From the new Smugglers’ Trail Caskworks Ltd brewed out of Factory Brewing in Vancouver comes their “Canoe Chase IPA”. The beer pours a copper orange with a light tan head. The aroma consists of big floral notes, citrusy, tropical with some caramel notes. The flavour is of some resin and citrus rind, with citrus, tropical fruit, maybe a hint of melon with some caramel and a medium hops bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 6.8% with an IBU of 53. I can get behind this first release form Smugglers’ Trail for sure. Lots of flavour to be found all around.
Commercial Description: Inspired by the true story of audacious 19th Century bandits who outran local authorities by racing upstream on the Fraser River. Bright. Juicy. Smooth. Refreshing. Try some before we smuggle it past you.
From Trading Post Brewing in Langley comes their “West Coast IPA”. The beer pours a golden colour with a white head. The aroma consists of floral hops, citrus, tropical fruit and pine. The flavour is of herbal hops, resin, pine, tropical fruit, grapefruit, earth and bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 6.3% with an IBU of 61. I am glad to see more options from Trading Post being bottled. This was a great West Coast India Pale Ale.
Commercial Description: Crafted in the West Coast tradition, this Special IPA is brewed with Superior Pilsner malt, 6 different hop varieties and 3 dry hop additions. Flavours of tropical fruit, pomelo and grapefruit evolve into pine and resin bitterness on the finish. Balanced by a medium malt body, this is West Coast IPA at its finest.
From Steel Toad Brewpub in Vancouver comes their “Kermode West Coast IPA”. The beer pours a pale golden colour with a white head. The aroma consists of tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, sweetness and floral hops. The flavour is of bitterness, lots of resin, caramel, citrus rind, pineapple, citrus and some tropical fruits. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5%. I am loving the new explosion of tasty IPA’s in Vancouver. The IPA scene had been dead for a long time but this one among others proves that there is a a renewed interest in IPA’s and also their quality!
Commercial Description: Big tropical nose and flavour. Clean and crisp malt profile.
From Doan’s Craft Brewing Company in East Vancouver comes their “West Coast IPA”. The beer pours a copper colour with an off white head. The aroma consists of Citrus, bready and caramel malts, floral hops and pine. The flavour is of citrus, very mild strawberry, bready and caramel malts, bitterness, resin and pine. The alcohol content comes in at 6.5% with an IBU of 70. I look forward to picking up more of this beer as it was well crafted and very refreshing.
Commercial Description: With a strong presence of pine, citrus and fruit and the body to back it up, this West Coast style satisfies all kinds of IPA drinkers. The WC wasn’t originally going to be bottled but you asked for it, so sit back and enjoy!
Chilliwack will finally be a two brewery town this spring/summer. Chaos & Solace Craft Brewing Company is building out their space and looking forward to serving Chilliwack residence. Located right in downtown Chilliwack they look to help redefine what the downtown core is and be part of the revitalization.
This brewery is not looking to have wide distribution as they want to be as local as possible (at least in the beginning). They hope to use as much local ingredients also from the hops to malts. They want to both be sustainable and help build up the local economy as well as build up a sense of community in Chilliwack. The brewery is being built by the former co-owner of Old Yale Brewing Gord Gagne as well as the head brewer Calvin Quaite without investors so this truly their baby.
The tasting room has a great feel with lots of wood that can contrast with the really old brick walls. The wood for the bar is actually reclaimed wood from the original walls that covered up the block walls. The building has a lot of history and it is great to see these old buildings saved and repurposed like this. This building used to be home to the most high tech Safeway in 1950 although they felt they outgrew the building in around 11 years if I remember correctly. It changed tenants for many years but has sat empty for some years recently. Calvin had looked at the space a few years ago when he originally started thinking about opening a brewery. The brewery name (Chaos & Solace Craft Brewing) comes from the fact you can take Solace in the fact that they will have core brands that you can expect to drink all year such as their beers the plan to launch with “Luckakuck Kolsch, Paramount Porter, Lakeside Hefe-Weise, west coast ipa” all beers that take their names from the Chilliwack area (or will when the IPA is named). But their will be some Chaos in their one offs and seasonals that will keep you wanting to come back for more.
To keep with the whole history lesson the brew system steps up to the plate. The system has been sitting for many years in crates in storage. The former owner of the tanks lost them when he did not pay property tax and they were auctioned off. Luckily for this brewery they heard about it an won the bidding and it has sat in storage again for a long time until they could move it into their space. The system was built by the now defunct Northern Brew Systems from BC (Vancouver Island if I remember correctly) in the early 90’s for Kona Brewing in Hawaii. The brewhouse is a 17Hec (15bbl) system. The system was used at their original location until they decided to upgrade and moved it to their second location in Hawaii if I remember correctly. But at both locations it was not there for to many years. After Kona Brewing it was sold to anouther brewery that started up in the State of Hawaii Big Wave Brewing although they did not last for too many years. The brewhouse then spent over a decade locked up in boxes back on Vancouver Island before it was released from its purgatory.
I was able to try three of the test batch beers that Calvin has created and they were all quite tasty. The beers I was able to try out were the Luckakuck Kolsch, Paramount Porter, Lakeside Hefe-Weise and all hit the spot.
Both guys are working hard to get this brewery open as fast as possible and I look forward to seeing what they can do with this amazing looking space. Watch out Chilliwack as Chaos and Solace aim to build an new sense of Chilliwack pride and community when they open to the public.