Vancouver Brewery Wins Canadian Beer of the Year

Photo credit: QuinnDombrowski | Flickr

Photo credit: QuinnDombrowski | Flickr

You’ve probably heard of microbrewing.  But what about nanobrewing?

Nanobrewers are basically one step up from the guy making beer in his basement.  They produce a very limited quantity of beer for sale, generally only to locals, and focus mainly on experimentation, quality and variety.

And – in a shocker – one Vancouver nanobrewery has just bested some of the top breweries across the country to take home Canada’s premiere beer prize.

Powell Street Brewery, a tiny start-up located at 1830 Powell Street in the city’s Eastside, has been awarded Beer of the Year in the 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards.  Its signature Old Jalopy Pale Ale beat out 764 entries from 120 craft brewers across Canada.

Located in what looks like an old home near the Vancouver port, Powell Street released its first batches for sale only in December.  It’s part of a cluster of up-and-coming breweries in the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood, including Parallel 49 and Coal Harbour Brewing Company.

Powell Street Brewery Founder David Bowkett is a self-confessed home-brewing nerd, who spends his days working as an architectural technologist and only moonlights as a brewer.  His nanobrewery doesn’t even have a website yet (Correction: the site is now up) and is on pace to produce a meagre 20,000 litres of beer this year. (Compare that to the 1,900,000,000 litres produced by Molson Coors every year).

Yet, he’s clearly doing something right.  After being evaluated on the basis of aroma, appearance, flavour, mouthfeel and overall impression, his Old Jalopy Pale Ale was selected as the best in Canada by a panel of 25 beer judges.  Uncommonly malty and hoppy, Old Jalopy stood out from the pack as the clear winner.

So where can you find this highly acclaimed brew?  Powell Street’s beers are sold at the brewery in growlers (refillable glass bottles) or in 650mL bottles.  You can also find it at a few private liquor stores including Darby’s in Kitsilano and Legacy in Olympic Village.  Chances are, however, that Old Jalopy will be flying off the shelves after its newfound stardom.

Other local winners at the 2013 awards include perennial Surrey-based powerhouse Central City Brewing, which took home gold medals for its Red Racer ESB, Imperial IPA and Bourbon Porter.  Squamish’s Howe Sound Brewing also won gold for its King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen and Diamond Head Oatmeal Stout.

For more updates on Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.  


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4 Responses to Vancouver Brewery Wins Canadian Beer of the Year

  1. N

    There’s a website Cheers!

  2. Nice writeup about a great brewery. David and Nicole are great people and deserve all the respect this award will bring!

  3. Congrats to David and Nicole! One small point on this wonderful piece: all four of our “yeast van” breweries are located in the neighbourhood of Grandview Woodland, not Hastings Sunrise, which ends at Nanaimo St.

  4. Congratulations to Powell Street Brewery, this is a great accomplishment! I’ve tried Old Jalopy Pale Ale and it really is tasty. They’re doing a superb job and I hope this award gets them the attention and success they deserve.