BC Craft Beer Survey • Beer Gifts • Spotlight on Porters • The Death of Casks • Brewery Logos • Urban Orchards • Wax Dipping
THE JOURNAL OF BC'S CRAFT BEER MOVEMENT
BEST IN CLASS
How a brewing school became
BC's Brewery of the Year
Inside: the BC Craft Beer
VOL.29 ISSUE 4 Winter 2019-20
KPU Brewing & Brewery Operations Program
PURCHASE THIS MONTH’S FEATURED PANEL BEERS IN STORE OR ONLINE AT LEGACYLIQUOR.COM
IN THE HEART OF FALSE CREEK | 1633 MANITOBA STREET, VANCOUVER
VOL.29 ISSUE 4
THE JOURNAL OF BC'S
CRAFT BEER MOVEMENT
Our Winter issue features highlights from our unique annual Holiday Gift Guide.
View the full Gift Guide online at whatsbrewing.ca/giftguide
31 SPECIAL FEATURE: BC CRAFT BEER HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
11 COVER: CLASS OF BEER: THE STORY OF KPU BREWING
17 WOMEN IN BEER: NANCY MORE: LEGEND
20 CIDER: HARVESTING THE URBAN ORCHARDS
06 OPENING REMARKS: BEER ME BC SURVEY INSIGHTS
26 ULLAGE & SPILLAGE: SERVING IT RIGHTEOUSLY
27 A VIEW FROM THE CELLAR: THE DEATH OF CASKS
29 WAX ON, WAX OFF! THE FOLLY OF WAX DIPPING BOTTLES
22 TASTING PANEL: DARK & SILKY: A PORTER SPOTLIGHT
37 BOOKS IN REVIEW: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE TO BOOKS
38 HOMEBREW HAPPENIN'S: HOMEBREWER GIFT GUIDE
47 BC BREWERY BRANDING PART II: LOGOS
TOURING, TRAVEL & REGIONAL REPORTS
40 OUT & ABOUT: TRAVELLING IN UK IN WINTER
41 NORTHERN NOTES: WINTER WONDERLAND OF CRAFT BEER
42 BEERS, BEACHES & BREWERIES: WINTER IN PENTICTON
44 HAVE CAMERA WILL TRAVEL: CRAFT BEER & WILDERNESS
Produced by Line49 Design Group Inc.
300-1275 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver BC V6H 1A6
Editor & Publisher: Dave Smith
Co-Editor: Paul Morris
Associate Production Editor: Navin Autar
Copy Editors: Wendy Barron, Ivana Smith
Hopline & Newsroom
Associate Editor, Events: Edward Kaye
Associate Editor, Newsroom: Navin Autar
Mike Ansley, Adam Arthur, Warren Boyer,
Adam Chatburn, Ted Child, Lundy Dale,
Ed Kaye, Kim Lawton, Stewart 'Scottie'
McLellan, Leif Miltenberger, Jeff Nairn,
Mathieu Poirier, J. Random, Brian K.
Smith, Paddy Treavor, Carnell Turton,
Abby Wiseman, Malcolm Yates
Chief Photographer: Brian K. Smith
Illustrator: Emile Compion @montevarious
Web & Admin: Navin Autar, Ligia
Margaritescu, Susan Jones
Advertising & Corporate Sales
© 2018 What's Brewing
A DEMOCRATIC SURVEY
THAT'S WORTH THE WORK
During November, What's Brewing's sister website Beer Me
BC conducted its seventh annual BC Craft Beer Survey.
Since 2013, it has provided insights about craft beer in BC,
including the preferences and opinions of you, the BC craft
beer fan. And we take the part about you seriously.
To make it possible to know what each one of our >1000 voters really
thinks, we allow people to write in any choice for Favourite Beer, Cider,
Brewery, Event and so on. What does that mean? A lot of work for our
data analyst, who has to decode all manner of entries and misspellings.
Of course we could limit our work, and people's choices, by providing a
curated shortlist of only those breweries which we, or other beer media,
happen to think are BC's very best...but we know we'd be omitting most
of BC's beer community in the process. Also, we might be disappointing
a large percentage (if not a majority) of our voters, who may not want
to elect one of the "established elite" with their ballot. As a result, we
have a lot of deep data. Here are some bonus insights for WB readers.
2019 SURVEY: INSIDER PEEK & HONOURABLE MENTIONS
Favourite Brewery: it was Field House in a landslide, up from second
last year. Also Parallel 49 and Dageraad shot up the list. Behind the
scenes, we see many votes for these breweries who deserve Honourable
Mention: Bad Tattoo, Cannery, Dead Frog, Foamers' Folly, Mariner,
Moody Ales, Red Truck, Steel & Oak, Storm and Twin Sails. Bonus:
Pacific Western Brewing got one vote, which is fair. It's a democracy!
New Brewery: congrats to North Van's House of Funk for running
away with this. Unsurprisingly, Victoria's Île Sauvage, open for a year
now, still killed it too. But hats off to Port Moody's Bakery, Langley's
Five Roads and Penticton's Slackwater for their strong showing.
Favourite Cidery. New this year! Topping the votes were Island-based
Sea Cider and Merridale. There were a surprising number of votes for
smaller operators Salt Spring Wild Cider, Fraser Valley Cider and
Dominion Cider of Summerland, too.
Favourite Event: the Top Five perennials saw little change, but right
behind them were Fraser Valley "newcomers" Fort Langley Beer + Food
Festival and Clover Valley Beer Festival.
There's more to the Survey than a popularity contest. Look also for
some interesting industry analytics that we make public annually
(cheers to Beer Me BC founder Dustan Sept for his work behind the
scenes, and thanks also to our sponsors). You'll find the rest of the story
6 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
Many thanks to these supporters who help bring What's Brewing to you!
Find a printed copy at whatsbrewing.ca/find
BC CRAFT CALENDAR
with Ed Kaye
Winter is traditionally a bit of a slower time for beer
events, but this seems to have changed over the last
few years. A number of seasonal events are popping
up, focusing on all of the wonderful “big beers” that
breweries produce for the colder months.
On December 1, Parallel 49 Brewing hosts an Imperial & Strong
Beer Festival at their street kitchen. This event takes the place of
their old Brawnywine festival, with an expanded variety of boozy
beers like imperial stouts, baltic porters, eisbocks, and the like.
The first weekend of January brings The Drake’s 6th annual Wild
& Sour Beers event. This day sees them dedicate their taps to
pouring some of the world's finest tart and funky ales. There’s
usually a ticketed lunch portion that comes with a curated flight.
Don’t forget to bring Tums.
Later in the month, Weathered Beer Celebration returns for its
sophomore year on the 25th and 26th. Weathered is a curated beer
and art event celebrating imperial stouts, barley wines, extreme
hops, wild ales, and lambic. If Farmhouse Fest is the highlight of
my summer, then Weathered is definitely my winter highlight.
Early February brings Island Beer & Spirit Festival to the Strath
Hotel in Victoria. This event focuses exclusively on beer, cider,
and spirits produced on Vancouver Island.
February 29 brings the 3rd annual Hopwired Festival to the Croatian
Cultural Centre in East Vancouver. Hopwired is Canada’s
first and only specialty coffee and craft beer festival. If you love
coffee and beer, this event is for you!
For info and links to all of the above, see our Top Picks Calendar
For the latest in Craft Beer News, Events & Opinion, follow
or subscribe to the Hopline e-news. New issue every Thurs!
@whatsbrewingbc | #hopline | www.hopline.ca
Canada's Original Dedicated Beer Radio Show:
Just Here for the Beer
with Joe Leary and Rick Mohabir
Saturdays + Sundays on TSN 1040
Listen online: www.tsn1040.ca
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 7
VANCOUVER BREWERY TOUR
HAVE A BEER LOVER
ON YOUR LIST?
Just in time for the holiday season, brewery tour gift
certificates make the perfect experience gift for the beer
loving friends, family and co-workers in your life.
Visit us online to grab one today
INFO@VANCOUVERBREWERYTOURS.COM | 604 318 2280 | VANCOUVERBREWERYTOURS.COM
Learn more at centralcitybrewing.com
COVER | BREWERIES IN PROFILE
KPU Brewing faculty L-R: Jon Howe, Dominic Bernard, Martina Solano Bielen, Nancy More,
Alek Egi, Derek Kindret & Stan Wong. Not pictured: Ken Beattie
CLASS OF BEER
How a Langley university is helping BC brew better
>> DAVE SMITH
Images: Brian K. Smith
Since 2010, the BC Beer Awards & Festival (BCBA) has
championed microbrewing excellence in British Columbia.
During a decade of furious expansion in this province’s
craft beer sector, the Vancouver-based competition’s
rotating panel of judges has annually appraised a growing
multitude of product samples and styles in order to select deserving
prizewinners. Each time, its overseers have dutifully compiled the
extensive results in order to extrapolate the identity of the ultimate
victor—the ‘Brewery of the Year’.
For nine years, the succession of small brewers basking in the elation
of overall triumph has involved a uniformity too ordinary to
notice: each one of those winning breweries, no matter how large,
small, successful, fashionable or obscure, has been a for-profit
commercial entity. It took until the tenth year of the festival for
that invisible pattern to break in dramatic fashion, when Kwantlen
Polytechnic University’s Brewing & Brewery Operations
program was crowned champion at the BC Beer Awards this past
For the first time ever in Canada (and maybe only the second time
in North America), a brewing education program at a registered
not-for-profit institution faced off against well over 100 commercial
breweries in a fully adjudicated, top-level regional brewing
competition and beat them all for top honours. Certainly, the
question here cannot be ‘why did it take ten years?’. The question
is: how did this happen at all?
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 11
Riding A Golden Wave
Those same ten years have comprised an amazing decade in the
BC beer renaissance, during which a series of advancements in
both liquor policy and consumer experience has driven mass acceptance
of a new craft beer subculture. The heroes of this movement
are its head brewers, many of whom honed self-taught skills
as passionate homebrewers before successfully negotiating a path
to competence in a commercial operation.
With a bit of reflection, one can imagine that the learning curve involved
would have been significant, and that success in the industry
was never guaranteed for these self-starters. There was probably
also a leap of faith for the new BC brewery owners employing
many of them. But what choice did they have in candidates, given
that dedicated brewery education programs were an esoteric luxury
offered in far-flung locations like Northern California, Chicago,
Scotland and Germany—not here in Canada.
At least, that was the case until 2010, when the Niagara College
Teaching Brewery (NCTB) was formed. Based in pastoral Southern
Ontario, Niagara College had founded a Teaching Winery
by 2002, prompted by the growing success of local vineyards.
As is often the case, beer followed wine when NCTB launched a
new two-year diploma program. Amazingly, the Teaching Brewery
began competing with commercial breweries within a year
and winning awards for individual beers at the U.S. Open Beer
Championship as early as 2011. Since then, NCTB has become
part of the fabric of the Ontario brewing scene.
Continued on page 12
COVER | breweries in profile
Continued from page 11
In 2016, All About Beer magazine published a feature on the brewing
education scene in which it identified that there were at least
a couple dozen US colleges offering beer and brewing programs.
That same year, the people behind the U.S. Open also apparently
noticed that there were a lot of schools competing for mainstream
brewing awards, so it forked off a standalone competition called
the U.S. Open College Beer Championship. The top honour
for best college brewing program at the inaugural U.S. College
Open went to...Canada, as Niagara was crowned Grand National
Champion. Little did anyone know that in a mere three years,
there would be a second such honour for Canada.
A Stroke of Fate
There are occasions when the right person happens to arrive in
the right place at the perfect time to make a difference to many.
One such example is when Dr. Alan Davis came on board as President
of Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2012. Among Davis’
past educational appointments was a term at Niagara College in
the early-mid 2000s, beginning soon after their Teaching Winery
was established. This experience clearly made an impression on
Davis, because early in his KPU tenure, he made an interesting
suggestion to another new arrival.
Dr. Elizabeth Worobec (better known simply as Betty) became
Dean of Kwantlen’s Faculty of Science and Horticulture in 2012.
In her first year, she was asked to assess the feasibility of a new
program. “Coming from Niagara College,” she recalls, “President
Davis thought we should have some kind of credential around
wine and winemaking.”
As she tells it, “We arranged for a consultant to come out from
Niagara, then toured some local wineries. To fill out our day they
had us visit two craft breweries,” referring to Surrey’s Central
City Brewing and Russell Brewing.
Dean Worobec continues, “I went to each of the establishments
with two questions:
1. If we provided a trained workforce, would you hire?
2. If you would, what sort of credential would you require?”
The wineries were noncommittal, leaving Worobec skeptical. But
both breweries told her, “We will hire five people today. Here is
the type of training they should have.”
Beer wasn’t on the menu at first, but it now had Worobec’s attention.
So, she followed up. “I think I called every craft brewery
in the area and asked them those same questions,” the Dean reveals.
“Every single one I talked to was so excited and welcoming;
that was the impetus that kept us going.” They investigated other
programs such as Niagara, Alberta's Olds College, Oregon State
University and U.C. (Davis) until they settled on a two-year diploma
Worobec recalls, “In 2013, when we were putting together the
proposal for approval by the University and the provincial Ministry
of Higher Education, we brought together a group of BC craft
beer specialists.” Ken Beattie was newly minted as Executive Director
of the BC Craft Brewers Guild. Brad McQuhae had founded
Newlands Systems Inc., who ultimately donated the school’s
main brewing system. They and some local head brewers met in
a room with a whiteboard and drafted a bare bones outline for a
two-year diploma program.
Martina, Dominic, Alek, Stan & Nancy in the office
Thus formed the large, loose steering group termed the Advisory
Committee, comprised of the very industry members that
the new program would be constructed to serve. This grassroots
community engagement helped the program start off on the right
path for serious potential.
“The impression that remains with me is: collaboration was at the
core of the decision-making process,” Beattie shares. “The University
was completely focused on the feedback the brewing community
was providing them."
Developing A Team
At that point, as Dean Worobec explains, “We then needed to hire
content experts to create the courses and curriculum. We put out
a want ad and had two amazing candidates with different skill
sets apply: Dominic Bernard had a strong science background,
while Nancy More had the science along with amazing business
acumen; both had considerable brewing experience. They divided
the courses in half and went on to develop the curriculum.”
Outside of Beattie, Nancy More is easily the KPU faculty member
best known to the BC brewing community—and in terms of being
celebrated, she gives Ken a serious run for his money. Considered
by many to be the first female Brewmaster in North America,
Nancy is an international brewing industry veteran who worked
for decades at Interbrew (Oland, Labatt) and Diageo (Guinness).
She’s also now officially a Legend in BC brewing (you’ll find out
more about that in Lundy Dale’s Women in Beer interview, right
after this story). After rising to senior management and holding
positions in the UK, Russia, Asia and Africa, she came back to
Canada in 2013 with the intent to retire from the industry...until a
friend saw a job posting on Kwantlen’s website.
“It was pretty random”, Nancy says of the happenstance that
brought her into the KPU fold. “I was in Nigeria acting as the
Technical Director for Guinness.” The next thing she knew, she
was applying for a job in Langley BC and helping develop a fledgling
With her experience in training brewers, creating a curriculum
wasn’t completely new, but as Nancy says, “I discovered that
teaching takes way more time than I ever expected. I tell people
it’s a lot easier to run a multi-million-dollar organization than it
is to teach two university courses at the same time.” She’s gained
new respect for higher education, noting “Academia has its own
special language, and I had to learn the thinking processes, language
12 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
COVER | breweries in profile
The person Nancy was partnered up with had a head start in formal
education: Dominic Bernard is a former high school teacher
with a chemistry degree from SFU. When a friend at Granville
Island Brewing said Dominic should work in beer, he started
homebrewing. After running into James Walton of Storm Brewing
at the Great Canadian Beer Festival, he sat in on a brew day
and met veteran Lower Mainland brewers like Tim Brown, then
at Mission Springs Brew Pub. Dominic hung around Mission
Springs doing things like filling bottles until he was finally hired
and trained to brew by Brown, who would himself eventually do
a tour of duty as a KPU instructor.
Dean Worobec continues, “Once the program was approved by
KPU and the Province, we needed to hire our main brewing faculty.
We knew we wanted to hire both Dominic and Nancy but
needed another full-time brewing expert, who turned out to be
Program Chair Alek Egi.”
Alek came to Canada from the University of Belgrade, landing at
Halifax’ Dalhousie University under a prof who was doing some
interesting research in brewing. He soon interned at a malting facility
in Alberta, and ultimately became long-time Brewing Manager
at the Canadian Malt Barley Technical Centre in Winnipeg.
His background with malt has given him an special perspective
as a brewery instructor.
Worobec concludes, “The hiring committee knew from the first
interviews with Nancy, Alek and Dominic that they would be able
to lead the program to success. We were also fortunate to hire the
other great instructors we have today, including Martina Solano
Bielen, Ken Beattie, Stan Wong, Jon Howe and Derek Kindret.”
The latter two, dubbed ‘the twins’ during our photo shoot, are
KPU graduates who decided it was also a good place to work. Jon
recounts, “I learned a whole ton in my first year, then got picked
up at Bomber Brewing.” Then in the fall of 2016, a posting went
up online and he applied for the faculty position.
“It’s the best of both worlds for me,” Jon reveals. “I get to stay in
that University environment where I’m constantly learning new
things, but I’m also practicing my brewing skills. It’s very cool
to be around a group of people that are so passionate about it.”
Derek adds, “It’s hard to find a cohesive group that collectively
knows so much about all of the topics of brewing.”
“It’s a well-rounded program,” states Martina, whose superpower
is microbiology. “They get to do Chemistry, Biology, Sensory,
Mechanical Engineering, Marketing, Business Management…”
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 13
Nancy, Jon and Derek with Dean Worobec
Derek continues, “You might want to be a brewer, but you also
need distribution, you need health & safety, you need sales.” On
that latter point, Stan notes, “It’s an evolution from being a homebrewer
into the business of beer, and making sure that the great
products that you’re making are saleable.”
Everybody Loves an Underdog
Bit by bit since its debut, the KPU Brewing program has climbed
up the ladder of success. In 2016, first-round alum Ashley Brooks
was the first KPU graduate to take gold at BC Beer Awards, while
brewing for Surrey’s Big Ridge. The next two years, the program
won its own BCBA trophies. Recipes for submitted samples are
typically designed by the instructors, but production involves the
In 2017, the year after Niagara took top honours at the inaugural
U.S. Open College Beer Championship, KPU placed second overall.
Then in spring 2019 they reached the pinnacle: Grand National
Champion among all North American brewing schools. Half
a year later, they were crowned BC champion brewery, period.
It’s hard to imagine what else there is to win at this point.
Why all the fuss about the BC Beer Awards win? Consider that
BCBA invites commercial breweries doing professional work
daily, many for quite some time. For instance, Vancouver Island
Brewing was founded three decades before KPU’s program was.
The Brew Lab
Rare as the BCBA win was, Kwantlen isn’t the first school in North
America to beat the pros—although it probably didn’t miss being
first by much. The only equivalent win we’re aware of belongs to
the Culinary Institute of America, whose teaching brewery was
awarded New York State Brewery of the Year in March 2019—a
mere seven months prior to KPU in what seems to be a stellar
year for post-secondary brewing. (Credit goes to BC Beer Awards
co-founder Chester Carey, a culinary expert himself, for digging
that tidbit up.)
Chester explains how the school was chosen by BCBA as champion:
“The title is awarded to the brewery with the highest medals-per-entry
averaged score. The total medals each brewery wins
is divided by the number of beers that brewery has entered into
the competition.” That’s a relatively common approach at similar
It does mean that there might be another brewery which won
more total awards, which was the case in October when Dageraad
Brewing took home an astounding nine BCBA trophies. But judging
by Brewery Manager Mitch Warner’s comment to this author
that “It’s pretty awesome KPU won,” one can tell that the former
Canadian Brewery of the Year holds no grudge. It’s hard not to
root for the underdog.
Continued on page 14
COVER | breweries in profile
Continued from page 13
Is this lab a real Brewery?
Every Friday from 1:00-6:00 PM during the school term, you can
visit the KPU Brew Lab at Kwantlen’s Langley campus and buy
yourself a growler fill. It’s a bit odd to drive up to a university for
that weekend beer run, but it’s a great way to support the students
and find out if their beer is really good enough to win all
To get to the pouring station, you’ll walk by the brewhouse. With
its columns of tiny fermenters that accommodate multiple brew
teams, it resembles an alien laundromat. Given its modest capacity
(2 hl NSI system), some might question whether this lab could
properly be called a brewery. The answer: go look at the awards
Building a teaching brewhouse isn’t the same as establishing your
typical science course. As Dean Betty Worobec recalls, “Our first
class began September 2014. I really thought the brewery would
be ready by then. But we had to do a lot of adjustments because
we couldn’t get into the brewery until February. So that first class
was different than the ones that came after.”
Delays in construction and launch. Sound familiar? If nothing
else, that should convince anyone familiar with craft industry
start-ups that KPU Brew Lab is a real brewery.
Student at work
During that building phase, the team
continued community outreach, meeting
many of the brewers Dominic knew
at places like Parallel 49, Coal Harbour,
Main Street and Strange Fellows. He and
Nancy also toured Delta’s Turning Point
Brewery (aka the Stanley Park label, now
owned by Labatt) as well. After the program
was underway, there were student
field trips to places like the Molson brewery
on Burrard, when it was operational.
That highlights something in KPU’s approach
that differs from the other BC
institutions that have explored the beer
education space. For instance, the Pacific
Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) offers
a craft beer appreciation course, and
in 2020 Okanagan College will do the
Then there’s Simon Fraser University, who actually beat KPU to
the punch when a Science of Brewing course kicked off at its Surrey
campus in January 2014. That effort was followed by a wider
Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials program targeted at homebrew
hobbyists and working industry personnel looking to brush up
on their knowledge. The name of the program reflects the obvious
current appeal of learning “craft” brewing, so the program wasn’t
conceived to train people who might want to work in a large-scale
KPU wants no such limitation. Instructor Martina Solano Bielen
says, “Within the first month, some students might decide, ‘I
would like to work at Molson. What can I do to get there?’ Then
there will be students who would never want to work at Molson.”
Nevertheless, the goal of KPU’s two-year program is to educate
14 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
At the growler fill station
people—with hands-on training—to the level that they would be
seriously considered for work anywhere from an esoteric craft
outlet to a giant international brewery. For instance, one KPU
grad was hired as production manager at Granville Island, which
is a subsidiary of Molson Coors. That’s a respectable job.
The understanding that brewing jobs aren’t only out there in
fashionable micros probably stems from the experience of the
faculty, with BC Craft Brewers Guild leader Ken Beattie originally
coming from Molson and Sleeman, Nancy More from Labatt
and Guinness, and marketing instructor Stan Wong previously at
Labatt. They are all invested in the BC craft scene, but they also
recognize the technical excellence of many brewers at the Big Beer
level...and they’ve helped shape a program with the chops to vie
with the ones that inspired it in a relatively short time.
In fact there is one category in which KPU has indisputably
outdone the competition, thanks to their 2017 designation as a
Recognized Program by the Master Brewers Association of the
Americas (MBAA), for meeting its “approved guidelines and
learning outcomes.” As of this writing, only a dozen other US institutions
have met the necessary stringent requirements, leaving
KPU as the first (and so far only) MBAA-approved school in Canada.
That potentially makes KPU tough to compete with.
On that note, it so happens that there’s currently a notice on the
SFU brewing website that their brewing program is undergoing
a review “as part of SFU’s program renewal cycle.” It states that
“We are taking this opportunity to offer all courses within the
program one last time as we explore the program’s future.”
Sama Ghnaim, Associate Director of Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials
at SFU Continuing Studies, confirms that it’s too early
to comment on the future of the program. However, she notes,
“We’re proud to have played a role in supporting the local craft
beer community. Our instructors have helped our students to network
and connect with the brewing community, helping them to
accomplish their goals and become part of this tightly-knit family.”
About Kwantlen’s recent success at BCBA, she opines, “Awards
like this shine a spotlight on the craft beer community and what
it is capable of.” Yes, they do; they probably also demonstrate the
return on investment a serious teaching brew lab has provided
Continued on page 16
COVER | breweries in profile
Continued from page 14
What’s on Tap Next
Nancy More realizes that it’s an exciting era for beer.
When we spoke, her fridge was packing Ravens Hot
Chocolate Porter and Deep Cove Method Pale Ale. It’s
not random: she grabbed the beers when visiting former
students at those breweries. It works the same
way when she sees students at beer fests: “I like going
around and tasting what they’re making,” Nancy concedes.
She contemplates, “I look back, and many of the things
that are being brewed now, were being brewed in the
Labatt Technology Development Centre decades ago.
I remember that one of our trainees brewed a Vanilla
Stout with bananas. There was all this cool stuff going on...but the
scale of these breweries was simply too big to bring that sort of
thing to market. So, I think it’s wonderful that there are so many
people out there now [in craft beer] with the ability to be creative.”
Alek Egi feels that KPU has come a long way to meet that need in
the last five years: developing the courses, creating standard operating
procedures and getting the brewery how they’d like it to be.
As for where to go from here, he notes, “We’re constantly trying
to improve things. For instance: developing Continuing Studies
courses to offer to the existing brewing industry.” Dean Worobec
explains, “A lot of the students are in the workforce, and brewing
might be a second career. We’ve always been talking about some
kind of a part-time model so we can address the need for people
School and work go hand in hand. “Every Fall when class starts,
I’m impressed by the number of students working at local breweries
while attending the program,” shares Ken Beattie. “I lost
count, at 28, of the number of KPU alumni who walked across the
stage as members of medal-winning breweries at this year’s BC
Dominic notes, “When we started, beer people would ask, ‘What’s
Kwantlen?’ These days, when we go to a beer event, people know
us. We’ve got so many alumni working locally at BC breweries,
the beer festivals feel like home.”
“Students and graduates are spread out over the entire province,”
notes John DeJong, Sales Manager at Ravens Brewing. He goes
on to make a great point that “These students have a built-in network—because
of the pre-existing relationship—that will make
collaboration among breweries even stronger.”
KPU faculty & alumni celebrate the big win
value in what KPU is doing, describing them as a ‘welcomed addition’.
P49 has had a few KPU interns who have finished their
diploma then returned to a full-time position. He notes, “We look
for individuals who have the science and production knowledge
who are able to troubleshoot issues and problem solve as things
As a result of managers like that, Program Chair Alek Egi states,
“Our graduate employment rate is over 90%. Almost anyone who
finishes this program and wants to work in a brewery can get a
Surprisingly, that success can lead to a certain challenge for KPU
Brewing. “We encourage our first-year students to go out, intern
and find [summer] jobs in the industry”, explains Dean Betty
Worobec. “The employers see how great they are after only
one year. So, every year we lose some [who drop out to begin
their new careers early]. It’s not something we had thought about
when we planned the program!” On the flip side, thanks to their
amazing 2019, Worobec is expecting a lot of interest from new
Let’s face it: there is probably no other science department that
has the built-in appeal that brewing beer does, both for the students
and the public. But a little extra PR can’t hurt. Sometimes
it’s good to be the champ.
Editor of What's Brewing & Beer Me BC, and past contributor
to various beer & liquor industry publications.
Craft beer fan since the late 1990s.
John is well aware of KPU’s benefits because Ravens’ head brewer
Dan Marriette was in the inaugural graduating class. Cole Smith,
Head Brewer at Dead Frog Brewery, also graduated in that class.
“I went into the program looking for some validation and credentials
for my passion and ended up with a whole lot more than
that,” Cole shares. “From being able to read MBAA technical papers
to orchestrating a scheduled microbiological monitoring regimen,
the KPU program really helped to bridge the gap between
art and science, and to tie all the loose ends together for me.”
Advisory Committee member Graham With is one of those homebrewers
who successfully transitioned into a head brewer’s position,
when Parallel 49 Brewing launched in 2012. He sees the
16 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
WOMEN IN BEER | profile
Q&A WITH NANCY MORE
INSTRUCTOR, BREWING & BREWERY OPERATIONS
PROGRAM, KWANTLEN POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
>> LUNDY DALE
Nancy More is a true legend of
the brewing industry, in BC
and internationally. She has
done a lot for women in the
brewing world in her 40 years working
with beer, mostly without even trying. In
1985, she was appointed Head Brewmaster
at Oland’s Brewery in Saint John, New
Brunswick—the first female head brewer in
North America. She has since had stints in
Europe, the Ukraine, Russia, and back in BC.
She co-founded and teaches in the brewing
program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
In honour of a landmark anniversary and
all her contributions to the industry, the BC
Craft Brewers Guild announced a scholarship
in her name in October. To complement
that honour, Nancy received a Legend
award at the 2019 BC Beer Awards.
Nancy will always make time to help anyone
who has a question about the industry,
or about beer, especially over a beer. You
leave the conversation knowing more than
you thought there was possibly to know
about beer and wanting to know more. I
met Nancy a few years back at one of our
annual International Women’s Day Pink
Boots brew days. She attends as many of
these brews as her time allows and brings
female students with her. Last year she led a
large group of students and many KPU senior
faculty members to their first International
Women’s Day brew. We hope many
more will follow.
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 17
Learning From a
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN
YOUR PRESENT POSITION, AND
WHAT ROLE DID YOU PLAY AT
In October of 2014, Dominic Bernard and
I started to develop the curriculum for the
KPU Brewing program, so I helped shape
the content of the courses that were going to
be given. Dominic and I worked together to
ensure the individual courses included the
appropriate content, and that they built on,
and complemented, each other. Our goal
was to have graduates who understood
the fundamental science behind brewing
and could competently apply that in the
WHAT ROLE DO YOU PLAY
KPU gave me the opportunity to come
out to Langley and teach one day a week,
so I started teaching in January of 2015.
I co-teach the Brewing Industry course
with Ken Beattie, and Microbiology
and Fermentation as well as Brewery
WHAT BROUGHT YOU INTO
THE INDUSTRY OVER 40 YEARS
Like any university student, I liked to drink
beer. I worked at the Protein Lab at the
National Research Council in Saskatoon
the summer between my third and fourth
years at university. During that summer,
I met two people who had applied to, or
were in, the Labatt Breweries Technical
Training program. I thought that would
be fun, so when I went back to the U of
Alberta to finish my chemistry degree, I
decided to apply. Rumour has it that the
year I applied, people in operations at
Labatt were told they needed to start hiring
women. So, after three sets of interviews,
I was offered a position. I decided to take
it and stay until it wasn’t fun anymore. I
stayed with Labatt for 27½ years.
HOW WERE YOU TRAINED?
The training program was a three-year
experience where we did every job in the
brewery, studied the technical literature,
kept voluminous notes on what we were
learning and how it applied in the brewery,
and wrote exams on each section. We were
trained in brewing, packaging, distribution,
and quality, and acted as supervisors in the
areas we were being trained in at the end
of that section.
WHERE WERE YOU THE FIRST
FEMALE BREWMASTER IN
In 1985, I was appointed as the Head
Brewmaster for Oland’s Brewery in Saint
John, New Brunswick. That was pretty
exciting, more for the opportunity to do the
job than for the distinction and publicity
that was given for being the first female.
And moving to the Maritimes was my first
experience in really learning how to work
in a (slightly) different culture.
WHAT WERE YOUR LAST
I then moved from one coast of Canada
to the other, and I really loved my time
as the Brewery Manager at the Columbia
Brewery in Creston. The people at
Columbia have such great passion for what
they do, and they absolutely work together
in a team to make the best beer possible.
In 2001, I was given the opportunity to
move to Europe where SunInterbrew
had 14 breweries across Russia and the
Ukraine. Then InBev wanted to use my
combination of technical expertise and
business management experience to work
within the Global Technology Development
team. That was another exposure to
new ideas and new countries.
Finally, in 2005, Guinness came looking
for me, and I joined Diageo in London,
working in International Beer Supply. In
2006, I became Supply Director, which I
think was the type of role that I had been
looking for all my life.
Continued on page 19
Continued from page 17
WOMEN IN BEER | profile
Nancy accepts the second annual Legend award at
BC Beer Awards 2019. Bottom: she celebrates with
colleague DeAnn Bremner. Photos: B. K. Smith/
What's Brewing and J. P. Grafstein/JustJash
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR
PASSION FOR BEER?
I think what I originally loved was the
combination of art and science. At that time
(do I sound old?) we didn’t know much of
what we do now about the science behind it.
We had to trust the expertise of the people
that we learned from. And gradually, I
realized the great pride in being able to watch
people enjoy the beer that I brewed and know
that I was contributing to their celebrations.
DO YOU FEEL RESPECTED IN
YOUR PRESENT ROLE? HOW
HAS THIS CHANGED OVER YOUR
40 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY?
I think there are two types of respect: respect
for position and respect for the person.
People who know me have the second, which
is more important to me. My CV acts as an
introduction to people who don’t know me
but understand that I wouldn’t have got
where I am unless I knew something.
I think that, in the brewing industry, what we
do and the passion that we all have for beer
is the same. We face the same challenges, but
the priorities differ depending on the scale
of the brewery. We always need to think
about what the right solution to the specific
situation is, which will depend on the size,
the priorities, the capabilities, the geographic
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT
BEING A MINORITY FEMALE
PRESENCE? DO YOU FIND
YOUR ROLE HAS BEEN A HELP
GETTING MORE WOMEN
When I started as a young woman, I think
I believed my gender wouldn’t make a
difference. My father always brought me up
to do whatever needed doing. I hope that I
have served as a role model to women and
that young women realize that there is a place
for them in this world.
IN 2018, YOU DECIDED TO LEAD
A PINK BOOTS BREW AT KPU.
DID YOU FEEL THAT IT WAS A
BENEFIT TO THE WOMEN AT
I had a great time with all the women who
came to Langley last March 8. We also invited
the senior women from the other faculties at
KPU and I think that we opened their eyes
to what we were doing. In everything in life,
community is the source of much support
so the more we can build that community,
the stronger we will be together and as
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE
FEMALE IN THE INDUSTRY AND
Professor Inge Russell for her
ground-breaking research and persistence
in being a world-renowned researcher.
Claire Wilson for starting her own brewery
(Dogwood Brewing). Julia Hanlon
(Steamworks Brewing) for showing that you
can have a family and be a great brewer and
leader. Karyn Westmacott for her continued
passion on making better beer. And all
my wonderful female students who are so
successful. If I start calling them out, I’ll miss
some and I don’t want to do that. They know
who they are.
DO YOU HAVE ANY
SUGGESTIONS FOR WOMEN
GETTING INTO THE INDUSTRY?
Keep encouraging them, let them see the
successful women in our industry and know
that they can do it. Build a community that
they can see themselves as part of.
ANY GOALS FOR YOURSELF OR
My goals are for the continued success of
the program, for our ability to develop
the brewers that the industry needs going
forward, and to get to a gender-balanced
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BEER
OF THE BREWERY AND WHY?
KPU is always brewing new beers. Right
now, I have been drinking the Birra Rossa
that won at the BC Beer Awards.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BEER
OUTSIDE OF YOUR BREWERY
I have different beers that I drink depending
on the occasion. That is the joy of the craft
beer movement now; there are always new
things to try. So, I really move around to see
what others are doing. But there will always
be a soft spot for Guinness in my heart.
How can you not love a brand that has been
around for 250 years?
Lundy is a founder of CAMRA BC's
Vancouver chapter, Barley's Angels'
Pink Pints Chapter and BC
Craft Beer Month, Past President
of CAMRA BC, and the first ever
recipient of the very same BC
Beer Awards Legend award that
Nancy just won.
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 19
AN IN-CIDER'S VIEW | cider
>> JEFF NAIRN
You see the most when you’re really looking.
Our journey started over two years ago when my wife
Nathaly and I took a serious leap from home cider
production to a fully-fledged cidery, using apples from
city trees. The first promising tree we found was along Grandview
Highway, back from the road with a heck of a lot of apples that
seemed ready for picking at the end of August 2017. There are about
seven trees on that stretch—a mix of yellow crab apples and red
and green apples—but this one looked like the safest bet. Other
trees overhung the busy road and picking them would surely have
involved death-defying stunts.
The seed from an apple is a hybrid of its parents, like human babies.
That Grandview tree likely grew from a discarded apple core, and
we have no idea what kind it was; our best guess is a Baldwin cross.
We picked about 80 pounds from that tree: enough to ferment our
first 20 litres of 100% East Van Cider.
For the past three summers we’ve cycled up and down alleyways,
mapping apple trees. Last year we picked 1,000 pounds of
apples from about 25 trees throughout Vancouver, and this year
it grew closer to 4,000 pounds. This has opened our eyes to the
huge abundance of fruit growing just over our heads. This city
has hundreds of trees and many urban orchards growing with no
pesticides or pruning. Amazingly, many of these trees are heritage
varietals—Winesaps, Cox’s Orange Pippins, Winter Banana—
planted dozens of years ago by newcomers to the city.
One stretch of East 17th Avenue is lined with 15 apple trees. As far as
I can tell, they are Gravensteins. The trees are completely unpruned
and growing wild. In the autumn, Knight Street is lined with these
apples; they fall to the pavement and roll down the hill to meet their
fate. Along the way, they hit cars or roll through people’s yards. As
far as I can tell, no one knows how this urban orchard got there. The
City of Vancouver’s database of trees on public property lists the
species as Malus pumila but has no indication of when they were
planted. And that’s just one urban orchard we’ve visited.
There’s an ongoing project to rehabilitate the Copley Community
Orchard, located beside the SkyTrain line just north of Trout Lake.
A community group has been pruning and picking the older trees
in the park and planting and nurturing new trees. The group hosts
a pick-and-press in the fall and is always looking for help. Another
local community group maintains a small orchard in China Park
One tree we’re especially fond of is on the way to our daughter’s
school in East Vancouver. The tree is old and, up until this past year,
was unpruned. The tenants of the property started taking care of
the tree last year and it now grows a lot of fruit. We’ve been told
it’s a Winesap apple tree, and this past year we picked close to 500
pounds from it and helped clean up fallen apples from their yard.
We’ve also found and picked a gigantic tree in the back yard of a
20 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20 2018
Apple trees on Knight Street
convent in New Westminster, and an absolute giant of a tree in the
back yard of a stately home in Shaughnessy, among others.
The theme here is food waste and food security inside of our
city. Most of the fruit from these apple trees, as well as plums,
quince, pears, grapes and more, typically goes into the dumpster.
Fallen fruit attracts rats and racoons in the city, and bears on the
North Shore. It’s a shame that it creates such a problem, waste and
otherwise, but a family (or group of families) can only eat so many
apple pies and bottles of apple sauce every year.
Across the country, Canadians waste over $30 billion worth of
food per year. That is 47% of all the food produced in Canada,
which becomes over 25% of residential garbage in the city. We’re not
dealing with a lack of food supply, it’s a lack of proper distribution
that leaves people hungry.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
The Vancouver Tree Fruit Project, headed by Maddie Hague,
collects unwanted fruit every year. They have a volunteer list
of close to 650 people, organized under eight pick leaders. The
picked fruit is donated to 17 community groups like Cedar
Cottage Neighborhood House and to charities like the United
Gospel Mission. Since they started in 1999, they have picked
over 70,000 pounds of fruit. This year alone, 61 picks gathered
4300 pounds — their best haul since 2014. There are groups in
Victoria and North Vancouver that also run the same sort of
If you want to get involved, here are some great resources to
• Vancouver Tree Fruit Project
• Find out what species your apple is:
• City of Vancouver list of street trees:
• A map of fruit trees on Vancouver public property:
is the co-founder of Windfall Cider, a craft cider producer
based in East Vancouver. His column tackles items fermented,
not brewed, focussing on issues related to BC's
burgeoning craft cider industry.
dark & SilkY
A Spotlight on Porter
Beer photography by Abby Wiseman
CHRIS BONNALLIE IS YOUR
CRAFT BEER EXPERT AT LEGACY
Got questions about craft beer? Talk to Chris!
LEGACY LIQUOR STORE
1633 Manitoba Street
Vancouver, BC V5Y 0B8
THIS ISSUE'S PANELISTS
WARREN ADAM ABBY MIKE CARNELL
Warren Boyer: BJCP Certified award-winning home and
commercial brewer, past President of CAMRA Vancouver and
Pacific Beer Chat member
Adam Chatburn: home and commercial brewer, cellarman, WB
columnist and past President of CAMRA Vancouver
THE ORIGINAL MACRO BEER
n 18th century London, before it became a beer, Porter first
meant "a labourer who carries things around at, say, the
docks." When a trend toward stronger, dark brown beer
developed that century, it took its name from those thirsty
workers because this is the style they drank...and they drank a lot
Considered by many to be the first industrially-brewed beer, its
demand created monster breweries in England (eg, Whitbread)
and Ireland (Guinness). Porter's value stemmed from its ability to
provide malty sugars (and a hit of alcohol) to those coping with a
bruising physical workload.
Once porter achieved its massive popularity, it gave name to a
place to drink it ('porter house'), a food (the steak), and an even
more dominant beer style ('Stout Porter', now just Stout). Its demand
was not without repercussions: raise a glass to those who
lost their lives in the most famous beer flood in history.
Abby Wiseman of Small Batch Vancouver reviews food & drink
Mike Garson, legendary founder of Mike's Craft Beer, Pacific
Beer Chat and Brew Crime, and occasional event judge
Carnell Turton of Breward Inlet: if the beer isn’t good he’ll say it
Congrats to Four Winds for brewing a porter that
took first place hands-down amongst our panel.
We thank all participating brews, including the ones
which deviated from core style for the sake of variety.
Scoring involves these five categories, for a total possible score of 30.
For a full list of individual scores, turn to next page.
WHAT WE SAMPLED
The beers evaluated this round included:
1. Backcountry Prestige Worldwide Robust 6.0%
2. Coal Harbour Charcoal Porter 5.8%
3. Dead Frog Black Frost Dry Hopped Porter 6.0%
4. Driftwood Blackstone Porter 6.0%
5. Four Winds Oat Porter 5.5%
6. VIB Nanaimo Bar Imperial Porter 8.2%
BALANCE: MALT VS. HOP
Porter, like many English ales, is originally a very malty style.
Pie chart tip: start at top of legend and work clockwise
from 45 degree mark (3 o'clock) >>
As noted already: porter was always meant to be a highly drinkable style.
WB SPRING TASTING PANEL RESULTS. MAXIMUM SCORE = 30
Backcountry Prestige ROBUST 21.0/30
2.2/3 3.6/6 2.0/3 5.6/8 7.6/10
Coal Harbour Charcoa
Note: neither What’s Brewing nor Legacy Liquor Store bear responsibility for the opinions expressed within, which are solely those of the individual panelists..
Deep dark brown with a rocky tan head. Head dissapeared quickly
with little lace. Roasted malt with light caramel flavours.
A great package from Backcountry. Great to see their stouts can hang
with their IPAs.
It’s a very complex beer with lots of high citrusy notes and a bitter
finish. I find it a bit unbalanced and feel like it could be rounded out
with more malt.
While I would not say this is a perfect robust porter (for me) it was
an enjoyable brew. It just seems to have more bitterness than I would
My wife says I may be scoring Porters low because I wish they were
stouts. While that may be true, if they all hit the bar Backcountry has
maybe I wouldn't be so Team Stout.
Driftwood Blackstone 22.6/30
2.4/3 4.4/6 2.2/3 6.0/8 7.6/10
Deep brown to black with a deep tan head. Roasty, coffee, chocolate.
Not sweet. Bold.
A really great porter, just the right blend of chocolate and treacle, thick
dark head and easy to drink. Excellent.
Generally a nice beer. Very middle of the road and sippable, but not
Seems more bitter than I would expect for a standard porter.
Toasty and roasty, without being so bold in any one area as to be
off-putting. A fine example of the style.
Deep brown with a rocky
with balanced hop bitterne
Really interesting beer; act
unexpected. Has a peculiar
Nice drinkable porter. Not
Just the right amount of bitt
brew. Definitely a well-mad
I taste the charcoal and som
love it to be more bold and
Four Winds Oat Porte
Deep brown to black with
Roasted coffee and chocol
Four Winds still crushing
Nicely balanced. Not ove
This is definitely a great o
zy beers and standard bee
When I reach for a Porter
body paired with nice roa
of oats, which imparts a ro
the Backcountry offering.
Adam Abby Mike Carnell
SEE WWW.WHATSBREWING.CA/TASTING-PANEL FOR FULL SET OF SCORES
2.0/3 5.8/8 7.4/10
Dead Frog Black Frost 18.0/30
2.6/3 3.8/6 1.8/3 4.6/8 5.2/10
tan head. Some lacing. Roasty and malty
ual charcoal at the bottom of the glass was
, slightly pleasant grittiness.
sure about where the charcoal fits in.
erness to match with the sweetness in this
e dark chocolate which is fine, but I would
robust. As it is, it leaves me wanting more.
Hazy deep brown with a rocky tan head. Balanced hop presence.
The hops are a nice wrinkle, but as it warmed up toward the porter
flavours, the hops didn't help.
Didn’t love it. Hops left an odd sort of soapy aftertaste.
Definitely feels like it is more on the Black IPA or Cascadian Dark Ale
side than a Porter, for the amount of bitterness it has.
Juicy dark fruit flavours are most noticeable but not very welcome
in this Porter, which lacks the rich roasty flavours of a typical Porter.
This would be an interesting take on a Cascadian Dark Ale.
2.6/3 6.6/8 8.2/10
VIB Nanaimo Bar Imperial 19.0/30
2.4/3 3.6/6 2.0/3 5.2/8 5.8/10
a deep tan head. Decent lacing.
ate. Fruity with a bit of sweetness.
it: a great Porter all round.
rly intense in flavour, which makes it an
ne from a brewery that can make both crars
, this is the flavour profile I look for. Solid
sty malts. Really benefits from the addition
bust body, although not quite as robust as
Deep dark brown with a tan head. Some lacing. Vanilla and coconut
are subtle yet present. Roasted coffee notes and some warmth.
Mercifully, not too sweet. Another great entry from VIB, although it
didn't really give me a huge 'nanaimo bar' experience.
The malts fell flat in flavour, making for too much bitterness.
For a beer called Nanaimo Bar Porter, this beer tastes almost nothing
like a Nanaimo Bar and is quite bitter.
For my tastes this is a fine porter with a decent body. But am I missing
something? Where is that Nanaimo bar at?
Appearance Aroma Palate/Mouthfeel Flavour
ULLAGE & SPILLAGE | opinion
Serving it Righteously
>> J. RANDOM
Change is good, as long as it represents progress (as
defined by me, of course). Self-serve craft beer bars are
progress, particularly for those of us not endowed with
patience. Rumours of their existence began filtering out
of the country to the south of us a few years ago, but only recently
did I get a chance to check them out. A trip to Denver for some
serious beer tourism had to include stops to see two different
systems in operation.
Pushing your fancy glass down
onto the unit opens the valve in
the bottom of the glass and starts
the flow of beer. Back at your
table, your glass leaks onto your
pants because the valves aren’t
perfect and they don’t provide
At Broadway Market
First Draft Taproom and Kitchen is a craft beer bar in Denver’s
River North (RINO) district. RINO is an old industrial area full
of craft breweries, similar to Yeast Van, but with the bonus of
numerous bars and restaurants on the two main north-south streets.
At First Draft’s pay desk, you exchange your credit card for a fob
with an RFID chip. Applying the chip to the sensor next to the
tap of your choice activates that
tap. You pour any amount of beer
you want and are charged by
the ounce. You can have several
quick tasters or fill your glass, all
without waiting for a server. The
setup they have is from I Pour
It. Drink Command, ISuds, and
The Table Tap are three more
manufacturers of similar beerwall
systems. Some places use
cards or wristbands rather than
fobs, some work with an app
on your phone. In each case, the
electronics are sophisticated but
the taps are standard.
Closer to downtown Denver we
were guided to an even more
At First Draft Taproom and Kitchen
exotic system. Broadway Market is
like a food court, but with higher-class food and without the mall.
I suspected if I ate too much from one particular stall, my beard
would grow neater and bushier and I might develop a man-bun
in my bald spot. Again, you pick up an RFID card and you can
charge beer and food at any of the stalls. The big feature for us was
a Bottoms Up beer system with self-serve capability.
Fans attending games at BC Place will be familiar with Bottoms
Up dispensers where they are operated by serving staff. So when
are you going to be able to serve yourself at Lions and Whitecaps
games? The BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch said this
about how they’d respond to such an application:
• As part of government’s goals of safe establishments and
safe communities, self-service of liquor is not permitted in
• In order to serve alcohol, licensees are required to ensure it is
poured by employees who are qualified through the Serving
It Right program.
• This helps ensure that patrons are not over-served, and that
they do not put themselves in a position that threatens their
own safety or the safety of others.
And that’s pretty much what you’d expect them to say. BC’s glacial
liquor law transition after Prohibition has taken nearly 100 years
already, so don’t look for beer walls in this province any decade
The closest places for British Columbians to experience this
phenomenon are Downtime Taps in Bellingham WA and Barney’s
Pub and Grill in Leduc AB. Clearly these are both towns where the
drinkers are so much more adult and responsible than the general
public in BC. Let us know if you find somewhere closer!
is a former VP of CAMRA Vancouver, beer fan for 4 decades
and occasional homebrewer. Has been penning the
Ullage & Spillage column for What's Brewing since 2003.
26 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
THE DEATH OF CASKS
and my part in their downfall
Central City Summer Cask Festival 2018
>> ADAM CHATBURN
In 2013, I became president of the
Vancouver branch of the Campaign
For Real Ale BC (CAMRA BC), with
a mandate of modernization, greater
consumer advocacy, and membership
growth. I also had a private agenda: to
advance “real ale” in BC by curating cask
festivals, promoting cask nights, and
supporting establishments with a cask
focus. I took the “RA” in “CAMRA” to
Beer in BC has generally been served in
artificially-carbonated kegs rather than
naturally-conditioned casks. Craft brewers
keen to show off their art have produced
a few casks, particularly at brewpubs
and occasionally at beer festivals.
(CAMRA BC has always supported cask
events but, unlike the original CAMRA
UK, was never dogmatic about only promoting
By 2013, cask nights were everywhere.
Increasing the size and scope of the CAM-
RA Session Cask Festival may have boosted
the momentum of other cask events
such as the massively popular biannual
Central City Cask Festival and Hoppapalooza
at the Alibi Room. We helped
increase the attendance of cask meetups
at the Railway Club, Yaletown Brewing,
St. Augustine’s, The Whip, and others.
CRAFT Beer Market, Tap and Barrel
Olympic Village and Main Street Brewing
opened with casks on the menu; even
Parallel 49 Brewing put a beer engine in
their tasting room. Things seemed rosy
for casks when I left CAMRA after two
years to pursue my next phase in cask
domination: opening Real Cask at Yeast
Van’s Callister Brewing Co.
I spent my last farthing on casks, hops,
and sparklers, bringing a mix of classic
real ale and some new-world cask craziness
to Yeast Van. (Huge thanks to everyone
who contributed to my Kickstarter).
Word got around to the real ale enthusiasts
of the Pacific Northwest that something
was happening. A number of bars
approached me to have casks on tap but
I was careful to not overreach our miniscule
(7 hectolitres per month) capacity or
leave the Callister taproom short. I also
politely refused to supply those who had
no appropriate equipment or those lacking
interest in, or knowledge of, proper
The author debuts Real Cask at
CAMRA Session Cask Fest, summer 2015
I offered training where possible, but
as I learned during my brief time as a
publican in Vancouver, staff turnover is
a massive problem. (I do love to teach,
but enthusing about a thousand years of
brewing history to largely-uninterested
servers every other month is not exactly
fun.) I decided to keep only a few key taps
and ensure they were well-served and
During my three years at Real Cask, I only
occasionally supplied cask nights at other
places. Some places did not serve the
cask the way I felt it should have been
done (see my rants in early issues of WB).
I had my casks at festivals that passed
my quality tests, but these dwindled in
number and scope. Usually the casks for
these events were created from beer already
on tap at supplying breweries, and
some establishments expected them for
free. Economically, cask nights weren’t
profitable for me once I considered all the
costs. Hopefully they acted as an advertisement
for the Callister tasting room,
where I served cask beer the way I believe
it should be done. However, as everyone
knows, exposure doesn’t pay the bills.
In my last year with Real Cask (2017–
2018), I noticed a sharp drop-off of cask
nights around Vancouver. When the Alibi
Room quietly phased out their cask
program, the writing was on the wall.
Yaletown, CRAFT Beer Market, Railway
Club, St. Augustine’s, even Sundays at
The Whip, have all ended in quick succession.
Parallel 49’s new Street Kitchen
has 40 taps, but none are for casks. A few
establishments keep their beer engines as
breweriana furniture, but those previously
proud pumps are now just dusty relics
of a now unfashionable boondoggle.
I must, however, give serious props to
those who nevertheless persist in doing
great cask work, such as Sundown Brewing,
my old friend Bill Riley at Main Street
Brewing, and Moody Ales.
Cask festivals are now also few and far
between. The lovely folks at Tri-Cities
Cask Festival Society enjoyed great success
but have switched gears to open their
own brewery in Port Moody; at the time
Continued on page 28
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 27
A VIEW FROM THE CELLAR | opinion
Continued from page 27
of writing there are no cask events scheduled. Central City’s
semi-annual cask events have bounced around two different locations
but don’t attract as many fervent cask fans as in the past.
The only other cask event in the GVRD is Caskapalooza at CRAFT
CAMRA BC appears to have given up on organizing cask festivals.
The Powell River Craft Beer Festival, originally created by that
now-defunct local CAMRA branch, now operates independently
(as does Great Canadian Beer Festival, originally created by
CAMRA Victoria). CAMRA Vancouver’s tradition of Caskivals is
gone along with their former home, DIX BBQ & Brewery.
For many brewers, casks
are a big headache; they
resent having to fill pins
or firkins and come
up with ways to make
them different from the
base beer they’ve spent
months or even years
perfecting. As most are
trained in the art of keggery,
some resent the
unpredictable nature of
casks. There’s a longtime
dirty secret of casks being
filled with carbonated
beer from a keg. More
recently, there’s a trend
of blending two beers,
The author at Central City Cask Fest in 2016
most likely keg dregs,
into a cask. I’m not sure what the idea is, but it smacks of laziness
and is the antithesis of real ale.
While casks fade into obscurity in the Lower Mainland they remain
in some measure around the province, but as with many
beer trends I have a sneaking suspicion that over time they will
follow GVRD’s lead. Kegs and cans will continue their march of
destiny over the real ale that CAMRA UK was founded to protect
almost 50 years ago.
Changes in taste might be one reason for the decline. Drinkers
whose preference leans to lager, cloudy IPA, or sours seem to
have no interest in casks. Another reason might well be the North
American obsession with carbonation—something casks can’t do
well. There’s also a consistency problem. There have been plenty
of bad casks; even the best festivals have only had about a 75%
strike rate in my opinion.
But I think the main problem is that the poor cask handling at
many pubs and events has made people think they don’t like
casks. And that’s a perfectly reasonable response to many of the
chewy, lumpy abominations that have been served.
I tried my best, but it seems casks are on the way out. If there’s a
positive to take from this, it’s that there’s so much variety now (in
both beer styles and events) that a cask, previously an interesting
and unique creation, simply gets lost in the shuffle. They had a
great run and while they’ll persist in a few places, their decline is
well underway. Farewell, my firkin lovelies.
PREMIUM QUALITY | DOMESTIC VALUE | GREAT BEER!
1381 Adanac Street, Vancouver, BC | offtherailbrewing.com
We are Northwest Hop Farms—a full-service hop farm and
hop distribution company based in beautiful
British Columbia, Canada.
From our family farm in Chilliwack, we harvest, package,
and ship hops to 17 countries worldwide. In addition to
our own hops, we partner up with the best farmers in B.C.,
U.S.A., and around the world, to offer over 180 varieties of
quality hops to the brewing industry.
Our mission is to raise the profile of our many partner
farmers in the area, as well as to promote the resurgence
of hop farming in British Columbia. We are incredibly
passionate about hops and the craft brewing industry and
we are excited to share our passion with you!
NORTHWEST HOP FARMS
604-845-7974 • firstname.lastname@example.org
is former president of CAMRA Vancouver. Follow him at
@real_cask on Instagram and @realcask on Twitter. He
doesn’t post very much but when he does it’s awesome.
28 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
BRING YOUR PORTER TO THE SLAUGHTER | opinion
On the Folly of Wax Dipping
>> ED KAYE
It’s that wonderful time of year when breweries inundate us
with big boozy beers like imperial stouts, barley wines, baltic
porters, wee heavys, eisbosks, wheat wines, quads, golden
strongs… I might be drooling on my keyboard a bit right now.
There’s nothing like walking into the liquor stores and seeing the
shelves stacked with gorgeous wax-capped bottles filled with highgravity
delights. I really love the way they look and appreciate all
the work that goes into hand-dipping them. But when I’m two
barley wines deep and trying to hack through the wax with a knife
or melt it off with a flame, I remember that I kinda hate these stupid
“But Ed,” you protest, “wax dipping bottles allows you to put your
beers in the cellar, so they can be aged and matured for several
years!” Well, I call B.S. on that!
The argument is that the wax impedes the ingress of air into the
bottle, preventing oxidation. But don’t crimped crown caps already
serve that function? Are we expected to believe that a thin layer of
wax is less permeable to air than a thick piece of steel? Seems legit!
No proper scientific studies have ever been conducted on the
efficacy of wax dipping beer bottles at preventing oxidation.
And even if it were proven effective, most oxidation is caused
by dissolved oxygen that is already in the beer, or trapped in the
headspace before sealing.
And why do we even age beers? Putting aside the fact that many
people age beers that really don’t need to be aged, or that just plain
shouldn’t be aged (I’ll save that for a separate rant), we want to allow
certain harsh flavours and aromas to become more subtle. Is your
American barley wine too hoppy and bitter, your 16% Bourbon
Barrel Aged Imperial Stout too boozy? Leave it to age for a few
years, and in theory you will be left with something akin to the
nectar of the gods.
We’ve inherited this from the wine world: the idea of a cellar packed
full of rare libations, waiting for the perfect time to be opened and
enjoyed. Apart from the fact that most beer nerds use the cupboard
under the sink to age beers rather than a vaulted cellar, there’s a
very important distinction between these two worlds: when you
store beer, you should always stand it upright, to prevent the metal
cap from contaminating the beer; when you age wine, you should
store it on its side. Taking inspiration from the latter, traditional
Belgian lambic producers actually put corks in their beer and even
recommend storing them horizontally.
Want to know why they recommend this? First you want to stop the
cork drying out, but also, you want to increase the surface area of the
liquid exposed to the oxygen in the bottle. Wait, what? Why would
you want that? It’s because you actually want a little oxidation! It’s
part of what causes beer to ”age”—though there are several other
factors at play in the process.
To sum: if you want your beer to change with age, you actually need
a little oxidation—you don’t want to hermetically seal it away from
the ravages of time. That’s why we do this after all, we don’t want it
to taste the same as it did on the day we bought it. Plus, wax sucks
at what it is supposed to do anyway. My vote is for cork and cage;
those Belgians know what they are doing!
Still, there is something breathtaking about a thick drip of wax
running down a bottle label. With the shift to canning, I wonder
when we will start to see wax-dipped cans. That sounds like a fresh
vision of hell!
is an Associate Editor at What's Brewing and writes the
weekly Events column for Hopline e-news. He operates
the amazing blog Bring Your Porter To The Slaughter.
Image: Fernie Brewing
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 29
C A N A D I A N C R A F T T O U R S
Brewery Tours | Winery Tours | Food Tours | City Tours
Vancouver | Victoria | Whistler | Squamish | Kelowna | Penticton | Calgary
G I F T C A R D S + T O U R S
H O L I D A Y P A R T I E S | S T A F F E V E N T S | B I R T H D A Y S | B A C H E L O R / B A C H E L O R E T T E S
P R I V A T E & P U B L I C T O U R S A V A I L A B L E
www.CanadianCraftTours.ca | www.BcBreweryTours.ca
“I wouldn’t let anyone
else touch my handles.”
- Marc Roberts, co-founder Backcounty Brewing Co.
See us for
for the holiday
2019-11-04 9:16:56 AM
CRAFT Beer Market: Gift Card Bonus!
Gift and you shall receive! This holiday season, receive a
bonus $10 gift card for every $50 worth of gift cards purchased.
Available in-store or online!
CRAFT Beer Market: 85 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver BC
Because sometimes It’s Good To Be Empty-Handed!
Where do lucky people at beer festivals get those amazing
handsfree tasting glass holders you've seen? From us! Completely
adjustable, holds any size glass from tiny taster to fullsized
Only $10, including tax & shipping within Canada! What a great
stocking stuffer for a beer lover. whatsbrewing.ca/beercaddy
What's Brewing: One year home delivery!
Like to read What’s Brewing in hardcopy? Don’t
blame you; it’s fabulous in its glorious glossy printed
format. Gift a year of home delivery (4 quarterly
issues) including postage for only $20.
Fully adjustable Beer Caddy holds any size of tasting glass
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
BC Brewery Winter Boxes!
Great Canadian Outdoor Adventure Pack from
Central City Brewing
Come along on a craft beer adventure
with 24 days of delicious, never
before experienced craft beers
in 500mL cans. From fruit
flavor infusion to barrel aged
beers and cocktail inspirations,
this advent calendar is
your ticket to counting down
towards the holidays with 24 brand
new Red Racer beers.
Space Case by
Beer. It's the most convenient gift for both the
giver and the recipient.
Gone are the days when anyone has "tried
all the beers out
there." Here are
some beer and
cider gifts for
mystery pack to date
includes 12 x 650ml
exclusive and never released
beers from our
tasting room crammed
into one limited edition case.
Out of this world and into your fridge.
Holiday Gift Baskets from Legacy Liquor Store!
Legacy is making gift-giving easy with custom beer baskets. Have
a beer style or brewery in mind? Their beer team will work with
you to put together the perfect gift. Or choose one of the readyto-crack
set at legacyliquorstore.com/shop
Merridale Craft Cider
Merridale’s iconic Scrumpy and Cyser ciders are robust
and distinctive. Perfect winter sippers, Scrumpy is a dry, yet
full-bodied barrel-aged cider and Cyser is rich and bold
with apple blossom honey.
Dead Frog: Seasonal Beers and Mixer Packs!
Give the gift of extraordinary craft beer this holiday season.
Winter beers like our Mandarin Orange Kettle Sour and
Nutty Uncle Peanut Butter Stout are the perfect gift for the
craft beer lover in your life! Find our brews in bottles, cans,
and the Dead Frog Dozen Mixer Pack. deadfrog.ca
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
TOURing & TASTING
A gift card for a brewery tour is a super way to
treat a loved one to a great day or night out on
the town (especially if you get to come along).
So are early bird beer festival tickets!
3rd Annual Craft Beer and Wilderness Retreat!
Craft Beer and Wilderness, June 6-10, 2020 at the Nootka
Sound floating fishing resort, is a world-class, all-inclusive
luxury wilderness foodie retreat paired with beer. 5 days, 4
nights, 20 taps, 3 brewers from Gigantic, Steamworks and
Strange Fellows, along with 4 chefs, 2 Certified Cicerones,
2 Registered Massage Therapists, 1 naturalist, 1 historian, 2
hosts and 35 lucky guests combine to create an unforgettable
food and beer experience unlike anything else!
Book by Jan 1, 2020 to Save $500.
Vancouver Brewery Tours
What to get for the beer lover who has all the "stuff"?
How about the ultimate craft beer experience with
Vancouver Brewery Tours. Gift Certificates are available for
purchase in our online shop and make the perfect
Canadian Craft Tours
Give the gift of a libation experience this Holiday season. Gift
cards give that special someone a night out with friends or
to meet new people while having an entertaining and educational
experience at local breweries or wineries.
$5 OFF All-Access and General Admission tickets with promo code WHATSBREWING2020
Beer in the mountains -
it just feels right!
Join us on September 19 & 20
for the Whistler Village Beer Festival.
The Great Okanagan Beer Festival,
presented by The Train Station Pub, is
returning to Kelowna on May 9th.
Last year sold out so get your tickets now!
Over 40 breweries will come together
#Fortheloveofbeer at the 3rd annual
Clover Valley Beer Festival, presented by
The Property Twins, on August 8, 2020!
25th Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale
Join us for our biggest party yet on April 17 & 18 in Penticton!
Early Bird tickets on sale just in time for the holiday season.
Early Bird until Jan 15: $25 Single Day or $42 Weekend Pass
Sip and stay packages starting at $120! .
Tickets on sale December 1st at www.festofale.ca
Victoria Beer Week 2020
Victoria Beer Week is back! With over 14 events across
9 days featuring 50 BC craft breweries, tickets to VBW 2020
are the perfect gift for the beer lover in your life.
Tickets on sale Nov 29th at www.victoriabeerweek.com
36 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
TP-WhatsBrewing-Red-Ad2-1.pdf 1 2017-08-13 6:55 PM
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
>> TED CHILD
If you’re shopping for a BC beer lover this season and they
haven’t read Island Craft by Jon C. Stott then congratulations—
your search for the perfect gift is over. (For an extended
review and why this book is a must read, see my article in the
Summer 2019 issue of What’s Brewing.) However, if you're looking
for even more books about drink to gift this season, there is much
to think about. With the golden age of beer in full swing, there has
also been a revolution in craft spirits. Publishers have taken notice,
and it’s been good year (or two) for books about spirits, specifically
BOOKS ABOUT BEER
However essential the BJCP style guidelines are, they are not great
fun to read. The Brewers Association’s style guide, The Guide
to Craft Beer, is just as informative but is an easier and a more
engaging read. Fifteen style families are broken down into 81 styles
and the listings are very up to date. As the title implies, this book
focuses primarily on modern craft beer and the latest interpretations
of styles, without getting bogged down in historical detail. The
listings also include glassware and food pairing suggestions, unlike
the BJCP guidelines. But the Guide to Craft Beer’s finest characteristic
may be its dimensions: it’s perfect to pop in your purse or pants
pocket on the way to the festival, bottle shop, or taproom.
Beer at My Table by Canadian chef Tonia Wilson is the beer
cookbook you’ve been waiting for. The opening chapters are some
of the best explanations of beer and food pairings you’ll find. The
recipes are mouthwatering, approachable, and motivating, and
each is paired with a classic beer style. Wilson recommends a
specific product with each recipe but also suggests some backups
and explains why that beer and that beer style pairs well with the
recipe. For anyone interested in beer and food pairings, I cannot
recommend this book enough.
A bit further afield we have Viking Age Brew: The Craft of Brewing
Sahti Farmhouse Ale by Mika Laitinen. Sahti is one of the most
unique beer styles in existence today and provides a look at one
of the last remaining preindustrial brewing cultures. Much like
Jeff Alworth’s Brew Masters, you would be greatly diminishing
Laitinen’s work if you just thought of this as a home brewing book
on a very obscure style. Almost three-quarters of the book explores
the tradition and culture of Sahti brewing; only the last bit is devoted
to doing it yourself.
Laitinen knows his subject very well, having spent extensive time
with the Sahti masters, thoroughly investigated the ethnographic
data, and brewed the beer himself. The bibliography is impressive.
Even if you only have a passing interest in Sahti and pre-modern
brewing, this book may have you thinking seriously about that
stovetop kitchen recipe.
BOOKS ABOUT SPIRITS
For the English Lit majors on your list, look no further than A
Sidecar Named Desire: Great Writers and the Booze That Stirred
Them. There are undoubtedly many great beer, wine, and spirits
writers both past and present, but none of them are James Joyce,
William Faulkner or Carson McCullers. However intimate the
relationship between humankind and alcohol, it’s even more
pronounced between great artists, particularly writers, and booze.
Alcohol was often important, if not essential, to many great writers’
processes. Not all of these stories end well (for example, Malcolm
Lowry). This extensively illustrated book distills what the great
writers had to say about booze. Want to know where Maya Angelou
kept her sherry? How about Jane Austen’s recipe for spruce beer?
You’ll find them here.
I am fond of the writing of Stephen Beaumont (as I wrote in my
article in the 2018 issue of What’s Brewing), and was excited
when Stephen told me he was working on a book about Canadian
distilling. In Canadian Spirits, Beaumont teams up with wellknown
spirits writer Christine Sismondo to write the book that
was begging to be written. It’s a broad field, but this book avoids
becoming overwhelming by focusing on just the spirits that
distilleries believe most represent them. It’s a great way to discover
or rediscover some of the amazing and diverse spirits being made
in this country. Showcased within: the author of our next book.
So you have all these new and exciting choices in Canadian spirits,
but what to do with them? Let some of Canada’s best bartenders,
from small town to big city, give you some ideas. Great Northern
Cocktails is the new book by Shawn Soole, a fixture in the Victoria
cocktail culture and an essential participant in its ongoing evolution.
This book’s great strength, apart from the amazing recipes, is that
Soole leaves no reader behind. Each recipe is graded for difficulty
(with one, two, or three asterisks) and the book includes a nice mix of
all three levels. The preparation section is detailed and the glossary
will help even a novice. This book features some of Canada’s most
creative bartenders, but don’t let that intimidate you. The recipes
are tasty, and the short biographies of the bartenders are inspiring.
Your home bartending skills are about to get much better.
is a Recognized BJCP Beer Judge and award-winning
homebrewer. He is also What's Brewing's in-house book
reviewer. Look for his assessments of the latest beer
books and publications in each issue
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 37
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Need ideas for a thoughtful gift the homebrewer
in your life will use and appreciate?
We’re here to help.
- Warren Boyer, Homebrew Happenin's
Thermapen Mk4 is
a highly accurate
that gives a reading in 2
to 3 seconds.
The probe folds
into the body
in storage. I
keep mine in the
kitchen and use it
for cooking as well.
TILT Hydrometer is a free-floating digital
hydrometer and thermometer. This
device floats in your fermenter for
continuous real-time monitoring
of the gravity and
temperature. It connects
via Bluetooth to your
tablet or smart phone so you
can monitor and track progress
without needing to open
the fermenter. Cool gadget for
Every homebrewer can appreciate
a good pump.
The Blichmann Rip Tide
Brewing Pump is deluxe
option. I have a Chugger
Brew Pump that has been
great. And don’t forget the
fittings to connect the new
pump to the hoses that will connect
to a mash tun or kettle. The two
easiest to use types of fittings are Camlock
and Tri-Clamp. Preferences vary, so
maybe give a gift card for this.
Something every brewer needs.
A 25-kilogram bag of Bohemian
floor malted pilsner
from Weyermann would make
a lovely gift for the all-grain
Good things also come in small
packages. For example, packets
of dry yeast or one-ounce bags
of Cryo Hops can make for
and US-05 are
ale yeasts. The
S-04 is more
suited to British
the US-05 is
better for American style
W-34 is a
A good brewery cleaner like Powdered
Brewery Wash (PBW) makes
cleanup more effective. A quality
sanitizer such as Star San
will make sure the final
product is of the
and not tainted
Hops are commonly sold in 1-ounce bags. Cryo Hops—a concentrated
version of hop pellets— are a new thing your brewer might be delighted
to experiment with. Pro tip: pick a variety that starts with a ‘C’ if you’re
Books are always good, and brewing books are even better.
Brewers looking to improve their scores at homebrew contests
could benefit from Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning
Recipes Anyone Can Brew by John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff
or Designing Great Beers: The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Classic
Beer Styles by Ray Daniels.
Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide could be useful for a new
Adventurous brewers might enjoy Radical Brewing: Recipes,
Tales and World-Altering Meditations in a Glass by Randy
Advanced brewers will love the four-book Brewing Elements
series from Brewers Publications:
For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness
and the Culture of Hops.
Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers.
Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse.
Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation.
38 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
WE'RE OPEN IN OUR NEW LOCATION!
Same great prices and service, even better selection of grain,
hops and yeast!
Did we mention that real soon now you’ll be able to buy a beer while you’re here?
And that there will always be at least two pro brewers around to answer
questions—and sometimes as many as four or five? That’s because we’re also
going to become (very soon!) Port Moody’s next Craft brewery,
Fraser Mills Fermentation Co (FMFC). Our focus is going to be on making authentic,
delicious beer, cider, mead, and wine. And if you like that beer you tried in the tasting room,
why not pick up our recipe and ingredients and make it at home!
You’ll find us at 3044 St Johns Street
(2 Buildings east of our former location)
Want to know more and check on our progress?
Give us a Facebook like @frasermillsfc
check out frasermillsfermentation.com
or give us a call 604 461 8891
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 39
OUT & ABOUT | touring
ON WINTER, AND COLD
WEATHER BEER MEMORIES
>> SCOTTIE MCLELLAN
Winter can be a time to reflect on days past, when
one delighted in winter ales and warmers that took
the chill from the bones on long cold nights, while
bringing a glow of contentment we looked for in a
I have often travelled to the UK to be a beer tourist. Many of those
trips happened in winter, and it was a great joy to find pubs known
for good beers and go in for a pint or two of cheer. Coming into
historical premises on a cold night to a warm fire and taps of handpulled
real ales was always a joy. The British knew how to brew
beers designed for the cold winter nights and I cozied up to a few
in friendly locals up and down the country.
Winter ales were mostly spiced and flavourful ales brimming with
aroma and taste. Although UK beers were not strong, they were
a bit stronger in winter to bring that glow and cheer I described
The winter ales of this generation still tie in to the UK style
in many traditional offerings. The thing about growing older
and having memories, it allows me to be thankful for where
we are today, while having enjoyed the years of beer travelling in
a land that always had a beer for every season.
If you became known by the publican or landlord of the
establishment, you might be offered bottles of room-temperature
winter or spiced ale they kept on hand for the regulars—a kind of
honour for an outsider.
The UK was by no means the only country where I enjoyed winter
travels and spiced and warming winter beers. Almost every brewing
country in Europe offered something similar.
I travelled to Britain for the beer and pubs and the people we
could meet. We had nothing like it in Canada at the time, and these
experiences built and encouraged the resolve and dream of Canada
someday being what it is today; a place of good beer and good food,
good pub atmosphere and great socialization.
John Mitchell and I talked about these things on many occasions,
chatting about what beers from Dorset would be on offer and
talking fondly of the warm fires in the pubs on blustery nights.
“I was in this pub in Penzance one blustery night when...”
is a craft beer industry veteran and longtime supporter
of BC’s Craft Beer Movement. He has written for What's
Brewing for over a quarter century.
POWELL RIVER’S FRIENDLY
Each pub in each part of the country had its own special beers
it served in the cold winter months. Every region had traditions
regarding the ale and the way it was served, right down to the glass
it was served in.
40 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
of Craft Beer in the North
>> ADAM ARTHUR
As autumn turns to winter, beer folks look forward to
enjoying new beer releases at their local craft breweries,
craft-focused establishments, festivals, or at home by
the fire on a snowy night.
Winter in the north offers many delicious seasonals to enjoy.
Here in Prince George, Raven Schwartzbier by Trench Brewing &
Distilling is an absolute treat. The aptly named Cinders Red Rye
Ale from CrossRoads Brewing is great to sip by a nice glowing
fire. Snowdance Porter from Valemount’s Three Ranges Brewing is
absolutely delicious. The 52 Foot Stout from Quesnel’s Barkerville
Brewing is always something to look forward to. Finally, the
Blacksmith Brown Ale from Prince Rupert’s Wheelhouse Brewing
is perfect to enjoy in an Old English pub.
185 DAVIE STREET QUESNEL, BC
Toll Free: 1-855-922-7537
STAKE YOUR CLAIM
TO THE QUESNEL CRAFT BREWERY
WHOSE AWARD WINNING BEERS
TELL THE STORY OF BC'S HISTORIC
CARIBOO GOLD RUSH
• Licensed Lounge & Tasting Room
• Locally-Sourced Food & Snacks
• Kids & Pets Are Always Welcome
• Get Your Growlers Filled Today
The past few months have featured a number of terrific beer events in
the North. The first annual 100 Mile House Craft Beer Festival took
place in September, showcasing the town’s craft brewer, Jackson’s
Social Club & Brewhouse. Also in September, the creatively-named
first annual Liquefied Natural Grains (LNG) Beer Festival took
place in Fort St. John, BC. And the Williams Lake Beer Fest, hosted
by the Sugar Cane Development Corporation, took place in October,
featuring craft breweries from BC and beyond. This is a different
event from the annual Williams Lake Craft Beer Festival, which
is held every February. Looking forward, the annual Kiwanis Ale
Fest will be returning in Prince George in January.
In craft brewery and craft-focused tap house news, the owners
of the Roadhouse restaurant in Arras, west of Dawson Creek, are
planning to open the Post & Row Local Taphouse in Dawson Creek,
and a brewery is rumoured for this establishment, too. Black Sheep
Brewing will eventually become the third craft brewery in Fort St.
John. Ursa Minor Brewing is coming to Burns Lake, and there’s a
rumor about a craft brewery planned for Haida Gwaii.
With the variety of beer styles coming out of these amazing
craft breweries, the fantastic people who make up the craft beer
community, and the great places and events to enjoy it all, there’s
truly something to celebrate about Northern BC craft beer.
is a craft beer fan since 2010 who’s glad to represent
Northern BC and the city of Prince George. He supports
Independent craft breweries in (and outside of) BC.
BEERS TO TOAST YOUR ULTIMATE MOMENTS
623 8TH AVE N, GOLDEN, BC
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 41
BEERS, BEACHES & BREWERIES | regional report
TASTING WINTER IN PENTICTON
>> KIM LAWTON
The craft beer scene is awesome year-round in the Okanagan,
BC’s four-season playground. In the heart of wine country,
Penticton is quickly proving to be one of BC’s best craft
beer towns, with six (soon to be 7) breweries.
Construction at Penticton’s 7th brewery, Neighbourhood Brewing,
is well underway. It should be operational before Okanagan Fest
of Ale, coming up in April. In the meantime, Neighbourhood is
producing their beer at Bad Tattoo, so watch for it in cans at liquor
stores and on tap at restaurants around BC.
Penticton’s craft breweries are within a few minutes of each other,
so you can easily visit all of them. Pick up a Penticton Ale Trail
passport at any of the breweries, and get it stamped at each one for
your chance to win a quarterly Penticton Ale Trail prize package.
Download the BC Ale Trail app and collect points on your travels.
If you are coming from the Lower Mainland, take the scenic drive
along Highway 3 through Hope and stop at Oliver’s Firehall
Brewery. Seek out their Wolf Tree Coffee Company collaboration
called "WTF" Coffee Blonde (Wolf-Tree-Firehall), which will be out
in time for Christmas. They will also be launching a Scotch Ale
for Robbie Burns Night. Plan a winter getaway to coincide with
Firehall’s 1st annual Oliver Comedy Blizzard at the Oliver Theatre
on January 16th.
Head north from Penticton to Summerland to visit Detonate
Brewing’s new larger taproom, and recently-opened Breakaway
Brewing. There are also lots of exciting things happening in
Kelowna’s craft beer scene.
Combine your love of mountain life and craft beer at Brewski on
February 8th. Brewski is a super cool craft beer, spirits and cider
festival held at The Gunbarrel Saloon at Apex Mountain. Your
Brewski ticket also gives you a discount on lift passes. There is
nothing better than hitting the slopes during the day and enjoying
craft beverages, appies and live entertainment in the evening. This
event sells out quickly, so watch for tickets to go on sale in December
Excitement is already percolating for the 25th annual Okanagan
Fest of Ale on April 17th and 18th in Penticton. Early bird tickets
are on sale now, plus there are some great Sip & Stay ticket and
accommodation packages. Plan to join us in Penticton for the
biggest party yet and help us say cheers to 25 years! Whether you’ve
attended every Fest of Ale or you’ve never been, the 25th annual
festival is one to mark on your calendars now.
For those that want to get a head start on training, early bird
registration is underway for the June 13th Penticton Beer Run.
Enjoy a taste of Penticton with a number of delicious winter beers.
Bad Tattoo is launching a Finnish style Sahti in December. This
dark ale was brewed over Juniper branches. It’s a higher alcohol
beer great for the cold days of winter. Watch for it in 473ml cans
and on draught.
42 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
Festival goers are getting ready for Penticton's 25th annual
Okanagan Fest of Ale, April 17&18, 2020.
Sticking with the dark, soul-warming beer theme, the Barley Mill
will have an Irish Red Ale and their signature Filly Black Lager for the
winter, plus a busy events schedule to keep you hopping.
Cannery Brewing will have a variety of stouts to keep you warm.
Darkling Oatmeal Stout and Heist Maple Stout are both back in
473ml cans featuring new labels. Watch for the launch of Kindling,
a delicious Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, chocolate, oats and
coconut. It will be available in 473ml cans at private liquor stores
around BC in time for Christmas.
Highway 97 has three seasonal winter beers. Fresh Tracks Winter
Cream Ale features seasonal notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice,
clove and ginger. Bumbleberry Pie Saison is a Dutch-inspired saison
with late harvest berry fruit. Finally, watch for their Salted Chocolate
Porter, a light-bodied porter with a healthy dose of Himalayan salt
and chocolate malts.
Slackwater Brewing is heating things up with a new food menu,
table service and a full-on events calendar. They’ve got 3 new beers
including Idleback Amber and Solitude Amber Saison which will be at
select bars and restaurants across the Lower Mainland, Sea to Sky
country and the Okanagan. They are also launching a light-bodied,
yet complex and robust porter called Deepwater Porter on draught
and in 473ml cans.
Tin Whistle has released their winter stout called The Extortionist,
a hazelnut espresso using direct trade coffee beans from Seis Cielo
roastery in Penticton. Their popular Chocolate Cherry Porter will
also be back in time for Christmas. These beers will be available in
650ml bombers and on draught in the Okanagan and Vancouver.
Until next time, cheers!
is a craft beer fan, a long-time supporter of the craft beer
movement, President of CAMRA South Okanagan and
the Marketing Director at Cannery Brewing in Penticton.
Kim can be reached via Twitter @DogLegMarketing
HAVE CAMERA, WILL TRAVEL | touring
CRAFT BEER & WILDERNESS
A World-Class Experience in BC's Own Backyard
>> BRIAN K. SMITH
This past June, I returned to Nootka Sound on the west coast
of Vancouver Island for a very special event: the second
annual Craft Beer & Wilderness experience (CBW),
hosted by Brad and Dennyse Harris. On a beautiful sunny
morning in Comox, a group of avid beer and food lovers boarded a
bus for a five-day adventure.
The size of the event and the remoteness of the location brought
definite logistical challenges. There was the matter of transporting
the beer Brad collected from brewers on the Lower Mainland,
Sunshine Coast, and the Island. There was also the glassware
(1200 pieces), brewing equipment, kegerators, and other details to
take care of. The result of their dedication was a five-day itinerary
that allowed for education, exercise and relaxation, beer tasting
and exceptional food pairing experiences.
New at the event this year: a daily tasting session led by two Cicerones
® . Day One’s session focused on pilsners and lagers: a very
enjoyable way to get our feet wet. Most of the participants over 40
grew up on these styles of beers. After the hazy IPA trend, many
craft beer artisans seem to be focusing on pilsners, Kolsch and
lagers, which are a bit more challenging as they need to be fermented
and aged at cool temperatures.
Day Two’s tasting was IPAs. Everyone has their favorite IPA
and there is a lot of mainstream consumption of this style of ale.
They’re higher in alcohol, and our host noticed the volume level
of conversation in the room go up as the ales were consumed.
Fortunately, lunch was served right after.
The next day, our tasting session focused on sours. I have liked
them from the start, but many of my beer friends find them challenging.
There seemed to be a few more fans of the style by the
end of this educational tasting.
Each year, Brad invites three outstanding brewers to participate
in the brewing of a Nootka beer. Local botanicals scavenged from
nearby beaches and forests are used to create a unique brew that
is later shared with all those who attended. All three brewers collaborate
in the decision and Brad helps out with his ideas. This
is really at the heart of this experience. The three craft breweries
for 2019 were represented by Kent Courtice from Boombox, Tristan
Stewart from Luppolo Brewing Company/Temporal Artisan
Ales, and Brian MacIsaac and Lucas Parks from Crannog Ales.
Surprise guest: nano brewer Dave Paul from Love Shack Libations
in Qualicum. All the brewers brought lots of their highly
sought-after beers to share.
The food pairing was ramped up for year two. Breakfast was traditional,
but lunch and dinner were extravaganzas: ale cheeses,
beer burgers, foie gras, lamb and elk. Not only did the kitchen
work hard, but the smoker out on the deck produced the most
delicious creations each day.
After lunch and a presentation by a local historian, a group of
guests boarded a sport fishing boat for a 30-minute high-speed
trip to the entrance of Friendly Cove. There we visited a fallen
totem, a church, a lighthouse and the open Pacific Ocean beaches.
It was easy to imagine the Spanish fort in the entrance of the bay
and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht village of 1500 people that filled
the cove back in 1778 when Captain James Cook arrived.
Our final night included an amazing dinner: each course paired
with a beer presented by its brewer. It was about bringing together
all elements into each meal.
I had a chance to sit down with each of the brewers and talk about
their experiences at CBW 2019. Kent Courtice told me the brew
day was fantastic and a lot of fun. “My passion has always been
Continued on page 46
44 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
CRAFT BEER, FISHING, AND COMMUNITY.
We're Open and Brewing! Visit us at 760 Vaughan Ave, Kelowna, BC
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 45
Continued from page 44
homebrewing,” he related. “I like to see everyone set up. Everyone
does something different, has different equipment, different
techniques, but ultimately it makes a great beer, no matter how
you do it.” He enjoyed seeing Brad‘s setup.
Tristan Stewart talked about the food: “It has been unbelievably
good. Everything has been spectacular on the food side of things.
Talking to the guests about my food pairing and beer and the foie
gras was exciting.”
Brian MacIsaac mentioned getting to experience Tristan’s complex
beers, Kent’s from Boombox and Dave’s from Love Shack.
“All these people coming together from different backgrounds.
Feels like royalty.”
Lucas Parks was
blown away by the
skills of the kitchen
staff: “There was the
Back Hand of God glaze
on the lamb and
the brown ale cheese
on the IPA burgers. It
was olfactory hedonism
with local inspirations.”
Dave Paul really enjoyed
Breathtaking food & views
Cove excursion. “I
didn’t know what to expect, but having the informative, historical
talk in the morning, and then to go out and witness it and see
Friendly Cove, that’s special. I am really glad I bought Sanford’s
book. You can feel his wisdom, history, and inner calm as he sits
there with the great view, doing his work.” Dave called the Nootka
Sound Resort experience the next level of customer service and
satisfaction. “Just to be able to have this much beer variety, in this
setting; everything from ferrying around in boats, the food, the
rooms are luxurious with the best view around. Staff is here for
you 24/7 if you need something—it’s very impressive. I can’t wait
for next year.”
Famed brewers man the large brewing station
Brad told me the three brewers for CBW 2020 will be Julia Hanlon
(Steamworks), Iain Hill (Strange Fellows) and Ben Love
(Portland’s Gigantic Brewing). “There will be 20 taps of craft
beer on tap all retreat long. For CBW3 we will have two chefs
and a sous chef. As a bonus, Eric Patemen (Edible Canada) will
be joining us.”
He continues, “There will be theme nights including Japanesestyle
pub and Texas-style smoked meat pit. The two Cicerones ®
will be Adam Henderson (Superflux) and Stephanie Turcotte (Île
Sauvage). Stephanie is Vancouver Island’s only Advanced Cicerone
® . We will also be cracking the Magnum of barrel-aged beer
that has sat on the ocean floor for one year. Oh, and did I mention
a full-time naturalist and two massage therapists?”
Dennyse tells me that early bird tickets are sale priced through
December 31, 2019. It sounds like an experience not to miss.
Brad and Dennyse’s
passion for beer,
food, adventure, and
others has led them
to create this event.
Their goal is to offer
unique and intimate
that is educational
and recreational at
the same time. A big
Just a sample of the extensive beer menu part of the experience
is the chance to meet and
talk with leaders in the craft beer industry while relaxing on a
floating resort in the middle of pristine wilderness.
Brian K. Smith, MPA
is an accredited member of the BC Association of Travel
Writers, and is Chief Photographer for What's Brewing.
46 WHAT'S BREWING WINTER 2019-20
HOW TO NAME A BREWERY II:
BREWERY LOGOS OF BC
>> LEIF MILTENBERGER
When designing a logo for a brewery, it’s important
to have a good understanding of the market that
the brewery operates in or is launching in. So we
recently went looking for a collection of the logos of
all of the breweries in BC. When we couldn’t find one, we made our
own, with all 225 BC brewery logos in one place (October 2019).
We often say that branding
and packaging design need
to be considered in the
context in which they will
be required to perform. We
present this as a resource
for any brewery that’s
redesigning their logo or
about to enter the market.
We felt that the best way to
display all of these logos
was an interactive, filterable
list. On our website, each
brewery’s logo is tagged with
the categories that it fits into,
and you can click any of the
category buttons to filter the
With the filter buttons in the
online list, it’s fairly easy to
see where the whitespace is
when it comes to BC brewery
logo designs. Going after
certain categories that don’t
have many entrants could
be beneficial. Negative
Space or Monogram—lots
of opportunity in both of
those categories. That’s not
to say that you should aim for all that whitespace; some categories
could be empty for a reason (e.g. tall & narrow logos can be really
challenging to work with).
You should definitely pay attention to which categories have the
most entrants when considering a new logo design. Roughly 25% of
the breweries in BC have a circular logo. Do we really need another?
We’ve identified some patterns in this set of brewery logo designs.
20% of the breweries include images of beer ingredients, and 15%
have included their location. (This includes only examples when
it’s not already part of a brewery’s name.) 13% of the breweries in
BC have opted for a wordmark (a text-only logo).
It’s good to keep in mind the huge variation in size of the breweries
here. Some breweries in this list require more out of their logo than
others. We should hardly expect a small brewpub’s logo to be as
professional and effective as that of a regional brewery like Phillips
Brewing or Stanley Park.
If you’re considering using a large single letter as the basis of your
logo, it would be helpful to know about the ten other breweries in
BC already using the same approach. There are already two large
“B” logos. Going that route will not help you stand out.
About the Logo Grid
Handwritten: looking truly
handwritten, as opposed to
just a cursive typeface.
Monogram: A motif made
from two or more letters or
other graphemes to form one
Negative Space: Using the
space around and between
the subject(s) of an image
to create compelling visuals
that have dual or hidden
Logos based around a
cross, as discussed in a 2013
Emblemetric article. A few
BC breweries that launched
in the twenty-teens with
this approach have since
redesigned their logos.
Place Name: Breweries that
added their location to their
logo. Not including those
already named after theirlocation, like Coal Harbour.
Ingredients: Grain, hops etc added to logo.
Please let us know if you spot any errors, omissions, or
breweries no longer in operation. Also, you can download an
image with all of the logos in one grid, here.
is a Managing Partner at Hired Guns Creative, a small
but mighty design agency focused on providing branding
and packaging design for craft breweries. Hired Guns has
provided award-winning design to the beverage alcohol
sector since 2008.
WINTER 2019-20 WHAT'S BREWING 47