B.C. Beer Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Farmhand Ale

Craft Beer Culinary Tour Highlights Gastown

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Rogue Wetbar beer samples & food pairings.

Whenever I plan to visit a new city, if it isn’t in Saudi Arabia, I’m checking out the local craft beer scene online ahead of time  to ensure I enjoy some of the local flavour. I know I’m not alone in that regard because If you visit Rate Beer and Beer Advocate, you’ll notice each has a section set up for the brews traveller. And with the rapid growth of craft brewing in North America, beer tourism is also on the rise.

Beer festivals, like the Great Canadian Beer Festival in Victoria and the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale in Pentiction, are obvious tourism boosts to those cities. Penticton, however, isn’t known as a beer town. Victoria, on the other hand, is well-regarded in craft beer drinker circles for its high per capita number of breweries, pubs, and brewpubs. The fact that I don’t see much of Victoria outside of those when I visit is a testament to the quality experience our provincial capital offers.

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Mission Springs Wins Label of the Year Award

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Bombshell Blonde Ale LabelMission Springs Brewing Bombshell Blonde Ale was awarded 2008 “Label of the Year” by the Collectors of Canadian Brewery Advertising (formerly, the Canadian Brewerianist Society). Announced at Winnipeg’s Viscount Gort Hotel during the CCBA’s 30th annual convention, the Label of the Year award was chosen by CCBA members from across Canada and the United States. Also in the running, was Driftwood Brewing‘s Farmhand Ale.

The Bombshell Blonde Ale label was designed by Ron Fiedler of Vancouver’s Barnstorm Creative Group. It pays homage to the nose art that graced combat aircraft during the 20th Century. According to the CCBA, the “label captures the style and feel of the World War II era which is generally acknowledged as the Golden Age of Nose Art.”

Bombshell Blonde’s label shows an American Boeing B-17 bomber, the most famous of which is Memphis Belle depicted in the Michael Caton-Jones movie of the same name. Pin-up girls, illustrated by artists such as George Brown Petty IV and popularized in magazines like Esquire, graced many Allied aircraft. Mechanic, Tony Starcer, painted a Petty girl on the nose of Memphis Belle.

Bombshell Blonde Ale is Mission Springs’ biggest selling beer. It is based on a style of light beer native to Alsace and northern France, brewed with a combination of pale malt, wheat malt, and Hallertau hops.

Driftwood Delivers Draught

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Driftwood Brewery’s first kegs are out the door. Driftwood Ale is now available on draught at Colwood’s Cross Roads Bar & Grill, the KnockanBack Grill, and Smugglers Cove in Saanich. Both Farmhand Ale and Driftwood Ale are flowing at Victoria’s Flying Beagle Pub. White Bark Wit should be available in Victoria-area pubs this week.

While Driftwood will mostly be supplying Vancouver Island, the Alibi Room and The Whip in Vancouver will carry their draught in the Lower Mainland. We may see their bottled product, such as an upcoming barleywine, in private beer & wine stores.

Driftwood in Production

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Driftwood Brewery brewmaster, Jason Meyer, talks about his plans for brewing various styles of beer for a constantly-changing offering (Photo © 2008 Rick Green).

Driftwood Brewery brewmaster, Jason Meyer, talks about his plans for brewing various styles of beer for a constantly-changing offering (Photo © 2008 Rick Green).

Jason Meyer is in the middle of making Driftwood Brewery’s first commercial batch of beer. Their flagship Driftwood Ale and Farmhand Ale saison have finished fermenting. We’re getting closer to experiencing a welcome addition to B.C.’s craft-brewing scene. Driftwood expect to launch these in Victoria this month.

According to Meyer, their 5% Driftwood Ale is a “perfect marriage of Northwest and German hops balanced with cotton candy malt notes and a hint of fruit courtesy of our own special yeast.”

Farmhand Ale is a traditional Belgian-style farmhouse ale named for the beer that seasonal farm workers consumed when bringing in the harvest. At 5.5% ABV, this ale was made with sour mash and added spice.

While Driftwood’s primary market will be Vancouver Island, brewery President, Kevin Hearsum, intimated that their beer will also be available at The Alibi Room in Vancouver. We may also be lucky to see some 650ml bottles with the SRP of $4.75 in select stores.

To track Driftwood’s progress, you can find photos and video on the brewery’s Facebook page. I also have photos on Flickr from my visit there on September 5.