Sunshine Coast South (BC Ale Trail)


With the cost of ferries these days it is not always in the cards to do a long trip over two or more ferries.  I decided to change it up a little bit when I headed over to the Southern portion of the Sunshine Coast leg of the BC Ale Trail.  This time I decided to be a walk on passenger to the ferry.

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.

Here is the official video from the BC Ale Trail.

If you are only doing the Southern Portion of the Sunshine Coast trail you have a ton of options on just how to do it.  You could drive which is the quickest and most expensive way and you will need to find a designated driver unless you get a hotel room.  You can also be a walk on passenger at a much cheaper fair or slightly more and take the ferry with your bicycle.

The first thing you need to figure out though is what ferries you will be taking.  Click here for the schedule.

If you do not want to drive and park in Horseshoe Bay you can also take Trainslink.  Find directions here.

Once you have found your way to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal its time to get to the fun part.

Make sure to spend some time on the upper deck to get the views of Beautiful British Columbia.

I took a little video as we left the terminal in West Vancouver.

Once on the Langdale side you do not have to follow my recommendations but this is what I consider the best route.  While this route will be accessible to all in that it is on paved roads there are many big hills along the roads.  Here is the full path I would take.

This route takes you through some really nice albeit hilly country side to Persephone Brewing then continues downhill to Gibsons Tapworks.  To start walk up the highway when you get off the ferry and turn left at the first set of street lights.  You will follow this to the first Right that goes uphill.  Stay on N Road while it winds its way up the country side.  Turn left when you get to Stewart Road at the same point N Road meets the Highway again.

You have now Arrived at Persephone Brewing.  This brewery is also a Hop Farm although changes to the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) may force the brewery off this land.  If you have a chance and live in BC please sign the petition to allow them to keep their brewery on this land.  This brewery makes a beer for everyone with all kinds of styles on offer.  They even have pizzas on weekends if you get lucky.  There is also quite a bit of live music that is offered at the tasting room.  As the weather warms up they have a nice big picnic area that you can enjoy your beer.  To check out my detailed (although outdated) post on Persephone Brewing and see some video of my ride there a few years ago click here.

Once you have had your fill of their beer and it may take a while it is time to move on to the next local.

Head South on Sunshine Cost Hwy until you get to School Road and turn left.  Turn left again at Marine Drive and a quick left on Cruice Lane.  You will now be at the front doors of the Gibsons Tapworks!  At the time of writing this post Gibsons Tapworks is a brand new brewery.  The brewery currently has 4 of their own beer on tap as well as a guest tap and a cider tap.  The lounge is really well laid out and really welcoming.  The brewery is also open until 10pm or 11pm depending on the day.  This should become the it place to be when you go to Gibsons or live there.  For more info on Gibsons Tapworks click here.

Once you are done here you will probably be hungry.  I hopped over to Bay View Szechuan & Chinese for some pretty good and amazing value Chinese food before my walk back to the ferry.  It is right on Marine Drive a block away.

Once finished food I started my walk back to the Ferry.

This is a nice scenic route North along Marine Drive.  You have lots of views of the ocean and beach access at many locations if you want to check out the beach.  You also make your way though a small cute unincorporated that looks like a fishing town.  Keep your eyes on the sky for hawks and eagles and on the ocean for wales or porpoises.  While I walked I saw one of the last two blow water out of their blowhole while swimming along a ways off the beach.

Once you arrive back at the ferry its time to go home.  While I love being on the Sunshine Coast its always good to get home after a long day of walking and enjoying brews.  Total walking time according to Google maps is 2 hours and 30 minutes.  If you don’t walk at a good pace and don’t go up hills well add some time.

In the future I plan on doing a full Sunshine Coast Ale trail post but I thought it worth posting on the lower Sunshine Coast as it is so easy for both locals and tourists to make it there!  I hope this inspires you to make your way over.

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Tri-Cities Cask Festival Winter 2017 Pro-Am – Coquitlam


On January 22, 2017 I finally attended the Tri-Cities Cask Festival Winter 2017 Pro-Am.  What a festival it turned out to be.

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As beer festivals go this has to be one of the best fests for your buck in the province.  With $49 dollars getting you 10 samples, a custom burger and custom poutine you just can not go wrong.  I also love that this beer fest is 100 percent casks!  Basically every beer that was on offer was a one off creation just for this festival and that seems to be lost in the majority of beer fests these days.  When I saw that 577 people would be in attendance for this festival I expected the room at the Executive Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre to be larger.  Somehow with even this many people in the space it never seemed super busy.  I never had to wait more than a minute to get a sample of a beer I wanted to check out.

Here are the breweries that took part in the cask festival:

One of the more interesting facts about this festival was that it was a pro-am so there were also casks from some home brew clubs that were made in collaboration with local breweries.

Here are the home brew clubs involved:

Everyone that I talked to at the festival was having a great time and seemed to be really happy with the cask beer that was on offer.  I have to say that the burger and the poutine were also awesome!

The following photos are of the different beer that I was able to sample while enjoying the festival.  Every beer that I consumed was enjoyable but like all experimentation some were better than others and some were next level.

I had a great time tying out all of the beers that I did try and I wish that I could have tried more.  Here are my winners for the ones that I was able to try.

Best Commercial Brewery – Storm Brewing – Vanilla Brandy Black Plague

Best Home Brew Club – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Most Intriguing Beer – Mango Habanero Play Dead IPA

My Best of Show – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Now the festival had awards that were voted on by the ticket holders of the festival.  All voting was done via a website and near the end of the festival the winners were announced.  While one of the awards Lines up with mine the other one did not.  Here are the festival winners as per the overall festival goers.

Best Amateur – Full Barrel Brew Club (Langley) – Maple barrel Imperial Stout

Best Pro – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Haze For Daze

Best of Show – Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Haze For Daze

There is no doubt in my mind I will be attending more festivals in the future put on by the Tri-Citires Cask Festival people and you should check one out too!  They consist of great beer, food, people and you never have to wait long for a sample like you do at some festivals. Also as the BC government opens up the liquor laws these pro-am events may become even more easy to host.

The next festival they are holding is taking an whole new spin on the festival and making it about the Women in Beer in the Province of British Columbia.  Not all of the women involved will be brewers per say but they are all integral in making their brewery awesome and will help make the casks for the event!

Make sure to check out Siris Cask Fest coming up on April 22nd, 2017.  An added bonus for the women out there the first hour is only open to Women!

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Tri-Cities Cask Festival Winter 2017 Pro-Am – Tickets on Sale


Tri-Cities Cask Festival has been going strong now for some time now.  Its once again time to purchase your tickets for the next one that will be happening on January 22, 2017!

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For some unknown reason I have not yet been able to attend one of the Tri-Cities Cask Festival Pro-Am events.  It is time I change this (and I am!) and its time you did too!  Transit is so easy to the Tri-Cities there is no excuse to hop on a bus or train and hit up this festival.  I have wished that I had gone every time I see the photos post event so I hope some of these photos might help sway you to look into purchasing tickets!

Photo credits for above belong to Tri-Cities Cask Festival and Tim Vandergrift.

If the photos are not enough to sway you lets list off the breweries that are confirmed to take part at this time.  Do take notice also that it is a pro-am so there are amateur beers being sampled also.  These could be the next head brewers of your local watering hole!

Participating Breweries are:

Participating Clubs/Amateurs are:

The tickets to the festival run you $49 and it includes more than any other festival that I have seen in the province.  The following is what you receive.

“Each ticket includes access to the event, 10oz Tasting Glass, 10 tokens for 4oz tasting (you can use 2 tokens to have the glass filled), 1 token for Custom Made Burger, 1 Token for Custom made Poutine, Event Program, Entry in to the Door Prize Draws. Additional tokens will be available at the venue for $2 each.”

The burger and Poutine bar sound amazing!  Here is what they say about it:

“There will be an area where a chef will assist you in putting together burger’s with the fixings of your choice from a selection of proteins (Beef, Chicken & Veggie), buns, condiments and toppings. This area will also include a poutine section where you will be able to choose your fries and garnish with a selection of toppings to make your own poutine. There will be a token for each item so you can get them at the same time or at separate times. There will be tables throughout the event space for you to then take your food to sit down and enjoy with your cask beer.”

This years event takes place at Executive Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre at 405 North Road, Coquitlam.

To purchase tickets follow this link – Universe Tickets

I will have a pair of tickets to give away in a contest next week!

BC Beer Awards 2016 / Beer Festival – October 15th 2016


With October brings BC Craft Beer Month and with that brings the BC Beer Awards.  Once again this year the awards ceremony and beer festival were held at the Croatian Cultural Centre.  This year the event was held on October 15th just a little earlier than last year.

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I have been attending the BC Beer awards for many years now and it seems to be getting better and better.  With the industry exploding like it is in the province this event will only get better.  Much like always the event began at 4pm and ended at 9pm.  The festival was once again in two room and even had some beer pouring in the front entrance area.  This year there were 75 breweries pouring beer at the festival and 5 cideries.

Breweries pouring at the event:  4 Mile Brewing, Andina Brewing, Arrowhead Brewing, Barkerville Brewing, Big Ridge Brewing, Big Rock Urban Brewery, Brewhouse Whistler, Bomber Brewing, Brassneck, Bridge Brewing, Callister Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Canuck Empire, Category 12 Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour Brewing, Dageraad, Dead Frog Brewery, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Doan’s Craft Brewing Company, Dogwood Brewing, Driftwood Brewery, Fernie Brewing, Feild House Brewing, Foamers Folly, Four Winds Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Granville Island Brewing, Hearthstone Brewery, Howe Sound Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, KPU Brewering and Brewery Operations Diploma, Longwood Brewery, Luppolo Brewing, Main Street Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing, Moody ALes, Moon Under Water, Off The Rail Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Pacific Western Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing, Parkside Brewery, Persephone Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Powell Street Craft Brewery, Prohibition, R&B Brewing, Real Cask, Ravens Brewing, Red Arrow Brewing, Red Truck Beer, Ridge Brewing, Rossland Beer Company, Russell Brewing, Saltspring Island Ales, Spinnakers Brewing, Stanley Park, Steamworks, Steel & Oak Brewing, Strange Fellows Brewing, Strathcona Beer Company, Swans, Tree Brewing, Tofino Brewing, Townsite Brewing, Trading Post, Twa Dogs, Twin Sails Brewing, Vancouver Island Brewery, Whistler Brewing, White Sails Brewing, Yaletown Brewing and Yellow Dog Brewing.  The Cideries were Left Field Cider, BC Tree Fruits, Tod Creek Craft Cider, Sunday Cider and Dominion Cider Co.

Stephen Quinn from CBC Radio was once again the voice of the BC Beer Awards this year.  This year 83 breweries entered beers into the competition and there were 750 different beers entered.  Once again this was more breweries entering beer up from 70 last year.  Its nice to see that once again this year more breweries have come out to try their luck.  Instead of doing the awards at the end of the night this year they started it near the beginning.  Lets get to the winning beers of the year!

International Lager

1: 33 Acres of Darkness (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Vienna Lager (Moody Ales)
3: Red Racer Pils (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

German Pale Lager

1: Red Racer Old School Lager (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
2: Keller Pilsner (Persephone Brewing Company)
3: Steamworks Pilsner (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Kölsch

1: Steamworks Kölsch (Steamworks Brewing Company)
2: High Country Kölsch (Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.)
3: Arctic Kölsch (Swans Brewery)

German Amber Beer

1: Gladstone Altbier (Gladstone Brewing Co.)
2:  Vienna Lager (R&B Brewing Co.)

3: Potts Pils (Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub)

European Dark Beer

1: Dark Lager (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)

2: Baltic Porter (Cannery Brewing Company)

3: Red Racer Dopplebock (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
Honorable Mention:  Brewmaster’s Black Lager (Okanagan Spring Brewery)

German Wheat Beer

1: Demimondaine Dunkelweizen (Barkerville Brewing Co.)
2: This is Hefeweizen (Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub)

3: Weizenbock (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)

British Bitter

1: English Bitter (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)
2: Red Devil Ale (R&B Brewing Co.)

3: Beacon ESB (Lighthouse Brewing Company)

British Pale Ale

1: Clover IPA (Big Ridge Brewing Co.)

2: Paddywhack Organic IPA (Nelson Brewing Company)

3: English IPA (Strathcona Beer Company)

British Brown Ale

1: After Dark Ale (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Tall Timber Ale (Mt. Begbie Brewing Co.)
3: Aethelred the Mild (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)

Scottish and Irish Ales

1: Classic Scotch (Steamworks Brewpub)
2: Irish Stout (Ravens Brewing Company)
3: 1880 Export Stout (Moody Ales)

British Stout

1: 52 Foot Stout (Barkerville Brewing Co.)

2: Perfect Storm (Townsite Brewing Inc.)
3: 710 Oaked Stout (Faculty Brewing Co.)

Strong Ale

1: Thor’s Hammer (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

2: Wee Heavy (Persephone Brewing Company)
3: Wobbly Bob (Red Collar Brewing Company)

Fruit Beer

1: Pinot Noir Raspberry Blonde (Tin Whistle Brewing Company)
2: Red Truck Raspberry Ale (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: Tropic Vice (Dead Frog Brewery)

Spiced Beer

1: Jackline Rhubarb Grissette (Lighthouse Brewing Company)
2: Spruce Tree Ale (Tofino Brewing Company)

3: Hibiscus Wit (Brassneck Brewery)

Smoke and Wood Aged Beer

1: Entropy Series No. 1 (Dageraad Brewing)
2: Inertia II (Brassneck Brewery)
3: Thor’s Hammer Bourbon Barrel Aged (Central City Brewers + Distillers)

Specialty Beer

1: Roggen Weizen (Steel & Oak Brewing Co.)
2: Londen (Dageraad Brewing)
3: Sour Wheat Gose (Field House Brewing Co.)

North American Light Beer

1: Hooligan Organic Pilsner (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Jerkface 9000 (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)
3: Cypress Honey Lager (Granville Island Brewing)

North American Blonde Ale

1: Organic Wild Honey Ale (Nelson Brewing Company)
2: Postmark Blonde (Postmark Brewing)
3: Dutch Pale Ale (Field House Brewing Co.)

North American Pale Ale

1: Chase My Tail Pale Ale (Yellow Dog Brewing Co.)
2: One Hop Mind (Callister Brewing Company)
3: East Side Bitter (R&B Brewing Co.)

North American Amber Ale

1: 33 Acres of Life (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Troller Bay Ale (Howe Sound Brewing)

3: Thirsty Beaver Amber Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)

North American Brown Ale

1: Bandit Brown (Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co.)

2: Slipstream (Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.)

3: Kim-Ach-Touch Ale (Tree Brewing Co.)

North American Porter and Stout

1: Commander Imperial Stout (Dead Frog Brewery)

2: Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout (Main Street Brewing Company)

3: Russian Imperial Stout (Moody Ales)

North American IPA

1: Flagship IPA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

2: Play Dead IPA (Yellow Dog Brewing Co.)

3: The Ultra Deluxe (Boombox Brewing)

Specialty IPA

1: Blonde IPA (Dageraad Brewing)
2: White ISA (Red Truck Beer Company)
3: YVR ISA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Imperial IPA

1: 187 On An Undercover Hop (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)

2: Cosmic Wave Double IPA (Tofino Brewing Company)
3: Second Anniversary Double IPA (Main Street Brewing Company)

Belgian Ale

1: Jongleur Wit (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)
2: Bier de Garde (Old Abbey Ales)
3: White Gold Witbier (Barkerville Brewing Co.)

Belgian Strong Ale

1: Dageraad Blonde (Dageraad Brewing)

2: Saison #7 (Main Street Brewing Company)
3: Old Barn Saison (Fernie Brewing Company)

Trappist Ale

1: 33 Acres of Euphoria (33 Acres Brewing Company)
2: Central City Belgian Strong (Central City Brewers + Distillers)
3: 10 Degrees (Dageraad Brewing)
Honorable Mention: 8 Degrees (Dageraad Brewing)

European Sour Ale

1: Raynard (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)

2: Cantus Fermus (Main Street Brewing Company)

3: Bizarro (Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.)

North American Wild Ale

1: Bodhisattva (Parallel 49 Brewing Co.)
2: Sour Raspberry (Old Abbey Ales)
3: Little Red One (Strange Fellows Brewing Company)

Best in Show

Flagship IPA (Steamworks Brewing Company)

Richards Buell Sutton LLP Rookie of the Year Award

Field House Brewing Co.

Dan Small Homebrew Award

Sho Ogawa and Novia Chen

CBC People’s Choice Award

Pablo Esco Gnar IPA, Boombox Brewing Company

Timber Brewers Challenge

Old Money Mild, Brassneck Brewery

This year’s Best of Show Flagship IPA is even more exciting as Julia Hanlon of Steamworks becomes the first female Head Brewer in BC to win this award!  A huge congratulations is in order for this!

Once the awards finished everyone went back to enjoying the beer that was on hand.  This was once again an amazing event with amazing beer being poured as well as great people be it craft beer fans or brewery staff.  Every year this event gets bigger and better!  Here is to another year of sticking it to the flavourless garbage that macro breweries make.

Once again like last year I helped set the festival up between 10:30am and 3pm.  It makes the festival even more fun when you are able to get involved in any part of the event.

Persephone Pale Ale – Persephone Brewing


From Persphone Brewing in Gibsons BC comes their “Persephone Pale Ale”.  The beer pours a golden colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of really tropical fruits, citrus, caramel malts and floral hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruit, pineapple, citrus, caramel, resin and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 33.  As Pale Ale’s go this one is on the top of the heap in British Columbia.  I would recommend this one to anyone.

Commercial Description:  This medium bodied, light coloured ale is bursting with juicy citrus and tropical fruit aromas from Citra hops. The pleasant citrusy hop flavour and modest bitterness is balanced with a light malt profile. A sessionable beer for the hop lover.

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