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).
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.