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

 

 

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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Stuff I Think YOU Should Know 2

Here is some more stuff i think you should know:

The next Tri-cities cask festival will look to be a pro-am. What does that mean? Breweries we all know and love and brew clubs you’ve yet to join! This is a new concept as far as I know and could lead to really creative beers.

Twin Sails the newest brewery in the Inlet will likely not be open this labour day but looks toward a opening in approximately 4 weeks.

The SFU 50th year beer is a thing and should also be realized in the next month or so…more to come later.

Kwantlen Polytechnic has come together with the rebranding Big River Brewing to create another school beer read more here. It looks to be a west coast black IPA or a Cascadian Dark depending on your politics.

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!