Wednesday, July 26, 2017

red truck concert series

For Immediate Release
July 26th, 2017. Vancouver, BC

Lee Fields & The Expressions to headline Truck Stop Concert Series #3 on August 12th
Legendary soul singer to headline last show of the year at Red Truck Beer

Now in its third year, the Truck Stop Concert Series has become a highlight of Vancouver’s summer, and with a full sellout so far this year, it’s clear that Vancouverites love the combination of great live music and delicious craft beer at the Red Truck Brewing Truck Stop.

After June’s indie dance show and July’s country lineup, August’s event will be one for the soul, blues, and rock fans. The August 12th show will be headlined by the legendary Lee Fields & The Expressions, one of the last original soul men still standing. He’ll be supported by great list of acts including Juno Blues nominee, Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, The Jay Vons, Vince Vaccaro, Real Ponchos, and Year of the Wolf, who won their way onto the bill through the Red Truck Artist Submissions program.  

Lee Fields is nearly 50 years into a career which has seen him tour the world spreading a brand of deep soul that’s earned him the nickname “Little James Brown.” Backed by the Expressions he’s won legions of fans with music that brings the great era of Southern soul back to life.

With 2014’s Juno-nominated “A Real Fine Mess,” Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer established themselves as a musical force with a blend of greasy blues and psychedelic jams which they’ve taken to new level on their recently-released “Apocalipstick.” Famous for their “high-energy, sweaty, dance-floor-boogying performances,” they’re perfect for a hot summer evening at Red Truck.

Hailing from Brooklyn, The Jay Vons have a sound that takes the best of vintage pop, garage rock, and soul and gives it a contemporary sheen. They’re known for rocking worlds and filling dancefloors and are sure to make many new fans on their visit to Vancouver. The show lineup also includes Vince Vaccaro, Real Ponchos, and Year of the Wolf, who will have the chance to impress 1200 music fans.

Tickets for Truck Stop Concert Series #3 have been selling fast, and only a small number remain. Red Truck is again offering music fans a very special “$100 Six Pack” which includes four show tickets to alongside six tokens for delicious Red Truck Beer. it’s the best way to get some friends together and save a bunch of dough while taking in great live music and enjoying cold, delicious handcrafted beers.

The full afternoon and evening day of great craft beer and fantastic tunes kicks off at 4pm with the headliner scheduled to hit the stage at 8:15pm. For tickets and information, visit

Concert Schedule
Lee Fields & the Expressions - 8:30 PM
Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer - 7:30 PM
The Jay Vons - 6:45 PM
Vince Vaccaro - 6:00 PM
Real Ponchos - 5:15 PM

Year of the Wolf - 4:30 PM

Thursday, July 20, 2017

boutique sour festival

from Field House Brewing:

Hey Beer Friends!

We wanted to let you in on a wicked event we are having NEXT WEEKEND, July 29th on the Field House front lawn.


This isn’t your big-time, conference centre, name-tag wearing, beer festival. This is a small group of lively, passionate breweries getting together on the Field House front yard to share some mouth-watering sour beers with our community, while a rotation of talented local bands hit the stage in the open air!

We would love if you could come! We did a version of this last year, and it was a really good time with people lounging on the lawn under the lights, beers in hand, hanging with their friends and taking in the local live music! 
PLUS, we now have a kitchen, so some mouth-watering tacos and other #danggoodeats will be available!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

beer column

From On the Coast on Tuesday:

Just when you think you’ve got a handle on craft beer, another brewery opens up, another style becomes popular or a new trend pops up. 

Mariner Brewing is poised to open on the Barnet Highway in Coquitlam in August.  I understand it will have a 50 person tasting room and a steam-powered brewery.  So watch social media for the opening announcement!

One potential new trend is hop powder.  I’m not hearing a lot about it in Vancouver yet, but there are some breweries in the US who are experimenting with it, including Georgetown Brewing in Seattle.

Hop powder is pretty much what it sounds like – it is a powdered form of hops.  The powder is an essential oil-rich concentrate made by extracting resin glands from the hops at very cold temperatures in a nitrogen atmosphere to preserve the quality of the oils.  The resulting powder contains twice the percentage of alpha acids – which is what bitters beer - as the original hops or the pellets they might otherwise have been converted into, twice as many essential oils, and it also costs twice as much.
For brewers, using hop powder means that less liquid is absorbed by the green matter during dry hopping, so there’s more beer in every batch, which may offset the extra price.  Those who have been experimenting with the powder say that it gives incredible aroma to the beers.  

For consumers though, it hasn’t been around long enough to know if can retain aroma stability as cans and bottles age on shelves.  

It will be interesting to watch this product develop – to see if it lives up to the early hype and changes the industry, or if it’s just too expensive for most breweries.

And then there’s raw ale.

Raw ale is the resulting beer when the wort is not boiled.  Most traditional farmhouse ales are raw and probably prehistoric beer was all raw ale.

In what is now the normal course of making beer, the wort, which is the sugary liquid extracted from the malted grains, is boiled.  Boiling has three purposes – 1. To sterilize the wort so that it doesn’t get infected with unwanted bacteria; 2.  extracting the acids in the hops to bitter the flavour (which also helps in protecting against infection) and 3.  removing protein from the beer, which improves flavour stability.

So if you’re not boiling the wort, how can you achieve those three things? 

The first issue is sterilization.  The mashing process pasteurizes the wort, so no worries there.  Mashing is the initial step in brewing where the starches in the grains are converted into fermentable sugars by being steeped in hot water.  So long as the steeping lasts long enough at a high enough temperature, the wort is pasteurized.

The second issue was extracting the hop oils.  There are several other ways to get hop bitterness than boiling the hops in the wort.  You can boil the hops into a tea and add that to the wort, or you could pour nearly boiling wort over the hops.
The third issue though, removal of protein, requires boiling.  So raw ales tend to have short shelf lives.

I’ve never knowingly had a raw ale before, and everything I’ve read on the subject just says you’ll have to taste the difference yourself.  I understand most of the difference is mouthfeel.

There is no one style of beer that is raw, it is the non-boiling brewing method that makes it raw, rather than a beer style.

Category 12 has made a raw ale, and I took one in to the studio to taste.

It is a Westcoast farmhouse ale - a Scandinavian inspired farmhouse ale, with the addition of west coast red cedar.  It is fermented for two months with Brettanomyces yeast, then refermented for a month in the bottle.

It is crisp, light, and complex.  It is also very hazy as all those proteins remain in the beer, and it hasn’t been filtered.

The flavours we can attribute to the Brettanomyces yeast are the funkiness, that bit of tartness, along with some spice, all that great stone-fruit, and acetic acid (the main ingredient in vinegar).

Gloria Macarenko and I both really enjoyed the beer.  I'm interested to try more raw ales so I can get a better handle on just how not boiling the beer changes the mouthfeel. 

This is a limited edition beer, so if you’re interested to try it, get out there right now and get some!  Available in 750 ml bottles at private liquor stores.

Beer Picks:

My beer picks this time are some very tasty summer beers:

Hoyne Brewing’s Carte Blanche White IPA – this is a well-balanced hazy white ipa with tropical fruit flavours and aromas.  Wheat, melon, passionfruit and grapefruit flavours mellow into a slightly bitter finish.  This is the first in a series of limited release beers where brewmaster Sean Hoyne passes the torch to the younger brewers to brew the beers they want to see in the world.

6%.  Available in 650ml bottles at specialty liquor stores – but hurry, this was a limited release!

Doan’s Craft Brewing Lucinda Cassis Kolsch – Part of their Fun Times series, this is a collaboration with Odd Society Distilling.  It is a blend of Doan’s kolsch beer and Odd Society’s cassis.  Very light, and berry-y!  The fruit, hint of wine and tartness from the cassis balance and play with the malt character of the kolsch.

5%.  Available on tap at Doan’s and Odd Society, and in 650 ml bottles.  Also a limited release, so get it now if you’re wanting to try it!

Off the Rail Passionfruit Hefeweisen – This is a hefeweisen for people who don’t normally like hefeweisen!  It begins its life as a traditional hefeweisen, with Bavarian wheat and hints of clove and banana.  Then it is infused with passionfruit.  Crisp and hazy, it’s a perfect summer sipper.

4.7%.  Available on tap at the tasting room.

cbc website

from the cbc website, from my beer column yesterday:

Get the raw story on raw ale,
the newest trend in craft

Plus, check out Rebecca Whyman's picks for great summer beers

CBC News Posted: Jul 18, 2017 5:52 PM PT Last Updated: Jul 18, 2017 6:14 PM PT
Category 12 is a B.C. brewery that makes a beer using raw ale techniques.
Category 12 is a B.C. brewery that makes a beer using raw ale techniques. (Category 12 Brewing/Facebook)
The newest trend in B.C. craft beer is old school — very old school.
Raw ale is a type of beer made when the wort — the sugary liquid extracted from malted grains — is not boiled.
"Most traditional farmhouse ales are raw and probably prehistoric beer was all raw ale," On The Coast beer columnist Rebecca Whyman told host Gloria Macarenko. "There is no one style of beer that is raw. It is the non-boiling brewing method that makes it raw, rather than a beer style."
Whyman says Category 12 has made a limited edition West Coast farmhouse ale using the raw ale method.
It is a Scandinavian-inspired farmhouse ale with West Coast red cedar and is crisp, light and complex.
"The flavours we can attribute to the Brettanomyces yeast are the funkiness, a bit of tartness, along with some spice, fruit and acetic acid," Whyman said. "The fruitiness ranges from tropical pineapple to peach, depending on the strain of yeast."
Whyman's other picks for beer this week are great for summer drinking.
Hoyne Brewing's Carte Blanche White IPA
"This is a well-balanced, hazy, white IPA with tropical fruit flavours and aromas. Wheat, melon, passion fruit and grapefruit flavours mellow into a slightly bitter finish. This is the first in a series of limited release beers where brewmaster Sean Hoyne passes the torch to the younger brewers to brew the beers they want to see in the world. Six per cent alcohol, available in 650ml bottles at specialty liquor stores."
Doan's Craft Brewing Lucinda Cassis Kolsch
"Part of their Fun Times series, this is a collaboration with Odd Society Distilling. It is a blend of Doan's kolsch beer and Odd Society's cassis. Very light, and berry-y! The fruit, hint of wine and tartness from the cassis balance and play with the malt character of the kolsch. Five per cent, available on tap at Doan's and Odd Society and in 650 ml bottles.
Off the Rail Passion fruit Hefeweisen
"Available on tap at the tasting room, this is a hefeweisen for people who don't normally like Hefeweisen. It begins its life as a traditional Hefeweisen, with Bavarian wheat and hints of clove and banana. Then it is infused with passion fruit. Crisp and hazy, it's a perfect summer sipper. 4.7 per cent, available on tap at the tasting room."
With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

deja vu

from the CBC website today, which sounds an awful lot like my beer column of last month...

Bitter battle between Big Beer 

and craft brewers gets uglier

Independent craft brewers say multinational conglomerates making it 

harder to tell what's 'true' craft beer

By Aaron Saltzman, CBC News Posted: Jul 18, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 18, 2017 10:37 PM ET
Craft beer sales in Canada are growing while sales of traditional, mass produced commercial beer are flat.
Craft beer sales in Canada are growing while sales of traditional, mass produced commercial beer are flat. (Barry Smith/CBC)
Small, independent brewers say big beer companies are stepping up a campaign to buy craft breweries and are employing other tactics that make it difficult for beer drinkers to tell if the suds they're quaffing are actually local. 
But others say it's just good business and if the recipe and taste don't change, what difference does it make who owns the company?
The Big Beer tactics that are vexing local, independent brewers include opening up local brew pubs, allegedly controlling beer distribution, buying up hop farms previously used by craft brewers, and even quietly buying a stake in an online beer rating website.
"There's a lack of transparency," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association for Small and Independent Craft brewers in the U.S.
Independent Craft Brewers seal
The new seal of the Brewers Association in the U.S. emphasizes the word 'Independent' (Brewers Association)
"I think what has happened to some degree is the beer drinker just doesn't know who is small and independent and know what is craft anymore."
The issue is so acute in the U.S. the Brewers Association has just come out with a new seal in an effort to distinguish its members — all smaller, local producers — from the big players. 
The logo features an upside down beer bottle with the words "Certified Independent Craft."  Independent is also in a larger font, a deliberate emphasis. 
"The benefit of 'Independent' is that it's unassailable," said Gatza.
"That's the one thing that the large brewers can't do is claim that they are independent of a large brewer so there is a purity in that word."

The independents keep falling

That the small brewers feel the need to rebrand their product in a way they think can't be co-opted is a testament to the level of incursion Big Beer has made in their market segment.  
Independent seal on packaging
This is what the new seal will look like when placed on the products of participating independent brewers. (Brewers Association)
Behemoths like Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, have been gobbling up successful craft breweries. According to Forbes, AB InBev boasts annual sales of $55 billion US after its merger last year with SABMiller. 
AB InBev recently bought Wicked Weed, a famed craft brewery based in Asheville, N.C., the 10th craft brewery added to its stable, which includes Chicago's Goose Island and Seattle's Elysian Brewing.
In Canada, this trend includes Toronto's Mill Street and Quebec's Microbrasserie Archibald (both owned by Labatt, itself a subsidiary of AB InBev), B.C.'s Granville Island, owned by Molson Coors, as well as Quebec's Unibroue, owned by Sapporo (which also owns Sleeman), makers of Blanche de Chambly.
Crystal Luxmore
Crystal Luxmore is a beer writer and certified cicerone, a sort of beer sommelier (Oliver Walters/CBC)
"They're buying up smaller breweries as a way to grow bigger," said Crystal Luxmore, a beer writer and certified cicerone, or beer sommelier. 
"For years, traditional beer has either flatlined or gone down," she said.
"But craft beer as a category grows year-on-year, and I think there's lots and lots of room to capture more market share, and so that's why bigger breweries are going after the craft or independent brew segment."
But it's more than that, say small brewers.

Hidden identities?

"They portray these beers as if they come from small companies when in fact they come from very large companies," said Gatza.
Toronto's Summer Craft Beer Fest is on this week, featuring local, southern Ontario beers from craft brewers such as Redline Brewhouse in Barrie, Hometown Brewing of Norfolk County, Barley Days Brewery in Prince Edward County and Niagara's Oast House.
But alongside those microbreweries are names like Labatt's Mill Street, Creemore, owned by Molson Coors, and California's Lagunitas Brewing company, owned by Dutch giant Heineken NV.
Organizers defended the beer selection.
Scott Rondeau Drink Inc
Drink Inc.'s Scott Rondeau says a multinational corporation may own a craft beer brand, but that doesn't mean the beer has changed. (Barry Smith/CBC)
"They're still making the same beer," said Scott Rondeau of the event's organizer Drink Inc. 
"Take Creemore: They're still making it out of the same place. Still the same brewmaster, still the same building, still using spring water, it's still the same people that worked there over 10 years ago."
But craft brewers say it's not the same. 
"AB InBev has been buying out true indie craft breweries and then continuing to market them as if they're still true indie craft breweries." said Sam Calagione, founder of the popular Delaware craft breweryDogfish Head Brewing, who believes the lack of transparency goes even further.
Last month Dogfish Head Brewing asked to have its beer removed from beer rating site RateBeer after word got out that ZX Ventures, backed by AB InBev, had bought a minority stake in the site last year. 
"Once we found out about it we wanted nothing to do with RateBeer anymore even though our beers are very highly rated on there, because we just thought it was a massive conflict of interest."
Craft Beer Closeup
Beau's Brewing Company of Vankleek Hill, Ont., is family run and employee owned.

Buying the supply chain

Other moves that have also raised the ire of craft brewers include AB InBev's restricting the sale of South Africa's small but prized hops crop to its own brands, according MarketWatch
In a statement quoted by Beer Street Journal, AB InBev said it was stopping the sale of these hops to craft brewers because of low yield. 
"Unfortunately, this year we do not have enough to do so given the poor yield. More than 90 per cent of our South African-grown hops will be used in local brands Castle Lager and Castle Lite, beers we've committed to brewing with locally grown ingredients," AB InBev said in a statement.
Then there was a Wall Street Journal report about an incentive plan purportedly offered by AB InBev to beer distributors to carry its own brands. Craft brewers worried it would make it harder to get their own products to market.

Fighting back

In San Diego, the beer community is in such an uproar over AB InBev's 10 Barrel Brewing opening a brew pub, one self-proclaimed (presumably craft) beer fan started a Go Fund me campaign to fly a banner overhead that read: 10 Barrel Is Not Craft Beer.
The goal was $900.  The campaign raised $4,840.
Canadian craft brewers share many of the same concerns as their American counterparts about the dilution of the term "craft beer." But there is no comparable national craft brewers association in Canada like there is in the U.S., so there's no organization to co-ordinate a branding campaign.
Jason Fisher Indie Ale House
Jason Fisher is the owner of Toronto's Indie Ale House (Oliver Walters/CBC)
"Kind of like the VQA for wine, right?" said Jason Fisher, owner of Toronto's Indie Ale House.  VQA Ontario is an independent authority that establishes and monitors the province's "appellation of origin" system for wine. 
"That symbol [would say] the beer is actually made where you say it's made and made by a brewery that's not partially owned by Molson, Labatt's, or one of their subsidiaries," Fisher said.
"That would be amazing. Consumers would take a little while to understand that. But the more support that goes into those types of breweries the better the beer that comes out."

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

postmark brewing


Postmark Brewing selected as official festival beer partner for licensed Canada 150+ events
Vancouver, B.C. (July 11, 2017) – Vancouver craft brewery, Postmark Brewingis excited to have been named the official festival beer partner for Vancouver’s Canada 150+ anchor event, The Drum is Calling Festival (July 22 - 30, 2017), as well as the Nomadic Tempest (August 16 - September 3), taking place on a Tall Ship in Southeast False Creek.

The award-winning session style craft brewery joins Vancouver’s Canada 150+, a celebration of Indigenous and diverse arts & culture. Canada 150+ honours the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, whose people have lived and thrived on this unceded land since time immemorial. It celebrates a shared future with Indigenous people—where all communities, Nations and peoples are walking together as a stronger society.

“Supporting the local community is a core value for Postmark. Partnering with Canada 150+ on two large-scale events helps highlight Postmark's commitment to celebrating our incredible home on the West Coast and all the rich history that surrounds us," says Postmark Co-Founder & Partner Steve Thorp.

All Canada 150+ events are free and family-friendly. Postmark Brewing will be serving its flagship Session Blonde 355ml can along with other supporting 355ml can selections at The Drum is Calling Festival and Nomadic Tempest.

“We are honoured to be serving our local craft selections at such a prestigious event. It is a big win for the entire craft beer industry to be partnered with some of the most exciting events for the Canada 150+ celebrations,” says Postmark Co-Founder & Partner Nate Rayment.


About Postmark
Postmark Brewing is a Vancouver, BC born and built craft brewery. Our West Coast lifestyle and love for great quality beers for every occasion led us to the design, development and brew of our favourite pints. Consistent quality is paramount as we strive to create beers that cater to not only our thirsty palate but to the active lifestyles we enjoy with our friends and colleagues. At Postmark Brewing we are inspired by more than just great tasting sessionable craft beers, we enjoy taking a collaborative approach towards our other passions in life including music, photography, travel, sport, design, events and especially those who are taking risks and making great things happen.
Social: @postmarkbrewing

About Canada 150+
Vancouver Commemorates Canada 150+ is a year-long celebration of Indigenous and diverse arts and culture. Canada 150+ has three signature events: Gathering of Canoes (July 14), The Drum is Calling Festival (July 22-30) and Walk for Reconciliation (September 24) and multiple associated projects taking place throughout 2017. Canada 150+ is grounded in community consultation, direction from Vancouver’s Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee, and permission and participation from the three Host Nations.
Social: @canada150plus


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