The Beer Brief is Scout’s round-up of all the local beer-related news and events we think you should know about. Got news brewing? Send it to thalia [at] scoutmagazine.ca and we’ll do our best to include it!
BEER WARS | Here’s a fight we can get behind: the annual BC Beer Wars boxing match goes down in East Van on April 13th. The contenders duking it out for brewery bragging rights are a roster of industry workers who’ve been in training for months leading up to this particular event. Not only will you get to see some familiar pint pullers in the ring pulling punches, but you’ll also get to enjoy some $5 ringside beers provided by over 15 local breweries while cheering them on. The final KO: a portion of ticket costs will be going towards local non-profit Eastside Boxing Club. Find out more.
TAP TAKEOVER | Second best to a jaunt down to Oregon is when it – and in particular its beer – comes to us. Case in point: the upcoming Oregon Brewer’s Tap Takeover at The Drake in Victoria and the Alibi Room in Gastown is bringing seven of the state’s best breweries across the border at the end of April. The tap list will include specialty and hard to find beers from Breakside Brewery, Pfriem Family Brewers, Ninkasi, Cascade Brewing, Upright, Rogue Ales and Gigantic. Find out more.
MIND THE BAR | Locally run Mind the Bar is a mental health and harassment resource for food and beverage industry workers that officially launched last summer (get a bit of backstory from our earlier coverage here). Besides providing valuable support and information for those suffering from depression, anxiety, addiction and workplace harassment, the association also recently released a collaboration beer with Russell Brewing. The low ABV (3.5%) table saison’s tall cans are real lookers, dressed up in beautifully illustrated gold, white and forest green labels. Want yet another reason to pick up a four-pack? A portion of proceeds from sales goes towards Mind the Bar. Find out more.
HOP TO IT | Unofficially kicking off the brewery-hopping season is the Yeast Van 2019 Hop Circuit on April 28th. For one afternoon only (1-5pm), a whole bunch of the neighbourhood’s breweries and a couple of distilleries will be opening their doors to the public for free behind-the-scenes tours. There will also be lots of tastings and a good ol’ fashioned scavenger hunt. Get stoked to get hopping! Find out more.
GO FRUITY | Springtime sure has a way of inducing hankerings for more colourful and fruitier beers! Here’s a short list of some that are currently budding up around town that have caught our attention:
Probably the most vibrant and festive selection is from the aptly called Spectrum Beer. As on point as you’d assume from their name, the new releases are a rainbow of hues and seasonal flavours: Hot Pink Lemonade (marking its return with more tart raspberries than ever); Melon Haze Pale Ale; and a Margarita Gose. These guys don’t have a tasting room, but you can head over to their website’s handy beer locator to find out their current retailers.
Doan’s Craft Brewing recently teased a photo of a new “Berry Time” fruit beer on their Instagram feed. Details about the new brew are still a bit sketchy, but if it’s as good tasting as the can’s artwork is cute then we’re in for a treat…
Storm Brewing’s tap list is always reliably…er…”colourful” but now they’ve also got a bunch of new neon growler glassware to do their liquids equal justice. Head on over to the East Van’s longest standing craft brewery (while it’s still standing) to snag a branded bright orange, blue or (our personal favourite) purple to-go container of Blood Orange Mojito Pilsner, Lemon Dill IPA and/or Ruby Tart Ale, or any other bizarre flavour combination they’re pouring these days. Bonus: Storm recently extended their hours to include Mondays.
ICE CREAM | The beer ice cream season started off STRONG this year with a collaboration between Rain or Shine and Brassneck Brewery. It featured the latter’s “Five O’Clock Shadow” Oat Stout plus plenty of chocolate-covered pretzel pieces and a touch of molasses. The limited edition flavour was available as part of their March menu at all three Rain or Shine locations, but pints of the stuff might still be available if, like me, you were too skeptical about the warm and sunny weather to justify the fair-weather food. We definitely won’t be making that mistake again!
STAFF BEERS | Brassneck recently announced a brand new brewing program starring their very own friendly Front of House staff. Riffing off Parallel 49’s similar collaboration scheme, they’ve decided to enlist the personalities who are consistently pouring your beers to create the beers of their dreams. First up is a dry hopped brett red ale called “Earthshine Refractor” as imagined by FOH server Colin. We can’t wait to try it! Find out more.
NEW WEST | Another Beer Company is a perfectly apropos name for BC’s newest addition, which is slated to open its doors just a short walk from the Sapperton Skytrain Station in New Westminster’s Brewery District. It will be providing good company to its neighbours, Steel & Oak, and another excuse for out-of-towners to make the trip to the riverside ‘burb. So far, Another has collaborate with a wide range of BC beer establishments: Faculty, Steel & Oak and Moody Ales (PoMo) have all partnered up with the fledgling brewery. Future collab plans include Mariner (Coquitlam) and Luppolo. The latter was also recently the exclusive provider of Another’s intriguing-sounding Salt Saison. We’ll be filling you in on the details as they come together but in the meantime check out their website for more info and updates.
PORT MOODY | The list of awful puns and mixed metaphors about new Port Moody brewery, The Bakery Brewing, is impossibly long and difficult to choose from so I’ll spare you and get to the point. Scheduled for opening sometime during the first half of 2019 (just in time for summer, we assume), The Bakery is the latest spot to join PoMo’s famous Brewers Row. I discovered the almost un-Google-able brewery via the Rotating Taps list on a recent visit to Craft Beer Market, which features their Dark Rye Saison. They’ve also had a steady presence on tap at Moody Ales where they are currently draining the dredges of a newly tapped keg of Cherry Vanilla Dessert Sour. Summer can’t come soon enough!