From Bridge Brewing out of North Vancouver comes their new”Uganda Sipi Coffee Brown Ale” using coffee roasted at Moja Coffee in North Van. The beer pours a deep brown colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of coffee, chocolate, earth, roasted malts with a creamy and sweet finish. The flavour is of chocolate, bitter coffee, roasted malts and earth. The alcohol content comes in at 6.1% with an IBU of 28. This beer is very good! Not only will it wake you up with the caffeine in coffee but it will delight your taste buds at the same time.
From Steamworks Brewing in Burnaby BC comes their latest collaboration beer “Hop Attack! Fresh Hop IPA” made in conjunction with Chris Sartori of Sartori Hop Farm in Chilliwack BC. Like all fresh hop beers this beer was made with hops that were picked and brewed with in a very small window. With Hop Attack the brewmaster Julia Hanlon was able to brew with these fresh hops less than 6 hours after picking. The beer pours a copper colour with a white head. The aroma is citrusy, grassy, herbal and finishes with earth. The flavour is of citrus, honey, herbal, grass, caramel, sweetness, mild bitterness with a dank and oily finish. The alcohol content comes in at 6% with and IBU of 50. This beer does a great job to hold its own against other fresh hopped beer that are being released right now locally. I just wish that fresh hopped beer had more of a West Coast IPA feel but that is just my preference. Make sure to pick up a few bottles asap as like all fresh hopped beer you should be drinking it as soon as possible after the release as the hop oils break down over time.
From Rogue Brewing out of Oregon comes their bizarre creation “Rogue Sriracha Hot Stout Beer”. The beer pours a opaque black colour with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted and slightly burnt malts, chocolate, sweetness with some peppery spice coming through. The flavour is of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, earth and sweetness start out but the more you drink the Sriracha builds and builds. I would recommended sharing a bottle with a few friends unless you have something to tame the spice. The alcohol content comes in at 5.7% with an IBU of 55. I only got this beer due to the shear novelty and it did not disappoint as I love Sriracha hot sauce but I would not need more than a 12oz glass of it.
Commercial Description: ROGUE Sriracha Hot Stout Beer, made from Huy Fong original hot chili sauce and sun ripened Rogue Farms ingredients, is ready to drink with soups, sauces, pasta, pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, chow mein, or anything you’d like to wash down with a spicy kick.
From Nanaimo’s Wolf Brewing comes their limited release “Cerberus” Triple Dry Hopped Imperial IPA. The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head and lots of lacing. The aroma consists of tropical fruits, melon, citrus, sweetness, earth, malts and floral hops. The flavour is of earth, resin, hops bitterness, citrus, tropical fruits, peach and caramel malts. The alcohol content comes in at 8.8% with and IBU of 80. I like this beer on tap better than bottle but this is a great Double IPA a style that does not get enough attention in BC.
Commercial Description: 3 dry hop additions with 3 varieties of hops over 3 weeks. Naturally carbonated, unpasteurized, unfiltered and brewed with 9% locally grown and locally “malted” fine 2 row barley. Our 3 hops, Zythos, Galaxy & Ella, incarnated as the 3 headed beast. Cerberus on the label deliver a vicious attack on the palette with citrus, peach, and a delicate pine locked in a dog fight with the alpha acid and a warm smooth bite of alcohol. A battle to the bitter end!
From the Isle of Skye Brewing Co in Scotland comes their “Skye Black” a scottish ale. The beer pours a deep brown with ruby tinges and a tan head. The aroma is of roasty malts, coffee, sweetness and a hint of earth. The flavour is of burnt malts, coffee, chocolate, mild ash, some fruit notes, honey and a hint of bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 4.5% with an IBU of 18. This was a very enjoyable beer and I was glad my Mom brought it back for the UK.
Commercial Description: The colour comes from dark roasted barley, balanced with just the right amount of sweet, rolled oatmeal. We mill both right here in the brewery, giving us complete control over flavour and freshness. The true taste of malt shines through, balanced by the sweetness of pure Scottish heather honey.
Food pairing as per brewery: Smoked Meats, Venison, Game, Oysters, Mussels, Chocolate/Coffee Desserts; Cheese – Soft, Creamy, Crowdie, Brie
A very clear beer, with strong carbonation bubbles easily visible. It’s actually a pineapple yellow with a frothy white head.
The nose is all about the malt, leading with an oatey grain aroma that fades quickly into a mild pineapple scent.
The flavours are a great balance of fruit, malt and water characteristics. The pineapple is there but doesn’t overpower everything, you can still taste the wheat malt and there is a clean taste that probably comes from the water used in the brewing. The mouthfeel is like smooth glass … Yes, that’s a good thing.
Over all this is a good, clean and light Hefeweizen.
The beer is a nice orange-gold, slightly cloudy with some slightly green highlights. The head mirrors the name, a white satin look with fine bubbles.
The nose is all about the pear, it dominates the aromas. There are some subtle hop undertones, mostly lime and orange citrus with a little bitter orange peel.
The flavour brings up smooth pear with a hint of mint, a little bitter grapefruit and orange. Honestly, when I first tried this beer I found it a bit too harsh but letting it sit for a day has let the flavours blend much better.
On Friday (September 25, 2015) I went from not knowing a brewery was opening soon in Pitt Meadows to standing in their under construction brewery in less than 3 hours. Sometimes social media and dumb luck come together wonderfully! Foamers’ Folly Brewing may have been flying under the radar but no longer.
The lounge is still heavily under construction at this point but while I was there the tap lines were being installed. They have 20 Taps likely with 19 beer and one for CO2 with 8 Growler fillers on the other side of the bar. Having the one CO2 tap will mean they could also fill beer that are not on the filling station. The brewery will also have a patio to be installed and ready for summer time next year (no point building it for the winter). One nice touch with this brewery is the fact that the entire space including the brewery and mezzanine upstairs have been approved to be licensed as a lounge. There will only be tables in the lounge proper but you will be able to move around freely. If you look up while getting a grower fill you will also see a stack of 6 horizontal bright tanks suspended above you!
This brewery will be very unique when it opens up. They do not have one brew house but two with two different sets of fermenters to go along with them. Walking up onto the brew house platform you are met with one 500L system with a larger 2000L system beside it! The 500L system is designed to do double batches to fill 1000L fermenters while the 2000L system is similarly designed to fill 4000L tanks in two brews. They have done this to reduce downtime while brewing as they can have two different beer on the go at any one time. Another neat system they have for doing interesting one offs like single hop beers is a small mobile system with a duel step 4-100L tank system (total of 8 tanks) so they can fill them on the brewery floor then move them back upstairs to ferment while still being attached to the breweries glycol chilling system. This way they can make a base beer in the 500L brew house and make 4 distinct beer out of one base beer. This will make test batches very easily scaleable as they use the same carefully temperature controlled system. To help maximize space the brewery decided to go with horizontally stacked bright tanks. You can see in the one photo that the cooler is still under construction.
On the mezzanine is where the grain mill, grain (well it will be) and glycol system are housed as well as the batch of bright tanks that you can see from the growler bar. They also have a nitrogen system so they can pour nitro beers! Hidden up here was also a bottling machine! When I was there they had just received their first batch of growlers and were loading them up on the second floor for temporary storage.
The brewery has three brewers but none will be considered a head brewer or assistant brewer. The plan is to always have two of the three brewing on brew days minimum. They hope this will help bring creativity to the brewery as they can all brain storm as equals.
They will not have beer ready for consumption until they open up in November but I was lucky enough to be able to take home the first one out of their first batch! The 1L bottles look sharp.
November is coming very soon so Pit Meadows better start getting excited!
Moody Ales in Port Moody has banded together with Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks to bring their collaboration beer “Pears In White Satin”. This beer is an Imperial Pear Kolsch. The beer pours a cloudy golden yellow colour with a white head. The aroma has very strong notes of Pear with citrus and sweetness with very little else able to come through. The flavour is of huge pear, citrus, maybe some apple, earth with some bready notes in the finish. The beer has an alcohol content of 7.7%. I do not like pears but I have come to realize that in beer things can be different. I loved this beer it is big, fruity and tasty!
Last September I attended what turned out to be one of my favourite beer festivals in BC in the Whistler Village Beer Festival. The weather was beautiful and the beer was amazing! Here is last years official festival video.
Last year was such a success that this year Gibbons Events Co decided to make the Main Festival happen over two days with many satellite events that ran over 5 days. The main Festivals took place on September 19th and 20th 2015.
While last year had epic weather this year we did not get so lucky! But hey this is BC and we all own rain jackets so a little rain didn’t stop an epic party! I was only able to attend the Saturday Main Event which was lucky for me as the rain was not quite as bad. The festival was held at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Whistler Village once again. The event started for average attendees at 1pm (opened at 12 for gatecrashers) and ran until 5pm (last call at 4:45). I got into the grounds before the festival opened to the public and gate crashers and was to take lots of photos of the booths as they set up.
This year the Resort Municipality of Whistler gave the green light to increase the festival grounds by 40% to increase the amount of breweries to around 80. This is impressive as 2013’s event was half the size of 2014!
Breweries involved included the following (Ordered by booth Number)
Muskoka Brewing, Steam Whistle Pilsner, Steamworks Brewin, Persephone Brewing, Big Rock Brewery, Off The Rail Brewing, Moody Ales, Russell Brewing, Red Truck Beer Company, Glutenberg, Bomber Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing, R&B Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Lighthouse Brewing, Shacksbury, Lagunitas, Deschutes Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Double Mountain Brewing, Scuttlebut, Stone Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, Strongbow, Maui Brewing, North Coast Brewing, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Czechvar, High Mountain Brewhouse, Yaletown Brewing, Big Ridge Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Parallel 49 Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Prohibition Brewing, Rider Cider Company, Whistler Brewing, LoneTree Cider, Stanley Park Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, Goose Island, Okanagan Springs, Unibroue, Tofino Brewing, Black Kettle Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Scandal Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Yellow Dog, Dead Frog Brewery, Strange Fellows Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Doan’s Craft Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Beverage Concepts, Pilsner Urquell, Spinnakers, Coal Harbour, Main Street Brewing, BC Tree Fruits Cider, Four Winds Brewing, Off the Rail Brewing, Granville Island Brewing, Hearthstone Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing.
Last years attendance came in around 3,500 for the festival and this year even with bad weather beat that with around 3,000 people on Saturday and 1,300 on Sunday with a total over the five day of around 5000 people (numbers from here). Craft Beer fans are tough (and own rain gear) and we don’t stop for rain. I could only imagine how big Sundays numbers would have been on a sunny day.
Like at all festivals I attend I took photos of many of the samples I drank while enjoying the event.
Even with awful weather this year everyone in attendance had a great time! I still think this is one of the best festivals I have attended (even this year) as even though there are tons of people there are little to no lines and everyone is just having a great time! The only issue was a lack of washrooms probably made worse with all the rain.
I am excited to see what Gibbons Events has in store for us next September!
This years top three breweries as voted by Festival Goers won 1 year tap or bottle contracts at multiple pubs in Whistler Village which is a very lucrative prize!
Parallel 49 Brewing – Longhorn Saloon, Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, Garibaldi Lift Co
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Tapley’s Pub, Merlins Bar & Grill, Amsterdam Pub
Whistler Brewing Co – FireRock Lounge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill