Brewers Reserve Series – Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub


On January 20th I headed to Victoria with my wife for the Brewers Reserve Series launch event at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub.  Spinnakers Brewpub is the original brewpub in Canada after prohibition and opened in 1984.  There is no doubt that Spinnakers has some major history and they are looking to create even more history with their new barrel program.

Get to know the brewery better by checking out the podcast we did on Pacific Beer Chat.  We sat down with  Paul Hadfield the founder and Matt West-Patrick one of the brewers.  You can also find this episode on your favorite Podcast app at Pacific Beer Chat.

 

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub is located on the waterfront just outside of Downtown Victoria and might win for best brewpub location ever.  This place has an English Pub vibe through and through.  The lower level is more of a restaurant with the top floor being more of a bar.

To top off the Brewpub they also have a lodging in their guesthouse.  We stayed at the guesthouse while there and really enjoyed out stay.  Staying with Spinnakers means you get a hot breakfast and Chocolate and beer tasting included with out stay.

Now lets get to the real reason we headed to Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub in the first place.  The latest beers to be released in the Brewers Reserve Series are Rubus a Blackberry Sour (Number 9) and Prunus Plum Sour (Number 10).  If you can find bottles of these beers make sure to pick them up as they are very limited.

Rubus Blackberry Sour

The beer pours a deep red colour with a very low carbonation and very little head.  The aroma consists of blackberries, mild cherry, semi sweet notes and tartness.  The flavour is of blackberries, cherries, tartness, wheat, oak with an almost wine like finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.1%.  This is quite the tasty Blackberry sour and I would highly recommend picking up a bottle of this.

Prunus Plum Sour

The beer pours a deep orange brown colour with almost no head and little carbonation.  The aroma consists of plum, sweetness and tartness.  The flavour is of plum, wheat, mild oak, wine, semi sweet with some good tartness.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.8%.  Like the Rubus this beer is exceptionally tasty.  I would recommend picking up at least one of these bottles if you can find it.

This new series of beer are really tasty and I can not wait to see what they have coming in the future.

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Sea Lion Watermelon Sour – Britannia Brewing Company (Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks) (O’hare’s Gastropub)


From Britannia Brewing Company in collaboration with Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks and O’hare’s Gastropub all in Richmond comes their “Sea Lion Watermelon Sour”.  The beer pours a golden yellow colour with a white head that dissipated quickly.  The aroma consists of some nondescript fruits with some mild tartness and a semi sweet finish.  The flavour is of tartness, maybe a hint of watermelon but more like cucumber probably coming from the peel of the watermelon with some vegetal flavours.  The alcohol content comes in at 4.5%.  I did enjoy this beer but it was a bit odd for a watermelon beer.  But watermelon must be a very tough ingredient to use.

Tiny Little Tart Golden Sour – Hearthstone Brewery


From Hearthstone Brewery in North Vancouver comes their “Tiny Little Tart Golden Sour”.  The beer pours a golden colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of mild tartness, tropical fruits and lychee.  The flavour is of tartness, tropical fruit, pineapple, citrus, passion fruit, sweetness and a mild malt backbone.  The alcohol content comes in at 4% with an IBU of 0.  This is definitely a tasty session sour ale.  hope you can find some before its all gone.

Commercial Description:  Kettle soured, then fermented with our hose ale yeast.  Next we dry hop the hell out of this beer with Equanot and Idaho 7 hops, both accentuating the beautiful bouquet of passion fruit and citrus.

Lil’ RedEMPTION Cherry Sour – Parallel 49 Brewing


From East Vancouver’s Parallel 49 Brewing comes their 3rd Anniversary (2012-2015) beer the “Lil’ RedEMPTION” cherry sour.  The brewery did a cherry berliner weisse called Lil’ Red in 2013 that did not turn out and this is their response to that beer.  This brew has been aged in wine barrels for 2 years and then blended with cherries for 3 months.  When I cracked the bottle open and turned my head it exploded in a non stop head (She is a lively one).  Once the beer stopped gushing I poured it and found it to be a deep cloudy brownish orange colour with a tan head and lots of sediment.  The aroma consists of huge cherries, mild funk, oak, mild wine and a big sweetness.  The flavour is of cherries, acidity, vinegar, oak, red wine, sweetness and some earthiness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.7% with an IBU of 7.  Once the surprise of the explosive head was finished I really enjoyed this beer.  There was a ton of depth to it and it did redeem the brewery for sure!  Happy late 3rd anniversary!

Commercial Description:  Aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels with wild yeast and sour bacteria for 2 years and then blended with sour cherries for 3 months. Big notes of cherries, vanilla and cinnamon. Tart, refreshing and full of fruit flavour.

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Farmhouse Saison & Wild Ale Festival – Vancouver (UBC)


On June 27th 2015 the inaugural  Farmhouse Saison & Wild Ale Festival was held at the UBC Farm.

farmhouse

This festival was a nice change from your average beer festival in this province.  Many of the beer were either one off saisons / sours or rare and hard to get beers.  Nothing for sample was a standard lineup beer.  The ticket cost $50 plus taxes and got you a fancy taster glass and 4 tokens.

Breweries at the Festival
Beerthirst – Elysian, Logsdon, North Coast
Brassneck Brewery
Bravo Beer Co – Brouwerij Verhaeghe, Dupont
Category 12 Brewing
The Commons Brewery
Copper & Theory – Breakside, Cantillon, pFriem
Craft Beer Imports – De Molen, Omnipollo
Dageraad Brewing
Driftwood Brewing
Four Winds Brewing
Goose Island Brewery
Lighthouse Brewing
Main Street Brewing
Moon Brewpub
Parallel 49 Brewing
Persephone Brewing
Powell Street Craft Brewery
Steel & Oak Brewing
Strange Fellows Brewing
Storm Brewing
Untapped Craft Imports – Double Mountain, Dieu Du Ciel, Les Trois Mousquetaires
Westbier – St Louis, Bockor, St Feuillien, ToØl
Yellow Dog Brewing

Full list found here.

The festival had a small amount of tickets sold which showed as there were very rarely lineups and those lineups were only for timed limited beers.  The weather was very hot as has been the case for the Month of June and this shows with brown grass!

As always I took many photos of the different beers that I was able to sample.  There were so many good sours that I did not stray form this style very often.

Full sized photos here.

This was probably one of the best festivals that I have ever attended.  The heat was brutal for me but being in June you would never have guessed it was going to be 30C in Vancouver (It probably should have rained).  If you are looking for just one festival to attend next year then this should be the festival you go to!