Steam Whistle loves Vancouver and the Good Beer Folks want to celebrate VCBW – June 5th 2013

On June 5th 2013 Steam Whistle Brewing out of Toronto Ontario held a party in Vancouver to help celebrate Vancouver Craft Beer Week (Unofficially) at the Butcher and Bullock.  The party was for loyal customers and local Beer Bloggers.  Steam Whistle Pilsner was poured and paired with a bunch of appies like chicken wings, breaded prawns and samosas to name what I can remember.  Some cool swag was given out like a 1L branded stein and a bottle opener.  The party was full of great friendly people some that I knew already and some that I just met that night!  This party reminded me that a good pilsner can be a great beer on a hot day.  This is something I have forgotten over the last few years while I have dived head first into the craft beer world.  Thanks so much Mike & James (Vancouver Reps) and Marina for the invite to a great event and for reminding me to pick up a pilsner on a hot day!

Click here to check out my Steam Whistle Review

Find out where to get Steam Whistle here

BC Barleywines – Mikes Craft Beer Tasting #2

With all the great Barleywines being produced currently in British Columbia I decided to hold a Barleywine tasting.  The original idea was to taste every barleywine currently produced and bottled in BC.  Due to a few people dropping out due to illness I had to scale things back just a little.  It is flu season and all!  I purchased all the barleywine and had the participants help cover the cost of the beer.  We had also planned on sampling Old Barrel Dweller by driftwood as well as a few guest barleywines from elsewhere but lack of numbers changed this.

I held the event on Saturday January 19th, 2013 and the reduced group was made up of Steve H, Stu C, Chris C and me.  Each person was responsible for writing notes on the aroma and flavour of each brew tasted.  Scores were not given due to distraction of the first Canucks game after the lockout.  I do remember most of the opinions though.

Beer Selection

Central City Brewing – Thor’s Hammer 2011
Howe Sound Brewing – Woolly Bugger Barley Wine 2012
Granville Island Brewing – Barley Wine 2012
Driftwood Brewing – Old Cellar Dweller 2012
Phillips brewing – Trainwreck Barrel Aged 2012


Of the five beer tasted 3 were very well received including the Thor’s Hammer, Woolly Bugger and the old Cellar Dweller.  There was some varying thoughts on the other two though.  I really liked the Granville Island Barley Wine and was not fussy at all for the Trainwreck while the other three had the exact opposite opinions.  I think everyone agreed though that the top two Barleywines were Thor’s Hammer and Woolly Bugger (correct me if I am wrong I did get either the flu or one of the other bugs going around that knocked me on my but for half a week after this tasting).

This was only the second tasting I have hosted and I still have to work out some kinks but we all had fun and enjoyed tasting great craft beer.  Reviews I have already written will be updated with the notes from this tasting and any new reviews will be written with these notes in mind.  All reviews will be linked back to this tasting page.


BC Beer Awards 2012 / CAMRA’s Harvest Cask Festival – October 13th 2012

On October 13th, 2012 the Third Annual British Columbia Beer Awards & CAMRA Harvest Cask Festival was held at Chapel Arts in Vancouver BC.  This event was put on by a partnership of British Columbia Beer Awards, British Columbia Craft Beer Month and CAMRA British Columbia.  This is an amazing event put on to celebrate all the amazing beer being produced across this vast Province!


First off I would also like to thank the following people!

“Brewery Creek Liquor Store (for their support)

CAMRA BC / CAMRA Vancouver (for their hard work)

BC Craft Beer Month (for their partnership)

Chrislan Ceramics (for the amazing handles)

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (for providing space for judging)

Chapel Arts (for being an amazing venue)

Jonathan Lloyd Walker (for being an engaging host)”

Both Steve and I attended this event for the first time and did not know what to expect.  The doors to the event opened at 1pm on the first real torrential downpour of the year (what a good day to stay in and drink!).  The day started off with the Cask Festival which included beer from the following breweries: Big Ridge, Coal Harbour, Driftwood, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Lighthouse, Old Yale, Parallel 49, Phillips, R&B, Red Racer (Central City), Red Truck, Spinnakers, Steamworks, Storm, Townsite, Tree, Vancouver Island and Yaletown.  At events like this you will never find a more friendly and interesting crowd that loves to mingle and chat about craft beer.  Be it Brewmasters, CAMRA Directors or just good old beer enthusiasts, there was always great conversation to go along with the amazing beer.  Every beer was available for tasting excluding the one cask of Driftwood’s “Sartori Harvest IPA” seemingly the current holy grail of BC beer.  This beer was only available to CAMRA BC members.  I joined CAMRA just for the taste (Glad I did too!) as well as all the other benefits.  Breakdowns of all the beer tasted at this event will trickle onto the blog as it is written.  Thank you to everyone that took the time to stop and chat, you all made for a great time!  It was especially great to meet and talk with both Sean Hoyne and Gary Lohin for the first time, two amazing brewmasters and all around great people.

The award ceremony started at 3:45pm in the main hall area of Chapel Arts.  The award presenter was Jonathan Lloyd Walker a BC/LA based actor, screen writer and creative producer.  During the proceedings Jonathan Walker had some great jokes and made the proceedings go very smoothly but it was a good thing the event was 19+.  This year hosted a record number of entrants from Breweries to Brew Pubs.  The Judging was done on September 29th 2012 at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.  12 beer categories were judged by certified Beer Judges, Cicerones, Sommeliers and noted beer and food lovers according to the program.

Without further ado here are this years winners of the BC Beer Awards:Best of Show – Steamworks Pilsner -Conrad Gmoser of Steamworks Brewing Company

Lager/Pilsner – 22 Beers

1.) Steamworks Pilsner – Conrad Gmoser of Steamworks Brewing Company

 2.) Beach Blonde Lager – Stefan Buhl of Tree Brewing Company

 3.) Kelowna Pilsner – Stefan Buhl of Tree Brewing Company


Special Lager – 8 Beers

1.) Brewmaster’s Black – Stefan Tobler of Okanagan Spring Brewery

 2.) Hermann’s Dark Lager – Ralf Pittroff of Vancouver Island Brewery

 3.) Iron Plow Harvest Marzen – Ralf Pittroff of Vancouver Island Brewery


Session – 17 Beers

1.) High Country Kolsch -Bart Larson of Mt. Begbie Brewing Company

 2.) Seadog Amber Ale – Ralf Pittroff of Vancouver Island Brewery

 3.) Begbie Cream Ale -Bart Larson of Mt. Begbie Brewing Company


Wheat/Rye – 22 Beers

1.) Belgian White – Dean Mcleod of Lighthouse Brewing Company

 2.) King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen – Paul Wilson and Franco Corno of Howe Sound Brewing Company

 3.) White Bark Ale – Jason Meyer and Kevin Hearsum of Driftwood Brewing Company


Pale – 41 Beers

1.) Red Racer Classic Pale Ale – Gary Lohin of Central City Brewing Company

 2.) Salt Spring ESB – Murray Hunter of Gulf Island Brewing

 3.) River Rock Bitter – Daniel Murphy of Canoe Brewpub


Cascadian Dark Ale – 4 Beers

1.) Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale – Matt Phillips of Phillips Brewing Company

 2.) Gathering Storm Cascadian Dark Ale – Paul Wilson and Franco Corno of Howe Sound Brewing Company

 3.) Cascadia Dark Ale – Tommie Grant of Spinnakers Brewpub and GuestHouses


Porter/Brown – 24 Beers

1.) Pow Town – Cedric Dauchot of Townsite Brewing Inc

 2.) Dark Chocolate Porter – Dean Mcleod of Lighthouse Brewing Company

 3.) Longboat Chocolate Porter – Matt Phillips of Phillips Brewing Company


Scottish/Irish – 3 Beers

1.) Big Caboose Red Ale – Gord Demaniuk of Fernie Brewing Company


Fruit – 15 Beers

1.) Blackberry Festivale – Cedric Dauchot of Townsite Brewing Inc

 2.) 4 Way Fruit Ale – Paul Wilson and Franco Corno of Howe Sound Brewing Company

 3.) Seedspitter Watermelon Wit – Graham With of Parallel 49 Brewing Company


Stout – 14 Beers

1.) Keepers Stout – Dean Mcleod of Lighthouse Brewing Company

 2.) Pothole Filler Imperial Stout – Paul Wilson and Franco Corno of Howe Sound Brewing Company

 3.) Singularity – Jason Meyer and Kevin Hearsum of Driftwood Brewing Company


IPA – 36 Beers

1.) 5 Rings IPA – Derrick Franche of High Mountian Brewing Company

 2.) Central City Imperial IPA – Gary Lohin of Central City Brewing Company

 3.) Red Racer IPA – Gary Lohin of Central City Brewing Company


Sour/Brett – 4 Beers

1.) Oud Bruin – Iain Hill of Yaletown Brewing Company

 2.) Bird Of Prey Flanders Red – Jason Meyer and Kevin Hearsum of Driftwood Brewing Company

 3.) Imperial Flanders – James Walton of Storm Brewing Ltd


Specialty – 20 Beers

1.) Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale – Kevin Emms of Coal Harbour Brewing

 2.) Serendipity #5 – Stefan Buhl of Tree Brewing Company

 3.) Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest – Graham With of Parallel 49 Brewing Company


Strong – 7 Beers

1.) Hermannator Ice Bock – Ralf Pittroff of Vancouver Island Brewery

 2.) Old Cellar Dweller 2012 – Jason Meyer and Kevin Hearsum of Driftwood Brewing Company

 3.) Bourbon Barrel Aged Thor’s Hammer – Gary Lohin of Central City Brewing Company

And the People’s Choice Award went to

Belgian Quince IPA Cask – Lighthouse Brewing

After the awards were all handed out the cask festival went right back into full swing and ran until 7pm.  This left lots of time to congratulate all the deserving winners on their awards.  I would also like to congratulate both Parallel 49 Brewing and Townsite Brewing on both winning awards in their first year of operation.  Keep up the amazing work!

Sorry I did not bring my good camera to this event so the photos are not quite as good.

Thanks for reading!

Larger photos can be found her

Red Truck Brewing Ground Breaking Ceremony Sept 27th, 2012

Red Truck Brewing has outgrown their Brewery located in North Vancouver and has decided to build a new larger location in the Brewery Creek District of Vancouver on East 1st.

This is a rendering of what the new location will look like when finished.  Not my photo but a promotional shot.

Instead of doing a boring ribbon cutting or having the owner Mark James dig up a shovel full of dirt they thought up a much more fun and entertaining idea.  Some brilliant person at Red Truck decided they should drop an old red truck from a crane and see what would happen (why wouldn’t you?).  But why do this as a closed staff only event when you could invite the public to watch the spectacle with you.  This was a semi-private event as you had to RSVP a free ticket for entry.  The ticket got you a few free beer as well as a really cool Key shaped USB keychain branded with red truck.  If you drove up in a red truck you got VIP parking and a really cool toolbox swag kit!  The event had upwards of 500 people RSVP’d and it looked like a pretty full house.  The gates opened up around 2:45pm and the crowd filled quickly.  There was a DJ pumping out music and some great food carts there you keep you entertained and fed.  Everyone there was having a great time and mingling (drinking) and socializing even the whole crew from Parallel 49 Brewing was there from the owner to the brewing crew (Great guys!).  But the reason everyone was there was to watch a beat up old red truck fall from the sky!  So lets cut to the chase.  Mega Cranes was on hand to lift the truck high into the sky and intentionally drop the truck (This was the operators first dropped object and only intentionally dropped object and he was stocked) something never asked of crane companies for some reason.  Right near 4:00pm the music stopped and a few announcements happened followed by a countdown from 10.  I will let the photos do the talking!

Google+ Gallery with Larger Photos

Official Video!

I am really looking forward to when ground is actually broken on this site so that the brewery construction can begin!  Thanks to Red Truck for putting on this wonderful event and inviting all of us beer geeks to join in on their special day!  Also thanks for all the access I was granted while there!  It made for a ton of great photos to share with everyone that could not make it!

New location will be located at 315 East 1st Ave in Vancouver BC.

oh yes and to finish a truck was seriously hurt in the making of this amazing event!  But that is ok it is an inanimate object!

Mikes Craft Beer Tasting #1

On Friday August 10th 2012 I hosted a beer tasting with a small group of people.  The group included Carmen, Stu C, Tom, Rosalba , and I.  I am hoping to hold more tasting events in the future and this was a trial run.  Each person was to bring 2 different 500ml bottles (min) of different beer.  Rosalba only sampled a few beer so we did not tap into her beer she brought along.

Each person was responsible for taking notes on the beer being tasted be it smell, taste or appearance.  Each person was also asked to rate the beer on a scale of 1 – 10 on their personal enjoyment of the beer.  1 being swill 10 being amazing.

Beer Selection and average rating

Driftwood Brewing – Fat Tug IPA 6.5/10
Duchy Originals – Old Ruby Ale  6.25/10

Stu C
Howe Sound Brewing – 4 Way Fruit Ale  7/10
Abbatiale Dest Amands – Abbatiale Triple  7.5/10

Phillips Brewing – Hoperation Tripple Cross  7.25/10
Lagunita Brewing – Lagunitas Maximus  8/10

Odin Brewing – Freya’s Gold  6.75/10
Parallel 49- Seedspitter Watermelon Wit 6/10

As the review for these beer are written I will link them back to this post for your enjoyment.  All reviews will use the notes that I have received from the tasting.  Let me be clear that most of the group was participating in their first tasting.  This was just a fun event to see if I could pull a decent tasting off.  All seemed to have a ton of fun and we all enjoyed the beer on hand.