Tap & Barrel Celebrates 5 years – Vancouver


In July Tap & Barrel will be celebrating their 5th year anniversary.  For the five months leading up to July and their birthday they have decided to collaborate with 5 different local breweries and pair different food with it.

For March they partnered up with Phillips Brewing in Victoria to make the Dazed & Co-Brewed East Coast IPA.  The East Coast IPA or New England IPA is sweeping the west right now and for good reason.  They showcase the fruit flavour in the hops that are used with a bit lower bitterness bringing new fans to the IPA.  The beer looks great for the style and it tastes on point!

To pair with this great collaborative beer the chef has decided to make a Thick Bacon & Blue Cheese Burger.  Don’t let the blue cheese scare you as this is a great tasting burger with a ton of flavour.  The burger has certified Angus beef, thick cut bacon, blue cheese, lettuce, pickled shallots, roasted garlic mayo and balsamic fig jam.

To celebrate the beginning of this collaborative effort Tap & Barrel Olympic village invited a bunch of industry and bloggers out to try the pairing.  We got to try out a slider version of the burger with sleeves of the beer.  I have to say that both the beer and the burger tasted great and I plan on heading back before the end of the month to have a full sized burger!

Especially if you have not been into the Tap & Barrel recently at any of their locations or if you are just looking for a great beer and burger pairing head over and order right away!  You will not regret it as the flavour of both a seriously top notch.

Check out the Tap & Barrel at one of their three locations

http://www.tapandbarrel.com

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Vancouver Island Brewing Relaunch (The Blackbird Public House) – Vancouver


In Summer 2016 Vancouver Island Brewing was purchased by Bob MacDonald a partner in Ontario’s Muskoka Brewery.  As the year progressed and new staff were hired they undertook a huge rebrand and renovation of their brewery. They are now ready to share this with the world (Well at least with British Columbia).  On March 2nd Vancouver Island Brewing invited media out to The Blackbird Public House in Vancouver between 7pm and 10pm to try their beer out.

With a rebranding of some old favourites and some brand new products there is a lot to check out with the new Vancouver Island Brewing.  Even the old rebraded favourites have been altered by new production manager Danny Seeton formerly of Parallel 49 Brewing.

For the relaunch of their brand they brought out 7 beers to try.  Unfortunately I did not try all seven as they were serving 20oz pints at The Blackbird.  The beer that they brought were as follows:

Piper’s Pale Ale, Carmanah Ale, Dark Lager, Victoria Lager, 19 IPA, Juan De Fuca Cerveza and Sombrio Citrus Session.

I was able to sample the 19 IPA a Session IPA, Piper’s Pale Ale and the Carmanah Ale (Formerly the Sea Dog Amber).  All three beers come in at 4.8% as the brewery sits on the 48th Parallel.  I enjoyed all three beer.  I would quibble with the 19 IPA being an IPA and not an ISA or Session IPA as it is well below the norm of around 6%.

While I enjoyed the beer the other media seemed to enjoy both the beer and the food that was on offer.

I look forward to trying more beer from the newly relaunched Vancouver Island Brewing.  Look for reviews in the future.

Keep your eyes peeled for their new lineup!

Vancouver Island Brewing
http://vibrewing.com/

 

Red Truck Beer launches craft beer floats and new menu items at The Truck Stop Diner


I was recently invited out to Red Truck Beer in Vancouver with some other media members to check out some of their new menu Items.

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I have a bad habit of always being early to events and this was no different so I sampled their new Dry Nibbed Stout.  While I didn’t take any notes on this beer I did quite enjoy it and it was probably my favourite of the ones I sampled.

Once the small group was rounded up we were taken on a short tour of the brewery.  I was less interested in the technical side of the brewery as I have both done the tour and also know more about the brewing process than the rest of the group.  I took the chance to take more photos.

Once the tour was done we headed up to a private room that can be rented for events to taste some of their beer and their new food.

They started the tasting off with their 3 core beer and one winter seasonal.  The beers were 1st the Lager, 3rd the Ale and 4th the IPA that rounded out their core lineup and 2nd their Pilsner their winter seasonal.  Their mandate is to make flavourful but accessible beers.  While I am not a big drinker of Lagers and Pilsners personally there is not doubt that they are making their mandate with well crafted easy drinking beers.

The new food includes their new Fish Sandwich that is battered and has fried tortilla’s making it almost a fish and chips sandwich.  The next sample was a pulled pork sandwich that had nice ranch slaw on it.  Next up was the pulled pork tacos a great tasting treat.  The last thing we were able to sample was the bone out dry ribs.  They were great with the spicy sauce they were served with.  Even though I expected to like one of the pork dishes the best for me it was the Fish Sandwich that really hit the spot.  It had everything you would want in a sandwich and more.  Not to say anything bad about the other options as there were all really tasty and I would love to eat more of all of them.

Now they were not done with the great samples.  The next thing they brought us was a sample of their brand new beer floats.  This one used their Blackberry Bourbon Ale and some really tasty ice cream.  They also gave us a sample of the Blackberry Bourbon Ale without ice cream to compare.  Personally I cant wait to get back and try a full sized beer float!  This little sample was to die for. 

Now while we where up in a private room for this tasting the Truck Stop Diner got really busy and shows just how popular a spot this is to hang out.  They also have a growler bar and off sales location at the front door.  If you have not made it out to Red Truck Beer yet what are you waiting for?

Lagunitas Re-Launches in Canada – Butcher & Bullock Vancouver


Lagunitas Brewing had in the past been available in Canada but had left the territory.  They are now back though and held a launch event at the Butcher & Bullock in Vancouver.  The brewery brought representatives form their California operation including their VP of sales as well as some from their Chicago brewery.

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The event brought their flagship IPA to the taps as well as an Imperial Coffee Stout that had been aged for some time.  If you know their beer you should know that both of these beers were great and their addition to our stores shelves should be celebrated.  I look forward to seeing a little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ in our liquor stores.

Expect to see Lagunitas beers on the shelves in Canada soon!  After talking with the Lagunitas staff on hand as well as the representatives from the distributions company I expect good things from this partnership.

 

Firestone Walker Launches in Canada – Craft Beer Market


Firestone Walker Brewing Company out of California is one of the largest and most celebrated breweries in the United States and have now decided to bring their beer up into Canada.

Craft Beer Market held the Launch party in Vancouver on June 30th, 2016.  Originally there were to be 8 beers on tap but 4 got held up at customs for whatever reason so it was brought down to 4.  They had Luponic Distortion  Revolution No 001 a beer that has its hops change every 100 days.  Next they had their DBA British Pale Ale a beer with a portion aged in oak barrels.  Third they had the Pivo Hoppy Pilsner a well hopped lager.  Lastly they had their Union Jack West Coast IPA a beer that would be welcomed by any hop head on the West Coast.

One of the Founders of the brewery David Walker came up for the launch and got up on the bar to give a talk about the brewery and what they do.  He also talked a bit about the expansion into Canada.

The Firestone Walker expansion has just begun but look out for their beer including these 4 and hopeful more to come in the near future!

Check out what they do here:

Firestone Walker Brewing Company