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:
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.
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.
The Location is just two doors down from the current Beyond the Grape Location in the former Yamaha Marine building.
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.
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 email@example.com
A crack team of influencers got together to give you the goods on the Tri-city beer scene… heres how things shook out!
Beer of the Year – Tri-Cities (PoCo, Port Moody, Coquitlam)
This category had a great Variety of responses but usually lead back to one brewery – Twin Sails.
Heavy Weight Champ is the Champ here!
Best Tasting Room
The Parkside repeats as the best place to craft beer and chill..
Another repeat but can you argue with this branding Kaleidoscope?
Coolest Personality in brewing (Brewer, Blogger, Beer-tender, instagrammer… etc)
Man, Myth and Legend Sea to Sky Beer Guy isn’t even of this region… But he sure has made an impact on it!
Best New Brewery
There were a few new kids on the block (and more to come), but PoCo Brewers North Paw take the “W” here.
Brewery of the Year
There can be only one…
Thanks to these fine people:
Before we get started pretend this page opened like myspace and you are now listening to “Ohio is for Lovers” by Hawthorne Heights… the colour scheme is black and red too… Alright lets do this, this article is not gonna be backed up by stats and references, no for this one I’m gonna ramble until I feel done.
Years ago (this blog has been going on for years! that’s crazy) I wrote a blog about craft beer being Punk Rock, its one of my favourite things I’ve ever written, but it was years ago.
“As I mentioned craft beer is part of a punk rock diy counter culture, it represents a tangible way to reject corporatism, and it is a tangible affordable way to consume art and culture. So sit back and accept some learning.”
Well, just like Punk Rock found a market for their authentisism, and someone else found a way to mass produce it while maximizing profit… we now have the TAKING BACK SUNDAY of Craft Beer.
It shouldn’t get to me but it does! I’ve spent a lot of time learning about the difference between Pilsner and Lager, and how Black Pilsner is not really a style of beer. I’ve enjoyed learning and realized there is more I don’t know about Craft beer than I will ever know. To be honest when new breweries show up with more money than sense I get kind of choked.
Now before some redditor on R/Vancouvercraftbeer tells me to shut up and “talk about a beer I like” or something chill.
I like some pop punk… Seriously, Fall Out Boy’s “DANCE, DANCE” is a banger, and I freakin’ love the early 90’s Simpson’s reference… just don’t mention that when I finally make it to see NOFX. I also like the beer these guys put out with a decent level of consistency.
Its just weird to me when I live in a world where both Storm brewing and 33 exp exist…
33 acres, its beer, not Star Trek The Next Generation’s First season.
its like wait… you know I really used to like D.O.A. but do I also like the Postal Service… wait is the Postal service better…?
The bottom line is who cares? Me, evidently, I think… Drink beer you like and pour one down for the 2nd wave of Craft beer in Vancouver (the first wave was blues or something in this metaphor).
Yes I truly believe the next explosion in Beer will be blended, Wild ales and Wild-ish ales. No, I do not mean that I believe Blended and Wild-ish ales will come to dominate the industry like Hazy IPAs have. I do think Blended and Wild-ish ales will come to form a small fraction of the market to become a small but significant portion of the market though. Before I go any further lets get some Vocab down
Blended Ales “involve[s] a brewer sampling multiple beers and then determining (with specific measurements and careful sensory analysis) the right combination of flavors. In barrel-aged beers, this involves pulling nails from the front of aging barrels and sampling the liquid therein.”
Wild Yeast Yeast actually is present in the air and wind. Exposing beer to the open air and wind will often lead to fermentation. The problem with this method is the yeast strains are often very localized and can be very different, giving what many might consider “off flavours”. Some regions and areas (even buildings) are well known for having very desirable local strains. The most beloved strains are often found in Belgium where a few brewers still consistently wild ferment.
Wild Ale “Wild Ales aren’t necessarily Sour Ales, and Sour Ales aren’t necessarily Wild Ales. What makes a Wild Ale a Wild Ale is just that – the presence of a wild yeast or some other kind of uncontrolled or atypical microflora (“bugs,” if you will). These microflora are used in addition to (or wholly in place of) traditional brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae). It isn’t necessarily a requirement that the “wild” fermenting strain be derived from the actual wild – it also can come from a pure culture of some particular bug like Lactobacillus (Lacto), Pediococcus (Pedio) or Brettanomyces (Brett).”
Wild-ish Ale I made up this term to describe beers that are made from lab curated wild strains, so they may taste like true wild ales but they are brewed in a more modern way.
Its important to note that there are no hard-fast rules about these beers and Breweries play with the labeling and naming often. For example it is my understanding that Yellow Dog’s recent Blended Reality release used Barrel-Aged Wild-ish beer BLENDED with a kettle sour. Is that a Wild Blended Ale in a specific sense? No. But, in the broader sense it is Blended and thus a Blended ale, for the purpose of this article I mean Blended Wild Ales in the broader sense.
Why are Blended Ales about to explode (in relative terms)?
Unlike other beers which after fully fermenting and conditioning do not change, blended beers are able to be blended to brewers taste. For example a brewer may brew 1000 litres of beer and put the beer into 3 100 litre oaked barrels, 3 100 litre oaked barrels with raspberries, and the rest in a steel conditioning vessel. When it is time to package the brewer can try each vessel. Each vessel WILL have slight to large differences in flavour body etc. The brewer can taste and blend to intended taste ensuring (to a a much larger degree than a conventional brew) that the beer tastes as she or he intends. In short blending allows for greater quality… and yes some beer is often left on the cutting room floor.
-Barreling at Coalesce and Temporal Artisan Ales
Lets make no bones about it when done well the quality of a blended ale should be very high, but what is also intriguing in the low start up cost of these breweries. Whereas conventional breweries really need stainless steel fermenting tanks which cost in the 10s of thousands of dollars Barrels can be had in the mid hundreds. That is not to say when scaling to larger sizes that the costs of a blended ale brewery aren’t similar to a conventional brewery but rather that in certain circumstances such as a small start up brewery in 1000-3000 sq feet the start up costs can be significantly lower. An example of this is Deep Dark Woods Brewing in Whitehorse Yukon Territory. Another way this happens is when an employee of an existing brewery buys 10-50 barrels, leases space and time on the brewhouse from the brewery and they start a brand, as was the case (or something similar) in Coalesce Brewing and Temporal Brewing.
If you are looking to give these beers a go locally start with both Temporal Artisan Ales and the coming soon Bakery Brewing on Brewers Row . Slightly further a field Deep Dark Woods Brewing in the Yukon Territory. Internationally I recommend Drie Fonteinen, Brasserie Tilquin, and Cantillon!
I’ll argue ’til the cows come home that the appeal of craft beer is built in large part due to consumer fatigue for consumerism itself, that we are willing to pay more for a product just because we know the profits are going to a neighbour and community member rather than a faceless multi-national. But big business is aware of this too. Hell, small business people who want to become big business people know this. In fact the creation of faux-community or faux-place is big business in marketing.
This commercial really makes it seem like Blue Moon is an independent brewer with an independent founder but its always been owned by Coors, proof:
“Blue Moon Belgian White (branded as Belgian Moon in Canada) is a Belgian-style witbier brewed by MillerCoors under the name the Blue Moon Brewing Co. It was launched in 1995, and was originally brewed in Golden, Colorado.
Originally called Bellyslide Belgian White, the beer was created by Keith Villa, a brewer at the Sandlot Brewery at Coors Field, Denver, Colorado (owned by the Molson Coors Brewing Company). Blue Moon brewed at the Molson Brewery in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is sold in the USA, as well as exported to Europe. Blue Moon Brewing Co. is an entity of Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the craft and import division of MillerCoors.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Moon_(beer)
So to spell it out for you this is common practice in beer… if you want local examples think Stanley Park, Bowen Island, Sneaky Weasel (oh snap the last two are the same brewery).
Anyways, I fear this might be happening locally. A new brewery is setting up in PoCo calling themselves Rec Room brewing (cause people often drink beer in rec rooms! well not if you are of age…)
Here comes the Analysis:
Take a look at the Brew Master posting for Rec Room, https://beermebc.com/job/head-brewmaster-new-brewery-in-poco/
- Utilize skills to craft creative recipes and produce the best, most exciting beers possible
- Select and maintain quality ingredients
Maintains all equipment to “like new” standards
Maintaining the equipment to “like new” standards often requires a mechanic especially if your equipment comes from China.
Create lasting relationships with vendors and customers
Maintaining relationships with anyone is tough when you are cleaning and brewing all day.
Initial and ongoing training of all management and service staff
Cultivate a positive work environment for all staff
Consistently strive to produce new innovative beverage items to fit concept
Takes lead role in developing concept with regards to training material
Brewers aren’t creating training material! They are too busy brewing, cleaning, and ordering brewing supplies… especially in the early going.
- Continually train, develop and motivate quality employees
When you have one, maybe two brewers, beneath you this is little more than marketing speak.
- Ensure high quality of beverage presentation/preparation
This one is fair.
- Consistently increase profitability
How? Profitability in my estimation generally decreases when breweries increase in production… Your highest margins are in beer sold from tasting room and they decrease when you package and distribute. In the city of Port Coquitlam where tasting rooms are maxed out at 35 seats packaging and distribution is key! Thus, profit margins are reduced and reduced until if and when it becomes feasible to purchase a canning room and integrate distribution vertically may 3-5 years in at best. Breweries at this level are few and far between… P49, Central City, Phillips…
Thus, the only way to increase profitability in the short to medium term is to sell more quickly or reduce the cost of established recipes… this in nearly all cases means sacrificing quality.
- Accurate reporting of all costs
- Meet or exceed all budgets
Yea shit happens in a brewery, sometimes your hops don’t give the right flavours, and you need another dry hop addition, sometimes your fermentation get stuck, sometimes you need to dump beer because it taste bad… Also “exceed all budgets” just reads really poorly.
- Ensures all accounts are up to date with no “past due” bills
- Conduct profit analysis where needed
Nope, that’s your production manager/owner/founders job… yea your brewer should be able to give you some number but their background is biology not business.
- Write schedules within budget
Do you guys mean brew schedules?
- Monthly P&L review with ownership group
Alright, So VCBW is quickly approaching! What is VCBW? It’s the best beer bash in Vancouver, or really BC! Just take a look at some of the offerings:
VCBW 2018 Festival Highlights
- 100 + breweries and cideries pouring more than 300 beers and ciders
- Festivalgoers can create a list of must-try breweries and favourite standout beers in advance through the VCBW website
- More food trucks
- BC Ale Trail-er pouring 8 or more craft breweries from the furthest reaches of B.C.’s Ale Trail
- Craft Beer Market lounge and games area
- BC Farm Crafted Cider Association’s cider row featuring 10 cideries pouring 16 different ciders
- United States Brewers Association has chosen the VCBW as their exclusive Canadian festival partner three years in a row. They are crossing the border to pour 30+ beers, many of which have never been poured in Canada
- Live interactive painting with Vancouver Mural Festival
- Floral leis and crown-making from the Leis de Buds solar powered flower bus
- Dedicated Evo valet parking
- Live music lineup includes DJ Hebegebe, Dakota Pearl, the Prettys, Youngblood, Mark Woodyard & Friends, the Great Speckled Fritillary, the Spillionaires, Tanglers and GI Blunt
VCBW 2018 Festival
- Saturday, June 2 from 2p.m. to 7p.m., and Sunday, June 3 from 12p.m. to 5p.m. at the PNE Fairgrounds, Vancouver. Single day, weekend passes and VIP tickets available now at VancouverCraftBeerWeek.comstarting at $39.
Why do I love it so much? Because with so many Breweries in one spot you really begin to see where the leading Edge is in Vancouver Beer, you can taste the trends, ride the flavour wave, and vive en vogue (I don’t speak French so I really went out an limb with that one).
For example, Hazy beer really made a splash at the event last year, not only were several breweries pouring the stuff, The VCBW beer (A collab amongst Brewers Row) was a delicious Hazy pale ale with passion fruit and guava.
This year I’ve heard over and over this is the year of the Lager… I’ve heard this before too, but people are saying it again so lets address it.
Craft breweries have started putting out a lot of Lagers lately, lets list some: Slow Hand Pilsner, Haus Lager, Good Company Lager, Sneaky Weasel, P49 Lager, Back to Basics X 2, there is some older one’s too like Pixel Pils and various Granville Island offerings. Hey Even the next VCBW Collab Beer is a Lager (which I honestly can’t wait to crush at the Opening Night Crusher.)
(Respective instagrams: @goodcompanylager, @slowhandbeer and @haus.beer)
Even so a lot of releases a trend does not make, here is why:
- People need to actually want it.
Yes everyone who drinks craft beer wants to convert all their friends to craft beer. We all think that finding just the right transition beer is gonna be the trick, except why would it? If I’m trying to get my friend to enjoy a bison burger instead of Mcdonalds, does it make sense to take out all of the flavour from that bison burger, and make it really thin? Nah because what makes that bison delicious and what makes craft beer delicious is the flavour. If they don’t want it, they don’t want it.
- Macro Beer is probably better at making Lagers.
Yea so here is the crazy thing about making craft beer, craft beer brewers have no comparative advantage relative to Macro Brewers in terms of production. Macro Brewers are much more efficient, or in other words make beer much more cheaply. The reason we love craft beer isn’t because its cheaper but because its of higher quality… I know you all know this. But Macro Brewers can probably make better lagers, here is why:
- Lagers need to be aged (or lagered) much longer than ales. Usually around 6 weeks… That is often double what a craft brewery does with ales and thus makes it much more expensive to produce, so often lager is released young by craft brewers.
- Lagers have nothing to cover up flaws and thus really need to be flawless to be good. Craft brewers are great but not perfect, often times those ales we all love have minute problems overcome by hopping or malt or more emphasized flavours. This cannot happen the same way with a Lager, and most craft breweries don’t have nearly the same depth of knowledge to get it just right.
- Macro Brewers have a lot of resources in order to get it right. Macro breweries have huge teams to ensure quality (relative term) and consistency. They have sensory analysts, bacterial scientists, and they can afford to dump a tank (something few craft brewers will do).
So am I saying go grab a Coors or Bud Light? No (but some of Vancouver’s best brewers would happily enjoy a Coors), But do check out Pilsner Urquell and Czechvar if you are interested in High Quality Lagers. Unlike American Macro’s who use substandard ingredients (rice) these European behemoths still seem somewhat committed to the craft… maybe I’ll explain why someday (communism and stuff… maybe another live video?)
To end this thing I will say Hopped lagers have a chance. The hops may cover some imperfections and make them more flavourful to new drinkers. The key will be imbibing at the right time, maybe 6-12 weeks. In any case I’ll be first in line for the VCBW hoppy Lager.
Name: Twin Sails Brewing
Address: 2821 Murray St, Port Moody, BC
Style: Progressive (NEIPA, Pastry Stouts, and an barrel aged sour program)
Tasting Area: Approx. 50 seats, Snacks, frequent food trucks, 30 seat patio (Dogs Welcome), Brick interior. Ciders yes
Core Beers: Dat Juice (Hazy Citra Pale Ale), Single Whammy (HAZY NE IPA)
Twin Sails is no longer the new brewery on the block, but they are producing some of the newest styles in beer today. Originally known as maker of traditional german style Twin Sails has more recently been known for its ultra progressive ales like Space Armadillo and Two Straws Milk Shake IPA-New beers usually drop every Saturday… but don’t stick around long.
Name: Yellow Dog Brewing
Address: 2817 Murray St. Port Moody
Style: West Coast
Tasting Area: Approx. 100 seats, outdoor seating, Small fare food, Frequent Food Trucks outside food ok, CIDER-NO.
Core Beers: Play Dead IPA, Chase My Tail Pale Ale.
Yellow Dog was the First brewery in Port Moody and burst on the scene winning best in show for their Shake a Paw Smoked Porter. Since then Yellow Dog has won a litany of awards and is arguably a top 3 brewery in BC.
Name: The Parkside Brewery
Address: 2731 Murray St, Port Moody, BC
Tasting Area: Approx. 100+ seats, Outside food is OK, snacks, Frequent food trucks, video games, Front Picnic area (Dogs Welcome).
Core Beers: Dawn Pilsner, Dusk Pale Ale, Graffiti IPA.
Parkside is the newest Brewery on the Row putting out a range of contemporary ales and lagers to please just about everyone! Guest taps are also available so there is something for everyone.
Name: Moody Ales
Address: 2601 Murray St, Port Moody, BC
Tasting Area: Approx. 75 Seats, occasional live music, snacks, WINE & CIDER AVAILABLE, outside food is ok, front picnic area, frequent food trucks,
Core Beers: Hardy Brown Ale, Sociable Pale Ale, Affable IPA, Chipper Blonde.
Moody Ales opened mere months after Yellow Dog in fall of 2014. Their beer list is ever Changing and you are sure to find something you like on tap.
UPCOMING – Bakery Brewing
See the new breweries page for more info.
Name: Mariner Brewing
Address: H-1100 Lansdowne Dr, Coquitlam, BC V3B 5E2
Style: Rumours of old styles done well, we shall see.
Tasting Area: Approx. 35 Seats, food onsite
Core Beers: North East IPA, Cream Ale, Amber Ale, Sour Weisse
Currently Coquitlam’s Only brewery minutes from venerable Brewers Row
UPCOMING – Fraser Mills Fermentation
See the new breweries page for more info.