From Old Yale Brewing out of Chilliwack comes their brand new “BC Backyard Lager” a beer made from 100% British Columbia ingredients. The beer pours a golden yellow colour with a white head. The aroma consists of citrus, grassy hops, grain and rye malts. The flavour is of citrusy lemon, melon, herbal hops, grainy and rye malts and a decent resin and bitterness in the finish for the style. The alcohol content comes in at 5% with an IBU of 25. While this is not my style of beer there is good hit of rye malts and hops that make for a tasty lager even for me!
Commercial Description: Our Rye Lager is hand-crafted and 100% of the ingredients are grown right in our backyard – Beautiful BC. Barley and rye blend with Chilliwack hops for a light, crisp finish. Try a Backyard Lager with a locally caught seafood feast.
From Old Yale Brewing out of Chilliwack comes their brand new “Fresh Hop Double IPA” the first in their new Single Batch Limited Release series called the Trailblazer Series. The beer pours an amber colour with a white head. The aroma consists of citrus, malty, floral hops and a dank finish. The flavour is of dank herbal hops, pine, citrus, some caramel and bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% and an IBU of 85. This new beer from Old Yale Brewing tastes great although it is really just a standard IPA not a Double in my books. The alcohol content is to low to be a Double IPA.
Commercial Description: The first beer released in this new series is the Fresh Hop Double IPA”, which is brewed with 300lbs of Centennial hops picked 20km from Old Yale’s brewery, and rushed over to be stuffed into their hop torpedo. With incredible citrusy, piney and resiny fresh hop character, it’ll please even the most discerning hopheads.
Old Yale Brewing is no longer located just off Highway 1 on Venture Place in Chilliwack (click here for old location). Not only have they moved but the new locations storage area is as large as the entire old location.
They actually now have a proper tasting room. Currently they are only licensed as a tasting room but they are in the process of getting their lounge license. There are lots of wood features with a forest looking wallpaper. The bar top is stainless steel and quite shiny. Like so many BC breweries there are windows into the brewing space. You are able to stop in for a glass of beer and take home bottles, cans or a growler fill to enjoy later.
I was lucky enough to get a tour of the brewery also when I stopped in to check out the new location. Located at the very back of the building you will find the grain milling room. The grain mill is able to pull grain from one of two silos as well as from a hopper meant for specialty grains. The first three photos show this room. Back from the gain milling room I headed back into the brewery to check out the brew house. The 4th and 5th photos are of the brew house itself. Photos 6-8 are their tanks farm with both fermentors and bright tanks. On the right side of photo 8 you will see the original tanks that they brought over from the old location. With the original tanks and all of the new tanks they have seriously increased their capacity to make beer. Photos 9 and 10 are the bottle labeler and bottling machine respectively. The photos 11 through 13 are of their cold room. This room is usually far fuller but their bottling machine had broken so they could not package products. Photo 14 is of the two silos at the back of the building. The last photo is of the storage bay they have next door that is larger than their previous location.
Next time you are in Chilliwack make sure to stop in for a visit!
Chaos & Solace Brewing Company has officially opened up in Chilliwack. They are not as of yet running at full capacity though and are only open for 12oz glasses and tasting racks so take this as a soft opening at this point (July 4, 2016).
The tasting room is fully set up and looks amazing. Wood and brick accents abound at every corner. There is a sign out front encouraging you to bring in your own food to eat while you enjoy their beer or a few guest taps they have on currently.
At this point the brewery is only operating with their pilot batch system. They have not been able to get their actual brewery up and running at this point but are working at it as fast as possible. You can actually see the pilot system in front of the brewhouse in the photo below. At this point the brewery only has their tasting room license so you can only consume 12oz per day per person but I am sure once they get the full brewery up and running they will probably go for their lounge license.
When I was there they had three beers of their own on tap and they are all solid choices. It is well worth your visit if you are passing anywhere near downtown Chilliwack.
Chilliwack will finally be a two brewery town this spring/summer. Chaos & Solace Craft Brewing Company is building out their space and looking forward to serving Chilliwack residence. Located right in downtown Chilliwack they look to help redefine what the downtown core is and be part of the revitalization.
This brewery is not looking to have wide distribution as they want to be as local as possible (at least in the beginning). They hope to use as much local ingredients also from the hops to malts. They want to both be sustainable and help build up the local economy as well as build up a sense of community in Chilliwack. The brewery is being built by the former co-owner of Old Yale Brewing Gord Gagne as well as the head brewer Calvin Quaite without investors so this truly their baby.
The tasting room has a great feel with lots of wood that can contrast with the really old brick walls. The wood for the bar is actually reclaimed wood from the original walls that covered up the block walls. The building has a lot of history and it is great to see these old buildings saved and repurposed like this. This building used to be home to the most high tech Safeway in 1950 although they felt they outgrew the building in around 11 years if I remember correctly. It changed tenants for many years but has sat empty for some years recently. Calvin had looked at the space a few years ago when he originally started thinking about opening a brewery. The brewery name (Chaos & Solace Craft Brewing) comes from the fact you can take Solace in the fact that they will have core brands that you can expect to drink all year such as their beers the plan to launch with “Luckakuck Kolsch, Paramount Porter, Lakeside Hefe-Weise, west coast ipa” all beers that take their names from the Chilliwack area (or will when the IPA is named). But their will be some Chaos in their one offs and seasonals that will keep you wanting to come back for more.
To keep with the whole history lesson the brew system steps up to the plate. The system has been sitting for many years in crates in storage. The former owner of the tanks lost them when he did not pay property tax and they were auctioned off. Luckily for this brewery they heard about it an won the bidding and it has sat in storage again for a long time until they could move it into their space. The system was built by the now defunct Northern Brew Systems from BC (Vancouver Island if I remember correctly) in the early 90’s for Kona Brewing in Hawaii. The brewhouse is a 17Hec (15bbl) system. The system was used at their original location until they decided to upgrade and moved it to their second location in Hawaii if I remember correctly. But at both locations it was not there for to many years. After Kona Brewing it was sold to anouther brewery that started up in the State of Hawaii Big Wave Brewing although they did not last for too many years. The brewhouse then spent over a decade locked up in boxes back on Vancouver Island before it was released from its purgatory.
I was able to try three of the test batch beers that Calvin has created and they were all quite tasty. The beers I was able to try out were the Luckakuck Kolsch, Paramount Porter, Lakeside Hefe-Weise and all hit the spot.
Both guys are working hard to get this brewery open as fast as possible and I look forward to seeing what they can do with this amazing looking space. Watch out Chilliwack as Chaos and Solace aim to build an new sense of Chilliwack pride and community when they open to the public.