B.C. Beer Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘San Diego

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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Forthcoming Innovation from Taylor’s Crossing

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Dave Varga, brewer at the Mark James Group’s North Vancouver brewpub, Taylor’s Crossing (formerly Avalon Brewing), is an interesting brewer. On the one hand, he’s a perfectionist in his aim to brew to style. On the other hand, he can go completely off-tangent — last year brewing a cask-conditioned mole stout; this year, coming up with a masala pale ale cask (yes, a curry beer!). His forthcoming beers are a combination of the two approaches.

Varga’s next seasonal will be an English Summer Ale (English Golden Ale).  Made with Maris Otter Pale malt, some wheat, and a bit of Crystal for colour, the bittering hops were Target and the finishing and dry hops were Amarillo. This will be available as “Alchemy” at booth 31 at the GCBF, but it may be called something else when it goes on tap at Taylor’s Crossing after the Hefeweizen runs out early this month.

Due to the persistence of the hop shortage for TC, the focus on most of their remaining seasonals will be on either unique flavours produced from yeast or from different adjuncts. For example, Varga will attempt a fruit beer for this year’s winter seasonal, calling it “Harvest Ale.”   He is contemplating using apples, but hasn’t decided on whether to use a Belgian yeast strain or his house ale strain.

Normally, Taylor’s Crossing Firkin Fridays mean patrons get to sample a cask-conditioned ale on the first Friday of each month. In October, there will be two casks — a Summer Ale dry-hopped with Hallertau & Saaz and a special Red Truck Lager for Oktoberfest. The latter is an interesting innovation since it is difficult to make a palatable lager in a cask. Varga got the inspiration to try this at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego. He used ale yeast to recarbonate the beer and added a generous amount of Hallertau and Saaz hops for dry-hopping. By the time it is tapped,it will have lagered for nearly three months.

Needless to say, I’ve got some North Vancouver visits planned. Hopefully, Sailor Hagar’s will have Thor’s Hammer the Elder on tap at the same time as TC’s Harvest Ale. That will be a wobbly day!