Stereo Typical Beer? Three Kingdoms “Me So Rich” Hefeweizen

I first became aware of Three Kingdoms Brewing several months ago thanks to Instagram Algorithms.

A few clicks later and I was on their website where I was met with this image like this one:

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“Me So Rich Hefeweizen”

Well, that’s a lot to take in isn’t it?
Recently I saw via instagram that this beer has finally dropped, and with my interest piqued once more I reached out to the company via their website.

I initially asked them about their story to which they replied they consider themselves Craft Beer lovers who have become Nomadic Brewers. They described being inspired by both Superflux and Slow Hand beer company (an interesting juxtaposition of inspirations).

After this quick cordial exchange I couldn’t help myself and had to ask:

       “Hey (Redacted) thanks for the quick response. I’m not sure if I mentioned this earlier but I do the craft beer blog brewardinlet.com

Some of us in the community have noticed your first release “me so rich” and noted that it evokes some negative stereotyping.
Are you able to speak to the idea behind this?
Of course, If you don’t wish to continue this conversation any further I understand and I will consider our entire conversation private.”
Their Reply:

     Hi Carnell,

Ah I see. Well, the “Me So Rich” release was simply a mistake. We did not quite know the story behind the me So part. In fact, most customers were not aware of this either. But we did receive some complaints so we changed the name immediately for our second batch. It’s kind of like how parallel 49th had the gypsy tears naming issue. Perception is everything.
If you look up on untapped and search for me So phrase, you can actually see quite many beers are named this way.
Our original thought was to come out with a Me So Series… Ex, Me so Honey for the honey kolsch, Me So Chocolate for a chocolate porter and Me So Rice for a rice lager etc.
But again, we kind of don’t wanna get into troubles again so our next beer is simply called honey kolsch.
Does it answer your question?”
I Replied:
      “I’m curious as to the use of “Me So” for a beer name prefix. What is the idea behind this “Me So Series” . Also are you able to explain the use of “Rich” in the name?
Their Reply:

      Hi Carnell,

Rich in color as it’s hazy, rich in flavor as it has the banana and clove aroma& taste in the beer.
Again, it was a mistake so there’s no more Me So Series.
Thanks,
(Redacted)

In the end it seems like an unintentional mistake by people new to the industry. The packaging has been updated and you can view the rebranded “Rich Rabbit Hefeweizen” at http://www.threekingdoms.beer.

However if you were like me and needed to know more, now you know.

Lightheart Brewing Joins the Ever Expanding Options on Brewers Row at Moody Ales

I have alluded to this in previous posts but it seems as good a time as any to write an article regarding Lightheart Brewing joining Brewers Row.

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Lightheart brewing originally joined the Independent Beer scene as a collaborative brewery at Callister Brewing in East Van.

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They now make their home at Moody Ales on Brewers Row. I want to be clear this is not a contract brew situation.

Lightheart have installed their own tanks at Moody Ales, and as such have a much greater degree of autonomy over their beers. This situation is similar to the arrangement of Coalesce at Twin Sails or Temporal at Luppolo, but to my knowledge those breweries leased tank space (This information is to the best of my knowledge). This might be a first example of brewing owning tanks at another brewery since Glassbender Brewing installed a tank at Postmark brewing.

-Note: Just considered that Superflux may work under this system too, let me know if you know.

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The Head brewer continues to be Nathanial Sneff. Releases so far include a West Coast Pale Ale and a West Coast IPA, look out for a Passion Fruit Sour coming soon as well.

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Lightheart Expects to be on the Row for the next year or so while they build out their own space elsewhere.

Lightheart Beer is available on tap At Moody Ales, and cans should be on their way soon.

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Good Buddy Beer to Grace PoCo at Tin House Brewing

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Good Buddy Beer will be brewing out of PoCo in the coming months. Good Buddy beer had been brewing out of Callister in Yeast Van but will make the switch to PoCo when Tin House Brewing, The brick and mortar Brewery they will be sharing space with, opens.

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Good Buddy made a name for themselves with creative flavours in their beers such as Orange Creamsicle IPA, a Maple Syrup and Bacon Imperial Stout and a PB & J stout.

Not only will be Good Buddy Beer be available at Tin House Brewing (In Fremont Village In PoCo, Near North Paw), but of course Tin House beer too. The brands will share a brewer for the moment.

Of course the creates a new walkable area to enjoy Beer and Spirits in Port Coquitlam’s Freemont Village. According to google Maps it should only take you 4 minutes to travel from Northpaw, To Provincial Spirits, to Tin House brewing, where of course you can also enjoy some Good Buddy Brewing.

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VCBW is Upon Us and It’s Time To Take Stock.

I am a big fan of Vancouver Craft Beer Week. It’s fun and it brings the whole community together.

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With nearly all the Lower Mainland Region breweries in one place it is  a really great opportunity to consider the Craft Beer trends moving forward. Of course this can’t really be done in advance of VCBW. Even so it is fun to project or guess what the trends will be, and I’ve always thought that the VCBW beer gives us a hint of what is to come.

Two years ago Brewers brought us a Hazy Pale ale which to me announced to the community that Hazy beer was a major part of the industry and here to stay. Secondarily it might have also signalled the success of the suburban and regional Craft beer communities.

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Last year, we had the Sea to Sky breweries affirm the rising prominence of regional craft beer communities, and perhaps surprisingly they made a Lager. To me this signalled that our craft beer industry was ready to move past the anti-establishment roots and include all beer drinkers.

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This year, the 10th anniversary of VCBW we have Four Winds, in collaboration with Powell Beer and Dageraad brewing brewing a dry-hopped table saison.

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I typed that beer style in lower case, because to my mind it is an understated style in the often violently reactionary world of craft beer.

What I take from this, and what I would predict as a major trend in the Vancouver and wider region is a push for higher quality.

It is no secret that I have been fairly vocal about beers that don’t mean my expectations but after the proliferation of craft breweries throughout the lower mainland comes a more competitive period where brewers are selling to an inclusive mature consumer base who are able to tell the difference between OK and great craft.

I believe the choice of three of the Lower Mainland’s 3 most respected breweries in Four Winds, Dageraad, and Powell beer and their choice of a simple yet dynamic style signals to the community at large that things are about to get more competitive. If you are a brewery who wants to stick around you better commit to quality.

With more breweries comes more competition, and since the backbone has of craft has always been its improved quality over macro the competition amongst Craft Brewers will hopefully yield ever high plateaus of quality.

We might also look at the expansion of high quality production in the region to consider the arms race in quality.

-Twin Sails sour program intentionally does not include Kettle Sours. committing to higher labour and cost methods of souring.

-Whole breweries committed to specific styles like Bakery, House of Funk, and Temporal.

-The commitment to high quality Lagers including Foudre and barrel aged versions like those created by Four Winds and Strange Fellows.

We might also consider the results of mistakes

-Riot Brewing on the brink of closing as sales don’t add up

Clearly all of this is guess work and conjecture bused on anecdotal evidence, but if i was forced to hazard a guess… I’d expect your average beer to rise in quality this year.

 

I Was Offered Free Beer, I said “Yes”

A while ago I wrote an article explaining why I had said no to a brewery’s offer of free beer.

It came off as high and mighty, it wasn’t my intention but it did. Well, since then I have been offered beer a few more times and said no thank you a few more times.

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How I felt publishing that article

Recently, I said yes.  So how did I fall off my high horse? Well its simple really. I don’t have as much beer as I once did.
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Whereas, before my main reason for saying “no” was that I simply had too much beer and there was no point in taking beer that I might not be completely interested while other beer rots in my fridge. Its just not cool.

The fact is I’m getting married this summer and although I have wonder family helping my income is being stretched and I cannot afford to consume as much beer as I have in the past.

Craft Breweries are trying to make a living and offering beer to bloggers and the like is one of the great ways they can keep the beer-intelligensia writing.

So I have swallowed my pride, said “yes, thank you”, and you can probably expect to see it on my instagram.

That said you can also expect to see my honest opinion too.

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Believing the Hype is OK… Usually, well sometimes… Definitely Not Never

The Growler recently published a great article by Dageraad Brewer/Owner/Professional Cool Guy – Ben Coli, where Ben makes a great argument for Mainstays being better than the flavour of the week.

While I appreciate the article and agree in large part I noticed many friends and colleagues applying the argument against Hazy beers en masse. Well as avowed Hazy apologist I have yet another article no one asked for.

Concern 1

Dead on Arrival

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Ben makes a great point to start, many one off beers are ill-conceived. He’s right. There are quite a few beers that should have been aborted long before the ever reach your local’s shelves.

That said a lot of main stays make it to shelves when they shouldn’t. Many breweries including some of your favourites have let main stay beer hit the shelves that has been clearly flawed. So, while main stays have had time to be perfected, they don’t always hit the shelves in their perfect state.

Concern 2

No time to test batch

Here’s the thing… You think Sierra Nevada Pale ale or for that matter Even Steamworks Flagship’s recipe hasn’t changed since its initial sale? Beer recipes often change incrementally, its experimenting in the search of improvement. This happens with Hazy beer too…

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Most breweries have a few go-to basic Hazy recipes, and they tweak for each release. A hop variety here, a different grain there, and an extra hopping addition every so often. It’s not unlike how people incrementally changed their pale ales back in the day, the major difference is whereas in the past the label would never change, these days each release is a new piece of art from a graphic designer whose work spaced is littered with succulents.

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Why? Well the craft market is super crowded and craft brewers don’t have the money to advertise to you and me like the bug guys. Where they can punch above their weight is on the shelf where brewers can quickly pivot their branding to catch the latest craft punter (you)>

I gotta ask, what is the harm in that? More work for artists, more excitement for you and I, and more competition for macro-beer.

Concern 3

If it was any good you’d keep making it.

Early into Twin Sail’s pivot to their White Can Series (following their all german beginnings) they released Space Armadillo. This beer sent shock waves through the community and for some reason it wasn’t released again for nearly a year.

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Don’t you think Twin Sail’s would have loved to follow that rich sales vein? The fact is new breweries can struggle to get consistent supplies for brewing and are often forced into the spot markets. Whereas more established brewers can sign contracts with producers to ensure steady shipments of special hops or adjuncts, new brewers must use spot markets for one time sales.

The fact is Twin couldn’t secure the supplies they needed to make Space Armadillo a core beer.

 

So while by and large I agree in the merit of breweries main stay beers, I think we can agree that one offs serve a purpose and can be great.

Tiering the Breweries of Vancouver and Sea to Sky

I am going to get shit on for this…

But that’s OK, I write to start conversations and lists and rankings start conversations. So here we go.

A little about the rankings… This is about QUALITY of beer… nothing more nothing less. A bad beer diminishes overall quality in my eyes. That said this is my Monolithic view of the quality of beer coming from a brewery… no math.

Breweries within tiers are equal in my eyes.

Not all Breweries are listed, but rest assured I would never say no to a brewery that is listed, as for the others…

These are my personal opinions, they won’t match yours, feel free to be angry anyways

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Tier 4 (Solid Lagers & Ales)

Doan’s Craft Brewing

The Beer Farmers

Strathcona Brewing

Coast Mountain Brewing

Howe Sound Brewing

Trading Post Brewing

Central City Brewing

Ravens Brewing

Storm Brewing

R and B Brewing

Hearthstone Brewing

Coal Harbour Brewing

Brewhall

Main Street Brewing

33 Acres Brewing

Britannia Brewing

Bomber Brewing

Bridge Brewing

Callister Brewing

Tier 3 (Breweries who I can count on to crush it often)

Parallel 49

The Parkside Brewing

Steamworks Brewing

Taylight Brewing

Northpaw Brewing

Field house Brewing

Silver Valley Brewing

Demi-God Tier (breweries I’ll always make a point of visiting)

Dageraad

Beere Brewing

Strange Fellows

Steel and Oak

Brassneck Brewing

Yellow Dog Brewing

Luppolo Brewing

God Tier (Breweries I get stoked to go to)

Twin Sails Brewing

Boombox Brewing

Superflux

Backcountry Brewing

Temporal Brewing

Four Winds

 

 

More News on the Third PoCo Brewery

I’m going to let the Tri-City news take this one away, the article does a great job of breaking down the whole business plan. Their Plan has some really cool parts and some I’m concerned about and will break down at a later date… Until then the Tri-City News Presents:

PATINA BREWING

The PoMo Brew Scene Grows Again

Hot off the heels of the 5th Brewers Row Brewery (Moody Ales side Project Bakery Brewing) and former Callister Brew Team Light Heart Brewing setting up shop in Moody Ales we have another Brick and Mortar starting up.

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Fraser Mills Fermentation, the brain child of many of the group behind the successful Tri-Cities Cask Festival has selected a spot on St. John street in Port Moody.

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The Location is just two doors down from the current Beyond the Grape Location in the former Yamaha Marine building.

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If you aren’t from Port Moody that is a 15 minute walk from the Twin Sails/Yellow Dog hub and 3 minute walk from the skytrain station.

The Brewery will be as eclectic as any brewery in the city, housing not only a 10 hl brewhouse with eleven 10 hl fermentors, 5 brites (where the beer is carbed) and Thirteen 5 hl serving tanks, but a home brew business too. You willbe able to have a beer and then buy the supplies to try and replicate it at home.

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Did I mention that beer isn’t the only thing on the menu? Cider, mead and wine may also be produced on site.

Although exciting, this brewery isn’t quite a sure thing, Michael Druce, current Beyond the Grape and Fraser Mills owner pointed out:

“…we will be going before the Port Moody council sometime in March for approval of a temporary use permit to allow us to do liquor manufacturing in a commercial zoning.”

“…we will need public support for a Temporary Use Permit for the location…”

Public support may come in the form of letters to Port Moody Council or Vocal support at a public hearing. If you would like to show Port Moody Public Council your support for another business in Port Moody please send an e-mail to council@portmoody.ca

 

My First Home Brew Club Meeting

If you read this blog at all closely you will notice several things. I enjoy beer, i give special attention to the Tri-City area of Vancouver because its where I live, and i care less about spelling and punctuation than i really should (I already graduated, they can’t take my degree back… can they?). What you may not know is i also enjoy making beer. I wouldn’t call myself an expert nor do I make great beer on every attempt. I understand the general science but tend to nod off once people get into the biology of it.

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Water Content? I just use the hose.

Much like this blog I sort of give up on the minutia (would you believe i spelled that word right on the first try? i even looked it up to make sure!) So when I do make something good its more of a happy accident than a purposeful effort. The thing is, I kind of want to make good beer all the time, so after being aware of the local beer club for a few months i finally got around to attending a meeting.

So i wandered down to Beyond the Grape with a brewing friend of mine and a growler of my least terrible beer made in months. Something I call “Adult Joke Dark Wit” a dark wit fermented with an abbey yeast. In short it was a great experience. Most people had brought some home-brew or something delicious (the Half Pints Burley Wine was great!), which we sipped and talked about. I can say honestly that I didn’t have a bad Home Brew last night, and that i would choose most of them ahead of many craft beers available. Highlights included a wet hopped ale, a dry-hopped cider, a Baltic Vanilla Porter, a Scotch Ale, and even a Sour. The discussion was just as good as the beer and for the most part i just tried to glean some of the more technical and finer points of brewing knowledge espoused by the members. What was really encouraging was the real effort made by the club to create a community through group buys (who does’t like cheaper hobby supplies), group brews, competitions, and outreach to the greater civic community. In a society where many feel like we are growing away from our fellow (wo)man clubs like this provide an opportunity to comes together and drink awesome beer!

So, if you like beer and are considering or are already brewing check out a club, if it’s anything like the Tri-City Brew Club you’ll be glad you attended.