Second Annual Moustache & Beeard Challenge – Strange Fellows Brewing

On November 23rd 2016 Strange Fellows Brewing held their second annual Moustache & Beeard Challange between 7-9pm.


This event was a fundraiser for Movember and cost $15 to enter the competition.  This entry fee included one beer.  The tasting room was packed and there was a good turn out for the competition itself.  I was even talked into taking part in the event personally although my beard is nothing compared to some of these guys especially the ones in the Vancouver Facial Hair Club.   It is always good to see people supporting cancer research.

There were 4 Judges for the competition including a member of the Vancouver Facial Hair Club, Kim of Strange Fellows Brewing,  Leah of Vancouver Craft Beer Week and Nigel of Brassneck Brewery.  Judging was done on the quality of beard or moustache and the quality of answers to the judges questions.  Iain Hill (brewmaster) was the MC of the event. There was some great facial hair and the winners showed this.  There were three official categories and one unofficial one.  The three official ones were Best Beard, Best Moustache and the Golden Whisker Award for people in the Brewing industry.  The fourth was a joke one for most trashy beard or something of the like.

Here are the winners.

  • Golden Whisker Award – Azlan Graves (Powell Street Craft Brewery)
  • Best Beeard – Theo Buckinskas (Vancouver Facial Hair Club)
  • Best Moustache – Sean O’Reilly (Strange Fellows Brewing)
  • Biggest Dirtbag Award – Aaron MacInnis (Main Street Brewing)

This charity event was a blast and I look forward to next years edition!  I hope even more people show up to compete!


Hops Connect Cup 2016 – November 12th, 2016

For the 4th year in a row Hops Connect has held a University brewing club competition in Metro Vancouver called the Hops Connect Cup.


The judging was done in the days before the event by local BJCP judges and previous winners of the Winning Beer award.  The Hops Connect Cup event was held on November 12th, 2016 at Big Rock Urban Brewery in Vancouver.  This year brewing clubs from UBC, UVic, KPU In BC and Olds College from Alberta competed in the brewing competition.  Each brewery was challenged to brew multiple categories including Pilsner, IPA, Double IPA, Pale Ale and stout with awards also for best name, winning beer and the Hops Connect Cup best overall school.  Hops Connect supplies the hops for these home brews and the students design the recipes.

I have unfortunately not been able to make it out to the Hops Connect Cup since the first event they held 4 years ago.  Each school either sent or brought samples of the home brews that were entered into the competition so that people from other schools could sample the entries.  This year many of the entries were very strong and I enjoyed every sample that I tried.

Here are the winning beers from this years submissions.

Thanks to Hops Connect for these slides.

A good number of students from the university brewing clubs came out to this event to celebrate home brewing and to take home hardware.  It is to bad that KPU and Olds College did not have representatives at the event to accept their awards!  I would like to congratulate all of the winners and Congratulate Olds College on stealing the Trophy from the province of British Columbia this year!

Its always exciting to check out the new up and coming home brewers and this event is a great place to see the upcoming talent.  This year had some great talent and previous winners are currently working at local breweries!  It is awesome to see that a local Hops company is fully on board to help encourage the future brewers in the craft beer industry to follow their dreams.  The coolest thing about this event is that the winner of Best Beer gets to brew their winning beer at a commercial brewery and have it released to the public.  This years winner EH.P.A. made by members of the UBC Home Brew club will get to brew their IPA beer at Moody Ales and have the beer sold commercially.  Keep up the great work Brewing Clubs!

Photo from Hops Connect of UBC Brewing club on a brewery tour of Big Rock Urban Brewery. 

Hops Connect sells hops to commercial brewers, u-brew shops, home brew shops and home brewers.  If you fall into one of these categories make sure to check them out with the links below!


Hops Connect – Hop Trading Company Ltd.
#114- 2455 Dollarton Highway
North Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V7H 0A2
Phone: 604-358-4677 (HOPS)

Craft Brew Cruise 2016 – Vancouver

For the last few years the Craft Brew Cruise has been held in Vancouver but I have been unable to attend until this year.



The cost of the ticket was $50 for the cruise and it went for around 3 hours if I remember correctly.  Beer tickets were $1 and the samples were either 1 ticket for half a glass or 2 tickets for a full 6oz glass.  There were three sailing for the boat cruise including Friday August 19th at 7pm and two on Saturday August 20 at 2pm and 7pm.  I attended the August 20th sailing at 7pm.  The sailing departed from right behind the Edgewater Casino in False Creek near the Plaza of Nations.  The boat consisted of three levels with the top level being a full open deck and the other two being enclosed.  The two enclosed decks had beer stations set up.  The breweries pouring included Lighthouse Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing, Strathcona Beer Company, Hearthstone Brewery, Callister Brewing, Lightheart, Red Truck Beer, Steamworks Brewing, Granville Island Brewing and Old Abbey Ales.

Lets start with the views that the boat tour had.

Of course the main event of the brew cruise is not the view but the beer itself.  Some of the breweries only brought their standard lineup but some brought some new and interesting creations.  There was even a new brewery for me in Lightheart Brewing who brought a cask of Terry’s Chocolate Orange Ale.

This Craft Brew Cruise was not only a great cruise but it was a well run little beer festival and I look forward to attending next year!  My only quibble was that there was no free water available on board.  This is a good way to cause cases of alcohol poisoning as beer was cheaper than water.

If you live in Hamilton or Toronto they also hold Brew Cruises there also so check it out.


Goose Island Beer Co Migration Week – Wildebeest

Goose Island Brewing of Chicago have been slowly pushing into Canada since 2014.  Things are about to change though as the brewery is now making a big push into Canada.  As the brewery puts it they are Migrating into Canada with their Migration Week.


Two events were held in Vancouver for this occasion one being a smaller industry event that I attended and one being more public that I couldn’t.  Goose Island Beer Co may be owned by AB-InBev but don’t let that push you away from the brewery as they are still making great beer and i don’t see that changing.  Some of their core brands are not longer made in house if they were easily scaled up but things like Matilda, Sophie and the Bourbon Country lines are still brewed on site at the brewery in Chicago.  The Chicago brewery is still massive with a 60HL brewhouse with more production volume than local breweries Central City Brewers & Distillers or Parallel 49 Brewing.


Seeing as Vancouver is one of the biggest Craft Beer markets in Canada Goose Island Beer Co brought their Migration Week to the city.  Only Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal had events in Canada this year.  The brewery brought with it one of their Chicago brewers and some of their educators to help spread the word about their beer and inform about their brand.  They brought along a selection of beers including Matilda, Sofie, Goose IPA, Honkers Ale, Bourbon County Brand Stout and Autumn Ale.  To say the people attending this event were excited to find Bourbon County Brand Stout on tap would be an understatement as this is a very highly sought after beer!  Each beer had a food pairing created by the chefs at Wildebeest and all tasted amazing together!  From the impression given they look to be pushing much if not all of their beer into Canada in the future.  Bourbon Country with an alcohol content of between 14% and 15% will take a little more work for them as our tax laws do not consider this a beer but fear not as beers of 18%+ have been or are for sale in British Columbia.

When big American Breweries push their way into Vancouver, BC and Canada it just reinforces what a growth market Craft Beer is in Canada.  We may be small in numbers but we sure are thirsty!  Goose Island Beer Co’s push into Canada should be exciting to both the casual craft fan and the uber geek alike!  Cheers to more great beer spreading to all reaches of North America!  I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us next.

Check out BeerMeBC’s for another perspective on the event.

Full sized photos found here.

Goose Island Beer Co
1800 W Fulton St
Chicago, USA

120 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
604 687 6880

Brothers in Hip Hops – VCBW – June 5, 2014

For the Second year in a row the Brothers in Hops was held at the Butcher and Bullock in Downtown Vancouver.  Due to the Hip Hop theme this year the event was renamed Brothers in Hip Hops.  The event brought together local breweries Parallel 49 and Central City brewing.  Also at the event though was Gigantic Brewing and Ninkasi Brewing both from Oregon.  Almost every beer involved in the event was an IPA or something with a big hops bitterness in the least.


Like most events for the Vancouver Craft Beer Week I was able to hang out with so many great beer friends who have turned into just great friends.  I was also able to hang out with some of the best Brewmasters in the Country in Gary Lohin and Graham With from Central City Brewers & Distillers and Parallel 49 Brewing.  My favourite beer of the night had to be the special VCBW release from Parallel 49 Brewing called “187 on a Motha Fuk’n Hop Imperial IPA”.  This beer was so popular during VCBW that there is talks of making a bomber version of the IPA.

Click here to find full sized photos from the event

Thanks Butcher and Bullock for hosting a wonderful event!  Service may have started a bit slow but that it totally expected on a big event like this and things started running smoothly pretty quickly!