Beer League Bash (3rd Annual) – Vancouver

On March 11, 2017 Bomber Brewing hosted the Third Annual Beer League Bash at Britannia Community Rink in East Vancouver.  The event ran from 4-10pm and cost $25 a ticket which got you three beer tickets.  More sample tickets could be purchased for $1.25 or for donated hockey gear.

From Bomber Brewing:  100% of the proceeds go to support Britannia After School Hockey. This great youth program gives kids, that normally would not have the opportunity to play hockey, a chance to play. BASH supplies all of their gear and provides coaches/mentors to help develop not just hockey, but life skills. Through this event, the local craft brewery community has helped to raise close to $5000 a year in cash and donated gear to support this program. Come out and enjoy some great beer and some mediocre hockey and help us surpass that level this year.

From me:  This event helps support an amazing program that helps kids be part of a team and learn life skills in a sport that is usually very cost prohibitive. I wanted to play as a child but my family could not afford it. This BASH program helps keep kids occupied with life lessons and a fun sport so that they do not end up getting in trouble with gangs and drugs. Or at least gives them a fighting chance. East Vancouver is traditionally not as well off as other areas of Metro Vancouver and the kids really need programs such as this. Supporting this event and the BASH program itself is enriching children’s lives and I am all for that!  

This fundraiser consists of a beer league hockey tournament and a beer festival.  Starting with the beer festival in the stands.

The breweries that came to support the BASH were as follows:  Bomber Brewing, Central City, Moody Ales, Parallel 49, Main Street, Powell Brewery, Yellow Dog, Steamworks, Bridge, Steel & Oak, Red Truck, Callister, Strange Fellows, Doans and Luppolo Brewing.


I really appreciated that some of the breweries brought out beer that was brand new or fairly new to try as this event does seem to bring out the industry and not just the average beer drinker.  Without the hockey though this is just anouther beer event.  The best of the festival for me was the new release from Bomber called The Code a beer that tied into the hockey movie Goon Last of the Enforcers.  While no goons are aloud in beer league hockey the Goon does have a place in many Canadians hearts. 

Now that I mentioned hockey again here are some photos from the hockey itself.  There were 4 teams this year in the Beer League Bash.  The teams included Bomber Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing, Craft Beer All-Stars and the Suburban All Stars.  The Craft Beer All-Stars were made up of Vancouver breweries staf while the Suburban All Stars were made up of staff from the Vancouver Suburbs. They held a round robin tournament with music between plays, goal horns and everything.

This was beer league hockey and there was definitely mistakes but it sure made for some exciting goals.  For the first time in the 3 years this event had the correct finish with Bomber Brewing winning the big trophy!

I would be remiss to share some of the videos of the actual games.

Its not a win without the skate with the trophy!

I was sad to miss the second anual event but this year was a blast!  Being a huge hockey fan and beer fan this manages to bring so much good together and it is for a good cause to help get kids off the street!  If you did not make it to this event make sure you make it out next year!

Patrick O’ Pumpkin Barrel Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Central City Brewers & Distillers

From Central City Brewers & Distillers in Surrey comes their latest in the Central City line of beers called “Patrick O’ Pumpkin Barrel Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale”.  The beer pours a deep brown colour with a tan head.  The aroma consists of spices, vanilla, bourbon, sweetness, pumpkin, malts and some wood.  The flavour is of sweetness, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, roasted malts, coffee, spices, pumpkin and oak.  The alcohol content comes in at 8%.  The barrel aging really made this a very interesting pumpkin beer and well worth the pick up this fall.

Commercial Description:  A new fiery character-based beer smashes through the season with Patrick O’ Pumpkin. A seasoned and embittered lawman who has fallen to the dark side, Patrick O’ Pumpkin is as ruthless as they come, squashing even the scariest jack-o’-lanterns with no tricks or treats, confronting Detective Saison.  Patrick O’ Pumpkin Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale is a full-bodied spiced pumpkin ale that has been barrel-aged in bourbon barrels with a dark amber orange colour. This robust, strong ale is rich and flavourful with a spicy attitude that has been brewed for the seasoned craft beer drinker.  “We added a bit of twist to our pumpkin ale with an Imperial strength barrel-aged beer with bourbon and vanilla essences and some coffee and roasted flavours to make it a wonderful drinking experience,” says Gary Lohin, Central City’s brewmaster.


Rookies & Legends – VCBW – June 5th, 2015


Vancouver Craft Beer Week has once again come and gone. From all accounts the entire week was a massive success.

Due to my schedule and many other factors I was only able to make it out to one event this year.  This one event happened to be the Rookies & Legends event at 12 Kings Pub.  The event brought together 24 BC breweries 12 Rookies and 12 Legends and raised money for the BC Craft Brewers Guild.

Rookies: Yellow Dog, Bomber, 4 Mile, Powell Street (New Location), Moody Ales, Bridge (New Location), Postmark, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Barkerville, BC Craft Brewers Guild, 33 Acres

Legends: Hoyne, Tree, Stanely Park, Fernie, Central City, Philips, Parallel 49, Red Truck, Townsite, Vancouver Island, Steamworks, Whistler, Four Winds

All of the breweries were on hand mixing with the crowd at the event.  The 12 Rookies were poured at the regular bar in the pub while the 12 Legends were poured in a backroom that I did not even know existed.  The back room also housed the food table which made it a popular room.

I was happy to see that some of the breweries brought out some new or limited release beers to make things interesting as many events cater to the new craft beer fan not the experienced aficionado.  Having two bar setups instead of different stands for every brewery meant for quick thinking for every sample of beer.  You had to have your decision made before you made it to the bar as they were trying to make everything move quickly and smoothly.  They did a great job of trying to keep the lines moving really quickly also!  The event was sold out but it went off without a hitch with really good service and smiles all around.  I look forward to next years Vancouver Craft Beer Week as well as the next event they hold at 12 Kings Pub!

Hopping Mad Cider – Central City Brewers & Distillers

From Central City Brewers & Distillers in Surrey BC comes their first foray into Ciders with their “Hopping Mad Cider” a cider that has been dry hopped.  The cider pours a light yellow colour with a very small white head.  The aroma consists of mild apples and maybe a hint of floral hops.  The flavour is of tart and sweet notes from the apples with a hint of hops and almost a champagne finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%.  I am not a cider fan but I would not turn this down if offered.  I would almost have to admit that this is quite tasty.  I think this will probably be popular with the craft beer fans out there.

Commercial Description:  Hopping Mad Dry Hopped Apple Cider is a dry-sweet cider blending Yakima valley hops with fresh pressed apples from the Pacific Northwest. Hopping Mad Dry Hopped Cider is cold fermented from scratch, using Northwest Apples, Yakima Hops and a special yeast. The dry hopping process used adds a nice hop aroma onto the dry sweet, cider, complementing the cider’s natural tart flavour.


The Beer Formerly Known as Detective Saison Launch Event – Central City Brewers & Distillers

Recently I was sent an invite to a new secretive launch event to a new exciting line of beers coming from Central City Brewers & Distillers.


Then came the press release we unleashed on the masses (excerpt to follow):

“Surrey, B.C. – Central City Brewers + Distillers has unveiled a bold new mythical world filled with full-bodied drama and malty mystery for the launch of a series of character-based beers. A complete departure from the Central City brand that many have come to know, the new Central City world tells a tale of a post-industrial, mythical metropolis port town.

Central City is a once-rich township of honest, blue-collar citizens who are now governed by institutions run by old power and old money.

In a city where corruption and crime rule all, justice is brewing…

Detective Saison is the first character-based beer to be introduced, amidst the dirt and weeds sullying the streets of Central City. A breath of fresh air to the city’s moral compass, Detective Saison is a smooth, dry, classic French Saison-style wheat ale, balanced with a fine malt character and a spicy attitude with the added complexity of pink peppercorns. A witty intellect, Detective Saison has an iron constitution about right and wrong and her pursuit of truth and justice is unrelenting.”


Something very unfortunate came up 5 hours before the launch event though for Central City Brewers & Distillers.  It came to light through twitter that the new company they have hired to produce the new labels for this series had plagiarized (and not lightly either). Its safe to say they are no longer in the employ of Central City.


Click here for a story from the Surrey Now Newspaper.

Now everyone in the Vancouver and BC beer scene know that Central City Brewers & Distillers are a company of high moral standards and would never knowingly release anything plagiarized.  This put them in a tough position for their launch party in 5 hours though.  They had costumes and skits already planned to help launch this brand new character line of beer.  To their credit not only did the show go on but they dropped all the bells and whistles and held the launch party for a now temporarily unnamed Saison and their new Dry Hopped Cider.  This had to be extremely hard for them as its hard to sell a new product line while not being able to name it.  So because of this I present you with the “The Beer Formerly Known as Detective Saison” (yes I am borrowing from Prince and I don’t care and I don’t even like him).
detective saison

The “The Beer Formerly Known as Detective Saison” pours a light golden colour with a fluffy white head.  The aroma consists of wheat, yeast, grainy malts, fruit and sweetness.  The flavour was of citrus, wheat, grain, yeast, spices with a nice crisp finish.  The beer comes in at an alcohol content of 6%.

The ingredients included water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops, pink peppercorns, yeast.

Sadly for everyone involved on the brewery side the first batch of bottles was released to stores for the launch and could not easily be recalled.  To the consumer it was great to get a bottle of this beer right off the bat so not only could I review it but I could document the happenings.  Below is the actual photo of the bottle.


Also launched at this event was their brand new and first Cider the “Hopping Mad Dry Hopped Apple Cider”.


With all that has transpired I can not think of a better name for their inaugural cider.  One thing that caught me off guard with this cider was that I actually liked it!  I am not a fan of cider and had not had a cider to this point that I would willingly drink.  Being a launch though I had to do my due diligence.  This is one tasty cider and I will be recommending it to all my cider drinking friends to be sure!

Lets get onto the party.  Here are a few of the photos from the party portion of the event.  I tried to take most of my photos with very few people in them.  The room was very full!

After a few speeches one from Gary and one from Tim Barnes led into tours of the brewery.  The group was broken up into two separate entities as there were way to many people to take on just one tour of the brewery.  The tours were led by Gary Lohin the Brewmaster extraordinaire (yes I went there).  I have had a tour before but I was not given a tour that included their sour barrel room and their whiskey aging room (Click here to see my first visit to this location).  The brewery has also really grown since their grand opening party.  It is amazing an a testament to the growth of BC craft beer!

It may not have been the smoothest launch of all time but it is bound to happen to a company now and then.  The bigger you get the harder it is to keep above board with all the legalities of business.  This may have been a rough growing pain for Central City Brewers & Distillers but they have created a new interesting beer universe with what seems to be intriguing new characters (snags and all).  I hope you are all as excited as I am to see what is in store for this new beer line.  Run out to your local beer store now to ensure you get a bottle from this initial release.

Full sized photos can be found here.