In July Tap & Barrel will be celebrating their 5th year anniversary. For the five months leading up to July and their birthday they have decided to collaborate with 5 different local breweries and pair different food with it.
For March they partnered up with Phillips Brewing in Victoria to make the Dazed & Co-Brewed East Coast IPA. The East Coast IPA or New England IPA is sweeping the west right now and for good reason. They showcase the fruit flavour in the hops that are used with a bit lower bitterness bringing new fans to the IPA. The beer looks great for the style and it tastes on point!
To pair with this great collaborative beer the chef has decided to make a Thick Bacon & Blue Cheese Burger. Don’t let the blue cheese scare you as this is a great tasting burger with a ton of flavour. The burger has certified Angus beef, thick cut bacon, blue cheese, lettuce, pickled shallots, roasted garlic mayo and balsamic fig jam.
To celebrate the beginning of this collaborative effort Tap & Barrel Olympic village invited a bunch of industry and bloggers out to try the pairing. We got to try out a slider version of the burger with sleeves of the beer. I have to say that both the beer and the burger tasted great and I plan on heading back before the end of the month to have a full sized burger!
Especially if you have not been into the Tap & Barrel recently at any of their locations or if you are just looking for a great beer and burger pairing head over and order right away! You will not regret it as the flavour of both a seriously top notch.
Check out the Tap & Barrel at one of their three locations
Faculty Brewing in Vancouver is getting much closer to opening now. When I stopped in early March framing was in the early stages and there was no equipment in the space yet. Now in late May things are really looking good.
The bar is basically finished now with the exception that it is not yet hooked into the serving tanks. There will be 6 Faculty Brewing beers on tap and in Growler fills with one two extra taps for guest beers and the likes. The taps are really interesting as they have the ability to chance out the numbers that represent the beers numerical names. Each beer will have a number similar to a college or university class number. The third photo below shows the tasting room seating area. The big black package is the bar seating. The package behind it is of the growlers.
The brewery itself is not hooked up yet and that includes the glycol but all of the equipment is now in place. The grain room is located in the far back corner of the building. beside it you will find the brew house. The grain will be augured from the grain room to the last vessel on the left of the first photo. The next two photos show the tank farm. Due to the cost of the transformer in the last photo there are a mix of stainless steel and plastic fermentors.
I am really excited for the opening date of Faculty Brewing. The test batches and collaborations that I have tried have been great. Keep your eyes peeled for an opening date!
Steel Toad Brewpub & Dining Hall is one of the newest brewpubs in the province of BC and is located in Vancouver’s Brewery Creek district and Olympic Village.
The brewpub is located inside the historical Opsal Steel Building built in 1918. The building was taken apart, restored and then put back together a surprising thing as it lost its Historical Status in 1997. Below is a historical photo of the building. It is always nice to retain some history of a city as it densifies.
I recently stopped by the brewpub for a weekend brunch. The pub has a central wrap around bar with seating all the way around it. The space is wide open with very high ceilings and feels great. No matter where you sit in the bar you can see the brewery behind the glass wall on the far side of the pub. The actual stacked tanks in the photos below are the serving tanks that are tapped right into the bar taps. There are no kegs being used to serve this beer. You really can not get much more fresh than that.
Google has a great 360 degree immersion that you can explore the pub in as seen below.
Behind a glass wall you find the brewery itself. The grain mill is mobile and is moved outside when brewing to keep the grain dust out of the brewpub. The crazy part is that the brewers actually have to carry the milled grain from outside up the stairs of the brew house to get it in the mash tun. One of the cool things about the mash tun here is that it is a two part vessel. The top part is the mash tun but the bottom part is the hot liquor tank. Once the beer is finished in the brew house the beer is moved into the fermenters on the left hand side of the brew house. When the beer is finished fermenting the beer is moved into serving tanks on the right side of the room.
If you have never checked this brewpub out then it is time to take a trip there. Their beer is only available in house as they do not keg their beer or do growler fills. I do hope this changes in the future though as I prefer to drink my beer at home most of the time.
With word of many new breweries coming in early 2016 I thought it would be a good idea to collect some information where I could. Recently I was able to connect with Mauricio Lozano of Faculty Brewing at an event at Big Rock Urban Brewery.
After a few conversations I was invited out to his future brewery to discuss his plans for the space. Being only blocks from the Olympic Village and short walks from two different skytrain stations and on a bike route this will probably turn out to be a very popular location for a brewery.
The brewery plans to open in the spring of 2016 and is about to begin construction on their space. Constriction will begin with the concrete slab being ripped out as it must be sloped to drains when it is finished. In the first photo below against the very back wall will be where the brewhouse is located. The door on the right hand side at the back is where the grain room will be located. The pile of metal in the foreground is about where the bar will be located in the end. In the second photo running along the wall behind the columns will be the tank farm. As of the current plans right against the wall will be a line of six fermentors. With enough space to make a hallway between those tanks there will be 6 bright tanks lined up. To ensure these will be visible from the tasting room there will only be a half wall separating the tanks from the tasting room. In the third photo you see the tasting room area as seen from the back of the brewery near the brewhouse. The tasting lounge room will seat up to 33 people. The tank farm in photo two will be located just to the left of the window at the front of the space. About where the metal scrap is located will be the bar and growler filling stations. There will be an exit door to back of the photo and to the right so that you can come in the front door to get growlers and just continue out the back door (even with your bike).
Mauricio currently plans to have 4 different beer on tap at a time with beers always changing as there will be 6 beers on the go at all times in bright tanks. The beers will be named much like College and University courses with a numbering system that will help to specify the flavour intensity. The plan is also to have symbolic graphics for the beers also with the intensity of the design to increase as the intensity of the beer does. One really cool idea that Faculty Brewing is planning on doing is they plan to display their beer recipes to the public. Mauricio hopes to inspire people to brew just like he was inspired imitating his favourite craft beers. They will also invite home brewers to submit their own creations as well. This sure seems to all tie back into the name Faculty Brewing that would suggest education in Craft Beer.
Keep your eyes peeled for news on when this brewery opens in the new year as it promises to be quite the hangout!
Stone Brewing from Escondido California has started a large scale expansion of their distribution. Their beer is being launched in BC and Alberta currently which is their first foray into Canada and to celebrate this Stone and Craft Beer Market held parties in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. This was a very exclusive event and you had to either win to get in or get lucky enough to get and invite. Luckily for me I was invited at the last minute to the Vancouver event and was able to attend.
Like any event held at Craft Beer Market lots of appetizers were brought around although many of these ones were made using Stone Brewing beer. Stone brought 15 different beer to these events including the three permanent taps for Craft Beer Market including Stone IPA, Go To IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale. All of the beer were amazingly tasty which should surprise no one that is serious about craft beer. If this was your first exposure to Stone’s beer than I would expect your mind to be blown.
Keep your eyes peeled to your local BC Liquor stores and local private stores for Stones Brewing’s beer to arrive.