B.C. Beer Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Seattle

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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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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Immortal Real Ale Sunday

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Elysian Brewing brewmaster, Dick Cantwell, welcomes punters to The Whips Real Ale Sunday on September 28, 2008.

Elysian Brewing brewmaster, Dick Cantwell, welcomes punters to The Whip's Real Ale Sunday on September 28, 2008.

It was a gloriously sunny day in Vancouver on Sunday, September 28 — a fitting tribute to an “Immortal” Real Ale Sunday at The Whip Restaurant & Gallery. Dick Cantwell, head brewer of Elysian Brewing in Seattle, visited Vancouver this weekend at the invitiation of R & B Brewing, who handle the cask logistics for The Whip. Cantwell brought a cask of his Immortal IPA, an Elysian best-seller, and a cask of Hale’s Ales O’Brien’s Harvest Ale—a Silver Medal winner at Denver’s Great American Beer Festival.

Both the sunshine and the special nature of this cask event brought out a crowd that filled the bar, restaurant, and patio with CAMRA Vancouver members, local brewers, foodies, neighbourhood regulars, and their dogs. (See Flickr and Facebook for more photos.) So popular were the casks that both sold out in a record 90 minutes.

Cantwell was surprised by the local reception and vowed to return to Vancouver for another visit. In the meantime, should you visit Seattle, I recommend stopping by at least one of Elysian’s three brewpubs. Their upcoming Pumpkin Beer Festival would be a good excuse to make a trip.

In B.C., Elysian beers are available at Brewery Creek in Vancouver; call ahead for availability.

Immortal Brewer to Visit Vancouver

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On September 28, renowned Seattle craft brewer, Dick Cantwell, will be visiting Vancouver at the invitation of R & B Brewing to attend a special session of The Whip’s Real Ale Sundays. Co-founder and head brewer of Elysian Brewing, Cantwell will be bringing a cask of his Immortal IPA and a cask of Hale’s Ales O’Brien’s Harvest Ale—a Silver Medal winner at Denver’s Great American Beer Festival.

Formerly a writer, Cantwell started as a homebrewer in Boston for 15 years before moving to Seattle in 1990 to take up professional brewing at Duwamps Café. After 18 months, he moved over to Pike Place Brewery, brewing there until 1994 when he took up residence at The Big Time Brewery. In 1996, he opened Elysian Brewing with partners Joe Bisacca and Dave Buhler.

Since that time, Cantwell has won numerous awards for his beer. He was also named Brewmaster of the Year, and Elysian, Large Brewpub of the Year, at the Great American Beer Festival in 1999, 2003, and 2004.

Meet a Northwest craft brewing legend at:
The Whip Real Ale Sunday
The Whip Restaurant & Gallery
209 East 6th Avenue, Vancouver
September 28 @ 4:00pm