The Beer Brief is a round-up of all the local beer news and events we think you should know about. Got cool things brewing? Send it to thalia [at] scoutmagazine.ca and we’ll do our best to include it!
STRANGE FEST | Strange Fest kicked off at Alibi Room this Monday (May 9th). If you don’t already know the deal, Strange Fest is the Gastown bar’s week-long celebration dedicated to wild ales, sours, barrel-aged brews and pretty much anything else odd enough to make the cut. The line-up includes beers from breweries near (Strange Fellows, Brassneck, Luppolo, House of Funk, Dageraad), near-ish (Driftwood, Ile Sauvage, Field House, Wild Ambition), far (Cascade Brewing, Jester King), and further (Brasserie Cantillon, Gueuzerie Tilquin). Check out the full menu of offerings here. That being said, these beers are only available on tap in limited quantities, until they’re gone, so if something tickles your fancy then find room in your week to pay Alibi Room a visit ASAP. Find out more.
DAGERAAD | Holy moly, Dageraad Brewing is turning eight years old this month! That surely calls for a celebration. In particular, expect a day-long party featuring live music, food, three new beer releases (including the first in a new Enology Series: a Syrah Saison), and some extra yummy, rare stuff unearthed from the Dageraad cellar (word has it, a new batch of Randonneur and Entropy No. 13 – Apricot Sour will be making appearances). The festivities are free to attend, but you can ensure your entry and purchase your first beers in advance here. Happy birthday, Dageraad!
HOUSE OF FUNK | Before you plan on getting too cozy at Dageraad this Saturday, though, take note that May 14th is also House of Funk‘s third year anniversary party. Details about the event are still mostly under wraps, but so far what is for sure is that this party is going to go late…so hitting up the festivities in Burnaby and North Van is (theoretically) completely doable. So load your Compass card, secure your DD, and/or get your bicycle in order STAT because it’s gonna be a very beery weekend!
CAKE | I don’t know about you, but all this birthday ‘talk’ has got me seriously thinking about cake. Beer cake, to be precise…as in this recipe from Strange Fellows Brewing, for their Chocolate Blackmail Cake. Although there’s no doubt that using the titular SF Blackmail Northwest Stout it calls for would be absolutely scrumptious, you could also substitute it with another of your favourite dark beers to commemorate the occasion more precisely. Two timely suggestions (full disclosure, I haven’t actually made any of these versions…yet): Dageraad’s Marlowe Belgian-Style Session Stout or House of Funk’s NYX Coffee Porter. Happy baking!
BREAD | On the other hand, if you’re a stalwart beer and bread lover, then the latest news from R&B Brewing should whet your appetite: the longtime East Van brewery is now baking fresh bread, four days a week. Their new sourdough loaf is made using spent grain (a byproduct of the brewing process) from their own beer, of course. So far, they’ve used the leftovers from their Hipster Haze IPA – but who knows which beer exactly will find it’s way into your loaf…Find out more.
SPRING BREWS | Spring is peaking already. Looking for ways to literally drink it up? Here are a handful of fruity ideas…PoMo brewery Moody Ales recently released four floral-themed brews, as part of their new Spring inspired ‘Flower Sour Mix Pack’, and dang they sure sound good: Cherry Blossom, Peach Hibiscus, Strawberry Jasmine, and Raspberry Lavender sours are all currently available from the brewery and at various retailers citywide. Track yours down while you still can here… | 33 Acres is embodying one of the warmer months’ best local flavours, strawberry, with their latest release: a “Superberliner” mixed fermentation sour beer that comes in wine-sized bottles only from the tasting room. Find out more. | The name of Twin Sails‘ recently announced beer series just about says it all: Got Fruit? is a new line-up of sour ‘smoothie’ brews, super-loaded with enough fruit to blur the beverage lines. Check out the first Got Fruit? made with pineapple, strawberry and guava here. | And, juiciest of all: Port Coquitlam’s Tinhouse Brewing has partnered up with their neighbourhood juice joint, Squish Juicery, to create The Wetlands Radler – a mixture of pineapple, lemon, pear and mint juice and Wetlands Wheat Ale. Obviously this one is only available on their tasting room menu but, with a bit of ingenuity, can also be easily replicated at home and/or at the park.
BREWHALLA | Can’t wait for all the summer beer festivals? Well, you don’t have to because May 21st is ‘Brewhalla’. The first in a series of three festivals scheduled over the next handful of months, the Brewhalla Fort Langley event features over two dozen breweries from all over BC – including Langley’s own Brookswood Brewing, Camp Beer Co., Farm Country Brewing, Five Roads Brewing, Locality Brewing, and Smugglers Trail; Powell River’s Townsite Brewing; from Hope, Mountainview Brewing; Delta’s Barnside Brewing; Patina Brewing from PoCo; Category 12 in Victoria; and the anticipated Kits-based Brewing August…to name just a portion. Plus, a diverse roster of nine musicians and bands, and an equally varied line-up of snacks, from mini donuts to veggie burgers. In addition to the entertainment, the cost of admission also hooks you up with your first three drinks and a commemorative taster glass to enjoy them in. Tickets and more details here.
S & O | Good news for New West: construction is complete at Steel & Oak and the brewery is now back to business as usual. Take a gander at what’s currently pouring in the tasting room here, and then plot a visit to check out the new-and-improved space ASAP…And while you’ve got S & O on the brain, mark June 26th off your calendar, because it’s their eight-year birthday bash! Keep an eye on the S & O IG feed for more news about that.
KELOWNA | Planning on hitting the road in the near future? Here’s a good reason to make Kelowna your destination: Wild Ambition Brewing is opening the doors to their new tasting room this Friday, May 13th. The bottle-conditioned and mixed-fermentation focussed brewery will be marking the occasion with special tastings and a local food bank donation drive – so load up your trunk with non-perishables and get your ducks in a row, so that you’re ready to make your escape to the Interior before the weekend hits, if you can swing it!
OPENING SOON | In case you haven’t already heard the news, there’s a new brewery coming to Sidney, BC in the near future. If all goes as planned, Small Gods Brewing will be opening its doors to the community just in time for the summer (end of June/early July). So what’s the deal with Small Gods? In brief, they’re a family-run, bookish brewery (the name “Small Gods” pays homage to writer Jim Harrison, and his book of poetry, In Search of Small Gods; Sidney is also known as “Book Town”, due to its large proportion of bookstores). If their branding looks a bit familiar, it’s probably because it’s been helmed by Field House Brewing (Abbotsford / Chilliwack) founder, Joshua Vanderheide. Stay tuned to their IG feed for more news as things come together over the next couple of months.
EVEN FURTHER AFIELD | A special ‘congrats’ to the extended 33 Acres team, whose new Calgary, Alberta location is officially opening its doors this Thursday, May 12th, in the city’s swanky new The District at Beltline space. If this is the first you’re hearing of the project, you can get the lowdown on how 33 Acres is planning on translating their West Coast vision and values to our neighbouring province here. We’re stoked to eventually check it out firsthand for ourselves the next time we’re on that side of the Rockies…in the meantime, though, we’ll be ogling the new space virtually, from afar, via their IG highlights here.