Mariner Brewing (Construction Begins) – Coquitlam


Coquitlam is finally getting its own brewery!  The city might have dragged its heals compared to most of Metro Vancouver but they have finally lifted the red tape and made it possible to open a brewery.

Mariner Brewing is located just off of Barnet Highway close to Coquitlam Centre and not far from Port Moody’s Brewers Row!

From the middle of the brewery looking towards the front you can see where the tasting room will be located.  The slab portion cut out should be at the bar area.  At the location of both of those windows there will be a roll up door to the parking area.

Turning around from the spot I was standing in the future location of the cooler you can see the area that will house the brewery itself.  On the right side against the demising wall you will find the brew house.  On the Left side you will find the Tank farm.

This photo is taken from the very back of the brewery.  I am standing between where the brew house and tanks will be located.  Where the little trailer is located will be the cooler.  Then beyond the trenching is the tasting room.

I am really looking forward to this brewery opening up!  I will do my best to write about every step of their construction.

Mariner Brewing
https://www.marinerbrewing.ca/
@marinerbeer

 

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Vancouver Island Brewing Relaunch (The Blackbird Public House) – Vancouver


In Summer 2016 Vancouver Island Brewing was purchased by Bob MacDonald a partner in Ontario’s Muskoka Brewery.  As the year progressed and new staff were hired they undertook a huge rebrand and renovation of their brewery. They are now ready to share this with the world (Well at least with British Columbia).  On March 2nd Vancouver Island Brewing invited media out to The Blackbird Public House in Vancouver between 7pm and 10pm to try their beer out.

With a rebranding of some old favourites and some brand new products there is a lot to check out with the new Vancouver Island Brewing.  Even the old rebraded favourites have been altered by new production manager Danny Seeton formerly of Parallel 49 Brewing.

For the relaunch of their brand they brought out 7 beers to try.  Unfortunately I did not try all seven as they were serving 20oz pints at The Blackbird.  The beer that they brought were as follows:

Piper’s Pale Ale, Carmanah Ale, Dark Lager, Victoria Lager, 19 IPA, Juan De Fuca Cerveza and Sombrio Citrus Session.

I was able to sample the 19 IPA a Session IPA, Piper’s Pale Ale and the Carmanah Ale (Formerly the Sea Dog Amber).  All three beers come in at 4.8% as the brewery sits on the 48th Parallel.  I enjoyed all three beer.  I would quibble with the 19 IPA being an IPA and not an ISA or Session IPA as it is well below the norm of around 6%.

While I enjoyed the beer the other media seemed to enjoy both the beer and the food that was on offer.

I look forward to trying more beer from the newly relaunched Vancouver Island Brewing.  Look for reviews in the future.

Keep your eyes peeled for their new lineup!

Vancouver Island Brewing
http://vibrewing.com/

 

Soirée Dieu Du Ciel – Steel Toad Brewpub


On February 25th, 2017 UnTapped Craft Imports and Steel Toad Brewpub in Vancouver hosted the Soirée Dieu Du Ciel.  When you hold a party with this epic Quebec brewery and the master brewer Jean Francois in attendance you know you are in for a treat.

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The $40 ticket got you entry into the event between 2pm and 5pm and that included a commemorative glass and 4 beer tokens.  The real star of the show was the rare beer that have not been seen in British Columbia as of yet.  These beers included the following:

Moralité (American IPA)
Ultra Mosaika (Ultra Mosaic Pale Ale)
Hélium (Helles Lager)
L’Austérité (American Barleywine)
Grande Noirceur 2015 (Imperial Stout)
Hérétique Blonde
Hérétique Obscura (Funky Black Beer)
Rigor Mortis Brandy/Cognac (Abbey-Style Brown Ale)
Isseki Nicho Pinot 2015 (Imperial Black Saison aged in Pinot Noir Barrels)
Exorciste Mûres 2015 (Blackberry Sour Whete)
Péché Véniel 2015 (coffee Stout)

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Exorciste
Solstice D’Hiver Barrel Aged
Peche Mortel Barrel Aged

This was the ultimate introduction to the beers of Dieu Du Ciel!  I have never had a bad beer from this brewery but these are the crème de la crème from them.  Why not get to know a brewery with their absolute bests?

With great events comes great people usually.  Here are my shots as well as some from Whats Brewing and Vine & Hops Wine and Craft Beer Tours.  It was great to meet Jean Francois the Master Brewer and chat with him about beer.

My absolute favourites from this event include the Grande Noirceur 2015 (Imperial Stout), Hérétique Obscura (Funky Black Beer) and the absolute winner the Rigor Mortis Brandy/Cognac (Abbey-Style Brown Ale). 

If you are not familiar with this brewery yet it is time to get familiar.  Their beer is available at liquor stores on the West Coast and well worth picking up.  This is truly one of the best breweries in Canada.

 

Andina Brewing Company – Vancouver


Andina Brewing Company has now opened in the East Vancouver neighborhood as of March 1st.  There is no way that you can miss the brewery either if you are driving down Powell Street!

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The brewery was opened by Colombian ex-pats in Nicolas and Andres Amaya and their wives.  The brewery is a blend of Canadian and Columbia aesthetics.  Like so many breweries in BC their bar and the tables at all wood topped.  The wood and the white walls has a nice contrast.  The bar wraps all the way around 3 sides on the one side of the tasting room so you can be served beer on one side and have growlers filled on the other side.  They launched with 6 tasty beer and with their South American inspired food menu that features ceviche.  I was not able to try out the food when I stopped in but it looked good.  The beer was all solid at opening but my favourite was the Maraca Passionfruit Black IPA.  From the tasting room you can see into the kitchen and into the brewery though windows.

The brewery side of the building is cavernous.  There is so much room for expansion this place is geared for success.  Andina Brewing has a 23HL system.  They currently have 4 – 60HL fermenters and also have one 46HL brite tank.  They also have a cute little test batch system so that they can experiment with new beer  recipes.  Their beer are North American style beers that infuse South American ingredients to add some flair to the beer.  Andrew Powers was hired as the Head Brewer from his previous job at Red Truck.

I recommend stopping in to the brewery right away to try some beer that is a little different than the norm and some tasty South American food.

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Andina Brewing
https://andinabrewing.ca
1507 Powell Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
@andinabrewing
Call (604) 253-2400
info@andinabrewing.ca

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.