B.C. Beer Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Hearsum

Driftwood in Production

with 2 comments

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.

Advertisements

New Brewery Ferments in Victoria

leave a comment »

Third-hand brewing system originally from Flying Monkey Brewery in Olathe, Kansas.

Third-hand brewing system originally from Flying Monkey Brewery in Olathe, Kansas.

Just when you thought Victoria had enough breweries, another one is about to float in on the capital’s wave of craft brewing success. Driftwood Brewery is a new venture of Kevin Hearsum and Jason Meyer, formerly of Lighthouse Brewing. Meyer, Driftwood’s brewmaster, is a BJCP certified beer judge, past President of the Edmonton Homebrewers’ Guild, and Alley Kat’s first employee.

Driftwood will be a production micro-brewery producing draught largely for bars and restaurants in the Victoria area, along with 650ml bottles in select private liquor stores. Some seasonal releases will only be available in bottles. (I think we can persuade Driftwood to send some of their beer over the pond to Vancouver, knowing Nigel Springthorpe at the Alibi Room will want to stop by on his regular trips to the Island.)

What makes Driftwood different? According to Meyer, “We plan on providing an eclectic mix of high quality brews with a continuously changing selection and a decidedly Belgian slant. Expect to see everything from styles familiar to Northwest beer lovers (we love our “C” hops as much as anyone) to wild and brettanomyces-fermented, wood-aged, sour mash, and other adventures in flavour.”

Driftwood brewmaster, Jason Meyer, stands in front of his vented mash tun.

Driftwood brewmaster, Jason Meyer, stands in front of his vented mash tun.

This is welcome news for B.C. We won’t have to import Belgian-style beer from Quebec, the U.S., or Europe to get our fix. There is a building interest in Belgians with many brewpubs and micro-breweries releasing fruit beers, dubbels, tripels, and Wits, Granville Island being just the latest with their limited release Belgian Wit now available. James Walton, brewmaster of Vancouver’s Storm Brewing, has been the most experimental with his phenomenal fruit lambics that were ahead of their time for sufficient acceptance by the local market — unfortunate because he is no longer making them. Spinnaker’s Rob Monk released a saison at the beginning of this year that tasted more like an abbey ale due to the predominant presence of bubble gum in the flavour profile. Nevertheless, I hope he continues to work on this versatile style.

Driftwood is currently under construction; they just received their brewing equipment this week. If you are interested in following their progress, you can track it through their Facebook page. And while Hearsum and Meyer have already made dozens of experimental brews in their pilot brewery, they don’t expect to be in production until the fall. Their goal is to produce 2,000 hectolitres in the first year and 5,000-7,000 hectolitres within five years.

Although they intend on exhibiting at the GCBF, Meyer doesn’t think they will have any beer to offer. Nevertheless, I”m sure they’ll be happy if you stopped by for a chat.

Driftwood Brewery
450 Hillside Avenue, Unit 102
Victoria, BC  V8T 1Y7
Tel: (250) 381-BREW (2739)
Fax: (250) 384-2333