Beer League Bash (3rd Annual) – Vancouver


On March 11, 2017 Bomber Brewing hosted the Third Annual Beer League Bash at Britannia Community Rink in East Vancouver.  The event ran from 4-10pm and cost $25 a ticket which got you three beer tickets.  More sample tickets could be purchased for $1.25 or for donated hockey gear.

From Bomber Brewing:  100% of the proceeds go to support Britannia After School Hockey. This great youth program gives kids, that normally would not have the opportunity to play hockey, a chance to play. BASH supplies all of their gear and provides coaches/mentors to help develop not just hockey, but life skills. Through this event, the local craft brewery community has helped to raise close to $5000 a year in cash and donated gear to support this program. Come out and enjoy some great beer and some mediocre hockey and help us surpass that level this year.

From me:  This event helps support an amazing program that helps kids be part of a team and learn life skills in a sport that is usually very cost prohibitive. I wanted to play as a child but my family could not afford it. This BASH program helps keep kids occupied with life lessons and a fun sport so that they do not end up getting in trouble with gangs and drugs. Or at least gives them a fighting chance. East Vancouver is traditionally not as well off as other areas of Metro Vancouver and the kids really need programs such as this. Supporting this event and the BASH program itself is enriching children’s lives and I am all for that!  

This fundraiser consists of a beer league hockey tournament and a beer festival.  Starting with the beer festival in the stands.

The breweries that came to support the BASH were as follows:  Bomber Brewing, Central City, Moody Ales, Parallel 49, Main Street, Powell Brewery, Yellow Dog, Steamworks, Bridge, Steel & Oak, Red Truck, Callister, Strange Fellows, Doans and Luppolo Brewing.

 

I really appreciated that some of the breweries brought out beer that was brand new or fairly new to try as this event does seem to bring out the industry and not just the average beer drinker.  Without the hockey though this is just anouther beer event.  The best of the festival for me was the new release from Bomber called The Code a beer that tied into the hockey movie Goon Last of the Enforcers.  While no goons are aloud in beer league hockey the Goon does have a place in many Canadians hearts. 

Now that I mentioned hockey again here are some photos from the hockey itself.  There were 4 teams this year in the Beer League Bash.  The teams included Bomber Brewing, Parallel 49 Brewing, Craft Beer All-Stars and the Suburban All Stars.  The Craft Beer All-Stars were made up of Vancouver breweries staf while the Suburban All Stars were made up of staff from the Vancouver Suburbs. They held a round robin tournament with music between plays, goal horns and everything.

This was beer league hockey and there was definitely mistakes but it sure made for some exciting goals.  For the first time in the 3 years this event had the correct finish with Bomber Brewing winning the big trophy!

I would be remiss to share some of the videos of the actual games.

Its not a win without the skate with the trophy!

I was sad to miss the second anual event but this year was a blast!  Being a huge hockey fan and beer fan this manages to bring so much good together and it is for a good cause to help get kids off the street!  If you did not make it to this event make sure you make it out next year!

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Winter Cask Festival 2016 – Central City Brewing


On January 30th, 2016 (Saturday) Central City Brewing held their annual Winter Cask Festival.  This is probably the marquee cask event in BC and I was happy to once again attend.

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This year the festival brought us 40 casks from breweries only found in British Columbia.  This years ticket got you a branded sample glass with three samples tokens.  More tokens could be purchased at the front desk.  Like years past many of the casks swung to the Imperial side of things which makes sense as most winter beers are higher in alcohol.

The Brew List

1 Black Kettle – Kentucky Uncommon
2 Brassneck – Old Money Mild
3 Bridge Brewing – Ambleside Amber Wassail
4 Dogwood – Organic Honey Giner and Ginseng
5 High Mountain Brewhouse – ISA
6 Howe Sound Brewing – Gathering Storm Cascadian Dark Ale
7 Moody Ales – Champions Scotch Ale
8 Phillips – Imperial Rye Lager
9 Red Collar – “Wobbly Bob” Dry Hopped English Strong Ale
10 Vancouver Island Brewing – Mid-Century West Coast Steam Beer
11 Big Ridge – Honey Saison
12 Spinnakers – Honey Muscle Saison
13 Big Rock Urban – The Muscles from Brussels
14 Townsite – Triple Red Power
15 Four Winds – Wild IPA Pepper Pot
16 Nelson – Bent Pole IPA
17 Russell – Barrel Soured Punch Bowl IPA
18 Whistler – Snow…White IPA
19 Driftwood – Old Cellar Dweller
20 Main Street – Barleywine
21 Powell Street – English Style Barley Wine
22 Steel & Oak – Barley Wine
23 Axe & Barrel – Winter Green Cocoa Porter
24 Callister – Midnight in Kentucky
25 Coal Harbour – Blackwing Baltic Porter
26 Fuggles & Warlock – Dark Cow Chocolate Milk Porter
27 Persephone – “Debris Slide” Oaked Chocolate Smoked Porter
28 Real Cask – India Export Porter
29 Bomber – Mocha Imperial Stout
30 Dead Frog – Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout
31 Doan’s Craft Brewing – American Rye Stout
32 Old Yale Brewing – Fresh Chilli and Ghost Chilli Stout
33 Parallel 49 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout
34 Red Truck – Swamp Thing Stout
35 Steamworks – Breakfast Stout
36 Deep Cove – Golden Sour
37 Moon Under Water – Oud King Crow 2015
38 R&B Brewing – Cherry Kettle Sour
39 Yellow Dog – Raspberry Sour Bruin
40 Central City Brewing – Mystery Cask

Like I mentioned before this is one of the best if not best Cask events in the entire province every year and it was not different this time.  The beer was great and the people attending were awesome.  I had great conversations that paired amazingly with the beer I was drinking.  I wish more places in BC would hold pure cask events to this scale.

My favourite beers of the night were a tie between two beers once again.

Moon Under Water – Oud King Crow 2015
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Fuggles & Warlock – Dark Cow Chocolate Milk Porter
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If you have never attended a cask festival or one of Central City Brewing’s amazing cask festivals then you need to change it up and attend.  Not only do you try great been but you will meet many new people that are really into Craft Beer.

Here are my full sized photos.

 

 

Whistler Village Beer Festival 2015 (Saturday Festival) – Whistler BC


Last September I attended what turned out to be one of my favourite beer festivals in BC in the Whistler Village Beer Festival.  The weather was beautiful and the beer was amazing!  Here is last years official festival video.

Last year was such a success that this year Gibbons Events Co decided to make the Main Festival happen over two days with many satellite events that ran over 5 days.  The main Festivals took place on September 19th and 20th 2015.

While last year had epic weather this year we did not get so lucky!  But hey this is BC and we all own rain jackets so a little rain didn’t stop an epic party!  I was only able to attend the Saturday Main Event which was lucky for me as the rain was not quite as bad.  The festival was held at the Whistler Olympic Park in the Whistler Village once again.  The event started for average attendees at 1pm (opened at 12 for gatecrashers) and ran until 5pm (last call at 4:45).  I got into the grounds before the festival opened to the public and gate crashers and was to take lots of photos of the booths as they set up.

This year the Resort Municipality of Whistler gave the green light to increase the festival grounds by 40% to increase the amount of breweries to around 80.  This is impressive as 2013’s event was half the size of 2014!

Breweries involved included the following (Ordered by booth Number)

Muskoka Brewing, Steam Whistle Pilsner, Steamworks Brewin, Persephone Brewing, Big Rock Brewery, Off The Rail Brewing, Moody Ales, Russell Brewing, Red Truck Beer Company, Glutenberg, Bomber Brewing, Phillips Brewing, Howe Sound Brewing, R&B Brewing, Steel & Oak Brewing, Postmark Brewing, Lighthouse Brewing, Shacksbury, Lagunitas, Deschutes Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Double Mountain Brewing, Scuttlebut, Stone Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, Strongbow, Maui Brewing, North Coast Brewing, Crabbie’s Ginger Beer, Czechvar, High Mountain Brewhouse, Yaletown Brewing, Big Ridge Brewing, Bowen Island Brewing, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Parallel 49 Brewing, Fernie Brewing, Prohibition Brewing, Rider Cider Company, Whistler Brewing, LoneTree Cider, Stanley Park Brewing, Old Yale Brewing, Hoyne Brewing, Goose Island, Okanagan Springs, Unibroue, Tofino Brewing, Black Kettle Brewing, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Scandal Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Yellow Dog, Dead Frog Brewery, Strange Fellows Brewing, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers, Doan’s Craft Brewing, Mt Begbie Brewing, Beverage Concepts, Pilsner Urquell, Spinnakers, Coal Harbour, Main Street Brewing, BC Tree Fruits Cider, Four Winds Brewing, Off the Rail Brewing, Granville Island Brewing, Hearthstone Brewing, Mission Springs Brewing.

Last years attendance came in around 3,500 for the festival and this year even with bad weather beat that with around 3,000 people on Saturday and 1,300 on Sunday with a total over the five day of around 5000 people (numbers from here).  Craft Beer fans are tough (and own rain gear) and we don’t stop for rain.  I could only imagine how big Sundays numbers would have been on a sunny day.

 

Like at all festivals I attend I took photos of many of the samples I drank while enjoying the event.

Even with awful weather this year everyone in attendance had a great time!  I still think this is one of the best festivals I have attended (even this year) as even though there are tons of people there are little to no lines and everyone is just having a great time!  The only issue was a lack of washrooms probably made worse with all the rain.

I am excited to see what Gibbons Events has in store for us next September!

This years top three breweries as voted by Festival Goers won 1 year tap or bottle contracts at multiple pubs in Whistler Village which is a very lucrative prize!

First Place
Parallel 49 Brewing – Longhorn Saloon, Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub, Garibaldi Lift Co

Second Place
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Tapley’s Pub, Merlins Bar & Grill, Amsterdam Pub

Third Place
Whistler Brewing Co – FireRock Lounge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill

Full sized photos here
Whistler Village Beer Festival

 

Great Canadian Beer Festival 2015 – Victoria BC – September 12th


After missing last years Great Canadian Beer Festival it looked like a good time to reacquaint myself with the largest Beer Festival on Vancouver Island (and one of the largest in BC).   Like every year the festival was a two day event with a Friday that ran from 3pm-8pm and the Saturday Noon-5pm and was held at the Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.  Much like last time I was not able to make it out to the Friday event and only the Saturday because of work and bad/late planning on my part.  Tickets ran at $40 per day and you got a pamphlet with all of the breweries and beers available and a beer glass.  Beer tokens came in at a fairly average BC price of $1.5 which got you a 4oz pour of beer.

GCBF2015-poster

This years festival has reverted back to Canadian only Breweries with the vast majority being from British Columbia.  I personally like to bring in American breweries because its a good way to compare our brews to some of the most renowned in the world (but that’s just me).  There were still a ton of breweries at the festival with a total of 62.

The breweries in attendance:

33 Acres, Bad Tattoo, Barkerville, Big Rock(AB, BC), Bomber, Brasseurs Sans Gluten, Bridge Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Canoe Brewpub, Category 12, Central City Brewers & Distillers, Coal Harbour, Cumberland, Dageraad, Dead Frog, Deep Cove, Dieu Du Ciel, Doan’s Craft Brewing Company, Driftwood, Fernie, Four Mile, Four Winds, Fuggles & Warlock, Gladstone, Granville Island, Howe Sound, Hoyne, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Le Trou De Diable, Lighthouse, Axe & Barrel, Longwood, Merridale Cider, Mill Street, Moody Ales, Muskoka, Okanagan Springs, Parallel 49, Persephone, Phillips, Postmark, Powell Street, R & B, Red Arrow, REd Truck, Russell, Salt Spring Island Ales, Sherwood Mountain, Spinnakers, Stanley Park, Steam Whistle, Steamworks, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Swans Brewpub, Tofino, Townsite, Tree Brewing, Unibroue, Vancouver Island, Wheelhouse, Wolf, Yellow Dog, Yukon.

With a selection of breweries as far north of Victoria as a 2,490km drive and as far East as 4,805km away this festival did a good job of bringing Canadian breweries out to share their beer!  In previous years I kept a log of the beers that I was enjoying but this year I decided against it.  I did take many photos of the beer I was enjoying but not all of them as I would hold up the line while doing it.

Once again the costumes were out in full force as well as the entertainment.  There were lots of familiar faces all around but there were so many people I knew were there but missed. This event is planned and executed very well and is a ton of fun but I found that there might have been to many people.  Some of the breweries had lines that you would be lucky if they only took you 10-15 minutes to get a beer sample.  Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks beat this with a line so long that I didn’t even say hi to the guys at the booth it stretched so long!  I hear the Friday event was much less crowded but I did not get to check that night out.

Full sized photos found here

Overall I had an epic time and I look forward to what next year has to offer!

Rookies & Legends – VCBW – June 5th, 2015


vancouver-craft-beer-week

Vancouver Craft Beer Week has once again come and gone. From all accounts the entire week was a massive success.

Due to my schedule and many other factors I was only able to make it out to one event this year.  This one event happened to be the Rookies & Legends event at 12 Kings Pub.  The event brought together 24 BC breweries 12 Rookies and 12 Legends and raised money for the BC Craft Brewers Guild.

Rookies: Yellow Dog, Bomber, 4 Mile, Powell Street (New Location), Moody Ales, Bridge (New Location), Postmark, Steel & Oak, Strange Fellows, Barkerville, BC Craft Brewers Guild, 33 Acres

Legends: Hoyne, Tree, Stanely Park, Fernie, Central City, Philips, Parallel 49, Red Truck, Townsite, Vancouver Island, Steamworks, Whistler, Four Winds

All of the breweries were on hand mixing with the crowd at the event.  The 12 Rookies were poured at the regular bar in the pub while the 12 Legends were poured in a backroom that I did not even know existed.  The back room also housed the food table which made it a popular room.

I was happy to see that some of the breweries brought out some new or limited release beers to make things interesting as many events cater to the new craft beer fan not the experienced aficionado.  Having two bar setups instead of different stands for every brewery meant for quick thinking for every sample of beer.  You had to have your decision made before you made it to the bar as they were trying to make everything move quickly and smoothly.  They did a great job of trying to keep the lines moving really quickly also!  The event was sold out but it went off without a hitch with really good service and smiles all around.  I look forward to next years Vancouver Craft Beer Week as well as the next event they hold at 12 Kings Pub!