B.C. Beer Blog

The who, what, where, when, why, and how of B.C. craft beer

Posts Tagged ‘brewpub

Vancouver Island Craft Beer News, November 8th, 2012

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Curious as to what’s new and happening on Vancouver Island in Craft Beer? There is special dinner and tasting events planned, A charitable vote, new releases from Vancouver Island Breweries, and new days to test your trivial knowledge. Read on to learn more.

Swans Brewmaster Dinner

Saturday November 10th at 630pm Swans is having a special Brewmasters Dinner. The five course meal will be paired with six Swans beers. Price is $49.95 and tickets are available at Swans: 250 361 3310 | www.swansbrewpub.com

Check my leapbeer blog later in the month for a breakdown of the nights nosh.

Winterbrau @ Canoe Brewpub

Canoe Brewpub has a special event planned for you on November the 17th. Starting at 1pm in the afternoon join them for a seasonal beer tasting and food sampling event. Your $45 (Advance ticket price) will gain you access to the event featuring beers from Phillips, Driftwood, Central City, Coal Harbour, Hoyne, Saltspring, Lighthouse, Moon Under Water, Spinnakers, Tofino, Craig Street, Howe Sound, Longwood, Wolf and Vancouver Island Breweries.

Advance tickets available at this site

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New Ownership for The Moon Under Water

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Moon Under Water brewpub entranceI recently heard through the hop bine that Don and Bonnie Bradley had just sold their Victoria brewpub. When I visited The Moon Under Water for the first time on September 7, I learned that, indeed, was the case. I had the pleasure of meeting Clay Potter and Chelsea Walker, the new owners, who were very kind to spend some time with me during a hectic period (lunch before the GCBF’s first day), relating their backgrounds and hopes for the Moon. Having just gotten the keys to the pub, it was a moment when one often experiences the duality of excitement and dread as you venture into new territory.

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Vancouver Island Craft Beer News: August 15, 2012

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This marks the first installment of a new series of posts about what is new in the Vancouver Island craft beer scene.

Pandamonium Unleashed by Phillips Brewing Company

Hot off the heels of their last limited beer release, Evergreen Ale, Phillips has unleashed PANDAMONIUM. This über-hopped double IPA went out Monday the 13th from the brewery, was field tested by the public at the brewery on the 14th, and is on its way to the Alibi Room for keg tapping tonight at 6pm. Grab it quick before it’s gone at discerning craft-focused liquor stores.

Release notes from Phillips’ Web site:

August 13th 2012: A year ago we celebrated 10 years of brewing with a 10% Double IPA, and this year there was only one way to follow it up: Turn it up to 11!

So we dialed up the malt and hops across the board, and are celebrating 11 years of beers with Pandamonium–a double IPA monster.  Brewed to 11%, we loaded hops into the pre-boil, and then added more hops every 11 minutes over a 111 minute boil for a grand total of 11 hop additions (plus a dry hop).

Hopquakes like this don’t come around very often and we only turn 11 once, so enjoy this brewtiful beast while you can!  Pandamonium 11th Hour IPA is available for a limited time at finer craft-focused liquor stores.

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The Next Wave in BC Craft Beer

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Patrons enjoying the Driftwood beer dinner at Hapa Umi.

It was just over three years ago when I started this blog out of frustration over the lack of craft beer coverage in the mainstream media – virtually none. In fact, they were reporting the decline of beer in favour of wine when I knew it was a generalization that completely overlooked the ferment that was happening in BC amongst the microbreweries and brewpubs. Clearly, the MSM had no idea, given their wine obsession. At the time, craft beer in Vancouver seemed like an underground subculture whose workings were known to a select few. I had started getting the word out through CAMRA Vancouver’s newsletter, but needed a means for discussing issues and covering events in more depth than e-mail. The B.C. Beer Blog was born.

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VCBW Myths and Lost Opportunities

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Maria Dobrinskaya, Rick Green, Mayor Gregor Robertson toast VCBW.

Maria Dobrinskaya and Mayor Gregor Robertson toast with me the launch of VCBW with some Central City Roach at the Alibi Room Hoppapalooza. (Brian K. Smith photo)

Now that a couple of weeks have passed by since the inaugural Vancouver Craft Beer Week has finished, there’s been time to get feedback in various shapes and forms. Given that we sold out most of our events, that the mayor officially proclaimed Vancouver Craft Beer Week and came to celebrate the festival kickoff with us, and that the mainstream media gave VCBW some good coverage, one could deem it a success for craft beer. Nevertheless, VCBW did not work for some. I want to address a few of the issues that have come to my attention, especially some myths and misconceptions that result in lost opportunities.

First off, I want to point out this was the first such festival for Vancouver; in fact, for Canada. You never get everything right on the first go, but you hope to be in the ballpark (see above). In getting third parties on board, it also didn’t help that we had the Olympics, the Playhouse International Wine Festival, Dine Out Vancouver, and the playoffs as a significant combined distraction. Under the circumstances, one may have to forego the ideal and opt for what is expedient. Next time around, we hope parties will get involved early enough so that we can achieve the ideal for the 2011 VCBW.

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Brewing Up a Biz: Real Estate

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Ahhh, the increasingly oft ignored blog.  Well, this time, I have good reason, not that the winter sniffles & blahs were illegitimate, but this elixir is a bit more potent.  No longer must I speculate as to the “why’s” behind so many leaving corporate careers to seek endeavours of their own. Was it not having to answer to a boss, the freedom to make one’s own decisions, or, perhaps, potential for riches? Nope. I have discovered the true motivating factor which drives all start-up entrepreneurs:  sheer and unending terror.

You see, I (and by “I”, I certainly mean my girlfriend and I) have purchased a restaurant business; signed on the dotted line; fait accompli. Our realtor, and even a local merchant, had warned me long ago about the concept of “buyer’s remorse.”  So I had braced myself, but I was ill-prepared for the reality that goes along with such a commitment.  Questions and concerns which routinely pop into my head (usually at 3:00 or 4:00am) include, but are not limited to:

“What the hell am I doing?”

“What if no one comes?!”

“I’ll never make payroll!”

“I’m leaving a secure 18-year career and a regular pay cheque!  Have I gone insane?”

A little comfort, however: that same local merchant, a well-established music shop owner, assures me that this process is not only normal but critical. It keeps the fires going, so to speak. And, frankly, I’ve never been so motivated about anything in my life.

It’s been a couple of weeks since we bought the business, and we still have a number of weeks before opening (July), so I’m starting to accept this new reality.  I now have to wipe less sweat from my brow as I place $2,000 orders of beer and $4,000 orders of fish.

At the same time, my previously-mentioned girlfriend and I have started sneaking out to the movies or to a hockey game more often, as we both know that 1) we both need the stress relief and 2) the door will soon be slammed shut on “free time.” Sounds terrible, right?  Well, look at it this way: this restaurant will eventually become our brew pub.

As we go through the early stages of the learning curve that is the restaurant business world, we’re keeping our eyes on the prize.

~ Rod Daigle, Triple Island Brewing Company

Written by BCbrews

June 12, 2009 at 11:39 am

Brewing Up a Biz: Money Hunting

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I feel like the proverbial son returning to the blog after a trip to the top of the mountain.  Unfortunately, the “mountain,” in my case, was a trip to the doctor’s office to find out if this flu really was going to kill me. It was not the swine variety.  Doc assured me I would live.  (I really think they should start naming these animal viruses after their respective food groups, i.e. not avian flu but chicken soup flu; not swine flu but bacon flu—much more appetizing.)

So although I have been plugging along on “all things business,” thankfully, my illness did somewhat coincide with “the end of the business plan.” I had a chance to convalesce in peace, not that the business plan will ever be “finished,” per se. But there comes a point after weeks and months of sitting at the computer—working and re-working charts, facts, and figures (and, yes, a little BS, although I prefer “colourful motivational detail”)—when you say, “Hey, this thing just might get the job done.”  And by  “get the job done,” I mean “convince someone to give me money.”  Because in spite of all of my drive and desire to make the best beer EVER, the ugly truth of a lack of capital keeps rearing up. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best of… Beer Confusion

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WE, the weekly formerly known as the West Ender, recently published its ‘The Best of the City’ readers choice awards. In their After Dark section, they had a couple of categories covering beer, so fewer issues for me to have than with the Georgia Straight‘s ‘Best of Vancouver‘ awards. Nevertheless, it is another canary in the coal mine to judge how beer-savvy their readers are. The verdict? Not terribly.

WE had two categories devoted to beer —Microbrewery and Brew Pub. What were the picks?

Microbrewery:

  1. Dockside Brewing Co.
  2. Steamworks Brewing Co.
  3. Granville Island Brewing

Brew Pub:

  1. Yaletown Brew Pub (sic)
  2. Steamworks Brewing Co.
  3. Dockside Restaurant & Brewing Co. (sic)

Problem? Dockside and Steamworks are not microbreweries They produce beer solely for sale on their premises, hence the term ‘brew pub.’ Microbreweries produce beer for sale outside of their premises. They’ve been allowed to have tap rooms to offer visitors a sample of their brews, but full pub service is not available.

So for next year’s ‘The Best of the City’ awards, let’s get what we’re voting on straight. In Vancouver proper, there are three microbreweries — Granville Island, R&B, and Storm — and four brew pubs — Coal Harbour, Dix, Dockside, Steamworks, Yaletown. If the boundary is actually Metro Vancouver, then the options extend from Lions Bay to Delta, Bowen Island to Abbotsford. That excludes Howe Sound Brewing, Whistler Brewhouse, Dead Frog, and Mission Springs. It also doesn’t include Whistler Brewing which doesn’t even brew in Whistler. Granville Island is a bit of an anomaly because the only beer they brew at the island is their seasonal releases. Anything that’s sold in a six-pack is made in Kelowna.

Prince Rupert Poised to Emerge from the ’70s

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Many of you may not be old enough to recall the dark days of beer in BC. That was when the only choice one had was which lager you wanted to drink. Prohibition was so successful in destroying traditional brewing that it turned North America into a virtual beer monoculture. This was reflected in the common drinking ritual of going into a bar or pub and saying to the bartender, “Gimme a beer!” Even food recipes that used beer would list it in the ingredients as something like “1 cup beer.” (That still happens today, which goes to show we still haven’t fully come over from the dark side.)

I visited northern BC last year and found out they lie in the rainshadow of craft beer, still swilling macro lager. It sort of reminds me of the Japanese holdouts after the end of World War II. However, the time for surrender may gradually be approaching. A Prince Rupert resident has set his sights on opening a brewpub there this year.

Triple Island Brewing is the result of a Eureka! moment Rod Daigle had after he read Sam Calagione’s Brewing Up a Business. Always entrepreneurial, Daigle had struggled up to that time to find something he had a passion for. As he explains it,

I thought of the common threads in my life, looked around at my decor and wardrobe (beer t-shirts, beer mugs, beer coasters, brewery tour ticket stubs…), and realize[d] where my values lied (sic).

Of course, once you decide to start a brewery, what kind of operation are you going to open? Regional? Local? After working through visions of a four hectolitre copper-clad system, Daigle and his two business partners decided on a brewpub designed around a twin 38-litre Sabco Brew-Magic systems. It may take some time to convert the residents over to full-flavoured ales with character, so it seems sensible to start out modestly. There should be a growth plan in place in case business expands rapidly, but it’s not like there will be a lot of competition up there.

Daigle plans to launch with two beers — a blond ale and probably something hoppier. Several styles will follow; hopefully, he’ll introduce cask-conditioned ale at some point too. The pub menu will be beer-driven with the intention of having suitably paired appetizers, entrées, and desserts. The brewpub décor will emphasize the historical aspect of brewing and pay tribute to North American craft brewers.

Sounds like there will be a good excuse to visit Prince Rupert once Triple Island is open. Your luggage will be lighter — you won’t have to bring your own beer.

Written by BCbrews

February 18, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Hasta la Vista Hugo’s?

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Hugos Ben Schottle and friend having fun at the GCBF.

Hugo's Ben Schottle and friend having fun at the GCBF.

Hugo’s Brewhouse in Victoria has closed its doors, the first major Victoria brewing operation to do so since the start of the craft brewing boom in the 1980s. According to local sources, the Magnolia Hotel, where Hugo’s was located for several years, has decided to put a spa in the space instead.

It is rumoured that Hugo’s owners are looking to relocate the brewpub to the Strathcona Hotel within the year, but there is no certainty of that at this time.

Brewer Ben Schottle’s future seems equally up in the air. Hopefully, it won’t mean he leaves B.C. or is forced to enter a different profession. His innovations, while not embraced by all, were an important creative stimulus that inspired both brewers and punters. We would be the poorer without his contributions.

Written by BCbrews

November 3, 2008 at 7:27 pm

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