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The Victoria beer thread


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#41 Caramia

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:30 PM

Canoe's Habit Expresso Stout is available again! The beer that got me drinking beer! /dance

Also Swans Brewer came back from Hawaii and promptly brewed a delicious Coconut Porter.

That, along with Phillips' Longboat Chocolate Porter makes for a heavenly threesome for those of us who like our beers chewy, sweet and flavoured...
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#42 amor de cosmos

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:18 PM

In case you didn't know, Granville Island has a limited-release porter out now also that you might like also. It's sweet & raisiny.

#43 G-Man

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:25 PM

I had the Driftwood Farmhand Ale and it was ok once you got into it but the first few swigs were pretty yeasty.

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 03:00 PM

Canoe's Habit Expresso Stout


Only in Canada would folk even try to come up with an improvement on Irish Whiskey.
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#45 amor de cosmos

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 09:14 AM

more on that Surgenor Brewery in Comox:

Craft Beer Comes to Comox

With forestry having played a large role in the economy of Vancouver Island, it’s not surprising that as the industry took a nose dive, many people found themselves facing the prospect of unemployment. Bob Surgenor was one of those people. He depended on the forest industry for much of the work that engaged his Comox-based industrial electrical company. Not wanting to lay his employees off, he decided to start a brewery to keep them working. Last month, after a number of delays, they began shipping beer.

Not a brewer himself, Surgenor has hired Douglas Rae as his brewmaster. Rae began his brewing career at Granville Island in 1984, before moving on to stints at Labatt and Molson. He’s starting off with two beers to appeal to the “Lucky Lager crowd” — Red House Irish Red ale and Steam Donkey Lager. A stout and a wheat ale are next in line.

Surgenor is concentrating on developing the nothern Vancouver Island market over the next nine months, followed by the south Island, before expanding province-wide. The brewery will host a soft-opening celebration on March 21. The grand opening is planned for some time in July.

http://bcbrews.wordp...comes-to-comox/

A-Channel coverage on YouTube included
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=HMsvVX3PYIA

I think anyone who produces yet more generic macro lagers to appeal to the Lucky crowd definitely owes the brewing world an explanation. It's like calculus textbooks. How many more do we need? I wonder how many people know that in the US they don't use the word "microbrewery" they say "craft brewer." Does it really take a true craftsperson to produce Lucky (or Coors or Budweiser or 1000 other beers) clones? How much skill does that take? :(

#46 Caramia

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 10:05 PM

I'll play devil's advocate here and say that the best artists are those who know how to play to their audience. It may be that the Comox crowd likes Lucky Lager.... woo them into the world of craft beers by producing something they can relate too, and then work from there.

I speak as one who was lured into liking beer by someone who gave me one that tasted like coffee.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#47 amor de cosmos

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:50 AM

another Belgian White hits the market:

TORONTO, March 11 /CNW/ - Alexander Keith's is proud to introduce Alexander Keith's Premium White, the newest addition to the Keith's family of fine beers. Brewed in traditional white ale fashion and adding essence of Seville Orange, coriander, cinnamon and cloves, Keith's Premium White brings a new, refreshing taste to the Keith's family just in time for patio season.

"More Canadians are discovering white beers - in fact, white beer sales grew by 63 per cent last year alone," said Robert Perri, National Brand Manager, Alexander Keith's. "With Keith's Premium White, beer enthusiasts can now enjoy a crisp, uniquely refreshing ale that's brewed to the same high quality standards they've come to expect from all Keith's beers."

http://www.newswire....9/11/c7676.html

#48 amor de cosmos

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 03:01 PM

what if brewpubs & breweries sold growlers? maybe they would be redundant for Swan's & Spinnakers, since they have attached stores, but it might save them money to not bottle all the beer people want to take home with them, and use reusable jugs instead:

What the hell is a growler? We're not talking about the USS Growler, a small iceberg, a four-wheeled hansom cab from England, a sexual offender or any of the other slang phrases associated with the word – there are many. We're talking about that which carries fresh beer from a brewery to your house. Now there are many speculations as to the origins of the growler, so let's take a moment and explore some of these.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one's home by means of a small-galvanized pail. Rumor has it that when the beer sloshed around the pail, it created a rumbling sound as the CO2 escaped through the lid, thus the term "growler" was coined.

Before World War II, city kids used to bring covered buckets of draft beer from a local bar or brewery to workers at lunchtime or to their parents at dinnertime, a practice called "rushing the growler."

In the 50s and 60s, waxed cardboard containers with lids were used to take home beer – it's said that they were round and resembled take-out Chinese soup containers. And in many US states, it used to be (and still is) illegal for "liquor stores" to be open on Sunday. So if you wanted beer on Sunday you went to a bar and bought some of these "containers" of draft beer. However by the late 60s many bars had switched to plastic and eventually they were allowed to sell packaged beer after hours. Soon after, many states allowed Sunday sales at liquor stores and the concept of the growler soon died.

In the early 80s, Newman Brewing in Albany, NY used to sell soft plastic gallon containers of their beer. Apparently if you brought the empty back to the brewery, they'd replenish it with more beer.

A claim to the modern day growler states that in 1989, Charlie Otto and his father were discussing the dilemma facing the Otto Brothers Brewery. They wanted to offer "beer-to-go" for their local customers, but they were not yet in a position to bottle. Father Otto suggested the use of "growlers," which were used in his younger days, but Charlie recognized the need for an updated package type. He purchased a small silkscreen machine, and set it up on his patio. Soon he was silk-screening his logo on half-gallon glass bottles that resembled moonshine jugs. The modern-day "growler" was introduced.

George Bulvas III, brewmaster at Water Street Lake County Brewery, WI, suggests that growlers are named for the buckets of beer once given to factory workers before their stomachs began to "growl" from hunger.

Whatever. Nowadays, a growler is simply a glass jug that carries a half-gallon of beer. However, some can get rather extravagant holding upwards of two liters with a clampdown ceramic top and a metal handle/grips (German-style). You can even buy specially designed cooling packs complete with carrying straps for your growlers, but we'd probably pummel you to the ground for looking like a complete dork.

Growlers are filled straight from the tap, sealed with a twist-cap, often with a plastic wrap over this if filled ahead of time, and are sometimes labeled. Filled prices range anywhere from around $4 to $15 or more. A deposit must be paid, often included in the price, and chances are if you bring back your washed growler, you can get a refill for a cheaper price. Just note that you must always refrigerate growlers. Doing so will give them a shelf-life of 7-10 days, or around 2-3 days once opened – if you’re lucky.

Almost all brewpubs sell growlers these days, as do many breweries. And regardless of its true origin the growler is a great way to take home some fresh brew from a local brewery or brewpub.

Respect beer.


(I think 1/2 gallon is ~4 pints. & I think a swing-top is sometimes used also instead of a twist cap)

#49 amor de cosmos

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 05:30 PM

can anyone here taste a beer & figure out what it was made out of, sort of like reverse engineering it? say, what variety(-ies) of hops were used, or what kind of malt, etc? I've read about people who can taste some cinnamon & be able to tell what country it came from, so I know those sorts of people are out there.

#50 Caramia

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:12 PM

Definitely not me! But with such a robust community of brewers around here, I bet we have the talent locally...

I recently went to the liquor store after shopping with the intent to pick up a local microbrew to have with dinner. There wasn't a single local beer in stock that tickled my fancy. I was annoyed, there was a wall of imported beers - many of them probably pretty good - but I want to support Victoria's brewers, but only a small representation of Philips, and not even a Chocolate Porter in stock (they did say they carry it). I could have gone downtown and made a special trip to Swans Liquor store or Canoe but my choice would have been limited there too.

Do any of you know if there is ANY store in Victoria that carries a DECENT range of local brews? I'm trying to expand my palette here, but being foiled by what appears to be a gigantic oversight on behalf of the liquor retail people in this town. Helloooo.... willing consumer... money in hand... Is this so much to ask?
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#51 pseudotsuga

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:24 PM

Do any of you know if there is ANY store in Victoria that carries a DECENT range of local brews? I'm trying to expand my palette here, but being foiled by what appears to be a gigantic oversight on behalf of the liquor retail people in this town. Helloooo.... willing consumer... money in hand... Is this so much to ask?


Hillside Liquor Store is excellent (but probably in Saanich).
Cascadia at T&C is good for local brews too.

#52 Caramia

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:33 PM

I'd heard good things about Cascadia at the Town and Country. It is a bit out of my way but maybe it is worth a visit. Of course, because they are owned by the same people who own Canoe they probably can't sell Canoe beers - which are my favourite.
Somewhat ironic... eh?
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#53 amor de cosmos

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:57 PM

the best place to get local brews is probably the local breweries or their stores. other stores might carry everything, but not all at one location (so some at one location & others at another). the stores owned by the breweries probably have seasonal beers available before other stores also, if only by a day or two i imagine.

#54 P.Schilling

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:15 PM

anyone aware of a place that carries the fruit beer from belgium called Fruli?? I have been looking but can't seem to find any

#55 mat

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:48 PM

anyone aware of a place that carries the fruit beer from belgium called Fruli?? I have been looking but can't seem to find any


you can always ask for a special order from Fruli , or from BC LCB.

Belgium fruit beers can be either great, or really bad - depending on your taste, and they tend not to travel well. The best is Kriek but I don't believe it is sold outside of Europe.

#56 amor de cosmos

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:13 PM

you can always ask for a special order from Fruli , or from BC LCB.

Belgium fruit beers can be either great, or really bad - depending on your taste, and they tend not to travel well. The best is Kriek but I don't believe it is sold outside of Europe.


hillside liquor store has strawberry fruli. & I think lambic & related beers (kriek, gueuze, etc) use a special room for the ingredients to rot (well the solid stuff gets spread around so natural yeast can land on it). that might explain why they aren't made everywhere.

#57 mat

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:40 PM

hillside liquor store has strawberry fruli. & I think lambic & related beers (kriek, gueuze, etc) use a special room for the ingredients to rot (well the solid stuff gets spread around so natural yeast can land on it). that might explain why they aren't made everywhere.


We lived in Belgium between 91 and 2005 and the beers (oh the beers!). You made a great point about how beer can't travel - shaken up the yeast will interact more with other ingredients, changing the flavour and alcohol content.

My fav is Kasteel (could not find the website - but it is a Trappist beer)

#58 hotdoglegz

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 04:53 PM

hillside liquor store has strawberry fruli. & I think lambic & related beers (kriek, gueuze, etc) use a special room for the ingredients to rot (well the solid stuff gets spread around so natural yeast can land on it). that might explain why they aren't made everywhere.


Hillside was the only place in town to carry the Fruli as they had special ordered it (I think through the Ontario LDB).

#59 amor de cosmos

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:50 AM

BC’s newest brewery is now open for business. Surgenor Brewing in Comox held a soft launch celebration on March 21 attended by family, friends, and local dignitaries. It was a proud day for owner, Bob Surgenor who has realized his dream after seven years and $2 million.

Surgenor hired brewing consultant Mark Simpson to help design the brewery and formulate the recipes. Douglas Rae is Surgenor’s brewmaster. Both Simpson and Rae have experience working at Granville Island Brewing and Molson.

Abbotsford’s Newlands Systems Inc. fabricated the lauter/mash tun, brew kettle, and tanks, while Surgenor Industrial Electrical Contracting installed the state-of-the-art automated process controls. The 24 hl system is operated from Allen-Bradley PanelView 1000e graphic terminals mounted on the brewer’s platform and in the brewhouse office. This allows Surgenor to achieve the consistency of an industrial brewery while producing a craft product.

The brewery currently produces an Irish red ale and a Czech pilsner — Red House Ale and Steam Donkey Lager. The ale is brewed with Chico yeast and Cascade hops, while the pils uses Saaz hops, Caramalt, and Augustiner yeast. While both beers are quite accessible, they have depth of flavour and pronounced hop bitterness that distinguishes them from macro American lager. A stout and a wheat beer are contemplated additions to the Surgenor lineup. For the latter, Simpson is thinking of using local wild blackberries and grape must.

Surgenor will be the first BC brewery to utilize Exal aluminum bottles. These were chosen because of their unique design, light weight for reducing shipping costs, opaqueness to provide protection from sunlight, low energy requirements for recycling, ease of chilling, and safe portability as use of glass outdoors and in various facilities becomes increasingly proscribed.

Currently, the brewery is shipping its beer in kegs. Early customers include The Old House Restaurant, The Pier Pub & Bistro, and the officers’ mess of 19 Wing, CFB Comox. Packaged product in open six packs is expected to ship in four weeks. Red House Ale and Steam Donkey Lager already have LDB listings.

In the meantime, feel free to stop by the brewery for a tour and tastings. The tap room wasn’t yet hooked up to pour beer when I visited, but that should be taken care of soon. If you are interested in carrying Surgenor Brewing beer, contact:

Bob Jeffery
Sales Representative
bob.jeffery[at]surgenorbrewing[dot]ca
Tel: (250) 339-9947
Cell: (250) 898-7862
861 Shamrock Place
Comox, BC V9M 4G4

http://bcbrews.wordp...llout-in-comox/

there's a flickr link also with pics of the opening
http://www.flickr.co...57607206701836/

#60 pseudotsuga

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:02 AM

interesting bottles. Look forward to trying one.

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