What's Brewing Spring 2020

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CAMRA BC | community

GET TO KNOW CAMRA BC! When Adam Chatburn began work on this issue's column, he reached out to all CAMRA BC branches for their input. What's Brewing received the following reports that we're pleased to share with you. It turns out that the organization that gave birth to What's Brewing is still actively working in craft beer education and events for certain BC communities. Let's find out what two of CAMRA's branches are up to lately from their respective presidents.

Meet CAMRA South Okanagan

The South Okanagan is a pretty great place for craft beer lovers. As our craft beer scene here grows, we are seeing more breweries, more events, more educational opportunities in craft beer, more interest in homebrewing and a general level of excitement about all things craft beer. CAMRA South Okanagan is a key part of helping meet these interests. In 2019, CAMRA SO held a number of craft beer and homebrewing-related events. We began with our second annual road trip, by bus to the Central Okanagan to visit 5 breweries and a cidery. In February, we held a special tasting event at Bad Tattoo Brewing, with many vintages of barrel-aged beers. In March, we held a bring-a-friend cask event at The Station Public House.

Meet CAMRA Victoria

April marked the 24th annual Okanagan Fest of Ale, where CAMRA SO had a booth and a special celebration for the winners of our 2018 CAMRA SO Home Brewing Competition.

CAMRA Victoria is alive, kicking and holding steady in the Capital Region. In 2019, the membership elected a strong regional team with me as their president and Troy Alexander as Vice-President. Under our leadership, CAMRA Victoria has maintained its membership. We had a large presence at events such as Victoria Beer Week, Hopoxia, Fresh to Death and the Great Canadian Beer Festival, where we sold our famous Pretzel Necklaces.

During 2019, we held two very cool CAMRA member exclusive events in conjunction with JAK'S Liquor Stores, where guests had the opportunity to try a number of rare and exclusive beers as the specialists at JAK'S provided education on each of them. Both events sold out within hours of tickets going on sale.

During 2019, monthly, our members enjoyed exclusive events which included behind-the-scenes tours of several Victoria breweries, as well as education sessions like Resurrection of Lost Beer Styles with Howl Brewing, and Identifying Off Flavors. CAMRA Victoria’s primary focus this past year has been on education. Along with Victoria Beer Society, we sponsored a series of Beer School Events during Victoria Beer Week on various topics ranging from The Science of Beer to Beer Cocktails. We also partnered with the Royal BC Museum to host a Happy Hour at the Museum event, which showcased the past, present and future of brewing in Victoria. At the end of 2018, Victoria lost one of our greatest Beer Historians, Greg Evans. In early 2019, CAMRA Victoria was approached and asked if we would like to have the collection that Greg had accumulated regarding the history of beer in Victoria and BC. We started to inventory the collection that Greg had amassed over the years. We would like to see the items made available to the public in digital form and then archived in Royal BC Museum. 2019 hasn’t been without its struggles. We did attempt at one point to do another Beer on the Beach protest, but attendance was low due to timing. This may no longer be an issue that people feel strongly about. 2020 is a very important year for CAMRA Victoria. We will be celebrating our 30th Anniversary and we hope to have some very special events. The focus for the year will be increasing our membership, continuing our partnerships with the local beer community, completing our project with the Greg Evans collection, education and tuning in on what advocacy issues we can address at the local level, while still having fun exploring beer. Cayla Stiles-Clark President, Victoria Branch Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC pres@camra.ca www.camra.ca https://www.facebook.com/CAMRA.Victoria

In June we celebrated the grand opening of Slackwater Brewing with a sold-out event at their new brewery. There were some first tastes of Neighbourhood Brewing beers too. In the fall, focus turned to our signature CAMRA SO Home Brewing Competition. The sold-out 4th annual event was a great educational opportunity, as homebrewers and craft beer lovers united over 18 different homebrewed beers before casting their votes for the People's Choice Winners. In addition, a panel of commercial brewers judged the beers and awarded a Judges' Choice Award. The homebrewing team that crafted this winning beer will again have the opportunity to brew a commercial batch of this beer sometime in 2020. We added some new educational sessions in 2019. Our homebrewers liaison Michelle Gowing heads up our education. She started an initiative where guests meet up once a month to share and learn about a specific beer style. We are currently working on plans and events for this year. We held our annual general meeting on Feb. 23rd and elected a group of excited volunteers to our executive team and events committee that I am honoured to again lead as President. Next up is a road trip on March 14th up to visit the breweries of Kelowna. As you can see, things are going well in CAMRA SO. We have a number of great partners that offer special benefits to our members. We have a good relationship with our local media and often get pre-event media coverage as well as event coverage, which has helped increase awareness of what we are doing. For those interested in learning more about CAMRA SO, we invite you to visit our website or Facebook page. Kim Lawton President, South Okanagan Branch Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC pres@camraso.ca www.camraso.ca https://www.facebook.com/CAMRASO S P R I N G 2020 WHAT'S BREWING 11