CAMRAPALOOZA – VCBW – June 2, 2014

Every year during Vancouver Craft Beer Week the Alibi Room holds an event called Hoppapalooza.  It brings some of the best beer together for people to sample.  This event sells out very fast and has a serious cult following.  The day after Hoppapalooza though Camra BC members are given a chance to partake in this event in a camra memeber only Camrapalooza!  I had not intended to go to the event as I did not want to fight to get a ticket.  Luckily for me a friend got sick and I was able to purchase his ticket from him day of the event.  So I headed out to the alibi Room on June 2nd, 2014.  The beer list like always was epic with lots of crazy beers.  It was great to hang out with some of my favourite people in the BC beer scene and meet some new amazing people as well!

Here is the list of beer that I tried at the event.  All beer were poured into 4oz beer glasses.

Driftwood Brewing – twenty Pounder Double IPA
Bomber Brewing – Superpest Double IPA
Parallel 49 Brewing – 187 on an undercover hop
Central City Brewers & Distillers – Imperial IPA
Phillips Brewing – Octofox Experimental Double IPA
Four Winds Brewing – Phaedra
Four Winds Brewing – Juxtapose Brett IPA
Persephone Brewing – Roach Citra Hopped Pale Ale
Four Winds Brewing – Super Saison
Brassneck Brewing – Changeling Sour Cherry Ale
Brassneck Brewing – Changeling w/ Viognier Grape Must
Gueuzerie Tilquin
Freigeist – “Biere de Vie” Oak-aged imperial sour brewed with salt
Freigeist – Caulfield Imperial Rye Grain Stout
Brassneck Brewing – Inertia Imperial Stout
Steamworks Brewing – Double Oak Seven Double Rittenhouse Rye Oaked Double Stout
Phillips Brewing – Trainwreck 2010 Vintage Barleywine (Bottle pour)

Full Sized photos can be found here

As you would see in the photos a meal was also provided with the cost of the ticket.  There was three choices for dinner inducing a beef burger, veggie burger and a crispy chicken breast burger.  There was also salads and chilli’s.  The food was just as great as the beer.  I would like to thank Nigel and the entire staff of Alibi Room for hosing an amazing event and VCBW for being amazing once again.

To pint, or not to pint (An Editorial)

I have been noticing a disturbing trend.  Here are my thoughts on the topic of serving sizes.

Like most people that enjoy craft beer I want to know the volume of beer in my glass when out at a pub or restaurant.  Some people may assume this is only due to a person wanting more beer per glass but this is not the case.  Being a cost conscious person it is always good to know the cost vs. volume for the beer you enjoy.  It may be priced well for a full 20oz pint but horribly expensive for a 12oz sleeve.  As such, I am a big supporter of Camra Vancouver’s F.U.S.S. Campaign (Fess Up to Serving Sizes) that pushes for licensee’s to post what their serving sizes are.  We as consumers want to know if we are getting a Pint (20oz) or one of many sizes of sleeves (12oz, 16oz etc.).  Recently I have noticed a shift in this movement from outside of Camra though that disturbs me.   More than a few people have taken to Twitter and Facebook and gone on the offensive.  If a pub, restaurant, brewery or café is not serving a full 20oz pint they head to social media to dissuade people from being patrons of these businesses until they start serving pints.  These people have missed the point of the campaign!  Not all beer should be served in a pint glass.  Beers such as Barley Wines and other big flavour, big alcohol beer are better enjoyed in smaller glasses and as such the proper glassware for the style are smaller.  The aim of a night out drinking craft beer for many is not to get drunk but to enjoy the many flavours and Nuances of these well-crafted ales and lagers.  As long as the price matches the serving size these businesses might actually be doing you a favour.  Who doesn’t enjoy sitting down to a few different glasses of beer?  Let’s stop causing issues for our local businesses championing craft beer.  If they serve a “pint” that is under 20oz make a FUSS but otherwise just enjoy your great beer and remember it was not that long ago we had to hunt for a high quality draft beer.

Camra Vancouver’s F.U.S.S reading material

What are your opinions on the topic?

S.F. Brew vs. brUBC Home Brew Showdown 2013 (Hops Connect Cup) – October 26th, 2013

S.F. Brew vs. brUBC Home Brew Showdown

On October 26th, 2013 there was a friendly competition held between Simon Fraser University’s brewing club S.F. Brew and University of British Columbia’s brUBC.  The competition was held at Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers.  This was the first Annual University Home Brew Awards Party and the winning club won the Hops Connect Cup.  Let me start by saying that both clubs made some amazing beer, with every beer poured at this event actually being an ale (from what I saw).

Deep Cove Brewers - 01

All beer was judged at a separate location on a different day by outside judges.  I am not sure the details on the judging but I am sure it followed the proper rules of judging for beer.  Below is a list of the beer entered by both brewing clubs.

brUBC Entries
Cranboyant Wheat Ale
Irish Red Ale
Earl Grey Ale
Honey Basil Ale
Salted Caramel Ale
Midnight Pumpkin Ale
Quakers Blood Dark Ale
Dark Wing Dark Ale
Irish Porter
Gentlemen’s Clout IPA
River Run Rye IPA

S.F.Brew Entires
Scared Witless Wheat AleApprentice ESB
Nutty Professor Nut Brown Ale
Corey’s Fist Brown Ale
Twisted Pumpkin Ale
Swamp Thing Pumpkin Ale
Pirate Pete’s Pumpkin Ale
Baristas Respite Dark Ale
A Tun of Whit IPA
Hop-A-Rella IPA
Vikings Beard Brown Ale
Mighty Brazos IPA

Before the winners were announced Daniel Collins the Managing director of Hops Connect talked about how the event came around and talked about the sponsors of the event who will be mentioned shortly.  Kevin Emms the Brewmaster at Deep Cove then talked to the entire crowd about craft beer and home brewing.  The last person to talk before the awards were handed out was Adam Chatburn the President of Camra Vancouver.  He talked on what Camra was about including what they do such as advocating for craft beer or real ale.  He also talked on the benefits of being a member such as discounts at restaurants and liquor stores that specialize in craft beer.  The last thing he talked on was cask ales.  The loosing team of this competition won a small pin cask with the promise that that club would be given a class on how to brew using a cask and how to use them.  The best thing about this event was that we were able to sample all the beer that was judged in this event!  There were so many great beer and I wish that I kept a list of what I was drinking and what I loved.  After everyone had had a good sampling of all the beer in the competition and people had listened to all the speakers it was time for the awards themselves.  Lets build some suspense and post the photos before the results!

Full Sized Photos can be found here.

I would like to now throw a shout out to all the sponsors of the event without them this event never would have happened!  The sponsors were as follows:  Hops Connect, Camra Vancouver, Dan’s Homebrewing Supplies, Bottle Jockey, Blue Smoke BBQ and Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers.  I may not have been involved with event personally but I would like to thank all of the sponsors personally for helping nurture the future craft brewers of BC!  Well its time to get onto the winners of this amazing event.  The team with the most wins overall won the Hops Connect Cup and the best beer of the event won the Best in Show award.

Best Wheat – Cranboyant Wheat (UBC)
Best Ale – Apprentice ESB (SFU)
Best Dark – Shared by: Barista’s Respite (SFU) & Dark Wing Dark Ale (UBC)
Best IPA – Hop-a-Rella IPA (SFU)
Best Open – Pirate Pete’s Pumpkin Ale (SFU)
Best in Show – Hop-a-Rella IPA (SFU)
Hops Connect Cup – SFBrew (SFU)

There were some very deserving honorable mentions as well including:

Best Wheat Category – Scared Witless (SFU)
Best Ale Category – Nutty Professor Nut Brown Ale (SFU) & Earl Grey Ale (UBC)
Best Dark Category – Irish Porter (UBC)
Best IPA Category – River Run IPA (UBC) & A Tun of Wit IPA (SFU)

A big shout out to all the home brewers at this event as they have crafted some great brews.  Keep up the great work and I hope to come to the event again next year and try your beer once again with one more year of polish!  Congratulations to S.F.Brew for winning the fist annual Hops Connect Cup.  Better keep working hard to try and defend your win!  A surprise for the winner of Best In Show was to be able to brew a small batch of their beer with the Brewmaster of Deep Cove Brewing for a commercial release!  I would like to congratulate Natasha(Co Brewed by Jill) of S.F.Brews for winning the Best in Show for the Hop-A-Rella IPA.  I hope to be able to cover the brewing of this batch of beer and its release.  Hint Hint Deep Cove and Natasha!


Click here to read story written by Student Newspaper by UBC

BC Beer Awards 2013 / Cask Festival – October 19th 2013

On October 19th, 2013 the BC Beer Awards 2013 / Cask Festival was held at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver BC.  The event was a partnership of BC Craft Beer Month, BC Beer Awards and Camra BC.  Like every year this event was hosted to celebrate all the amazing Craft Beer being produced in British Columbia.  This was the fourth annual event and was a big step up on last years event (very polished).    The Awards ran from 1 to 6 PM.

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I would like to thank the following people and groups.

Lundy of BC Craft Beer Month for letting me Volunteer at her booth
Secondly Sponsors
Camra BC, Beir Craft Bistro, BC Craft Beer Month, Hops Connect, Chrislan, Vancouver Brewery Tour
Media Partner
Charitable Beneficiaries
Greater Vancouver Food Bank, BCHF BC Hospitality Foundation, Get Home Safe BC Liquor Stores

I was not going to be able to go to the event this year but Lundy made it happen!  It was really fun to stand of the other side of the booth this year and see what it is like to be a volunteer.  Being on the other side of the booth I was able to connect with so many people and find out what they loved about the beer at the event.  I was also able to get recommendations on what beer to try when I was able to check out some samples.  At the Booth we sold Beautiful Brewers of BC Calendars as well as BC Craft Beer Month Shirts.  We also Poured the BC Craft Beer Month Collaboration Beer the “Spruce Tip Stout” a Brewery Creek District collaboration brewed by Main Street, 33 Acres, R&B, Red Truck and Brassneck Brewing.

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I was able to get a break from the booth before the awards to sample some beer and visit with all my great beer friends.  I tried samples from a few breweries including Central City, Bridge, Driftwood, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Persephone, Parallel 49, Tree Brewing, Yaletown.  I don’t think I could pick a favorite beer at the event but I can say I was super excited to sample Persephone Brewing Companies beer and was even more excited about it after tasting it!

The full list of breweries pouring at the event from what I understand are as follows:  33 Acres Brewing Company, Big Ridge, Big River, Big Surf, Bridge, Coal Harbour, Central City (Red Racer), Coal Harbour, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Driftwood, Fernie, Four Winds, Granville Island Brewhouse Whistler, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Lighthouse, Longwood, Moon Under Water, Nelson Brewing Co, Old Yale,Persephone, Parallel 49, Powell Street, R&B, Red Truck, Steam Works, Tinwhistle, Townsite, Tree Brewing, Vancouver Island, Whistler and Yaletown Brewing.

Around 3pm the awards started at the main stage.  The presenter was Stephen Quinn of CBC radio.  He was a great host and added so great bits of info on beer styles for the less knowledgeable and made a few good jokes.  Well lets waste no more time and let you know who won all the awards this year!

Session Lager – 13 entries
1st Place – Big Surf – Big Surf Lager – Wolfgang Hoess
2nd Place – High Mountian Brewing Company – Lifty Lager – Derrick Franche
3rd Place – Coal Harbour Brewing Co – 311 Helles Lager- Ethan Allured

Pilsner – 13 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pilsner – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Kelowna Pilsner – Dave Gokiert
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Crane Kick – Graham With
Special Mention – 4 Winds Brewing Company – Pilsner – Brent Mills

Special Lager – 8 entries
1st Place – Vancouver Island Brewery – Hermannator Ice Bock – Ralf Pittroff
2nd Place – Dead Frog Brewery – The Session Vienna Lager – Tony Dewald
3rd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Captivator Doppelbock – Dave Gokiert

Session Ale – 26 entries
1st Place – The Nelson Brewing Co – Wild Honey Organic Ale – Mike Kelly
2nd Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Slipstream Ale
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Red Eye – Graham With

English Ale – 14 entries
1st Place – The Nelson Brewing Co- Hop Good Organic Session IPA – Mike Kelly
2nd Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer ESB – The Central City Brew Crew
3rd Place – Powell Street Craft Brewery – Old Jalopy Pale Ale – David Bowkett
Special Mention – Okanagan Spring – Pale Ale

American Ale – 28 entries
1st Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Gypsy Tears – Graham With
2nd Place – Old Yale Brewing Co. – Old Yale Pale Ale – Larry Caza
3rd Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pale Ale – The Central City Brew Crew

Wheat Beer – 18 entries
1st Place – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers – Quick Wit Wheat Ale – Kevin Emms
2nd Place – Moon Under Water Brewery – The Victorious Weizenbock – Clay Potter
3rd Place – Howe Sound Brewing – King Heffy Imperial Heffeweizen – Paul Wilson & Franco Corno

Fruit Beer – 18 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Raspberry Wheat Ale – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Seed Spitter – Graham With
3rd Place – Fernie Brewing Company – Fernie What the Huck – Gord Demaniuk/Paul Graham

Vegetable / Spice Beer – 20 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Red Racer Pumkin Ale – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Steamworks Brewing Company – Steamworks Espresso Stout – Caolan Vaughn & Takeshi Guenette
3rd Place – R&B Brewing Company – Birra Fresca Cucumber Mint I.P.A. – Todd Graham

Special Beer – 25 entries
1st Place – Howe Sound Brewing – Wee Beastie Oak Aged Scotch Ale – Paul Wilson & Franco Corno
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – From East Van With Love – Graham With
3rd Place – Coal Harbour Brewing Co – Smoke & Mirrors Smoked Imperial Ale – Ethan Allured

Scottish / Irish – 7 entries
1st Place – Lighthouse Brewing Company – Race Rocks Amber – Dean Mcleod
2nd Place – Tree Brewing Co. – Groove Session Ale – Dave Gokiert
3rd Place – Fernie Brewing Company – Fernie Big Caboose Red Ale – Gord Demaniuk/Paul Graham

Brown / Porter – 23 entries
1st Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Chocolate Porter
2nd Place – Townsite Brewing – PowTown Porter- Cedric Dauchot
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Old Boy – Graham With
Special Mention – Hoyne Brewing Company – Dark Matter – Sean Hoyne (no trophy)

Stout – 14 entries
1st Place – Persephone Brewing Company – Stout-Off Stout – Anders McKinnon
2nd Place – Longwood Brewing – Stoutnik Russian Imperial Stout – Harley Smith
3rd Place – Old Yale Brewing Co. – Sasquatch Stout – Larry Caza

Belgian / Sour Beer – 15 entries
1st Place – Yaletown Brewing Company – Yaletown Oud Bruin – Yaletown Brewers
2nd Place – Granville Island Brewing – Thirsty Farmer Saison – Vern Lambourne
3rd Place – Four Winds Brewing Company – Wild Flower Saison – Brent Mills

IPA – India Pale Ale – 34 entries
1st Place – Driftwood Brewing Company – Fat Tug IPA – Jason Meyer & Kevin Hearsum
2nd Place – Driftwood Brewing Company – Sartori Harvest IPA – Jason Meyer & Kevin Hearsum
3rd Place – Moon Under Water Brewery – Tranquility IPA – Clay Potter
Special Mention – Hoyne Brewing Company – Devils Dream IPA – Sean Hoyne (no trophy)

Imperial IPA – 11 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Central City Imperial IPA – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Phillips Brewing Co – Amnesiac Double IPA
3rd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – The Hopnitist – Graham With

Strong – 8 entries
1st Place – Central City Brewers and Distillers – Thor’s Hammer – The Central City Brew Crew
2nd Place – Parallel 49 Brewing Company – Vow of Silence – Graham With
3rd Place – Townsite Brewing – Biere d’Hiver – Cedric Dauchot

Best In Show
Vancouver Island Brewery – Hermannator Ice Bock – Ralf Pittroff

CBC People’s Choice Award
Powell Street Brewery – Whisky Porter

VanBrewers Dan Small Home Brew Award
1st Place – John Follinsbee
2nd Place – Tak Guenette
3rd Place – Adam Crandall

Because I took a ton of time taking photos during the awards I headed back to the the BC Craft Beer month booth and relieved the other crew for the rest of the show.  There were lots of people to serve and chat with and we ended up selling a bunch of Beautiful Brewers Of BC Calendars as well as a bunch of BC Craft Beer Month Shirts.  I could tell from everyone at the event that they had a ton of fun and enjoyed all the beer being served.  I look forward to next years event and look forward to which new breweries win next year!  I can’t wait until the next time I can Volunteer at a beer event in the future!  Hint Hint!

Full Sized Photos can be viewed here!