Craft Beer Revolution Town Hall – VBW – March 13th, 2015

I was not lucky enough to make it out for the full week of Victoria Beer Week but I did make it early in the evening on Friday March 13th, 2015.  Once I checked into my hotel I headed over for the Craft Beer Revolution Town Hall event.  The event was sold with this sentence “A panel discussion with some of BC’s brightest craft beer minds exploring what’s next for the province and Victoria in particular.”  The talk was held at the Victoria Event Centre a medium sized room on the second floor of a building in downtown Victoria.

VBW Townhall-001 VBW Townhall-002

Once in the doors there were some great beers to consume including the following

VBW Townhall-018

Before the event began we were encouraged to grab a beer and socialize.  They had some shirts and hats for sale as well as the second edition of Craft Beer Revolution for sale.  Some of the very well known Vancouver Brewmasters and Brewery owners were in attendance.

Once the room was full the event began.  To start it all off they showed a video.  Once the video was finished the host Khalil Akhtar of CBC called up the first panel.

Panel 1 consisted of Nigel Springthorpe owner of Brassneck Brewery, Iain Hill Brewmaster of Strange Fellows and Nigel Pike of Main Street Brewing.  The three well known brewery owners in Vancouver discussed all kinds of topics centering around the Vancouver Brewing scene.  The topic that kept on coming up though was brewery lounges.  seeing as breweries in Victoria for the most part don’t event have proper tasting rooms let alone lounges this is a very interesting topic for the people of Victoria.

Once the panel finished talking Joe Wiebe came up to the stage to discuss his second edition of his book Craft Beer Revolution.  The event was a book launch of sorts.  The first edition was released in 2013 and the second edition already has 40 new breweries!  Now that is what I would consider a revolution!

VBW craftbeerrev-001

Joe discussed his thoughts on the brewing scene in BC and specifically Victoria.  He also discussed what he would like to see happen in BC including filling growlers in local private liquor stores.  This point seems to be a point of contention in Victoria as was noticed in the second panel.  If you don’t have a copy of this book yet then you really need to pick up a copy!

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After Joe talked there was a second video.  I wish I remembered what the videos were talking about but I was to busy socializing with Brewmasters and Joe.

The second panel then was called to the stage that included Joe Wiebe, Karen Kuzyk of Category 12 Brewing, Matt Phillips of Phillips Brewing, Ben Isitt a Victoria City Councillor and Steve Watson who is part of a group that wants to open a brewery in Victoria under the Vancovuer brewery lounge model.  This panel showed quite quickly that not all of BC is on the same page on the brewing scene.  For that matter not everyone in the City of Victoria is on the same page as this panel got heated at points.  Victoria seems to be under the impression that if breweries open up brewery lounges it will hurt their local buyers like bars and restaurants.  Victoria may be smaller than Vancouver but if my city has anything to say about this way of thinking it would be to say its a myth.  Every time a new brewery opens up in Vancouver with a lounge it gets busy.  The thing to look at is that every other brewery is also busy as well as every craft beer focused pub or restaurant.  Brewery lounges seem to just bring more people to the craft brewing scene that like to buy local.  If you have a local brewery where you can sit down and have a few sleeves you will build a connection and want to support that business.  Another point that came under fire was Joe Wiebe’s suggesting that we have growers filled at local liquor stores.  Breweries worry that beer won’t be served properly or lines won’t be cleaned correctly.  These are all great points but if we look at the United States for a second we can see that this model can work really well.  Not only at private liquor stores but at your local gas station also!  When I was in Arizona the best beer store that also happened to fill growlers was a Chevron station.  Sadly I think this will be a point of contention in the Province for a long time.

Once the panels were done talking the room was free to discuss the topics that were brought up in the room.  There was lots of discussion and more beer to be had by all.

This was a great event that made you think deeply about where the brewing scene is going in Victoria and around the province.  It is always good to keep and open mind and think of the best ways to help grow the brewing scene.  Good on the organizers for dreaming up this event!

Full Sized photos from Victoria Beer Week

CBC Music “Canadian Band Beer” 2013

In the fall of 2012 CBC Music (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio Host Grant Lawrence gave his listeners a challenge to come up with band inspired beer names.  This contest caused the hashtag #CDNbandbeer to trend in Canada for two days.  Eight of these inspired names were picked and labels were designed by CBC Music’s senior designer Ben Didier.  These labels are shown below courtesy of Canadian Beer News.


One local Craft Brewer caught wind of this contest and helped make it happen.  Jeremy Sibley of Old Yale Brewing recruited three other great BC breweries including Townsite Brewing, Cannery Brewing and R&B Brewing to bring the Canadian Band Beer Series to life!  Every Friday from May 17th to June 7th 2013 a new beer was released.  The series started with the Old Yale Brewing’s offering named the “D.O.Ale” inspired by D.O.A this was followed by R&B Brewing’s “You Say Party We Say Rye” inspired by “You Say Party” (Originally ‘You Say Party We Say Die’ but changed after the the drummer died after playing a show in Vancouver from a brain hemorrhage).  The next release was Townsite Brewing’s “Said the Ale” inspred by “Said the Whale” and finally Cannery Brewing’s “Pink Mountainhops” inspired by “Pink Mountaintops“.


Old Yale Brewing – D.O.Ale

From Chilliwack’s Old Yale Brewing comes the “D.O.Ale” a classic brown ale.  The beer pours a brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, sweetness, chocolate, brown sugar  and coffee.  The flavour is of coffee, milk, roasted malts, chocolate, sweetness, bitterness and brown sugar.  The alcohol content of the beer comes in at 5% with an IBU of 28.  This is a great mix of flavours that come together and kick your but just like D.O.A does!

Old Yale Brewing
Our philosophy is that, when life gets too hectic, it’s sometimes best to take a step back and enjoy the simpler things in life. Since 2000 we’ve been dedicated to creating a true handcrafted beer, and we’re proud of what we do.

For more than thirty-five years, hardcore punk pioneers D.O.A. have been happily slashing away at all manner of philosophical enemies. They’ve travelled the globe almost continuously since they formed in 1978, always wearing their politics on their leather sleeves.


R&B Brewing Company – You Say Barley! We Say Rye!

From Vancouver’s R&B Brewing Company comes their “You Say Barley! We Say Rye!” a Dark Rye IPA.  The beer pours a dark copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of rye and barley malts, pine and floral hops.  The flavour is of rye and barley malts, pine, resin, hops bitterness with a semi sweet finish.  The alcohol content of the brew is 5.5% and the IBU is 55.  This is one tasty India Pale Ale and You Say Party would be proud to have this named loosely after them!

R&B Brewing
At R&B Brewing Co., we’ve been brewing finely handcrafted ales and lagers in the heart of East Vancouver’s historic Brewery Creek district for more than a decade, with a commitment to keeping things modest, independent and unique.

You Say Party
You Say Party (formerly You Say Party! We Say Die!) is a dance-punk band formed in Abbotsford, B.C., in 2003. Before their recent hiatus they toured extensively in support of their highly successful fourth album, XXXX.


Townsite Brewing Company – Said the Ale

From one of my favorite breweries Townsite Brewing tucked away in  Powell River comes their “Said the Ale” a Belgian Pale Ale.  The beer pours a deep red/copper colour with an off white head.  The aroma consisted of fruit, yeast and some great floral hops.  The flavour was of pine and hops up front with some sweet fruits and yeast.  The alcohol content came in at 5.8% with an IBU of 28.  The beer was super tasty and I would pick this up if it was a normal seasonal brew!

Townsite Brewing
At Townsite Brewing, we’re passionate about sustainability and community, but more than anything we’re passionate about great craft beer. Frankly, we are ecstatic that we get to make it in this beautiful place along the shores of the Salish Sea. Why not come visit us?

Said the Whale
Their hook-heavy pop rock sound has landed them a national CBC documentary, a Juno Award and a seemingly endless series of tours. Theirs is a true grassroots success story that has allowed the group to take its place among the Canadian indie rock elite.


Cannery Brewing – Pink Mountainhops

From Penticton BC’s Cannery Brewing comes the “Pink Mountainhops” a maibock or strong golden lager.  The brew poured a light straw yellow with a white head.  The aroma was of sweet apples, grains and grass.  The flavour consisted of sweet fruits such as apples and a nice mild hops bitterness.  The alcohol content of this brew was 6.5% and the IBU was 40.  Not the best of the band beer but very worthy of being in this company of 4 great beer!

Cannery Brewing
A microbrewery that produces individually handcrafted fine ales and lagers of unmistakable complexity and balance. We pay unrelenting attention to every detail of the brewing process — and it shows. We are the Small Brewery with Big Flavour!

Pink Mountaintops
Stephen McBean formed Pink Mountaintops as the slightly mellower counterpart to psych-rock juggernaut Black Mountain. The Vancouver band has featured a host of prominent guest musicians over the course of three albums.


I would like to finish by saying this may have to be the best Collaboration between a brewery (or 4) and any corporation.  All the beer involved were great tasting and it also sounded like some of the bands were actually involved in some of the planning of the brew!  This just sounds so bloody Canadian I can not believe it!