Coalesce Beer Joins the Fold

Well after months of keeping it under my hat it’s finally time to let the cat out of the bag (two cliches, one sentence…) Coalesce Beer has its first release on Saturday. Coalesce has a very cool focus, and I wont try to speak for them so here is how the family run brewery describe themselves:

“family brewing company specializing in mixed fermentation and wood aged beer”

“Seasonality means a lot to us, and for us brewing seasonally is not about brewing a beer for the season, but rather using local produce and ingredients that inspire us and are at their best in that season. Today we brewed a beer with a variety of heirloom squash from @sapobravoorganics which we charred over wood coals. 
This beer will ferment and rest in barrels until maturity, whenever that may be, and may be very “unseasonal” upon release, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

These guys have a clear philosophy that will no doubt be reflected in the beer. I expect see most if not all beers from Coalesce spend some time in barrels and again most if not all be bottle fermented.

 

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Coalesce Beer Instagram

 

Where to find

Coalesce Beers share space with Twin Sails Brewing and will undoubtedly release on weekends that Twin Sails brewing does not. It seems they will have a keg on draught to try with this release but I doubt that will always be the case. The First release “Foreward” a “mixed fermentation ale inspired by the historical saison style. Foreword was brewed with oats, spelt malt and raw wheat and hopped judiciously with Hallertau Hersbrucker and Saaz. The beer was fermented dry with a mixed culture of Sacchromyces, Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus in freshly emptied BC Chardonnay barrels, where it rested for 3 months until mature. It was then refermented and conditioned naturally in the bottle for an additional 3 months.”

Vitals:

Release 12pm 500mL, 6.2% abv, and 21 IBU. 45 cases for sale, 10$ per bottle and a 6 bottle per person limit.

I expect line ups and a sell out.

Brewers Row, the best place to grab a Pint in Canada, just got even more Dynamic.

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Best Places to Drink In Port Moody… and maybe eat too.

There are many options get a drink in Port Moody these days, and I really do hate it when people choose a crappy one… So, I might as well tell you where to go!

(This list is made of places where beer is served at least as near equal to wine, so you won’t find food forward restaurants on my list)

  1. Brewers Row:

    C’mon, where else could it be? Brewers Row is arguably the best place in Canada to get a beer with Twin Sails and Yellow Dog making world class stuff and Moody and Parkside making sure there is quite literally something for everyone, not to mention beautiful views and places to hang out AND delicious food trucks. This is easily THE place to have a beer.Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 5.29.38 PM.png

  2.  St. James’s Well:

Questionable spelling aside this is as close as you will get to a British/Irish pub (those words should never be so close) in Port Moody. Great Pub Food, Solid taps, The bar staff and manager will know you by the third time you walk in. They also have a simply rad Tuesday night trivia going on at the moment, and if its sunny maybe even try the patio.

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3. Browns Social House

Ok a shocker, heres the thing, good ambience, great patio, great food (better than many of the pubs) and a tiny but decent enough draft list… Ok there isn’t many great places to drink in Port Moody, but if you are into mediocre we got’chu.

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4. Brew Street

They claim 100 beers on tap (in my experience that hasn’t been the case) and even though most of them are simply core beers from local breweries that is still a massive list to find something you like. The food is good too but often its the crowd that kills this place… A bunch of guys named Brett drinking Corona in jeans with flaps on the back of the pockets… nothing wrong with that of course… just not my scene.

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5. The Burrard

Not much to say here, some odd posh decorating married to a perfectly normal functioning pub, decent smaller taps (20 ish taps) decent well priced food, odd chairs and faux fireplaces… its all here.

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6. The Rocky Point Tap House

This is a dive that doesn’t realize its a dive… and it could be so good, if only it realized it was a dive! Every city needs a dive and that is what the Point needs to be. We have a “Craft beer bar”, a “upscale bar” an “Irish bar”. We need a place with cheap local taps and wings every night. To be fair there are great food specials here and a decent selection of local if not boring brewers rows taps, it would totally shoot up the list if they would stop sweeping up the peanut skins I keep throwing on the ground.

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7. Romer’s Burger Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you notice all the spaces? That’s because Romer’s simply sucks. Bad service and terrible food can’t make up for a boring local tap list, just don’t go.

Don’t believe me try yelp https://www.yelp.ca/biz/romers-port-moody

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Changing Art and Culture in Port Moody

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Port Moody is changing from the back water it was in the 40 years ago into one of the trendiest inner suburbs. The upcoming permanent sky train connection to Vancouver is simply the latest and most obvious example but this has been years in the making. The city has created two well designed urban villages (New port Village & Suter Brook) that have among the best connections to park and forest space in metro Vancouver, these spaces, have in turn attracted young professionals to the area which have changed the commercial character of the city. Wheras Port Moody 20 years ago was home to dunkin donuts and soup and sandwich spots artisanal and faux artisanal coffee shops have proliferated. Next came the breweries. now let me be clear not all breweries are created equally, some are better than others, and there are some terrifically bad ones in many suburbs. Port Moody is home to some of the best around with Twin Sails, Yellow Dog and Moody all winning awards in their short lives. Awards aside their success can also be attributed to their local clientele who are among their most important revenue streams. In short the success of breweries suggests a high urban awareness specifically in Port Moody and more broadly the Tri Cities. Even so, the cultural renaissance is far from complete. There are still a dearth of decent restaurants in town, although places like Originals Mexican are bright spots. Things maybe changing though as Romers burger bar (despite their poor Yelp reviews) opened their first location outside of Vancouver in Port Moody, and another trendy taco joint (Taps & Tacos) looks to open in Port Moody. Still, quality food is lacking.

So what am I getting at? Port Moody is modernizing and most aspects of local society are aware of that, one section that seems to be left behind is art & culture.

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Is this 1998?

Port Moody bills itself as the City of the Arts, and by every measure it lives up to its billing, but just as not all breweries are not equal not all art is either. Port Moody continues to be a patron of the safe and the old. Art displays are happy cheerful and if at all possible linked to the city’s mythos of Trans Canada railroad terminus. Free concerts take place through the summer with little air of excitement as faux has beens and safe acts take the stage. For example an oft heard rumour was that Golden Spike days stalwarts Trooper weren’t asked back after one band member swore on stage. The rumour is likely untrue but the fact that the rumour ever existed suggest that Port Moody residents are all aware of the safeness of the city

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The train motif is strong in this town…

Port Moody has an opportunity to change all of this though. Beyond the central railroad terminus mythos is a long history of aboriginal settlement by the Tsleil Waututh nation which is by and large ignored by all in Port Moody, Port Moody would be well served to invite this culture back into the area in the spirit of reconciliation. By doing so Port Moody would benefit with a new dynamism to its art and culture scene and begin to right structural wrongs present not only in Port Moody but any place with a history of colonialism. Further opportunity for cultural dynamism exists in inviting a different and varied contemporay art to share the stage with acts like Mostly Marley. Metro Vancouver has a wealth of young people who very quickly make there marks on the greater world around them, before ceding the stage to Trooper could we not possibly see one of the former Peak performance artists (I use this example with the awareness that acts must remain somewhat appropriate)? Port Moody is home to some of the most pedestrian festivals  in Vancouver the best example being Golden Spoke days, an event nearly entirely catered to the young and old, ignoring the young adults and professionals save for a beer garden. Port Moody has an incredible festival space and it’s not impossible to think that a stellar more modern festival could be staged there to advance the profile of the city. My own personal dream is a craft-beer-folk-festival where a small group of breweries (all 4 locals and perhaps 4 more invitees) and several mid-level metro Vancouver folk indie rock bands get together at Rocky Point on a warm summer day…  no kids though…

Port Moody is changing, so can the art and culture

Meet Coquitlam’s Potential First Brewery

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Coquitlam could in the next year or so be home to a brewery of its own if Council can their butt in gear.

Here is what I know for sure:

Prototype Brewing hope to be the first Brewery to open in Coquitlam.

They are ready to sign a lease on a location if/when council allows for breweries in Coquitlam.

They will not be located in the United Boulavard region like I hypothesized but instead will be located in the barnet highway area (more on that in a moment).

They feel they are at least 6-10 months away, I would argue based on experience, they are closer to 12-18 months away from serving beer.

What I can speculate on:

Well with some super googling I can show you their website in progress, and a potential site that is within their supposed Barnet Highway location.

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Knowing the area fairly well i can guess this is the old Sushi Mori site (RIP sushi) which would put the potential location right here:

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Falcon and Barnet Highway

This means Coquitlam’s Brewery would be within walking distance of #BrewersRow / #BREWardInlet

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A brisk 3o minute walk

But what about those who want to take transit? Well there is another option fall 2017 when Port Moody’s Breweries could be linked to Coquitlam’s brewery by Skytrain!

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Only a 9 minute walk from IOCO station!

So there it is the scoop on Coqutilam’s potential first brewery ever.

 

Coquitlam Brewery?

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Most of us are aware that Coquitlam does not yet have a brewery. Despite being a large fairly wealthy suburb current bylaws don’t allow for it. Of course that is changing, council are moving to get in on the BC Beer Boom.

In fact I know of at least one planned Brewery project in Coquitlam. Unfortunately that is all I know. With that in mind I thought it might be fun to consider where a brewery might pop up.

To my knowledge production Breweries in BC must open in industrial or semi-industrial Zoned areas (I tried to cite this but had major trouble, if anyone can please let me know).

According to this document from the city of Coquitlam (whose’ zoning map my computer refuse to open), we see most of the Industrial zoning centred in south coquitlam near the fraser river and number one highway. My best guess is a brewery would open in this area, specifically in the United Boulevard area. This is too bad as breweries are great community builder and there isn’t much community to build here.

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What I think would be really intriguing is Brewery in Coquitlam’s Downtown area which currently suffers without a focal point or meeting place. Granted there is a crappy pub (Charlie Hamilton’s) and a few restaurants but nothing the really pulls the community together. I personally believe a brewery tasting room could do this, but how? The zoning in the area wouldn’t allow for a production brewery but it might allow for a brew pub. Could we see a Brew-Cafe? A small scale brew pub with light easy to make food fare and a small brewing system to provide beer in house with a small scale growler fill station? It could be very viable and if anyone is interested in pursuing it, drop me a line.

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Can #BREWardInlet Sustain 4 Breweries?

People often ask me how #BREWardInlet could Support 4 Breweries and I often answer the same way.  Absolutely yes. Now comes the fun part, how?

The first line of questioning is always “Is Port Moody big enough for 4 breweries?” The quick answer is of course not, but its not like any of the 4 breweries will ID you to make sure you live in Port Moody before being allowed to buy beer. In fact they will let anyone from anywhere (as long as they are 19) buy beer! The Population of the tri-cities is around 210,000 (not to mention nearby North Burnaby). Vancouver Proper is around 600,000. So the Tri-Cities is about 1/3 of Vancouver… Vancouver supports 26 breweries (with more to open). By these numbers BREWard Inlet could open 8-9 and still be viable, ok thats not perfect math but i think it really puts to bed there is not enough population argument.

These Breweries are not forced to sell their beer in Port Moody or the Tri-cities. Believe it or not but NAFTA didn’t just bring down the tariff barriers between Canada, the United States, and Mexico but also between inter-city beer trade. Thats a lie Inter-city Beer trade has always been cool. What I’m saying is Our local breweries can sell out of their local market. This means they are free to try and sell to whole provincial market of 4 million+… and they already are. Moody has a listing with the Liquor Distribution Branch, Yellow Dog may too.  Being with the LDB means that your beer goes province wide as so to does your market. Also lets not forget but these breweries can easily get their beer to any private store in the lower mainland too, that’s somewhere between 2.5-2.75 million people.

The Final thing I often hear is “Well how long ’til the macro’s start buying them?” I answer: “Fast enough to make our time seem to be going back in time relative to how fast the macro’s are moving to buy craft brewers.” In other words they already have. Granville Island was Craft, So was Okanagan Spring, now they are mediocre regional brewers no one cares about, and are likely themselves losing market share with the other macro brands to the independents, now why is that? Well let me drop some Adam Smith & Ricardo-Wealth of Nations on you (no thats not a mixtape) . Economic Liberals will argue that for a industry or company to do well they need an advantage over their competitors that allows them to create or build more efficiently so that when cost and value is considered their product is comparatively better. This concept is creatively known as “Comparative Advantage”. So what is Craft Beer’s comparative advantage? simply its independent. Whereas Macros are capable of making beers as good as independent craft brewers (its rare), macro’s are still losing share to Craft. This is because buying independent is a rejection of the status quo, its a declaration of sorts that illustrates a move to post-consumer society wherein we consider not only the value of the product but the effect of the product on society. Once Craft beer is no longer independent it simple no longer has its competitive advantage, and thus an independents breweries true value lies in its independence/

Port Moody’s 4th Brewery Parkside Brewery-much credit to Vancouver Beer Club

Rather than give you a rehash of what is already known about Port Moody and #BREWardInlet’s 4th brewery, Parkside brewery. I am going to send you to Vancouver Beer Club who has done the best job of compiling information and simply hope to add some tid-bits of my own. THIS IS THE ARTICLE CLICK IT!

That said i can add this has the potential to be a short start up. Word is the brewing equipment exists in storage currently. This is in contrast to many start-ups who spend months waiting for their equipment and months putting it together. The other tid-bit I’ve gotten is this brewery will be much larger than the other 3 in terms of beer production. That is the entirety of what i can add unfortunately.

So thats it! more info about #BREWardInlet

News 6?

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BREWard Inlet grows to 3! Twin Sails is currently open, with 2 beers available now a rye wheat ale Roggenweizen and traditional wheat ale Hefewiezen. By the time the grand opening occurs this friday a Pilsner and Marzen should also be available. I’ve enjoyed all 4 so far and can’t wait until they are readily available. Twin Sails plans to focus on german beers with Dunkel potentially the next thing available. It official though, outside of Vancouver #BREWardInlet is the place for beer.

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Stuff I Think YOU Should Know! 5?

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-There might be some residual Moody Ales Pear Kolsch available at pubs like the John B. and Bitter Tasting room. Also available from Moody is another release candidate… this time a Pale ale. Don’t forget Moody’s Wet Hopped beers should be available soon and in several varieties. I’m gonna guess it will be in tasting room only.

-Yellow Dog has released two wet hopped beers both better In my opinion than sartori in their tasting room. Get them while the last.

– We could see the soft opening of Twin Sails this weekend or next.

-THE BIG NEWS! Another brewery is supposedly looking to open in a space in-between Moody Ales and Yellow Dog. Word is this will not be a production brewery but a brew pub operated by a restaurant chain. None of this has been confirmed but rumours are fun.

BACK TO IT, with a #BREWardInlet focus

So, i took some time off and did some soul searching. I come back with an greater understanding… I like beer… and I like it local. With this in mind i’m endeavouring to really take on the area i’m from the Tri-cities, furthermore I’m going to attempt to make this blog a little more free flowing and less rigid what that means remains to be seen but here we go.

STUFF TO CONSIDER:

TWIN SAILS the third brewery in the #BREWardINLET should open Labour Day with a focus on german beers. This should really add to the diversity of the beers available on Murray street.

YELLOW DOG is in the midst of its 1 year anniversary bringing out rare beers like strawberry and black currant Berliner weisse as well as a super secret white sour and a pineapple IPA see the Burrard and St. James well for availability.

The new Growler is out giving everyone a great FREE guide to Beer around BC despite them referring to us in the Tri-Cities with a bevy of backhanded compliments (did someone at the growler just finish reading a circa 2004 pick up artist book).

The latest Tri-Cities cask festival has occurred and was an unabashed success. A real standouts and something to get excited about was the Hefeweizen from Twin Sails. I only managed one sample but it stuck with me as one of the most interesting beers available.

Coquitlam to look into changing by-laws to be more welcoming to Breweries… another brewing district perhaps???

Whispers that breweries have contacted Port Coquitlam about possibly opening a brewery downtown (poco)… Please make t-shirts that read: “STRAIGHT OUTTA PO-COMPTON!”

A new Camra chapter?

ALSO for the first time… here is my face (my camera broke and i have no photos of beer)! Of course i had been drinking!