Wednesday, March 2, 2016

beer column

here are my notes from yesterday's beer column on cbc radio one's on the coast with stephen quinn:

The Beer News:

Another tasting room is about to open - Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks in Richmond has been up and running, producing beer since December, and very soon you’ll be able to stop by for tasters and growler fills - the tasting room is expected to open in the next week or two. Their motto is “keeping beer weird”! Fuggles and Warlock push the boundaries of traditional style beers - you may have tried their adventurous beers before as they have been brewing out of various other facilities over the past couple of years, and have beer available on tap and at the liquor store. Check social media for the opening day of the tasting room at 11220 Horseshoe Way in Ironwood, Richmond.

On Tuesday, March 8th there will be an International Women’s day beer pairing dinner from 6-9 p.m. at Craft Beer Market. It is $60 for four courses of food and beer. The beers will be special casks created for the event by each of Ashley Brooks, brewer at Big Ridge BrewPub, Claire Wilson, owner and brewer at Dogwood Brewing, Diana McKenzie, co-owner of Callister Brewing and Julia Hanlon, head brewer at Steamworks.

On Thursday, March 10th Heritage Hall will play host to Savour Our Neighbourhood 2016 – the 3rd annual fundraising event celebrating local food and drink and benefitting Mount Pleasant Family Centre. It runs from 5:30 – 9:30 and tickets are available on EventBrite. Craft beers from Bomber, Main Street and Parallel 49 will be available.

On March 19, Yaletown Brewpub will be holding another of their caskivals – the theme this time is Irish stouts and porters. No tickets required, just show up on the 19th from 11:30 am, pay your $20 and you can sample all 12 casks made especially for this event.

And finally, there’s an interesting new beer on the market from Molson’s.  Yup. that's right.  I'm going to talk about corporate beer!

I’m intrigued by a brewery better known for light lagers coming out with a 6.8% unfiltered pale ale, measuring 47 on the international bitterness scale. The “1908 Historic Pale Ale” is made from ingredients sourced to closely resemble those used in 1908, from a recipe uncovered from the Molson archives. The yeast strain is similar to that used in 1908 and, this is my favourite part, it’s “derived from the same primordial strand John Molson used in the 1700’s.” 

I love the historical tie-in. Molson’s has been brewing in Canada for 230 years, and regardless of what you may think of their products, that’s a great achievement – going back into the archives to resurrect old recipes is a fitting way to celebrate that long history. I also appreciate that Molson’s hasn’t tried to take on craft beer by coming out with another shadow brand. They’re proudly claiming this beer and suggesting that it is one you don’t need to drink cold. It has flavours they want you to actually taste and enjoy, so want you to let the beer warm to room temperature. 

They kindly sent me a bottle to sample.  And I liked it.  It's malty, it's bitter, it's everything they're claiming it is.

Tasting:

I brought in a couple of bottles of beer to taste on the show.  The Postmark Sevens IPA. 

And I’m really excited about this beer.  Not just because it's a locally brewed IPA but because this beer was brewed as part of a partnership with Rugby Canada.

Beer and sport is a great pairing. Craft beer and rugby come together perfectly under this partnership which sees the Railtown Brewery brewing this beer for the upcoming Rugby Sevens tournaments stops in Vancouver and Victoria. 

The Sevens IPA is available in 650ml bomber bottles (which we were enjoying) at liquor stores and on tap at various rugby supporting pubs in town, such as Library Square and Brock House.

And, special red 355 ml cans will be available at BC Place for the men’s tournament on March 12 and 13, and at Westhills Stadium in Langford for the women’s tournament on April 16 and 17. This is why I’m so excited – craft beer will be highlighted at BC Place for local and visiting sports fans to enjoy. The Sevens IPA and Postmark’s Blonde ale will be sold at two Craft Beer Kiosks – proudly showing that Vancouver is a craft beer town. It warms the cockles of my little heart!

20,000L of the Sevens IPA has been brewed – that’s the equivalent of a whole month’s production at Postmark. If the partnership between Postmark and Rugby Canada succeeds in its inaugural year, you can expect it to continue into the future.

Rugby Canada wanted to offer a local beer, with a West Coast feel. I think an IPA fits that bill!

Postmark’s Managing Director Nate Rayment says “It’s a huge honour for Postmark Brewing and for craft beer in B.C. For a craft brewer to be considered as a partner for such a prestigious international sports event shows that HSBC Canada Sevens organizers have tremendous foresight and genuine interest in our quality product.”

Finally someone understands that craft beer belongs at sporting events in Vancouver, especially international ones that put our craft beer city on people’s radar. I’m very much looking forward to hoisting one, or two, of these in the stands on the 12th and 13th.



Beer Picks:

Kermode IPA by Steel Toad – a big tropical 7% india pale ale available on tap at the brewery.

Peche Mortel by Dieu du Ciel Brewery in Montreal – if you missed the international Peche Mortel day celebrations of last weekend, fret not, you can enjoy this sinfully divine coffee-infused imperial stout in bottles from private liquor stores.

And a collaboration brew from Fuggles and Warlock and Powell Street: Hikari Imperial Dry-hopped Sourweisse – a 7.2% kettle sour available at the Powell Street tasting room and in 650ml bottles.

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