Port Moody (BC Ale Trail)


Craft Beer and tourism is a match made in heaven.  Just watch the Portland Oregon commercials that air in BC that focus on the beer scene down there and you know how much it means to that city.  In 2016 a group of people got together with the British Columbia government and tourism agencies to create the BC Ale Trail a selection of self guided craft beer and tourist trails.  I have been doing similar self guided road trips for years now checking out what the province has to offer be it beer or sights and even had a much less grand idea like the ale trails.  For my first official Ale Trail I decided to do the most accessible trail to both locals and for tourists.

Here is the official video from the BC Ale Trail.

The one thing that makes the Port Moody Ale Trail stand out above all others is that it is easily accessible from every major rapid transit system in Metro Vancouver.  From Vancouver International Airport (YVR) you have two transfers on Skytrains but it is fairly straight forward and people will gladly help you find your way.  You can also make your way from North Vancouver on the Sea Bus and Skytrain as well as from Surrey on the Expo Line or Mission on the West Coast Express.  This is truly the most easily completed craft beer trip in the province and the beer you will be checking out is top notch.

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Original Unedited map found here.

To plan your trip to the Port Moody Ale Trail also known as Brewers Row check out Translink’s Trip Planner.

Now the official BC Ale Trail for Port Moody only covers 4 breweries in Twin Sails Brewing, Yellow Dog Brewing, The Parkside Brewery and Moody Ales all on the strip of Murray Street dubbed Brewers Row but this trip would not be complete without a side trip to Dageraad Brewing in Burnaby only a few stations before.

Follow the following link to check out more details about the Port Moody Ale Trail.

If you are starting from anywhere other than the West Coast Express I would recommend starting at the unofficial stop on the ale trail in Dageraad Brewing.  The walk from the Production Way University station is a short quite flat 5 minute walk as per Google Maps.

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Dageraad Brewing specializes in Belgian style ales.  When I did this walking tour Metro Vancouver was in one of their unseasonable winter storms.  This is still an amazing trip in the winter.

Dageraad at the time of writing is currently expanding their tasting room which is really welcome as their current tasting room is very small and has an overflow area in the production side.  Don’t let this small room fool you though as they are making some really tasty Belgian inspired beer.  For a more in-depth write up on Dageraad Brewing pre expansion click here.

Once you have had your fill of beer here at Dageraad it is time to get moving again.  Walk back to the Production Way University station and head to Moody Station.

Once at Moody Station take the short walk along Spring Street towards the overpass.  Take the overpass but instead of walking around the loop turn right and take the walking path.  Follow that to the first of 4 breweries on Brewers Row in Twin Sails Brewing.

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Twin Sails began its life as a brewery that brewed mostly German Inspired beer.   In and around October 2016 everything changed.  With a new assistant brewer and a new direction they are now one of the leading breweries in experimental West Coast and East Coast IPA’s (also known as New England IPA).  This new line of canned beer is taking BC by storm and selling out almost faster than they can make it.  It is safe to say that as of October this has become one of my favourite stops in Metro Vancouver.  They still have the odd beer from their original lineup on tap usually a pilsner or a hefeweizen if you do not enjoy IPA’s.  If you are looking for something to do while here at the brewery try one of their board games.  For a more in-depth look at Twin Sails Brewing click here.

 

Once you peel yourself out of this tasting room you will take the horribly long walk to Yellow Dog Brewing next door.

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Next up is the original brewery on the row in Yellow Dog Brewing.  In the official video from BC Ale Trail you get a look at the old tasting room.  Yellow Dog has had a massive expansion very recently and has a new capacity of 101 people if I remember correctly.  Yellow Dog has been known well for their IPA but they make solid beers all around.  Basically every beer is named after something to do with dogs including the Play Dead IPA, Chase My Tail Pale Ale and the Shake a Paw Smoked Porter to name a few.  When they first opened they even let dogs on their back patio but health inspectors put a stop to that sadly.  You won’t find a bad beer on tap here.  To get more info on the brewery click here.

At some point you will have to decide to move on.  Your next stop is The Parkside Brewery.  This is once again a short little walk.

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The Brewmaster at The Parkside Brewery Vern Lambourne was previously the Small Batch Brewmaster at Granville Island Brewing and has a great respect in the BC craft beer community.  With a lineup of beer currently from a Pilsner to a Dark Cherry Imperial Stout there is a beer here for everyone.  This is also if not by volume then by sheer space the largest brewery on the row.  They also have the most parking if you want to drive here for a growler fill.  Not only do they have beer here they also have shuffle board and one arcade racing game that is free.  Click here to read more about the brewery.

Once you have had your fill of games and beer it is time to move to the last brewery on the Row in Moody Ales.  A mere 3 minute walk away you wont have trouble finding this place.

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Moody Ales could just as well be you starting point for this ale trail trip.  With a great mix of beers and very friendly staff you wont want to leave.  Moody Ales often has a cask beer on offer as well as up to 11 other beers.  Moody Ales is also the only brewery on the row that offers 1L crowler cans of their beer.  Can meets growler this beer is fresh and great to bring with you for outdoor activities.  Here is my write up of Moody Ales while not fully up to date you get more of an idea about the brewery.

Once your done at Moody Ales there is lots to do in the area.  The people at the Ale Trail recommend the following:

Brew Street Craft and Kitchen
3224 Saint Johns Street, Port Moody, BC
brewstreetcraftkitchen.com (604) 492-3883
Fresh, locally-sourced menus, plus a total of 80 craft beers on tap!
Rocky Point Kayak – Do before drinking!
2715 Esplanade Street, Port Moody, BC
rockypointkayak.com (604) 619-2837
Hourly, daily, or weekly rentals, of kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards. Find an abundance of bird and wildlife just a short paddle from shore.

Romer’s Burger Bar

101 Morrissey Road, Port Moody, BC
romersburgerbar.com (604) 917-0118
Commitment to being simple, fresh, local and a part of the neighbourhood. Enjoy all four local craft beers and casual dining inspired by the West Coast lifestyle.
With all of the beer available at these breweries it would really makes sense to go for a nice walk.  With Rocky Point Park located right across the street from all 4 breweries I would head there.  They have a great waterfront path that you can enjoy at your leisure.
If you don’t have a blast on this Ale Trail trip then you can’t say that you like Craft Beer!  This trip is a blast and well worth it for the tourist or stay-cation day.

Brewing Revolution (Pioneering the Craft Beer Movement) – Book Review


Without Frank Appleton craft beer quite likely would be nothing like it is in British Columbia today.  I’m not saying it would not have happened but between Frank Appleton the author of this Biography and John Mitchell opening up the first Brew Pub in Canada since prohibition they helped spark the revolution we have today.

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This book was a real page turner for people interested in the Craft Beer industry in this province.  You may not have heard of him but in craft beer circles he is a rock star.  The book starts with his early career as an Industrial Microbiologist and his eventual immigration from England to Canada.  It talks of his time at O’Keefe Brewery one of the big breweries of the 1960’s and how that part of his career progressed and then regressed.  It gets into how John Mitchell got him on board to start Horseshoe Bay Brewing at the Troller Pub in West Vancouver in 1982. This was the first brewpub in Canada and one of the first in North America after prohibition!

Not only did he help set up Horseshoe Bay Brewing’s system and their first recipes but he has been involved with many other breweries in Canada and around the world.  One of the most impressive breweries that he helped design and set up was for Deschutes Brewery in Oregon.  He did such a good job that when they upgraded their system they hired him back to design that system also.

Without delving into to much detail about the book and ruining the reading experience I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves craft beer and its history.  You do not have to be from British Columbia to enjoy this book as Frank Appleton helped spur on the Craft Beer boom in the country of Canada and helped get some really popular breweries up and running outside of Canada.

It is people Like Frank that make the Craft Beer industry the amazing industry and make people like me want to advocate for it!

Pick up your copy of the book at from the following locations:

Harbour Publishing

Amazon.ca

Kobo Ebook

Chapters Indigo

Hops Connect Cup 2016 – November 12th, 2016


For the 4th year in a row Hops Connect has held a University brewing club competition in Metro Vancouver called the Hops Connect Cup.

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The judging was done in the days before the event by local BJCP judges and previous winners of the Winning Beer award.  The Hops Connect Cup event was held on November 12th, 2016 at Big Rock Urban Brewery in Vancouver.  This year brewing clubs from UBC, UVic, KPU In BC and Olds College from Alberta competed in the brewing competition.  Each brewery was challenged to brew multiple categories including Pilsner, IPA, Double IPA, Pale Ale and stout with awards also for best name, winning beer and the Hops Connect Cup best overall school.  Hops Connect supplies the hops for these home brews and the students design the recipes.

I have unfortunately not been able to make it out to the Hops Connect Cup since the first event they held 4 years ago.  Each school either sent or brought samples of the home brews that were entered into the competition so that people from other schools could sample the entries.  This year many of the entries were very strong and I enjoyed every sample that I tried.

Here are the winning beers from this years submissions.

Thanks to Hops Connect for these slides.

A good number of students from the university brewing clubs came out to this event to celebrate home brewing and to take home hardware.  It is to bad that KPU and Olds College did not have representatives at the event to accept their awards!  I would like to congratulate all of the winners and Congratulate Olds College on stealing the Trophy from the province of British Columbia this year!

Its always exciting to check out the new up and coming home brewers and this event is a great place to see the upcoming talent.  This year had some great talent and previous winners are currently working at local breweries!  It is awesome to see that a local Hops company is fully on board to help encourage the future brewers in the craft beer industry to follow their dreams.  The coolest thing about this event is that the winner of Best Beer gets to brew their winning beer at a commercial brewery and have it released to the public.  This years winner EH.P.A. made by members of the UBC Home Brew club will get to brew their IPA beer at Moody Ales and have the beer sold commercially.  Keep up the great work Brewing Clubs!

Photo from Hops Connect of UBC Brewing club on a brewery tour of Big Rock Urban Brewery. 

Hops Connect sells hops to commercial brewers, u-brew shops, home brew shops and home brewers.  If you fall into one of these categories make sure to check them out with the links below!

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Hops Connect – Hop Trading Company Ltd.
http://hops-connect.myshopify.com/
#114- 2455 Dollarton Highway
North Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V7H 0A2
Phone: 604-358-4677 (HOPS)
Email: saleswest@hopsconnect.com

BC Ale Trail Teaser


There is a new project in the works for the Province of British Columbia and its craft breweries.  Its called the BC Ale Trail and will the definitive guide to traveling the province checking out local craft breweries.  A few days ago they released their teaser trailer for the project that launches in October 2016.

The website for the project is live although there is little to no information as of yet.  Keep an eye out for this exciting new project as it has the making of a very interesting and exciting tool.

https://bcaletrail.ca/

Press Release:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 // British Columbia, Canada

This autumn, explore British Columbia’s raw wilderness and bounty of craft beer with the BC Ale Trail — the definitive online guide to BC’s dynamic craft beer community. Explore stouts and snow-capped peaks, brown ales and beaches, or bikes and hikes that lead to a tasting room using curated Ale Trails connecting towns, breweries and nearby attractions, yielding unforgettable experiences for craft beer enthusiasts touring the province.

With support from seven of BC’s Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs), the self-guided tours will highlight local brewery destinations and suggested sightseeing in each of the seven participating communities — Comox Valley, Kootenay Rockies, Nanaimo, Port Moody, Sunshine Coast, Victoria and Whistler.

Launching in October to coincide with BC Craft Beer Month, the BC Ale Trail will come to life with help from Joe Wiebe, author of the BC bestselling book Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to BC Breweries and co-founder of Victoria Beer Week, as well as several other BC craft beer champions who have contributed their expertise of the industry to produce an authentic and robust BC Ale Trail experience.

The BC Ale Trail invites beer enthusiasts to Arrive Thirsty, Leave Inspired. Join the wild at heart and explore all that British Columbia’s craft beer wilderness has to offer.

For more information, please visit BCAleTrail.com or email info@bcaletrail.ca.

While you wait for this to launch here is my complete list of craft breweries in the Province. 

https://mikescraftbeer.com/bc-breweries/

Tapped Vancouver (A Craft Beer and Cider Tasting) – Fighting Chance Productions


On Thursday January 21st, 2016 Fighting Chance Productions held what they hope to be the first of an annual fund raising event.  The event was called Tapped Vancouver and was held at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.

The event began at 7pm and ran until 10pm in the evening.  All beer samples were included in the ticket price which is a nice change of pace for the Vancouver scene.  Like always I get to events before anyone else seems to so I have some early shots before the crowd arrived.  Its the best way to figure out what is being served before the crowds arrive.

From my memory the breweries involved were Bomber, Russel, Driftwood, Whistler, Black Kettle, Howe Sound, Parallel 49, Steamworks and Phillips.  There was also some cider on offer from Lonetree.

The main reason for this event was to raise money for Fighting Chance Productions so that they can continue to produce high end productions.  As a main way to raise money they did a silent auction that had all kinds of really interesting prizes inducing some alcohol, gift cards for brewery tours, artwork and some tickets to plays and a prize pack of Canucks tickets among other things.  Sadly I forgot to take photos of all the prizes (although that is probably good as then peoples contact info might be to public).

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There was a really neat mix of people attending the event with a large portion of the crowd being in the theatre industry or big fans of theatre.  I was able to talk with a few of the directors of plays for Fighting Chance Productions which was really cool.  If you like theatre and didn’t make it out to the event make sure to check out what Fighting Chance Productions is currently showing as you may just really be interested in seeing it!

http://www.fightingchanceproductions.ca

Here are my full sized photos.

Current plays from Fighting Chance Productions include:

Cats january 27th-February 7th, 2016 in White Rock and February 19-march 12, 2016 Vancouver

Facing East April 22 – May 14th, 2016 Vancouver

Virgins a Musical Threesome May 17th-21, 2016 Vancouver

Green Day’s American Idiot July 29tth, August 27th, 2016

Heathers The Musical July 28th, August 26th, 2016