The Session Beer Craze Hits Vancouver

Photo credit: J R | Flickr

Photo credit: J R | Flickr

Among beer drinkers, Vancouver – in fact, the entire Pacific Northwest – has earned a reputation for making incredible West Coast-style IPAs (i.e. India Pale Ales).  These tend to be full-bodied beers, with a higher-than-average alcohol content and an unmistakable hoppiness.

But the thing is IPAs aren’t for everyone.  The bitter taste of the hops turns off lots of drinkers.  Not to mention that the beers can be so heavy – and so strong – that it can be hard to drink more than one or two at a time, especially in the summer heat.

The solution? Session beers.  Facing an IPA backlash, Vancouver microbrewers have turned their attention this summer to producing a crisper, more drinkable style of beer.  I’m not talking about anonymous light beers or the fruit-flavoured suds favoured by the university crowd.  Session beers are rich and flavourful without being overly heavy.  They’re crisp and balanced and – most importantly - you can drink more than one at a time because the alcohol content rarely exceeds five percent.

But I’ll let the pros at Beeradvocate.com describe: Continue reading:
The Session Beer Craze Hits Vancouver

Tickets on sale for BC Beer Awards and Festival, beer education classes

Last year's BC Beer Awards. Mike Victory photo.

Last year’s BC Beer Awards. Mike Victory photo.

Early bird tickets to the 5th Annual BC Beer Awards and Festival go on sale today (Tuesday, Aug. 19). Craft brewing across the province will be celebrated at the Oct. 25 event, which takes place at the Croatian Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive) in Vancouver. Besides tastings and awards, there will also be four education classes to help you become a more discerning beer drinker.

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Tickets on sale for BC Beer Awards and Festival, beer education classes

Hopping Around Vancouver Microbreweries

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Photo from the 33 Acres website

With a comprehensive offering of local ingredients, a notable desire to support local, and evolving provincial liquor laws, Greater Vancouver has seen a surge in microbreweries that shows no sign of slowing down.

Recent government announcements have unveiled plans to phase in the sale of beer, wine and spirits in British Columbia grocery stores and farmers markets, as well as new regulations around happy hour and larger site licenses at music festivals. These developments have seen provincial market shares for artisanal beer double over the past four years, with industry experts forecasting a count of more than 80 active breweries by the end of 2014.

With this, visitors and residents of Vancouver have an inspiring selection of local suds, with many incorporating tasting rooms, growler shops and the inclusion of local food trucks offerings.

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Hopping Around Vancouver Microbreweries

New Booze Laws in Vancouver: Happy Hours Officially Start; Booze Now at Farmers Markets

Photo credit: J R | Flickr

Photo credit: J R | Flickr

The moment that Vancouver drinkers have long dreamed of is finally here.

June 20 marked the first day that pubs and restaurants in the city could offer customers happy hour specials on beer, wine and spirits.  Previously, provincial regulations had prohibited establishments from changing the price of their booze during the day, effectively nixing the possibility of happy hours.

Under the new rules,  bars and restaurants are now free to set their own happy hour specials, provided that they comply with mandatory minimum prices.  For beer, the minimum price is $3 per 12-ounce bottle or sleeve, $5 per 20-ounce pint or $15 per 60-ounce jug.  Wine must be priced at at least $3 per 5-ounce glass or $15.85 per 750-millilitre bottle.  Spirit prices must be set at a minimum of $3 per 1.5-ounce drink.

But not everyone is buzzed about the new policy.   Continue reading:
New Booze Laws in Vancouver: Happy Hours Officially Start; Booze Now at Farmers Markets

Craft Beer “Battle Royale” Coming to Vancouver

Photo credit: Mathew Knott | Flickr

Photo credit: Mathew Knott | Flickr

Vancouver has some great craft breweries, but which of them is king of the ring?

That burning question will be settled once and for all (at least, for this month) at the fourth Beer Battle Royale at Doolin’s Irish Pub on May 29.

The premise is simple: “four B.C. breweries battle it out in the Doolin’s ring for total beer glory.” Vying for top honours this year are local heavyweights Granville Island Brewing, Longwood Brewery, Coal Harbour Brewing Company and Bridge Brewing.

Each of the contenders will bring one cask of their finest beer to the competition.  The winner – chosen in fittingly democratic fashion – is whoever sells out their keg first. Apart from bragging rights, the victorious brewery will also have its beer featured at Doolin’s throughout the month of June.

Tickets for the Beer Battle Royale are $25 and include four 16-ounce beers.  The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, at Doolin’s Irish Pub (654 Nelson St., corner of Granville Street).

Now for a little bit more on the contenders: Continue reading:
Craft Beer “Battle Royale” Coming to Vancouver