask festivals. The Powell River Craft Beer Festival, originally created by that now-defunct local CAMRA branch, now operates independently (as does Great Canadian Beer Festival, originally created by CAMRA Victoria). CAMRA Vancouver’s tradition of Caskivals is gone along with their former home, DIX BBQ & Brewery.
For many brewers, casks are a big headache; they resent having to fill pins or firkins and come up with ways to make them different from the base beer they’ve spent months or even years perfecting. As most are trained in the art of keggery, some resent the unpredictable nature of casks. There’s a longtime dirty secret of casks being filled with carbonated beer from a keg. More recently, there’s a trend of blending two beers, The author at Central City Cask Fest in 2016 most likely keg dregs, into a cask. I’m not sure what the idea is, but it smacks of laziness and is the antithesis of real ale.
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While casks fade into obscurity in the Lower Mainland they remain in some measure around the province, but as with many beer trends I have a sneaking suspicion that over time they will follow GVRD’s lead. Kegs and cans will continue their march of destiny over the real ale that CAMRA UK was founded to protect almost 50 years ago. Changes in taste might be one reason for the decline. Drinkers whose preference leans to lager, cloudy IPA, or sours seem to have no interest in casks. Another reason might well be the North American obsession with carbonation—something casks can’t do well. There’s also a consistency problem. There have been plenty of bad casks; even the best festivals have only had about a 75% strike rate in my opinion. But I think the main problem is that the poor cask handling at many pubs and events has made people think they don’t like casks. And that’s a perfectly reasonable response to many of the chewy, lumpy abominations that have been served. I tried my best, but it seems casks are on the way out. If there’s a positive to take from this, it’s that there’s so much variety now (in both beer styles and events) that a cask, previously an interesting and unique creation, simply gets lost in the shuffle. They had a great run and while they’ll persist in a few places, their decline is well underway. Farewell, my firkin lovelies.
Adam Chatburn is 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.
28 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
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BRING YOUR PORTER TO THE SLAUGHTER | opinion
WAX ON, WAX OFF! On the Folly of Wax Dipping
>> ED KAYE
t’s that wonderful time of year when breweries inundate us with big boozy beers like imperial stouts, barley wines, baltic porters, wee heavys, eisbosks, wheat wines, quads, golden strongs… I might be drooling on my keyboard a bit right now.
There’s nothing like walking into the liquor stores and seeing the shelves stacked with gorgeous wax-capped bottles filled with highgravity delights. I really love the way they look and appreciate all the work that goes into hand-dipping them. But when I’m two barley wines deep and trying to hack through the wax with a knife or melt it off with a flame, I remember that I kinda hate these stupid things! “But Ed,” you protest, “wax dipping bottles allows you to put your beers in the cellar, so they can be aged and matured for several years!” Well, I call B.S. on that! The argument is that the wax impedes the ingress of air into the bottle, preventing oxidation. But don’t crimped crown caps already serve that function? Are we expected to believe that a thin layer of wax is less permeable to air than a thick piece of steel? Seems legit! No proper scientific studies have ever been conducted on the efficacy of wax dipping beer bottles at preventing oxidation. And even if it were proven effective, most oxidation is caused by dissolved oxygen that is already in the beer, or trapped in the headspace before sealing. And why do we even age beers? Putting aside the fact that many people age beers that really don’t need to be aged, or that just plain shouldn’t be aged (I’ll save that for a separate rant), we want to allow certain harsh flavours and aromas to become more subtle. Is your American barley wine too hoppy and bitter, your 16% Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout too boozy? Leave it to age for a few years, and in theory you will be left with something akin to the nectar of the gods.
We’ve inherited this from the wine world: the idea of a cellar packed full of rare libations, waiting for the perfect time to be opened and enjoyed. Apart from the fact that most beer nerds use the cupboard under the sink to age beers rather than a vaulted cellar, there’s a very important distinction between these two worlds: when you store beer, you should always stand it upright, to prevent the metal cap from contaminating the beer; when you age wine, you should store it on its side. Taking inspiration from the latter, traditional Belgian lambic producers actually put corks in their beer and even recommend storing them horizontally. Want to know why they recommend this? First you want to stop the cork drying out, but also, you want to increase the surface area of the liquid exposed to the oxygen in the bottle. Wait, what? Why would you want that? It’s because you actually want a little oxidation! It’s part of what causes beer to ”age”—though there are several other factors at play in the process. To sum: if you want your beer to change with age, you actually need a little oxidation—you don’t want to hermetically seal it away from the ravages of time. That’s why we do this after all, we don’t want it to taste the same as it did on the day we bought it. Plus, wax sucks at what it is supposed to do anyway. My vote is for cork and cage; those Belgians know what they are doing! Still, there is something breathtaking about a thick drip of wax running down a bottle label. With the shift to canning, I wonder when we will start to see wax-dipped cans. That sounds like a fresh vision of hell!
Ed Kaye is an Associate Editor at What's Brewing and writes the weekly Events column for Hopline e-news. He operates the amazing blog Bring Your Porter To The Slaughter.
W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 29
Image: Fernie Brewing
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“I wouldn’t let anyone else touch my handles.” - Marc Roberts, co-founder Backcounty Brewing Co.
CRAFT Beer Market: Gift Card Bonus! Gift and you shall receive! This holiday season, receive a bonus $10 gift card for every $50 worth of gift cards purchased. Available in-store or online! CRAFT Beer Market: 85 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver BC www.craftbeermarket.ca/vancouver/giftcards
See us for unique beer gift items for the holiday season! SmoothEdge-ad-Nov2019-V3.indd 1
2019-11-04 9:16:56 AM
Because sometimes It’s Good To Be Empty-Handed! Where do lucky people at beer festivals get those amazing handsfree tasting glass holders you've seen? From us! Completely adjustable, holds any size glass from tiny taster to fullsized pint. Only $10, including tax & shipping within Canada! What a great stocking stuffer for a beer lover. whatsbrewing.ca/beercaddy
What's Brewing: One year home delivery! Like to read What’s Brewing in hardcopy? Don’t blame you; it’s fabulous in its glorious glossy printed format. Gift a year of home delivery (4 quarterly issues) including postage for only $20. www.whatsbrewing.ca/order
Fully adjustable Beer Caddy holds any size of tasting glass
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
BC Brewery Winter Boxes! Great Canadian Outdoor Adventure Pack from Central City Brewing Come along on a craft beer adventure with 24 days of delicious, never before experienced craft beers in 500mL cans. From fruit flavor infusion to barrel aged beers and cocktail inspirations, this advent calendar is your ticket to counting down towards the holidays with 24 brand new Red Racer beers.
Space Case by Phillips Brewing
Beer. It's the most convenient gift for both the giver and the recipient. Gone are the days when anyone has "tried all the beers out there." Here are some beer and cider gifts for those from newbie to advanced.
Phillipsâ€™s largest mystery pack to date includes 12 x 650ml exclusive and never released beers from our tasting room crammed into one limited edition case. Out of this world and into your fridge.
Holiday Gift Baskets from Legacy Liquor Store! Legacy is making gift-giving easy with custom beer baskets. Have a beer style or brewery in mind? Their beer team will work with you to put together the perfect gift. Or choose one of the readyto-crack set at legacyliquorstore.com/shop
Merridale Craft Cider
Dead Frog: Seasonal Beers and Mixer Packs!
Merridaleâ€™s iconic Scrumpy and Cyser ciders are robust and distinctive. Perfect winter sippers, Scrumpy is a dry, yet full-bodied barrel-aged cider and Cyser is rich and bold with apple blossom honey.
Give the gift of extraordinary craft beer this holiday season. Winter beers like our Mandarin Orange Kettle Sour and Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout are the perfect gift for the craft beer lover in your life! Find our brews in bottles, cans, and the Dead Frog Dozen Mixer Pack. deadfrog.ca
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
TOURing & TASTING A gift card for a brewery tour is a super way to treat a loved one to a great day or night out on the town (especially if you get to come along). So are early bird beer festival tickets!
3rd Annual Craft Beer and Wilderness Retreat! Craft Beer and Wilderness, June 6-10, 2020 at the Nootka Sound floating fishing resort, is a world-class, all-inclusive luxury wilderness foodie retreat paired with beer. 5 days, 4 nights, 20 taps, 3 brewers from Gigantic, Steamworks and Strange Fellows, along with 4 chefs, 2 Certified Cicerones, 2 Registered Massage Therapists, 1 naturalist, 1 historian, 2 hosts and 35 lucky guests combine to create an unforgettable food and beer experience unlike anything else! Book by Jan 1, 2020 to Save $500. www.craftbeerandwilderness.com
Vancouver Brewery Tours What to get for the beer lover who has all the "stuff"? How about the ultimate craft beer experience with Vancouver Brewery Tours. Gift Certificates are available for purchase in our online shop and make the perfect holiday gift. vancouverbrewerytours.com/shop
Canadian Craft Tours Give the gift of a libation experience this Holiday season. Gift cards give that special someone a night out with friends or to meet new people while having an entertaining and educational experience at local breweries or wineries. www.canadiancrafttours.ca
$5 OFF All-Access and General Admission tickets with promo code WHATSBREWING2020 Whistler Village Beer Festival Beer in the mountains it just feels right! Join us on September 19 & 20 for the Whistler Village Beer Festival.
Great Okanagan Beer Festival
Clover Valley Beer Festival
The Great Okanagan Beer Festival, Over 40 breweries will come together presented by The Train Station Pub, is #Fortheloveofbeer at the 3rd annual returning to Kelowna on May 9th. Clover Valley Beer Festival, presented by Last year sold out so get your tickets now! The Property Twins, on August 8, 2020!
25th Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale
Victoria Beer Week 2020
Join us for our biggest party yet on April 17 & 18 in Penticton! Early Bird tickets on sale just in time for the holiday season.
Victoria Beer Week is back! With over 14 events across 9 days featuring 50 BC craft breweries, tickets to VBW 2020 are the perfect gift for the beer lover in your life.
Early Bird until Jan 15: $25 Single Day or $42 Weekend Pass Sip and stay packages starting at $120! . Tickets on sale December 1st at www.festofale.ca
Tickets on sale Nov 29th at www.victoriabeerweek.com
36 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Books & Reading >> TED CHILD
f you’re shopping for a BC beer lover this season and they haven’t read Island Craft by Jon C. Stott then congratulations— your search for the perfect gift is over. (For an extended review and why this book is a must read, see my article in the Summer 2019 issue of What’s Brewing.) However, if you're looking for even more books about drink to gift this season, there is much to think about. With the golden age of beer in full swing, there has also been a revolution in craft spirits. Publishers have taken notice, and it’s been good year (or two) for books about spirits, specifically Canadian spirits.
BOOKS ABOUT BEER
However essential the BJCP style guidelines are, they are not great fun to read. The Brewers Association’s style guide, The Guide to Craft Beer, is just as informative but is an easier and a more engaging read. Fifteen style families are broken down into 81 styles and the listings are very up to date. As the title implies, this book focuses primarily on modern craft beer and the latest interpretations of styles, without getting bogged down in historical detail. The listings also include glassware and food pairing suggestions, unlike the BJCP guidelines. But the Guide to Craft Beer’s finest characteristic may be its dimensions: it’s perfect to pop in your purse or pants pocket on the way to the festival, bottle shop, or taproom. Beer at My Table by Canadian chef Tonia Wilson is the beer cookbook you’ve been waiting for. The opening chapters are some of the best explanations of beer and food pairings you’ll find. The recipes are mouthwatering, approachable, and motivating, and each is paired with a classic beer style. Wilson recommends a specific product with each recipe but also suggests some backups and explains why that beer and that beer style pairs well with the recipe. For anyone interested in beer and food pairings, I cannot recommend this book enough. A bit further afield we have Viking Age Brew: The Craft of Brewing Sahti Farmhouse Ale by Mika Laitinen. Sahti is one of the most unique beer styles in existence today and provides a look at one of the last remaining preindustrial brewing cultures. Much like Jeff Alworth’s Brew Masters, you would be greatly diminishing Laitinen’s work if you just thought of this as a home brewing book on a very obscure style. Almost three-quarters of the book explores the tradition and culture of Sahti brewing; only the last bit is devoted to doing it yourself. Laitinen knows his subject very well, having spent extensive time with the Sahti masters, thoroughly investigated the ethnographic data, and brewed the beer himself. The bibliography is impressive. Even if you only have a passing interest in Sahti and pre-modern brewing, this book may have you thinking seriously about that stovetop kitchen recipe.
BOOKS ABOUT SPIRITS For the English Lit majors on your list, look no further than A Sidecar Named Desire: Great Writers and the Booze That Stirred Them. There are undoubtedly many great beer, wine, and spirits writers both past and present, but none of them are James Joyce, William Faulkner or Carson McCullers. However intimate the relationship between humankind and alcohol, it’s even more pronounced between great artists, particularly writers, and booze. Alcohol was often important, if not essential, to many great writers’ processes. Not all of these stories end well (for example, Malcolm Lowry). This extensively illustrated book distills what the great writers had to say about booze. Want to know where Maya Angelou kept her sherry? How about Jane Austen’s recipe for spruce beer? You’ll find them here. I am fond of the writing of Stephen Beaumont (as I wrote in my article in the 2018 issue of What’s Brewing), and was excited when Stephen told me he was working on a book about Canadian distilling. In Canadian Spirits, Beaumont teams up with wellknown spirits writer Christine Sismondo to write the book that was begging to be written. It’s a broad field, but this book avoids becoming overwhelming by focusing on just the spirits that distilleries believe most represent them. It’s a great way to discover or rediscover some of the amazing and diverse spirits being made in this country. Showcased within: the author of our next book. So you have all these new and exciting choices in Canadian spirits, but what to do with them? Let some of Canada’s best bartenders, from small town to big city, give you some ideas. Great Northern Cocktails is the new book by Shawn Soole, a fixture in the Victoria cocktail culture and an essential participant in its ongoing evolution. This book’s great strength, apart from the amazing recipes, is that Soole leaves no reader behind. Each recipe is graded for difficulty (with one, two, or three asterisks) and the book includes a nice mix of all three levels. The preparation section is detailed and the glossary will help even a novice. This book features some of Canada’s most creative bartenders, but don’t let that intimidate you. The recipes are tasty, and the short biographies of the bartenders are inspiring. Your home bartending skills are about to get much better.
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
W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 37
Need ideas for a thoughtful gift the homebrewer in your life will use and appreciate? We’re here to help.
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
- Warren Boyer, Homebrew Happenin's
BREWING EQUIPMENT ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 is a highly accurate digital thermometer that gives a reading in 2 to 3 seconds. The probe folds into the body for protection in storage. I keep mine in the kitchen and use it for cooking as well.
TILT Hydrometer is a free-floating digital hydrometer and thermometer. This device floats in your fermenter for continuous real-time monitoring of the gravity and temperature. It connects via Bluetooth to your tablet or smart phone so you can monitor and track progress without needing to open the fermenter. Cool gadget for homebrewers.
INGREDIENTS Something every brewer needs. A 25-kilogram bag of Bohemian floor malted pilsner from Weyermann would make a lovely gift for the all-grain brewer. Good things also come in small packages. For example, packets of dry yeast or one-ounce bags of Cryo Hops can make for stocking stuffers.
Dry Yeast Safale S-04 and US-05 are both versatile ale yeasts. The S-04 is more suited to British styles while the US-05 is better for American style ales. Saflager W-34 is a good lager yeast.
Every homebrewer can appreciate a good pump. The Blichmann Rip Tide Brewing Pump is deluxe option. I have a Chugger Brew Pump that has been great. And don’t forget the fittings to connect the new pump to the hoses that will connect to a mash tun or kettle. The two easiest to use types of fittings are Camlock and Tri-Clamp. Preferences vary, so maybe give a gift card for this.
CLEANERS AND SANITIZERS A good brewery cleaner like Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW) makes cleanup more effective. A quality sanitizer such as Star San will make sure the final product is of the highest quality and not tainted by unwanted organisms.
Hops are commonly sold in 1-ounce bags. Cryo Hops—a concentrated version of hop pellets— are a new thing your brewer might be delighted to experiment with. Pro tip: pick a variety that starts with a ‘C’ if you’re not sure.
Books are always good, and brewing books are even better. Brewers looking to improve their scores at homebrew contests could benefit from Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew by John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff or Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic Beer Styles by Ray Daniels. Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide could be useful for a new brewer. Adventurous brewers might enjoy Radical Brewing: Recipes, Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass by Randy Mosher. Advanced brewers will love the four-book Brewing Elements series from Brewers Publications: For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness and the Culture of Hops. Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers. Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse. Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation.
38 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
WE'RE OPEN IN OUR NEW LOCATION!
Same great prices and service, even better selection of grain, hops and yeast! Did we mention that real soon now you’ll be able to buy a beer while you’re here? And that there will always be at least two pro brewers around to answer questions—and sometimes as many as four or five? That’s because we’re also going to become (very soon!) Port Moody’s next Craft brewery, Fraser Mills Fermentation Co (FMFC). Our focus is going to be on making authentic, delicious beer, cider, mead, and wine. And if you like that beer you tried in the tasting room, why not pick up our recipe and ingredients and make it at home!
You’ll find us at 3044 St Johns Street (2 Buildings east of our former location) Want to know more and check on our progress? Give us a Facebook like @frasermillsfc check out frasermillsfermentation.com or give us a call 604 461 8891
W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 39
OUT & ABOUT | touring
ON WINTER, AND COLD WEATHER BEER MEMORIES
W good jar.
>> SCOTTIE MCLELLAN inter can be a time to reflect on days past, when one delighted in winter ales and warmers that took the chill from the bones on long cold nights, while bringing a glow of contentment we looked for in a
I have often travelled to the UK to be a beer tourist. Many of those trips happened in winter, and it was a great joy to find pubs known for good beers and go in for a pint or two of cheer. Coming into historical premises on a cold night to a warm fire and taps of handpulled real ales was always a joy. The British knew how to brew beers designed for the cold winter nights and I cozied up to a few in friendly locals up and down the country. Winter ales were mostly spiced and flavourful ales brimming with aroma and taste. Although UK beers were not strong, they were a bit stronger in winter to bring that glow and cheer I described earlier. The winter ales of this generation still tie in to the UK style in many traditional offerings. The thing about growing older and having memories, it allows me to be thankful for where we are today, while having enjoyed the years of beer travelling in a land that always had a beer for every season. If you became known by the publican or landlord of the establishment, you might be offered bottles of room-temperature winter or spiced ale they kept on hand for the regulars—a kind of honour for an outsider. Each pub in each part of the country had its own special beers it served in the cold winter months. Every region had traditions regarding the ale and the way it was served, right down to the glass it was served in.
40 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
The UK was by no means the only country where I enjoyed winter travels and spiced and warming winter beers. Almost every brewing country in Europe offered something similar. I travelled to Britain for the beer and pubs and the people we could meet. We had nothing like it in Canada at the time, and these experiences built and encouraged the resolve and dream of Canada someday being what it is today; a place of good beer and good food, good pub atmosphere and great socialization. John Mitchell and I talked about these things on many occasions, chatting about what beers from Dorset would be on offer and talking fondly of the warm fires in the pubs on blustery nights. “I was in this pub in Penzance one blustery night when...” Scottie McLellan 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.
POWELL RIVER’S FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD BREWERY
of Craft Beer in the North
>> ADAM ARTHUR
STAKE YOUR CLAIM™ TO THE QUESNEL CRAFT BREWERY WHOSE AWARD WINNING BEERS TELL THE STORY OF BC'S HISTORIC CARIBOO GOLD RUSH
s autumn turns to winter, beer folks look forward to enjoying new beer releases at their local craft breweries, craft-focused establishments, festivals, or at home by the fire on a snowy night.
Winter in the north offers many delicious seasonals to enjoy. Here in Prince George, Raven Schwartzbier by Trench Brewing & Distilling is an absolute treat. The aptly named Cinders Red Rye Ale from CrossRoads Brewing is great to sip by a nice glowing fire. Snowdance Porter from Valemount’s Three Ranges Brewing is absolutely delicious. The 52 Foot Stout from Quesnel’s Barkerville Brewing is always something to look forward to. Finally, the Blacksmith Brown Ale from Prince Rupert’s Wheelhouse Brewing is perfect to enjoy in an Old English pub.
• • • •
Licensed Lounge & Tasting Room Locally-Sourced Food & Snacks Kids & Pets Are Always Welcome Get Your Growlers Filled Today
185 DAVIE S T REE T Phone: 1-778-414-2739 Fax: 1-778-414-1099 Toll Free: 1-855-922-7537
QUE S NEL , BC
Email: email@example.com Web: www.barkervillebeer.com Social: @BarkervilleBeer
The past few months have featured a number of terrific beer events in the North. The first annual 100 Mile House Craft Beer Festival took place in September, showcasing the town’s craft brewer, Jackson’s Social Club & Brewhouse. Also in September, the creatively-named first annual Liquefied Natural Grains (LNG) Beer Festival took place in Fort St. John, BC. And the Williams Lake Beer Fest, hosted by the Sugar Cane Development Corporation, took place in October, featuring craft breweries from BC and beyond. This is a different event from the annual Williams Lake Craft Beer Festival, which is held every February. Looking forward, the annual Kiwanis Ale Fest will be returning in Prince George in January. In craft brewery and craft-focused tap house news, the owners of the Roadhouse restaurant in Arras, west of Dawson Creek, are planning to open the Post & Row Local Taphouse in Dawson Creek, and a brewery is rumoured for this establishment, too. Black Sheep Brewing will eventually become the third craft brewery in Fort St. John. Ursa Minor Brewing is coming to Burns Lake, and there’s a rumor about a craft brewery planned for Haida Gwaii. With the variety of beer styles coming out of these amazing craft breweries, the fantastic people who make up the craft beer community, and the great places and events to enjoy it all, there’s truly something to celebrate about Northern BC craft beer.
Adam Arthur is a craft beer fan since 2010 who’s glad to represent Northern BC and the city of Prince George. He supports Independent craft breweries in (and outside of) BC.
BEERS TO TOAST YOUR ULTIMATE MOMENTS 623 8TH AVE N, GOLDEN, BC PHONE: 250-344-2838
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BEERS, BEACHES & BREWERIES | regional report
TASTING WINTER IN PENTICTON
>> KIM LAWTON he craft beer scene is awesome year-round in the Okanagan, BC’s four-season playground. In the heart of wine country, Penticton is quickly proving to be one of BC’s best craft beer towns, with six (soon to be 7) breweries.
Construction at Penticton’s 7th brewery, Neighbourhood Brewing, is well underway. It should be operational before Okanagan Fest of Ale, coming up in April. In the meantime, Neighbourhood is producing their beer at Bad Tattoo, so watch for it in cans at liquor stores and on tap at restaurants around BC. Penticton’s craft breweries are within a few minutes of each other, so you can easily visit all of them. Pick up a Penticton Ale Trail passport at any of the breweries, and get it stamped at each one for your chance to win a quarterly Penticton Ale Trail prize package. Download the BC Ale Trail app and collect points on your travels. If you are coming from the Lower Mainland, take the scenic drive along Highway 3 through Hope and stop at Oliver’s Firehall Brewery. Seek out their Wolf Tree Coffee Company collaboration called "WTF" Coffee Blonde (Wolf-Tree-Firehall), which will be out in time for Christmas. They will also be launching a Scotch Ale for Robbie Burns Night. Plan a winter getaway to coincide with Firehall’s 1st annual Oliver Comedy Blizzard at the Oliver Theatre on January 16th. Head north from Penticton to Summerland to visit Detonate Brewing’s new larger taproom, and recently-opened Breakaway Brewing. There are also lots of exciting things happening in Kelowna’s craft beer scene. Combine your love of mountain life and craft beer at Brewski on February 8th. Brewski is a super cool craft beer, spirits and cider festival held at The Gunbarrel Saloon at Apex Mountain. Your Brewski ticket also gives you a discount on lift passes. There is nothing better than hitting the slopes during the day and enjoying craft beverages, appies and live entertainment in the evening. This event sells out quickly, so watch for tickets to go on sale in December via Eventbrite. Excitement is already percolating for the 25th annual Okanagan Fest of Ale on April 17th and 18th in Penticton. Early bird tickets are on sale now, plus there are some great Sip & Stay ticket and accommodation packages. Plan to join us in Penticton for the biggest party yet and help us say cheers to 25 years! Whether you’ve attended every Fest of Ale or you’ve never been, the 25th annual festival is one to mark on your calendars now. For those that want to get a head start on training, early bird registration is underway for the June 13th Penticton Beer Run. Enjoy a taste of Penticton with a number of delicious winter beers. Bad Tattoo is launching a Finnish style Sahti in December. This dark ale was brewed over Juniper branches. It’s a higher alcohol beer great for the cold days of winter. Watch for it in 473ml cans and on draught. 42 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
Festival goers are getting ready for Penticton's 25th annual Okanagan Fest of Ale, April 17&18, 2020.
Sticking with the dark, soul-warming beer theme, the Barley Mill will have an Irish Red Ale and their signature Filly Black Lager for the winter, plus a busy events schedule to keep you hopping. Cannery Brewing will have a variety of stouts to keep you warm. Darkling Oatmeal Stout and Heist Maple Stout are both back in 473ml cans featuring new labels. Watch for the launch of Kindling, a delicious Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, chocolate, oats and coconut. It will be available in 473ml cans at private liquor stores around BC in time for Christmas. Highway 97 has three seasonal winter beers. Fresh Tracks Winter Cream Ale features seasonal notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger. Bumbleberry Pie Saison is a Dutch-inspired saison with late harvest berry fruit. Finally, watch for their Salted Chocolate Porter, a light-bodied porter with a healthy dose of Himalayan salt and chocolate malts. Slackwater Brewing is heating things up with a new food menu, table service and a full-on events calendar. They’ve got 3 new beers including Idleback Amber and Solitude Amber Saison which will be at select bars and restaurants across the Lower Mainland, Sea to Sky country and the Okanagan. They are also launching a light-bodied, yet complex and robust porter called Deepwater Porter on draught and in 473ml cans. Tin Whistle has released their winter stout called The Extortionist, a hazelnut espresso using direct trade coffee beans from Seis Cielo roastery in Penticton. Their popular Chocolate Cherry Porter will also be back in time for Christmas. These beers will be available in 650ml bombers and on draught in the Okanagan and Vancouver. Until next time, cheers!
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
HAVE CAMERA, WILL TRAVEL | touring
CRAFT BEER & WILDERNESS A World-Class Experience in BC's Own Backyard
>> BRIAN K. SMITH
his past June, I returned to Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island for a very special event: the second annual Craft Beer & Wilderness experience (CBW), hosted by Brad and Dennyse Harris. On a beautiful sunny morning in Comox, a group of avid beer and food lovers boarded a bus for a five-day adventure. The size of the event and the remoteness of the location brought definite logistical challenges. There was the matter of transporting the beer Brad collected from brewers on the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, and the Island. There was also the glassware (1200 pieces), brewing equipment, kegerators, and other details to take care of. The result of their dedication was a five-day itinerary that allowed for education, exercise and relaxation, beer tasting and exceptional food pairing experiences. New at the event this year: a daily tasting session led by two Cicerones®. Day One’s session focused on pilsners and lagers: a very enjoyable way to get our feet wet. Most of the participants over 40 grew up on these styles of beers. After the hazy IPA trend, many craft beer artisans seem to be focusing on pilsners, Kolsch and lagers, which are a bit more challenging as they need to be fermented and aged at cool temperatures. Day Two’s tasting was IPAs. Everyone has their favorite IPA and there is a lot of mainstream consumption of this style of ale. They’re higher in alcohol, and our host noticed the volume level of conversation in the room go up as the ales were consumed. Fortunately, lunch was served right after. The next day, our tasting session focused on sours. I have liked them from the start, but many of my beer friends find them challenging. There seemed to be a few more fans of the style by the end of this educational tasting.
Each year, Brad invites three outstanding brewers to participate in the brewing of a Nootka beer. Local botanicals scavenged from nearby beaches and forests are used to create a unique brew that is later shared with all those who attended. All three brewers collaborate in the decision and Brad helps out with his ideas. This is really at the heart of this experience. The three craft breweries for 2019 were represented by Kent Courtice from Boombox, Tristan Stewart from Luppolo Brewing Company/Temporal Artisan Ales, and Brian MacIsaac and Lucas Parks from Crannog Ales. Surprise guest: nano brewer Dave Paul from Love Shack Libations in Qualicum. All the brewers brought lots of their highly sought-after beers to share. The food pairing was ramped up for year two. Breakfast was traditional, but lunch and dinner were extravaganzas: ale cheeses, beer burgers, foie gras, lamb and elk. Not only did the kitchen work hard, but the smoker out on the deck produced the most delicious creations each day. After lunch and a presentation by a local historian, a group of guests boarded a sport fishing boat for a 30-minute high-speed trip to the entrance of Friendly Cove. There we visited a fallen totem, a church, a lighthouse and the open Pacific Ocean beaches. It was easy to imagine the Spanish fort in the entrance of the bay and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht village of 1500 people that filled the cove back in 1778 when Captain James Cook arrived. Our final night included an amazing dinner: each course paired with a beer presented by its brewer. It was about bringing together all elements into each meal. I had a chance to sit down with each of the brewers and talk about their experiences at CBW 2019. Kent Courtice told me the brew day was fantastic and a lot of fun. “My passion has always been Continued on page 46
44 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
CRAFT BEER, FISHING, AND COMMUNITY.
We're Open and Brewing! Visit us at 760 Vaughan Ave, Kelowna, BC
W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 45
Continued from page 44
homebrewing,” he related. “I like to see everyone set up. Everyone does something different, has different equipment, different techniques, but ultimately it makes a great beer, no matter how you do it.” He enjoyed seeing Brad‘s setup. Tristan Stewart talked about the food: “It has been unbelievably good. Everything has been spectacular on the food side of things. Talking to the guests about my food pairing and beer and the foie gras was exciting.” Brian MacIsaac mentioned getting to experience Tristan’s complex beers, Kent’s from Boombox and Dave’s from Love Shack. “All these people coming together from different backgrounds. Feels like royalty.” Lucas Parks was blown away by the skills of the kitchen staff: “There was the Back Hand of God glaze on the lamb and the brown ale cheese on the IPA burgers. It was olfactory hedonism with local inspirations.” Dave Paul really enjoyed the Friendly Cove excursion. “I didn’t know what to expect, but having the informative, historical talk in the morning, and then to go out and witness it and see Friendly Cove, that’s special. I am really glad I bought Sanford’s book. You can feel his wisdom, history, and inner calm as he sits there with the great view, doing his work.” Dave called the Nootka Sound Resort experience the next level of customer service and satisfaction. “Just to be able to have this much beer variety, in this setting; everything from ferrying around in boats, the food, the rooms are luxurious with the best view around. Staff is here for you 24/7 if you need something—it’s very impressive. I can’t wait for next year.” Breathtaking food & views
Brad and Dennyse’s passion for beer, food, adventure, and sharing life-changing experiences with others has led them to create this event. Their goal is to offer something truly unique and intimate that is educational and recreational at the same time. A big Just a sample of the extensive beer menu part of the experience is the chance to meet and talk with leaders in the craft beer industry while relaxing on a floating resort in the middle of pristine wilderness.
Brian K. Smith, MPA is an accredited member of the BC Association of Travel Writers, and is Chief Photographer for What's Brewing.
46 WHAT'S BREWING W I N T E R 2019-20
Famed brewers man the large brewing station Brad told me the three brewers for CBW 2020 will be Julia Hanlon (Steamworks), Iain Hill (Strange Fellows) and Ben Love (Portland’s Gigantic Brewing). “There will be 20 taps of craft beer on tap all retreat long. For CBW3 we will have two chefs and a sous chef. As a bonus, Eric Patemen (Edible Canada) will be joining us.” He continues, “There will be theme nights including Japanesestyle pub and Texas-style smoked meat pit. The two Cicerones® will be Adam Henderson (Superflux) and Stephane Turcotte (Île Sauvage). Stephane is Vancouver Island’s only Advanced Cicerone®. We will also be cracking the Magnum of barrel-aged beer that has sat on the ocean floor for one year. Oh, and did I mention a full-time naturalist and two massage therapists?” Dennyse tells me that early bird tickets are sale priced through December 31, 2019. It sounds like an experience not to miss.
HOW TO NAME A BREWERY II:
BREWERY LOGOS OF BC >> LEIF MILTENBERGER
hen designing a logo for a brewery, it’s important to have a good understanding of the market that the brewery operates in or is launching in. So we recently went looking for a collection of the logos of all of the breweries in BC. When we couldn’t find one, we made our own, with all 225 BC brewery logos in one place (October 2019). We often say that branding and packaging design need to be considered in the context in which they will be required to perform. We present this as a resource for any brewery that’s redesigning their logo or about to enter the market.
professional and effective as that of a regional brewery like Phillips Brewing or Stanley Park. If you’re considering using a large single letter as the basis of your logo, it would be helpful to know about the ten other breweries in BC already using the same approach. There are already two large “B” logos. Going that route will not help you stand out.
TERMINOLOGY Handwritten: looking truly handwritten, as opposed to just a cursive typeface. Monogram: A motif made from two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol.
We felt that the best way to display all of these logos was an interactive, filterable list. On our website, each brewery’s logo is tagged with the categories that it fits into, and you can click any of the category buttons to filter the list. With the filter buttons in the online list, it’s fairly easy to see where the whitespace is when it comes to BC brewery logo designs. Going after certain categories that don’t have many entrants could be beneficial. Negative Space or Monogram—lots of opportunity in both of those categories. That’s not to say that you should aim for all that whitespace; some categories could be empty for a reason (e.g. tall & narrow logos can be really challenging to work with). You should definitely pay attention to which categories have the most entrants when considering a new logo design. Roughly 25% of the breweries in BC have a circular logo. Do we really need another? We’ve identified some patterns in this set of brewery logo designs. 20% of the breweries include images of beer ingredients, and 15% have included their location. (This includes only examples when it’s not already part of a brewery’s name.) 13% of the breweries in BC have opted for a wordmark (a text-only logo). It’s good to keep in mind the huge variation in size of the breweries here. Some breweries in this list require more out of their logo than others. We should hardly expect a small brewpub’s logo to be as
Negative Space: Using the space around and between the subject(s) of an image to create compelling visuals that have dual or hidden meanings. Hardcore (“Hipster”): Logos based around a cross, as discussed in a 2013 Emblemetric article. A few BC breweries that launched in the twenty-teens with this approach have since redesigned their logos. Place Name: Breweries that added their location to their logo. Not including those already named after theirlocation, like Coal Harbour. Ingredients: Grain, hops etc added to logo.
About the Logo Grid Please let us know if you spot any errors, omissions, or breweries no longer in operation. Also, you can download an image with all of the logos in one grid, here.
Leif Miltenberger is a Managing Partner at Hired Guns Creative, a small but mighty design agency focused on providing branding and packaging design for craft breweries. Hired Guns has provided award-winning design to the beverage alcohol sector since 2008.
W I N T E R 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 47
Winter 2019 is a particularly insightful issue. Its 17 stories and features include a cover story about how a brewing school became BC's Bre...
Published on Dec 2, 2019
Winter 2019 is a particularly insightful issue. Its 17 stories and features include a cover story about how a brewing school became BC's Bre...