B.C. Beer Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Bellingham

The View from Bellingham

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Mark Biehl, a beer blogger and podcast personality in Bellingham, noticed a tweet of mine about contributing to the B.C. Beer Blog. He kindly offered this perspective on B.C. craft beer. I think we can appreciate the frustration he must feel being so near, yet so far away from enjoying what is everyday for us. Hark! The call of Cascadia beckons.

Ahhh, beer. I’m a beer blogger, so you know I drink a lot of beer. I drink beer from all over the world, but usually I like to stick close to home. There’s a lot of great beer here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the best beer place in my book. Oh yeah, we also grow all the hops. That being said, there are some local beers that don’t come my way.

Howe Sound Brewing Bottling Line

Howe Sound is one of the few BC breweries exporting to the US.

Living in Bellingham, a town closer to Vancouver, BC, than Seattle, you would think we would see a lot of BC craft beer. We don’t. To be honest, the only Canadian craft beer that comes to my mind is Unibroue. But let’s talk about closer to home. As our neighbours to the north begin producing more and more craft beer, why isn’t it showing up in the grocery stores down here.

Many of us are very unfamiliar with BC craft beer. Howe Sound has made it’s way down here, and with a bang in my opinion. They have those awesome one litre bottles with the swing tops. I’ve been buying the beer just for the bottles, but the beer’s not bad at all!

So why is BC beer practically nowhere to be found only a few miles from the border? There are a couple of possible explanations. First, as Rick explained to me, many BC brewers are most concerned with their home market, as they should be. But is there more to it?

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Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown

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Boundary Bay Smoked Salmon Chowder Having been very impressed with the Granville Island Brewing / Pacific Institute of Culinary ArtsWinter Ales and Fare” cooking competition, I’m pleased to announce another food and beer contest comes right on its heels.

On Wednesday, November 25, the Vancouver Aquarium‘s Ocean Wise program is hosting their 2nd annual Seafood Chowder Chowdown in conjunction with the Craft Brewers Association. The following ten Ocean Wise chef finalists will battle it out to be the BC Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Champion 2009: Chef Wesley Young (C Restaurant), Chef Josh Wolfe (COAST  Restaurant), Chef Matt and Andrew Christie (Go Fish), Chef Chris Whittaker (O’Doul’s Restaurant), Chef Sarai De Zela Pardo (Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts), Chef Jasen Gauthier (Provence Marinaside), Chef Michael Carter (The Refinery), Chef Randy Jones (Whistler Blackcomb), Chef Myke Shaw (Vancouver Aquarium Catering & Events), Chef Nobu Ochi (Zen Japanese Restaurant).

Granville Island Brewing, Phillips Brewing, R&B Brewing, Tree Brewing, and Whistler Brewing will each be partnered with two of the chefs to come up with beer pairings for their chowder. These, along with the ten chowders and other beers from the breweries’ portfolios, will be available for guests to sample in the extraordinary setting of the Aquarium at night. At $35 per ticket, this is a phenomenal value.

You get to choose the People’s Choice Award, while five esteemed judges—Chef David Hawksworth, Jamie Maw, Chester Carey, Guy Dean, Kim Stockburn—will determine this year’s champion. Chef Quang Dang of C Restaurant was last year’s 2008 Sustainable Seafood Chowder Champion.

As wine is often an ingredient in chowder, I’m looking forward to seeing what the chefs will come up with in respect to beer. The Smoked Salmon Chowder pictured here is made by Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in Bellingham. It paired wonderfully with Buy tickets!their Chinook IPA, an annual special release beer that’s sold to raise funds for the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association.

The Seafood Chowder Chowdown serves as a good model for other cooking competitions that also lend themselves very well to pairing with beer. Two that I can think of right off the top of my head are the Canadian Festival Of Barbecue And Chili at Eat! Vancouver and the Gastown Blues & Chili Fest. An IPA and curry cookoff would also be brilliant.

2nd Annual BC Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder ChowDown
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 @ 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Vancouver Aquarium, Stanley Park
Tickets: $35 / person