Behind The Scenes At Field House Brewing Co. In Abbotsford — Part Two

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The Brewer’s Blog was launched last year by Dageraad Brewing founder Ben Coli as he prepared for opening. It’s now being picked up by Josh Vanderheide, who is on his way to opening Field House Brewing Co. in Abbotsford.

———— READ PART ONE ————

by Josh Vanderheide | It’s another week closer to opening our new community Craft Brewery in the Fraser Valley. Now it’s about making what seems like a million final decisions and hoping that they all come together and add up to the intended result. Thinking about all these decisions is what led me to the focus of this weeks’ article, probably the biggest and best decision I’ve made in this process: hiring Parker Reid as our Head Brewer.

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I’m a craft beer lover and not a brewer, so hiring one was going to be one of the biggest challenges of this project. Let’s just say I got lucky. Parker came highly recommended as a young, passionate and talented brewer who was ready for a bigger opportunity. After working together for the last 3 months, I can see why; he’s a unique combination of smarts and know-how, someone who loves to tinker away at fixing anything he can get his hands on. Parker seems most happy when both this brain and hands are working at the same time.

On his first day of work we boarded a plane to The Netherlands in search of craft beer inspiration to bring back to the BC market. We travelled around the small country hitting every craft brewery, tap house and beer festival we could. Looking back now at pictures of us sitting alongside canals in Amsterdam sipping on a Dutch witbiers, it all seems like a faraway dream.

If you’re in the dark on Dutch craft breweries, join the club. You’ll only find a couple of them available in Vancouver. But as is happening in BC right now, they have a new wave of independent breweries lead by some great brewers and passionate beer lovers. If you ever make there, be sure to check out JopenDe Prael  OedipusUiltjeOersoepKaapseBrouwerij ‘t IJ and De Molen.

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Returning to Canada with some fresh inspiration, Parker got to work designing our five core beer recipes. With a few weeks he sourced all the ingredients and started brewing on our new Blichmann Pilot system. Let’s just say I was impressed! As for the results, I’m pretty darn excited about our initial beer line that we have planned for opening.

Here’s a quick rundown of the beers we’re launching with:

Dutch Pale Ale
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We consider this to be the Dutch answer to the Belgian Pale Ale. It’s a nice and light pale ale brewed with wheat for a nice smooth finish. Super easy drinking and a popular style that we came across in The Netherlands. You don’t often see it over here.

Eastern IPA
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A light and refreshing IPA made with far east hops from New Zealand and Australia. It offers more citrusy hop character compared to the North West IPAs that are commonly found hereabouts.

Salted Black Porter
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A baltic porter brewed with Dutch salted liquorice candies, giving it a distinct, bold flavour with a slightly salted finish. This one is getting some great initial feedback from our friends in the community.

Sour Wheat Gose
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A salted sour beer with a hint of citrus rind for bitterness, this bold sour follows a traditional German Gose recipe and features hand harvested sea salt from Vancouver Island Salt Co. (some of the best salt in the world).

Wild Saison
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A peppery, dry saison brewed with a wild Brett yeast to give it a bit of a funky twist. We’re also doing a classic Field Saison for those who prefer a more classic Saison.

While we don’t have a specific style of beer, we like to say they’re ‘modern european beer styles’ and are influenced by classic recipes with our own local twists. We will continue to look for inspiration in unique places and find ways to bring fresh new beers to the BC market.

Beer, naturally, is the core consideration in creating the Craft Beer Experience at Field House, and with Parker on board, I’m confident we can offer a quality product to our community and beyond. We can’t wait to open our Taproom doors so you can try a few!

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