What’s Brewing is a magazine about the craft beer movement in BC, Canada. It features great original beer writing from front to back. It also features craft beer community contributions and spotlight some of the best recent articles by BC beer bloggers and authors in order to help bring attention to the craft beer movement as well as the writing talent that exists in BC and Western Canada.
23rd Annual Okanagan Fest of Ale Craft Beer & Cider Festival 2018 Event Highlights Penticton BC – April 13 & 14, 2018
For Immediate Release – February 16th, 2018
Whether you’re a seasoned craft beer connoisseur or a craft brew newcomer you won’t want to miss the 23rd annual Okanagan Fest of Ale taking place in Penticton April 13 & 14, 2018. A favorite for patrons and participants alike for over 20 years, this “must attend event” is one of the largest and longest running beer festivals in the Pacific Northwest. The 2-day festival features 65 brewer booths and over 175 craft beers, craft ciders, and cask ales to enjoy, fabulous food, live entertainment and more.
Guests of the #FestofAle2018 can look forward to tastings from 68 breweries from BC and beyond. 10 of the breweries participating are new to the event, 5 will be featuring craft ciders, and a selection of gluten free beers
will be available. Find a favourite? The crew from Clancy’s Liquor Store will be setting up a pop up shop making it easy for guests to take home their favourite festival finds.
12 local restauranteurs will be serving up an amazing array of delicious dishes and a number of them will be offering special food and beer parings. Watch for Cannery Brewing paired with Brodo Kitchen, Howling Moon Cider paired with Craft Corner Kitchen, Tin Whistle Brewing paired with Nest & Nectar and Tree Brewing paired with Surf Side California Street Food.
On the entertainment front, The Thursday Night Jazz Band will be returning to the main stage for the 23rd time, with the popular Dung Beatles also set to take to the main stage on Saturday. Throughout the weekend, DJ Nathan Shakes will be spinning tunes in between lively performances from an eclectic mix of craft beer loving single and duos.
Festival goers with a thirst for knowledge may want to plan to stop by the at the Trellis and Vine Crafthouse Brewing Education station, while those with a passion for fashion are encouraged to “get crafty” and come to the event in their best team-tees. The friendly folks from Travel Penticton will be onsite Friday, camera ready to capture team-tee tasters with prizes for Best Team Tee and bragging rights up for grabs.
Organizers report tickets sales to date are more than double what they were this time last year. Don’t’ be disappointed, mark your plans to kick off festival season in Penticton at the Okanagan Fest of Ale today!
For all inquiries: please call 250.492.4355 or email@example.com
Operating as a non-profit society, and managed by a Volunteer Board of Directors, the Okanagan Fest of Ale Society hosts an annual Consumer Craft Beer and Cider Tasting that functions to support and promote the growing world of quality craft brewery products, promote local tourism and support charitable organizations within the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similakameen. Since its inception, $537,660 in net proceeds has been gifted back to qualifying registered charities.
Nick Symmonds is a highly decorated elite runner. He’s a two-time Olympian, World Championships silver medalist, and a 7-time NCAA champion.
But maybe even more impressive is his beer mile accomplishments.
Symmonds is a previous world record holder in the beer mile, which consists of chugging four beers while running four laps.
In 2012, he helped elevate the trend of filming and posting the beer mile challenge online. His run of 5 minutes 19 seconds went viral when it was posted on TMZ.com. The notoriety of Symmonds accomplishment helped make the beer mile more mainstream, and it attracted other elite runners to the sport.
Being married can be a lot like running an independent craft brewery — it’s a passionate labor of love that requires time, engagement, strong communication and trust in others. Imagine running a craft brewery with the person you’re married to.
In honor of the Valentine’s Day, we ask beer power couples share their advice for staying in love and in business.
Deborah and Dan Carey, New Glarus Brewing | New Glarus, Wisconsin
DEB AND DAN CAREY FROM NEW GLARUS BREWING (CREDIT: NEW GLARUS)
Deborah and Dan were married for a decade before they started New Glarus Brewing, during which they say they learned to understand and respect each other’s strengths, weaknesses and work rhythms through projects like remodeling and construction.
“We have a clear division of labor,” Deborah says. “Dan is equipment engineering, raw materials, process and recipe. I am building design, investors, finance, distribution, marketing legislative and legal matters. We work collaboratively on the beer calendar and personnel issues. Whoever is charge has the final say.”
Deborah and Dan run their world based on four rules: 1. Respect each other; 2. Date each other; 3. Maintain a sense of humor; 4. Enjoy the journey.
“People would be surprised how fast we move together — like a left and right hand in harmony — because of trust, checked egos and clear communication,” Dan says. “Can I add that I’m married to the kindest, smartest, most patient, least judgmental and hardest working person I know?”
Craft beer has become popular enough in B.C. that some small- to medium-sized breweries have become targets for acquisition by large multinational companies.
“There are taps on the door,” said Darryll Frost, president of Central City Brewers + Distillers, about interest in his company. It’s been in operation in Surrey, B.C., since 2003.
What he’s talking about is a desire from large international brewing companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev or Japan’s Sapporo to acquire smaller breweries in order to regain the market share they’ve lost.
Craft beer contains “good things” such as niacin (vitamin B3) and brewer’s yeast, according to Michael McCullough of California Polytechnic State University.Getty Images. Photo credit: nationalpost.com
‘We all know that a glass of red wine is good for you, but it turns outs a pint of craft beer is better’
Red wine may have to make room on its pedestal for craft beer, a new study suggests. Tasty, independent and produced on a small scale, craft beer is booming in Canada. And according to Michael McCullough, an associate professor at California Polytechnic State University, it may be better for you than a glass of red wine.
Thanks to its antioxidant content, red wine is well-entrenched as a “healthy” alcoholic beverage. Study after study has found links between antioxidants – particularly flavonoids such as resveratrol – and health benefits ranging from a reduced risk of heart disease and dementia.
“We all know that a glass of red wine is good for you, but it turns out a pint of craft beer is better, it has got more good things in it,” McCullough told the Australian Associated Press, referring to nutrients such as niacin (vitamin B3) and brewer’s yeast.
Swans Brewery, Pub & Hotel, one of BC’s oldest craft breweries, is also one of its best-loved public houses. Thousands have enjoyed staying in their luxurious rooms, revelling in the ability to pop downstairs for a freshly-brewed ale at Buckerfield’s Brewery, the hotel’s on-site brewhouse. Now you could win a trip to Victoria as a guest at Swans, on one of the best weekends of the year to visit!
The weekend of March 2-4, 2018 is this year’s opening weekend of the 5th Annual Victoria Beer Week, an amazing 9-day festival of all things beer. For those who enjoy crafted beverages, it’s a brilliant way to learn about and enjoy some of the best ales and lagers the Province of BC has to offer. And what better place than in the original Beer Capital of Canada, home to many of BC’s most famous breweries.
To enter to win two nights’ accomodation and complimentary guest passes to four weekend events, simply enter the draw at the Victoria Beer Week website by Saturday, February 17th 2018.
VBW is a must-do experience for the beer lover. More than just a festival, it’s a series of well-thought-out and well-presented events. Find out much more about what’s in store at VBW by reading our story, The Victoria Beer Week Experience.
In the news this week is a dispute between Courtenay’s Forbidden Brew Corp. and their landlord, operator of Best Western’s The Westerly Hotel, a longtime Comox Valley landmark, resulting in the unexpected closure of Forbidden Brewing Co. due to lockout. Forbidden’s owner Michael Vincent has circulated a news release (below) and has posted about the situation on Facebook, which has garnered some attention. The > 180 comments to date have tended to fall into these categories:
First, there was immediate blowback for the hotel on Facebook. The hotel has apparently had to hide some of the poor reviews that resulted.
A number of the people posting are sympathetic locals who are concerned about losing the brewery and its beer.
Other people have questioned the validity of Forbidden’s complaint, and are looking for more info before they put full blame on the hotel.
What’s Brewing has spoken to some who are familiar with the situation, including Mr. Vincent, to shed some light on the story.
Forbidden Brewing partners Michael Vincent, Nicholas Williams [Head Brewer] and Aaron BibleForbidden Brewing opened its doors adjacent to the Westerly Hotel in summer 2015, sporting a small and unusual brewhouse. They managed to take home a trophy in their first year at that Fall’s BC Beer Awards, a fantastic accomplishment. They won again at last year’s Awards. To date, Forbidden’s products are available locally only.
Others in the province have similarly started with a small brewhouse and made a go of it, which is not easy. Vincent candidly mentions that profitability has suffered due to the high rate of work it takes to make their beer, a product that is expensive in comparison to that which a more efficient setup could produce. However the location Forbidden has enjoyed–located in the parking lot of a major hotel, along with the accompanying foot traffic–seemed at first (at least to us at What’s Brewing) to be a potential advantage.
In 2017, a company called Synergy Properties Ltd. acquired the hotel, and along with it, the arrangement with Forbidden Brewing. Rick Browning (who was apparently co-owner of Courtenay Lodge Ltd. with a Mr. Stan Springer) retained his management role. Vincent reports that, around that time, he started to feel that there were signs that the hotel was no longer pleased with the lease arrangement, and that the direction the hotel’s new owners wished to go with the property was quite different from what he felt had prevailed before.
One of Synergy Properties’ projects around the Westerly is Riverside Senior Living, an “Assisted Living” complex that opened in July 2017, adjacent to the hotel. Some have suggested that their long-term plans, including a serious investment in senior’s housing, simply do not include a brewery on the property.
Across the courtyard is the hotel’s main watering hole, the Flying Canoe. Formerly a nightclub, is has in recent years been toned down into more of a beer-forward pub. Its beer taplist is the focus of the “boycott” mentioned in Vincent’s news release below.
The hotel apparently filed Notice of Civil Claim in December 2016 for an amount of lease payments that it contended was outstanding. Aside from its interest in collections, some have suggested the hotel may have become frustrated with the (seemingly generous) terms of the original lease agreement. In what may be a case of trying to retroactively undo a bad deal, the hotel also asserted that the lease was not properly renewed in 2016. Details of the resulting legal dispute regarding the lease can be found here, including a September 2017 court ruling that the lease is still in effect (ie, legitimately renewed in 2016 through 2019) and that both the landlord and tenant should bear their own legal costs (ie, no “winner” in this situation).
On November 2nd 2017, Courtney Lodge Ltd. filed a new notice of civil claim, suing Forbidden for allegedly causing “discomfort and inconvenience” via noxious fumes from its beer-making operations. Since then, on February 8th, the landlord posted a Notice of Termination stating that the lease has been cancelled, outlining a number of reasons including $1,982 owed in back rent. A bailiff then padlocked the brewery, apparently temporarily turning off its power (there have been disputed utility expenses in the past). This will without doubt cause significant loss of product for Forbidden; Vincent estimates that ~ 2000 litres of beer will be unusable.
Vincent responded by announcing the situation on Facebook, leading to the response described above. It would be safe to say that the hotel management are unhappy with Vincent, but he points out that they have not been in direct communication with him as of late. He would like to expand the brewery, and recently ordered a new 10 HL brewhouse which he hopes to take delivery of this Spring in order to transform the brewery’s efficiency, as described above.
Personally, I have stayed at the hotel, during Spring 2016, as a guest of Comox Valley Tourism, specifically for the purpose of visiting the area and writing about local beer tourism opportunities. My wife and I enjoyed our stay, and certainly had no problem with the hotel, which was at the time under different ownership as noted. We also gave the brewery a good review when we covered it in our magazine.
Regardless of who is at fault here–and, like the aforementioned legal judgment, some in the craft industry/community have suggested that both parties can be construed to bear responsibility for the current situation–What’s Brewing is always concerned when a member of the BC craft beer community is in serious trouble. The same goes with some of the breweries that are close to Forbidden. Owner Michael Vincent has provided evidence of this in the form of the press release that follows.
Local Craft Breweries Boycott the Flying Canoe
Courtenay, BC February 8, 2017
In support of Forbidden Brewing, local breweries are refusing to sell any more beer to the Flying Canoe, which is owned and operated by The Best Western Hotel in Courtenay.
On the morning of Feb 8, Michael Vincent, owner/operator of Forbidden Brewing, showed up at the brewery as usual. He was shocked to find that the landlord had changes the locks and shut off the power, exposing thousands of liters of beer to potential spoilage.
Attached to the inside of the door were a “Notice of Termination” and a “Notice to Quit”, claiming that Forbidden is in default of its lease.
“The court already ruled against their first claim that we were in breach of our lease, then they immediately started a new action against us, which is currently ongoing” stated Michael. “ This seems to be a third action, which has come out of nowhere and it has completely blind-sided us”.
Forbidden is set to make the move from a nano-brewery to a micro-brewery in the very near future. They have been tenants at The Best Western Hotel since the summer of 2014. Relations between the landlord and the brewery began to get challenging right around the time the new owners, Synergy Properties, began looking at the purchase and development of the hotel and property. “The ownership has a proposal and building permit in with the city, they are turning some rooms into residences, and looking at building a new structure as an assisted living development. It is possible that we simply don’t fit into their future plans” said Michael.
Forbidden Brewing has invested a significant amount of money in capital improvements at their current location, which they expected to amortize over their 8 year lease. It sounds like Forbidden are currently being bullied out of the space. One would expect a billion dollar international real estate Investment Company to proceed in a more responsible manner.
The losses of the beer industry’s biggest brands aren’t necessarily gains for the craft beer market. (AP photo/Lawrence Jackson). Photo credit: www.marinij.com
For many dedicated craft beer fans, it is difficult to fathom why light lagers dominate the global beer market.
Easier to fathom, then, is the fact that popularity of these relatively flavorless beers is flagging. Sales by volume of Bud Light and Budweiser dropped 5.3 and 5.7 percent, respectively, in 2017. Miller Lite and Coors Light also saw dips in sales. The downward trajectories of mainstream lager sales are not new turns in the market. The industry analyst firm IWSR reported that, from 2010 to 2016, Budweiser’s sales value declined by 17 percent while Bud Light’s dropped 14 percent. Craft beer’s share of the market has meanwhile grown, with small and independently owned breweries now claiming between 12 and 13 percent of national beer sales.
As millions of beer drinkers increasingly choose not to buy the most popular beer brands in the world, it beckons one to ask what is going on. Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, an industry group in Colorado, says a population-level change is underway.
A craft brewer is slamming MillerCoors in a new lawsuit — and the beer giant is firing shots right back.
On Monday, Stone Brewing announced that it was filing a lawsuit against MillerCoors over the marketing and packaging of its Keystone Light beer.
The craft brewer’s co-founder, Greg Koch, said in a video that the light beer brand is trying to “co-op our brand and our good name.” Koch accused MillerCoors of deliberately confusing customers by making Keystone packaging look more like Stone brews. He also included a shot of himself trying Keystone Light and spitting it out.
MillerCoors swiftly responded to the allegations, pointing out that Keystone Light’s invention predates Stone Brewing by almost a decade.
All 4,300 bottles in Tony Matheson’s basement in North Bay are full of beer. He also has another 3,000 extras or duplicates that are not on display. (Canadian Beer Collectibles Facebook). Photo credit: www.cbc.ca
Tony Matheson has 4,300 unopened bottles of beer in his basement
Tony Matheson of North Bay has been collecting Canadian beer bottles since he was 18.
He now has more than 4,300 bottles in his basement and they are all still full of beer.
The collection is so significant Matheson hopes, eventually, to use it as the basis for a new beer museum in the city.
When he is not collecting, Matheson is a mission crew commander at the Royal Canadian Air Force. He is only a few years away from retirement and says that’s when he wants to focus more on the museum.