beer column

my notes from yesterday's beer column on cbc radio's on the coast:

It’s a new month, so it must be time for another new brewery to open!  Trading Post brewing is juuuust about open in Langley.  The grand opening is February 13th.  You can visit them on 64th Ave in Langley, close to Willowbrook shopping centre.  The tasting room will have a growler tap, charcuterie pairings and a loft lounge with views of the brewery.  A taphouse and eatery in Fort Langley will follow later this Spring. 

R and B Brewing’s new taproom should be open in the next couple of weeks as well, featuring 12 taps, 2 cask engines for beer, and local wine and cider.  And handmade pizzas!  Located at 54 East 4th Avenue in Vancouver.

Some upcoming beer events: 

February 3rd is Strange Fellows Brewing’s next Strange Day:  From 7-11 p.m at the brewery on Clark Drive they’ll be celebrating the Japanese Setsubun – exorcise demons, drink beer, eat lucky beans, and perhaps join in on the karaoke.

February 13th at Apex Mountain Resort it’s the 3rd annual Brewski – with beer and appies at the Gunbarrel Saloon Restaurant, followed by live entertainment.  Tix are $40 and available on

February 13th from noon until 4:00 in Vancouver there’s the annual CAMRA Ciderwise event.  Come try ciders and gluten-free beers at the Roxanne Room at 12 Kings Pub.  Tickets are available at

February 14th from 7:00 to 9:30 pm at Dogwood Brewing you can taste organic chocolate paired with organic beers.  $20 gets you four pairings.  But act quickly, there are only 20 tickets available for this intimate tasting.  Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

February 14th at noon Vancouver Brewery Tours has a special valentine's edition of brewery tours.

I don’t usually talk about valentine’s day because for those who are romantically involved, there are always many well-advertised things to do beer-related or otherwise.  But this year, I'm inspired by valentine's day falling on a weekend and making it easy-peasy to celebrate our immense love of beer by getting out there and drinking some!

You can join in on an organized tour, like the one mentioned above, or you can make your own.  East Van, Main Street and Port Moody all offer multiple tasting rooms within easy walking distance of each other.  Making your own tour offers you the flexibility of staying as long as you want at each tasting room, and hanging out with friends.  Going with a tour company offers transportation between breweries and a guaranteed spot at each brewery – not to mention a behind-the-scenes tour – and the opportunity to make new friends.  Either way you go about it, it’s a great way to spend a day!  

You could also do a brewery tour without having to change locations – fill growlers at various breweries, take them home and then share it all with your friends. 

Or, why not get the gang together at someone’s house and do a bottle share?  Everyone brings a bottle or three to share.   You can do food pairings, or all choose beers of a particular style to compare and contrast.  A bottle share is a great opportunity to try a beer style you’ve never tried before, or a beer with crazy ingredients – because you’re sharing the bottle between several people, there’s no big commitment.  If you don’t like it, you’re not stuck with the whole bottle.  And if you do like it, you can have the whole bottle the next time!  There's also no better time to crack a bottle or two of high alcohol beers - sharing it out means no one will hit their tolerance too quickly to enjoy more than one beer.

As for pairings, cheese is always a great pairing for beer, but chocolate works too!  Or bring food made with beer, to enjoy with those beers.  Anything goes with pairing, but if you're feeling a little apprehensive, there are plenty of beer experts online to take the guesswork out of it.  Try's chart, or this critique of classic beer and food pairings, or just follow a google rabbit-hole into the crazy world of what people will pair with beer! 

Beer Picks:

Powell Street Brewing’s Le Vagabond – biere de garde / French saison, this little beauty features notes of strawberry, citrus and spice, finishing dry with the unique character of French saison yeast and is only available at the tasting room

Brassneck Brewing’s hibiscus wit – because it’s pink!  And because it is a tasty little number!  This Belgian wheat ale with hibiscus is available at the tasting room.

And one that you can get in a bottle:  R and B’s red IPA – Red and 7% and 70 ibus, with notes of mango, pineapple and passionfruit alongside toasted caramel malts.  Available in 650ml bombers.


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