The Beer Brief is a round-up of all the local beer news and events we think you should know about. Got cool things brewing? Send it to thalia [at] scoutmagazine.ca and we’ll do our best to include it!
STRANGE TAKEOVER | Something “Strange” is going to be pouring from the taps at Smiths Pub later this month, when they get a visit from East Van’s oddest beer brethren. The Victoria bar is being mysterious about exactly which Strange Fellows beers will be on hand during the upcoming Strange Fellows Tap Takeover, but it promises to be something special. Tip: If the lineup happens to include the new seasonal Nostrum brew then be sure to drink some up. The exotic ingredients in this dark saison include sarsaparilla, cubeb berries and tonka beans, which make for a truly original but still very smooth beer with quaffable flavour. Find out more.
BEER FEST | February is a notoriously dismal month, so keeping in good spirits is important. One way that Islanders can do this is by hooking up with some tickets to the 11th Annual Island Beer & Spirits Festival on February 16th. The roster of participating breweries, cideries and distillers checks off more than a dozen located across the Islands. On the beer front you can look forward to sipping on tasty liquids from Howl, Bad Dog, Driftwood, Whistle Buoy, Saltspring Island Ales, Small Block, LAND & SEA and Île Sauvage, and more. The cost of admission includes your first two warm-up tasters and a snack. Bring it on, February! Find out more.
PLAN AHEAD | You may have heard that tickets are now on sale for Victoria Beer Week, which goes down at venues citywide from March 6 – 14, and some events are already selling out! If you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to stuff your face at a “Beer, Pizza & Gelato” party, vote for the best beer cocktail at the “In the Spirit of Beer” bartender competition, or brunch in the company of eight BC brewmasters – to name just a few of the week’s events – then be a keener and build your VBW strategy now! Check out the full schedule and make your purchases here.Find out more.
ÎLE SAUVAGE | Victoria’s wild and sour beer specialty brewery is building evidence that sometimes happiness of a sort actually can be found within a bottle, by launching a brand new menu of bottle beauties for 2020. Available in the tasting room only, the list of five barrel-aged beers are: “Feu Vert” with kiwis and lime zest, “A La Mode” with peaches and cinnamon, “Flamand” red, “Passion” with passion fruit and ginger, and “Loral” blended saison. Are you smiling yet? Find out more.
RARE BEER | Although tickets to the afore-BB-mentioned Collective Arts “Origin of Darkness” collaboration dinner at the Red Accordion are sold out, the Coal Harbour restaurant has another beer event going down this week and it’s a really good one! Head to the West End on Thursday to get a taste of Texas during a Jester King tap takeover, where six incredibly rare brews from the Austin-based brewery will be flowing in limited supply for the event. The beer is first-come first-served, and we predict the space will fill up quickly. Show up early if you want to avoid the mad rush to the beer crush! Find out more.
FUNDRAISER | To show their support for the devastating wildfire situation Down Under, last weekend West Craft’s Sunday Service kicked off a new fundraiser, with all tips plus the net sales from three Aussie brews by Wildflower Brewing & Blending being donated to the New South Wales Urban Fire Department. In addition to this special effort, West Craft will also still be collecting non-perishables and giving partial proceeds from beer sales to give to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Let’s all do our part and raise a glass of the good stuff for these important causes! Find out more.
STRANGE ART | Strange Fellows Brewing is celebrating a half-decade of business this year, and they’ve commemorated the milestone with a special limited edition anniversary poster created by in-house brand artist Christine Moulson. The beautiful black and gold posters are currently on sale in the tasting room, so the next time you’re in the area be sure to line your pockets with some extra cash if you want to snag a piece of Vancouver beer history – perhaps while trying your (non-drinking) hand at indigo dyeing ($20, sign up for the workshop here) or axe-throwing during the upcoming Midwinter Revelry event (Jan. 25, advance tickets available here).
ART + BEER | If you’re in the Abbotsford area this weekend, feeling thirsty and looking for a cozy place to put back a couple of pints while treating your eyeballs to something colourful, swing by Ravens Brewing for their artist’s open house. Alex Stewart is a local painter and dedicated environmentalist who specializes in stencil artwork – in particular, leaving his eco-friendly mark on BC’s natural surroundings. He’ll be in attendance during the evening, displaying some original artworks on the brewery’s walls as well as selling prints. Find out more.
BIRTHDAY NEWS | The Abbotsford action continues on Saturday, when Field House Brewing will throw their four year anniversary party. The day is going to be packed with activities like face painting, brewery tours and live musical performances, plus the launch of their brand new BRRL ROOM beer series. You’ve still got a few days of planning left, so enlist a sober buddy (I suggest bribing them with pizza or something equally delicious from the Canteen kitchen) and don’t forget to pack some extra layers. Then have a grand ol’ time in good ol’ Abby! Find out more.
GET CRAFTY | If you’re in Chilliwack this weekend then gather yourself and your knitting or crocheting supplies together and set up on a seat at Old Yale Brewing. This Sunday afternoon the brewery is hosting a Crafting for Critters get-together where creative and charitable types can hang out while making all manner of cozy things for the creatures affected by the Australian wildfires. Not much of a knitter? You can still do your part by simply showing up for a pint or a few, since $1 from every beer sold on Sunday will be donated to the Australian Red Cross. Find out more.
ICYMI | Early last month we paid a visit to North Van in order to have an advance look at the Shipyards Brewery District’s newest addition, North Point Brewing. (If you missed it amid all of the holiday-related flurry it’s all good – take a gander at the full story here.) One detail that definitely warrants reiteration, considering the recent weather conditions, is that the “cabin feels” inspired tasting room also includes a stove-like gas fireplace. Yup. You know where to find us…