thebeerrater.com http://thebeerrater.com an unfiltered look at the World of Craft Beer Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:21:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 https://i1.wp.com/thebeerrater.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/cropped-cropped-request2-e1443057128742.jpg?fit=32%2C32 thebeerrater.com http://thebeerrater.com 32 32 64568751 The PEAK 102.7 Battle of the Brews Beer Fest http://thebeerrater.com/peak-102-7-battle-brews-beer-fest/ http://thebeerrater.com/peak-102-7-battle-brews-beer-fest/#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 04:45:20 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2800 Just when you thought you’d seen it all before! What’s the biggest problem with beer fests? Paying for them obviously. We dish the cash to get in the damn place and once we’re in we have to dish over another $100,000 just to get a mild buzz? It’s not cool. But we do it anyway. Until [...]

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Just when you thought you’d seen it all before!

What’s the biggest problem with beer fests? Paying for them obviously. We dish the cash to get in the damn place and once we’re in we have to dish over another $100,000 just to get a mild buzz? It’s not cool. But we do it anyway. Until now!

The Battle of the BrewsThe Battle of the Brews is this Weekend! – August 19

I was about to write off Beer Fests forever until I got a friendly message from everyone’s favourite Radio Host – Casey-Jo Loos at The Peak 102.7 inviting me to their awesome new beer fest – The Battle of the Brews! It honestly has everything you’d want in a beer fest:

  • Funky tasting glass (this is really why we go right?)
  • A multitude of beer (Obviously)
  • Awesome food options (Nom Nom Nom)
  • Awesome tunes (the Peak is putting it on so there’s gotta be kickin’ tunes)
  • An easy to access location (Surrey City Hall is right by the Sky Train)

Sounding pretty good so far right? But wait, there’s more!!! All the proceeds go to two great causes –  Athletics 4 Kids and Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society youth initiatives. In the case I have to spell that out for you… Your drunk ass is literally making other people’s lives better just by being there. You’re basically a super hero for attending.

I haven’t even gotten to the good part!

Once you’re in, everything in The Battle of the Brews is free. YES! FREE! You pay your admission and that’s all you worry about. Feel free to eat all the foods, drain all the kegs and have all of the good times your body can handle. For once, you don’t have to worry about how many tokens everything costs.

If that’s not enough for you!

There’s even more to this puppy! Inside the beer fest, there’s a competition where you get to vote for the beer of the show! You just have to check it out!

Beer BuddyBuy Tickets:

Buy Tickets Here!

Learn More:

All about the fest > The PEAK 102.7 Battle of the Brews Beer Fest

The Awesome Causes:

Athletics 4 Kids

Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society youth initiatives

 

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Ya just Gotta go to Brewers Row in Port Moody! http://thebeerrater.com/brewers-row/ http://thebeerrater.com/brewers-row/#comments Fri, 04 Aug 2017 07:31:50 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2774 Have You Even Heard of Brewers Row? When we think of Vancouver Craft Beer, we think of the multitude of breweries that litter East Vancouver area. What people fail to think about is an equally (if not more) awesome and more beer-convenient neighbourhood a short 30 minutes away from East Vancouver – Brewers Row in Port Moody. [...]

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Have You Even Heard of Brewers Row?

Brewers Row Port MoodyWhen we think of Vancouver Craft Beer, we think of the multitude of breweries that litter East Vancouver area. What people fail to think about is an equally (if not more) awesome and more beer-convenient neighbourhood a short 30 minutes away from East Vancouver – Brewers Row in Port Moody. This beautiful, accessible and delicious part of the world is a must see for any Craft Beer fan living or visiting the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

If you haven’t heard of it, Brewers Row is a collection of four awesome breweries that sit on a 500 meter stretch of road. To get there, it’s an easy drive from pretty much any direction. But if you want everyone in your party to be able to join in the experience, take the Skytrain. There’s a stop right behind the breweries and no one has to worry about consumption or appointing a designated driver.

The Breweries

Each Brewery is awesome for its own reason and they are all definitely worth visiting. I may ruffle some feathers in my opinions here, but they are all my favorite for different reasons:

Moody Ales Port MoodyMoody Ales – Best Service

I’m not saying the others suck, but from day one, the folks behind the bar at Moody Ales have been the facilitating and friendly out of the four breweries in the area.


The Parkside Brewery Port MoodyThe Parkside Brewery – Best Tasting Room

Arcade game, shuffle board, and a big ass grassy patio. Need I say more? These guys have put a lot of time and effort into creating a fun tasting room and it shows!


Yellow Dog Brewing Port MoodyYellow Dog Brewing Co. – Best Beer

Don’t get me wrong, all the four Brewers Row breweries’ beer is great, I just find Yellow Dog’s beer is the one I will buy at the liquor store and not just while I’m at the Brewery


Twin Sails Port MoodyTwin Sails Brewing – Best Vibe

Some will argue that Twin Sail has the best beer on Brewers Row, but they are too heavy on IPA’s for me to give them that title. I need some diversity in the lineup. What I love about them is how chill and relaxing their vibe is. It’s either the perfect start to your day or the perfect end.


There’s Food Too!

Rocky Point Ice CreamThere’s a lot of different options for when you need to fill your tum with something other than delicious beer. Along the row, there’s always different food trucks to grab a bite from. You can then take that food into any one of the breweries and do your best at a beer pairing. OR! If you want to nom your food down in a more peaceful setting, you can always take your meal across the street to Rocky Point Park and stare at the beautiful Burrard Inlet as you fill your face. While you’re at it, why not stop at Rocky Point Ice Cream for your well-deserved dessert?

If sitting down to a meal is more your thing, there’s lots of that too. The brand new Taps and Tacos that opened up a short walk away. There are lots of great pizza options (I suggest Pizzeria Spacca Napoli, not only is the pizza amazing, you get pizza scissors to cut it with! PIZZA SCISSORS!). If you are looking for something a little more classy – there’s also a Boathouse Restaurant right on the water.

A Perfect Day Out for Anyone

Whatever your fancy, Brewers Row has something for you. On any day you will see people young and old, having a beer, chat and/or a laugh there. I give a huge Kudos to the City of Port Moody for embracing the Craft Beer culture and facilitating such a great destination. I can’t stress how much you need to visit here if you haven’t and how much you need to get back there if you’ve already been!

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Just When You Thought Beer Fests Were Boring http://thebeerrater.com/brew-north-strong-beer-fest/ http://thebeerrater.com/brew-north-strong-beer-fest/#respond Fri, 28 Jul 2017 05:11:24 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2759 The Brew North Strong Beer Festival at the Abbotsford Airshow When: August 11 (3:30-9:00 pm) and August 12 -13 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Yes that means morning drinking) Where: Abbotsford International Airshow at the Abbotsford Airport How Much? $40 ($25 for admission to the airshow, $15 to the beer fest and only $1.50 per token) [...]

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The Brew North Strong Beer Festival at the Abbotsford Airshow

When: August 11 (3:30-9:00 pm) and August 12 -13 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Yes that means morning drinking)

Where: Abbotsford International Airshow at the Abbotsford Airport

How Much? $40 ($25 for admission to the airshow, $15 to the beer fest and only $1.50 per token)

What’s it all about?

There’s a brand spanking new beer fest in town gang – Brew North Strong! I promise you, you won’t want to miss this one. It offers something no other beer fest around does – FREAKING AIRPLANES. While other beer fests are doing the same old thing, Brew North Strong is flying freaking airplanes over your dome. Imagine the office chatter on Monday… Your boring coworkers will be bragging about waiting in a long line for an over priced warm beer in a tiny glass after paying a ridiculous entry fee at their stupid Beer Fest. But you… YOU get to brag about lounging on a sweet piece of tarmac, watching freaking airplanes while sipping BC’s finest brews. Who do you think will win that round of “What did you get up to this weekend?”

There’s more to it

Apart from the obvious reason you should head out to Brew North Strong Beer Fest (Beer) and the second obvious reason (Freaking Airplanes), there’s another really important reason to get your lazy ass out there: They’ve brought in a great mix of Breweries that we’re not used to seeing. At all the major Beer Fests, we get used to the usual suspects and forget that there is this whole other world of Craft Beer in the Fraser Valley and beyond. Some of the breweries on the list I’m looking forward to include:

  • Hathi Brewing,
  • Highway 97 Brewery,
  • The brand new Two Wolves Brewing
  • Canada’s 2017 Brewery of the Year – Mount Begbie Brewing

Here’s how easy it all is to join in:

  • Step One – Buy yourself an Airshow ticket ($25)
  • Step Two – Add a Beer Fest Ticket on to that beauty of an Airshow ticket ($15)
  • Step Three – Drink Beer (Tokens are $1.50) and watch Airplanes (Free)

Need more input?

If you’re curious about how it’s all going down or want to buy tickets, follow this link – brewnorthbeerfestival.com

If all this isn’t enough for you to grab a ticket today… I’m going and the usual rules apply, give me a high five and I’ll likely buy you a drink! See you all on the runway!

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What is Contract Brewing? http://thebeerrater.com/what-is-contract-brewing/ http://thebeerrater.com/what-is-contract-brewing/#comments Thu, 13 Jul 2017 16:00:49 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2739 It’s Contract Brewing!!! You’ve heard the name, but is it really the answer to all our prayers? The short answer is yes. The long answer is “Yes it is.” There’s no argument – the craft beer industry has been exploding over the last few years, and it definitely does not show any signs of slowing [...]

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It’s Contract Brewing!!!

You’ve heard the name, but is it really the answer to all our prayers? The short answer is yes. The long answer is “Yes it is.”

There’s no argument – the craft beer industry has been exploding over the last few years, and it definitely does not show any signs of slowing down. As more and more people join the craft beer hordes running amok trying to taste every different beer that exists, breweries are sweating off their perfectly crafted beer guts to keep up with demand.

All over the nation, breweries are begging suppliers and equipment vendors to get their hands on new equipment to increase their production. Opportunistic beer entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the exploding industry and opening up shop to be the coolest brewery on the block. While all us regular people rejoice, local governments and breweries alike are keeping their eye on one thing: Space. Not “SPACE” space, but production space.

Space Really is the Next Frontier

From a Government’s point of view – how do they embrace the growing industry but also leave space for other small businesses to thrive in the area? From the brewery’s point of view – how do you start or expand production when there’s no room to start or expand? If only there were somewhere you could outsource your production and still be able to operate out of the space you want and serve the community you want. Wouldn’t that be great?

The Solution is Here!

Rest easy, people! We have a delicious little concept we call Contract Brewing. If you haven’t heard of it – it’s basically taking your beer recipe and brewing it on someone else’s system. There are many benefits to Contract Brewing for The Startup Brewery, The Growing Brewery, and even The Importing Brewery.

FermenterThe Startup Brewery

Can’t find a space to brew? Can’t afford a space to brew? Don’t care and want to get your beer out to the masses anyway? With Contract Brewing, you get to brew your beer, package your beer and sell your beer without having to invest hundred of thousands of dollars (if not millions) in the space and equipment. Booyah!

Fermenter

The Growing Brewery

Have your popular beers taken up the majority of your capacity? Do you need to find extra space, but want to keep servicing your current community? With Contract Brewing, you get to stay in your original space and grow your production while figuring out what your next step is. Booyah!!

Fermenter

The Importing Brewery

Do you want to crack into a new market but the transportation prices your beer out of the market? Do you want to expand your beer across a country’s border, but the import fees price your beer out of the market? With Contract Brewing, you get to brew in the market you want to expand into, forget about ridiculous transportation/import fees, and support the local economy while you’re at it. Booyah!!!

The Growth of Contract Brewing

For many years, I’ve really only heard of Contract Brewing on a small scale. Some larger breweries who are scaling up production and/or have space in their schedule, rent/lease their tank space to a lucky brewery who can temporarily benefit from the boost in production. Other operations Like East Vancouver’s Callister Brewing act as a “Brewery Incubator” of sorts. Fledgling breweries get to piggyback on the Callister Brand to release different beer for a set period of time to gain exposure and experience before they set out on their own.

Factory BrewingThere’s a New Kid in Town – Factory Brewing

There’s a whole new beast that has come to Vancouver, BC that has not only changed the Contract Brewing Game, but will also change the local craft beer industry as a whole. The beast goes by the name of Factory Brewing. I knew that someone with the right skillset and experience would bring this here and I am so glad that they did.

Factory is a veritable Mega-Facility when it comes to Craft Beer. They act as a Brewhouse, Packaging Plant, and Beer Lab all in one. How cool is that? Without having to worry about brewing their own beer, they get to focus on making sure the quality and consistency of everyone else’s beer is up to snuff. Want beer in cans? They can do that. Bottle? They can do that too. Kegs? Of course! Growlers? Well, not growlers, but that’s a different thing. Maybe one day though! Who knows?

What Does This Mean?

What this means for the industry is now beer entrepreneurs can open up boutique locations wherever they want without having to worry about equipment and expansion. I truly believe this will increase the quality and consistency of our local beer as well as the variety of styles and essentially – good times.

Welcome to the new age!

 

 

 

 

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Beer Glass or Beer Ass – Friend or Foe? http://thebeerrater.com/beer-glass-or-beer-ass-friend-or-foe/ http://thebeerrater.com/beer-glass-or-beer-ass-friend-or-foe/#comments Fri, 30 Jun 2017 01:54:00 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2707 Choose Your Glass Wisely In the past, I’ve made the claim that what you use for your Beer Glass doesn’t matter. While 99% of me still agrees with this statement, the remaining 1% feels like it may actually matter a little bit. So in the spirit of drinking, I’m going to let the 1% speak for a while… [...]

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Choose Your Glass Wisely

In the past, I’ve made the claim that what you use for your Beer Glass doesn’t matter. While 99% of me still agrees with this statement, the remaining 1% feels like it may actually matter a little bit. So in the spirit of drinking, I’m going to let the 1% speak for a while…

beer glass

It’s Not What You Think!

Sooooo apparently, your beer glass DOES matter. It’s not for the reason you think though. A whole bunch of turds out there will try to convince you that it angles the smell of the beer, and refracts the sun’s rays to let the beer gods shine brightly upon your brew. I’ve tried this numerous times and I’m just going to point out that it’s mostly bullshit. Mostly. I know there are “connoisseurs” out there that will argue with me until the drunks come home about how glassware’s effect on beer. These people are turds. It doesn’t really heighten the experience for me and I’m not about to listen to a turd anyway. If it holds beer, that’s all we care about at thebeerrater.com.

Beer GlassesBulging Glasses Are NOT to be Trusted

According to science, there’s really only one important reason you should pay attention to your beer glass… Seriously. For once, I’m not joking. Any seasoned beer drinker has learned how to pace themselves by monitoring the beer left in their glass.  It’s a relatively important skill – It’s what separates the dignified drinkers from the shirtless frat boys dancing pantless on a table in shifty Auckland dive bar that time (not that that ever happened to me).

Science!

According to a study at the University of Bristol, the shape of your glass has a lot to do with how well you can judge your consumption. Generally speaking, a straight walled glass is your friend and the rounded glass is a veritable firehose of drunk. According to this study, drinking from a straight walled glass, people finished their drink in approximately 11 minutes. The curved wall glass was discovered to be your nemesis. Apparently, those who drank from the curved wall glass finished their drink in approximately 7 minutes. This can be a good or bad thing depending on what side of the bar you’re sitting on.

Amber Beer Glass

READ: University Of Bristol – Beer Glasses Influence Your Rate of Consumption

More Proof!

Another part of this study demonstrated that when looking at a 50% full glass the straight walled glass vs a curved walled glass. Subjects were able to identify the midpoint of the straight walled beer glass much better than its deceptive curved walled cousin. Crazy stuff. I knew it wasn’t all my fault for getting so drunk all these times…

I think this calls for an experiment! Go and try it yourself, then report back here to see if this study holds water (or beer in this case).

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The Craft Beer Revolution – We Need Recruits! http://thebeerrater.com/the-craft-beer-revolution/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 06:08:28 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2673 Brewnited We Stand! We’re fighting a war friends! The good news is that we’re winning! Every day, more and more people are turning on to craft beer – taking valuable sales from the bad guys. The lousy Macro-Beer Imperialists are getting desperate. They’re trying to buy up our resources, corn our Malt, and un-hop our [...]

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Bc Craft BeerBrewnited We Stand!

We’re fighting a war friends! The good news is that we’re winning! Every day, more and more people are turning on to craft beer – taking valuable sales from the bad guys. The lousy Macro-Beer Imperialists are getting desperate. They’re trying to buy up our resources, corn our Malt, and un-hop our IPA’s. But we will not falter. Now is not the time to to get cocky, we need to dig down into the trenches and pull our fallen brothers and sisters up to the light! As the Craft Beer Revolution grows we need to join together in a “Brewnited Front.”

I’m Getting Worried…

While on my tour of tasting rooms this month, I’ve noticed a rise in “Craft Beer Douchebaggery”. We’re all guilty of it from time to time. I’ll even be so bold to say that it may be necessary at times. When we’re trying to build our army against the big guys, we really need to listen to what our parents told us: CUT THE BULLSHIT!!! Being a fan of craft beer is great – Nay – the best!  But when you’re trying to impress your friends by spouting off about ABV, how high your Untapped Beer Count is, and how many breweries you’ve been to, no one in the room thinks you’re even a fraction of how cool you think you are. Instead, you’re confirming their suspicion that you are without a doubt, a turd. This is the kind of behavior that does not help the industry. In fact, it makes us look bad. This industry was built upon standing outside the norm, pushing the boundaries, and embracing the weird. Let’s keep it that way.

Get Your Head Straight!

Rate beerInstead of boasting about how you obviously pioneered the industry, why not focus on recruiting new fans and advocating for the industry? In my time writing about beer and serving beer, nothing has given me more pleasure than bringing on a new recruit. The look in their eyes when you show them how good beer can be and how excited they get when you’ve opened their eyes. This is what craft beer is about. Let’s grow this revolution and bring beer back to our communities and out of the hands of Macro Beer.

Need some help?

Try using one of these four beers as your recruitment strategy! I’m sure one of them will work for you like they do for me! Follow this link to find out how:

Intro to Craft Beer Beers

 

 

 

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What is your “Intro to Craft Beer” Beer? http://thebeerrater.com/intro-craft-beer/ http://thebeerrater.com/intro-craft-beer/#comments Fri, 16 Jun 2017 07:12:30 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2675 Out of the Dark… Let’s face it. We all started our adventure into beer by stealing one of our Dad’s Macro lagers from the fridge when no one was looking. Your first taste was strange, tingly and transformational all at the same time. At some point in your beer journey, you “saw the light” and [...]

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Out of the Dark…

Let’s face it. We all started our adventure into beer by stealing one of our Dad’s Macro lagers from the fridge when no one was looking. Your first taste was strange, tingly and transformational all at the same time. At some point in your beer journey, you “saw the light” and moved over to Craft Beer. As you discovered more and more different styles of beer, you started to transition from an exploratory beer newbie into a full-fledged industry fanatic. You started looking at your friends wondering, “If they don’t love craft beer why are they my friends in the first place?” It’s not that they’re worthless, they’re just ignorant. All they really need is what you originally found- that magical transitional beer. Luckily you are here to show them the way.

Who’s on Your Intro list?

Most beer Nerds, like me, have their own list of these “Intro to Craft Beer” Beer. If you haven’t compiled yours yet, here’s mine.  All these beer come from the smaller breweries around the lower mainland and can be found in most liquor stores. They’re all tried and true and have converted at least one Macro Maniac into a Craft Beer Junkie.

Steel and Oak Red PilsnerSteel & Oak Red Pilsner – ABV 5% | IBU 35

Fans of lighter lagers love this beer. The lightness of this brew comforts their habits white the malty redness piques their interest and make them question what other things in their life they got wrong.

Parallel 49 Gypsy Tears Ruby AleParallel 49 Gypsy Tears Ruby Ale – ABV 6% | IBU 40

An easy drinking red ale that can be found pretty much anywhere. There’s nothing offensive about this beer and a good intro to hops for those lager-heads who aren’t used to flavour.

Steamworks Flagship IPASteamworks Flagship IPA – ABV 6.7% | IBU 65

This is the IPA for fools who don’t like IPAs. The beauty of this Hazy East-Coast IPA’s is that the juicy, fruitiness of its flavour disguises the reasons all your idiot friends complain about the hoppiness of IPAs. Even Marge from accounting will love this one.

Fuggles and Warlock Bean Me Up StoutFuggles and Warlock Bean me up Stout – ABV 5.7% | IBU 24

When someone says, “I hate dark beer” or “it’s too heavy” or something odd like that, throw one of these bad boys in front of them. Their love of coffee will find solace in this espresso milk stout. It’s a veritable Cappuccino in a can. Trust me, it works.

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Big Cans – Does Size Matter? http://thebeerrater.com/big-cans/ http://thebeerrater.com/big-cans/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 05:52:46 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2640 Why Do We Love Big Cans? I Took it to The Streets to Find Out Check out any Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feed these days – it’s all about cans! I’m the first to say that I care about my drinking vessel about as much as I care about #covfefe, but like most of the industry, I’ve been drawn [...]

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Why Do We Love Big Cans? I Took it to The Streets to Find Out

Phillips Solaris Beer CansCheck out any Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feed these days – it’s all about cans! I’m the first to say that I care about my drinking vessel about as much as I care about #covfefe, but like most of the industry, I’ve been drawn to the 473 mL can. For those of you in the non-metric part of the world, we’re talking about the 16 oz. tall-boy can (slightly under to be precise). For me, I love them because when I empty one of these “tall-boy” cans into a  glass, the beer stops pouring when the glass if full! As I said, I don’t care what the beer comes in, I just want to make sure I’m getting the right amount.

Lately, I’ve been told that my opinion isn’t enough. So I took this question to the streets. I went to my local liquor stores and started asking around. These are the reasons I found. Let’s see if you agree:

Craft Beer Can“The Labels are Cool!”

Breweries are working overtime to make their beer stand out on the shelf – we’re seeing some really cool labels out there.  Designers seem to get more creative with cans than bottles and we have seen some really cool artwork lately. It might not directly speak to the beer inside, but I will always take a second look at a can that looks nice (see what I did there?)

“I Drink Less Beer With a Big Can”

Although at first, the logic seems off, this actually makes sense. If I want “one drink” on a weekday, one tall can will actually quench my thirst. When I have the smaller 355 mL, I am more inclined to have two. Sometimes, if those 2 beer give me a slight buzz… the floodgates swing wide open leading into to a morning of closed office doors, multiple cups of coffee and many unanswered emails.

“You Know it’s Craft!”

I don’t know about your beer market, but in BC, when you see a 472 mL can with a sticker label in a four-pack, you can guarantee that it comes from a “Craft Brewery”. By picking these tell-tale cans, you can eliminate the guesswork on whether the brewery is “Craft” or not. We also have a “Door to Door” canning company that provides breweries the ability to can their beer without investing in a costly canning line.

I want to hear from you! What do you think about the tall cans? Why do you buy them? Leave a comment below!

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Crafting a Tasting Room http://thebeerrater.com/crafting-a-tasting-room/ http://thebeerrater.com/crafting-a-tasting-room/#comments Fri, 02 Jun 2017 16:00:07 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2622 Crafting a Perfect Tasting Room Experience In terms of a brewery’s brand, the tasting room is probably one of the most important things to get right. It’s the place that your customers get to come in and experience what you’re all about. When done right, it can easily turn these fans of Craft Beer into fans [...]

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Crafting a Perfect Tasting Room Experience

Rate beerIn terms of a brewery’s brand, the tasting room is probably one of the most important things to get right. It’s the place that your customers get to come in and experience what you’re all about. When done right, it can easily turn these fans of Craft Beer into fans of ‘YOUR’ Craft Beer (regardless of how good your beer is). I have seen people who have stumbled into a tasting room for the first time, come back time and time again with all their friends. It’s your opportunity to turn customers into what we call champions – people that will advocate for you when you don’t even ask for it.

I have honestly lost count of the number of tasting rooms I have visited – in layman’s terms, its a lot! What I do remember is the great experiences I’ve had in the breweries I have fallen in love with because of my experience in their tasting room. Based on this “exhaustive” research I have conducted and the opinions of a bunch of other So-called smart people – I have discovered the four things you need to create an awesome tasting room experience.

Staff

Craft Brewery StaffThe most important part of the tasting room. Even more so than your beer at times. Great people make great times and customers will always come back if they had a great time – it’s science. Although most tasting room staff tend to be tattoo-cladded, tight jean wearing, old-man glasses toting hipsters, they don’t always have to be. What they do have to be is engaging, upbeat and real. You want people working there who are genuinely ecstatic about beer and could talk about it all day.

Each staff member should be able to talk describe each beer on tap, the brewing process, and the components of beer. There are going to be questions about these topics coming their way. Avoid the shame and make sure they are trained up on the things they should know about. I’m not saying they should all be experts, but if they don’t know the difference between ABV and HIV, I’d be worried.

Beer

Craft Beer FlightYou need at least 4 (you have to fill a flight board at the very least) and there should be some range to what you offer. There will always be people looking for darker beer. There will always be people looking for lighter beer. And of course – there will always be a nerd looking for the most obscure thing you offer. If your menu is too one sided, you run the risk of losing a customer before they get a chance to see how awesome you are. Offer something for everyone.

Make sure you switch up your lineup from time to time too. If there isn’t something new to offer once in a while, the regulars will eventually get bored and they’ll head off elsewhere to find something different. Menu variety can come in the form of a new beer, experimental series, guest taps, casks… The list goes on. Just change it up and keep it fresh for your peeps.

Food

Craft Beer FoodTasting room food is a very fast growing area in the world of craft beer. You don’t need to have a full kitchen, but you need something to sustain people throughout their alcoholic adventure. If you miss this step – they’ll be walking out your door a lot sooner than they want to. A great complementary food service that many breweries are taking advantage of is the always popular “Food Truck”. Get one of these bad boys to pull up next to your tasting room and you’ll never regret it.

Music

Tasting Room MusicRemember these words: You are not a club, bar or Funky Disco! A tasting room is where people go to taste some great local beer, have some laughs and enjoy themselves. The only time that the music is the focus of attention is when a live act is brought in. The music should be noticed in the background and fit in with the vibe of your brand/room. I cannot stress how important a well-curated playlist is. It sets the mood that people will always remember you as and could be the “X” factor that brings people back over and over!

Obviously, there is more to the equation than these four things. If you have a strong grasp on these, you’re off to a great start!!!

What do you think the most important part of a tasting room is?

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The 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards Results http://thebeerrater.com/2017-canadian-brewing-awards-results/ Sun, 28 May 2017 06:51:05 +0000 http://thebeerrater.com/?p=2608 2017 Canadian Brewing Awards Winners Brewery of the Year: Mt. Begbie Brewing Company Beer of the Year: Indie Ale House, Spadina Monkey 2017 Beer Categories & Winners European Style Lager (Pilsner) Gold: Big Rock Brewery (Alberta), Pilsner Silver: Brewsters Brewing Company (Alberta), Original Lager Bronze: Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault Inc. (New Brunswick), La Kedwick Pilsner [...]

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Canadian Brewing Awards 2017

2017 Canadian Brewing Awards Winners

Brewery of the Year: Mt. Begbie Brewing Company

Beer of the Year: Indie Ale House, Spadina Monkey


2017 Beer Categories & Winners

European Style Lager (Pilsner)

Gold: Big Rock Brewery (Alberta), Pilsner
Silver: Brewsters Brewing Company (Alberta), Original Lager
Bronze: Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault Inc. (New Brunswick), La Kedwick Pilsner

European Style Amber to Dark Lager

Gold: Junction Craft Brewing (Ontario), Junction Black Lager
Silver: Silversmith Brewing Company (Ontario), The Black Lager
Bronze: Bomber Brewing (BC), Bomber Märzen

Bock – Traditional German Style

Gold: Boxing Rock Brewing Company (Nova Scotia), Stayin’ Alive
Silver: Tooth and Nail Brewing Company (Ontario), Invigorator
Bronze: Central City Brewers and Distillers (BC), Red Racer Dopplebock

Kellerbier/Zwickelbier

Gold: Moon Under Water Brewery (BC), POTTS PILS
Silver: Riot Brewing Co. (BC), Good Vibrations Classical Pilsner
Bronze: Hopfenstark Brewery (Quebec), Helles

German Style Kölsch

Gold: Mt. Begbie Brewing Company (BC), High Country Kolsch
Silver: Axe & Barrel Brewery (BC), King Kolsch
Bronze: Abe Erb Brewing Co. (Ontario), 1857 Kolsch-Style Lagered Ale

Wheat Beer – Belgian Style (Wit)

Gold: les 3 Brasseurs (Quebec), La Blanche
Silver: Brasserie Artisanale La Korrigane (Quebec), Mary Morgan
Bronze: Market Brewing Co. (Ontario), Flee to Pennsylvania

Wheat Beer – German Style (Weiss)

Gold: Uncle Leo’s Brewery (Nova Scotia), Uncle Leo’s Vohs Weizenbier
Silver: Side Launch Brewing Company (Ontario), Side Launch Wheat
Bronze: Les Trois Mousquetaires Microbrasseurs (Quebec), Blanche

Baltic Porter

Gold: The Cannery Brewing Co. (BC), “Kiek in de Kök ” Baltic Porter
Silver: Ferme Brasserie Schoune Inc. (Quebec), Encre des Ténèbres
Bronze: StoneHammer Brewing (Ontario), Continuity Baltic Porter

Belgian-Style Dubbel or Quadrupel

Gold: Railway City Brewing Co (Ontario), The Strongman
Silver: Townsite Brewing (BC), Biere d’ Hiver
Bronze: Frampton Brasse (Quebec), Nuit d’automne

Belgian-Style Tripel

Gold: New Limburg Brewing company (Ontario), Tripel
Silver: Four Winds Brewing Company Ltd (BC), Triplicity Belgian Tripel
Bronze: Village Brewery (Calgary), Village Friend

Belgian Style Abbey Ale/Pale Ale

Gold: North Brewing Company (Nova Scotia), Gus’ 65m Ale
Silver: Dageraad Brewing Inc. (BC), Burnabarian
Bronze: Gladstone Brewing Co. (BC), Gladstone Single

Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale

Gold: Publican House Brewery (Ontario), Eight or Better
Silver: À la Fût (Quebec), Cowsûre
Bronze: Strathcona Beer Company (BC), Strathcona Belgian Gold

French and Belgian Style Saison

Gold: Steamworks Brewing Co. (BC), Saison
Silver: Winterlong Brewing Co. (Yukon), Mountain Hero
Bronze: Stone City Ales (Ontario), Chloé

Belgian-Style Brett Beer

Gold: Le Trefle Noir Microbrasserie (Quebec), Surelevent
Silver: PEI Brewing Company (PEI), Patience
Bronze: Luppolo Brewing Company (BC), Luppolo Wild Saison with Pear

German-Style Sour Ale

Gold: L’Espace Public (Quebec), Bière de Coin d’Rue
Silver: Collective Arts Brewing (Ontario), Prophets & Nomads
Bronze: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. (Ontario), Raspberry Uber

Belgian-Style Sour Ale

Gold: LTM – Les Trois Mousquetaires Microbrasseurs (Quebec), Ceci n’est pas une gueuze
Silver: Stone City Ales (Ontario), Conundrum
Bronze: Strange Fellows Brewing (BC), Reynard

Porter

Gold: Foamers’ Folly Brewing Co. (BC), Blacksnake Porter
Silver: Yaletown Brewing Company (BC), Valley of the Monks Porter
Bronze: Propeller Brewing Company (Nova Scotia), Porter

Brown Ale

Gold: Corsaire Microbrasserie (Quebec), Corsaire Brown Ale
Silver: Corsaire Microbrasserie (Quebec), Dark Mild
Bronze: Powell Brewery (BC), Dive Bomb

Scotch Ale

Gold: Farnham Ale & Lager (Quebec), Scotch Ale
Silver: Common Crown Brewing Co. (Alberta), Andy’s Wee Heavy Scottish Ale
Bronze: Mt. Begbie Brewing Company (BC), Brave Liver Scotch Ale

English Style Pale Ale

Gold: R&B Brewing Inc. (BC), Red Devil pale ale
Silver: Off The Rail Brewing Co. (BC), Off The Rail Classic Pale Ale
Bronze: Steamworks Brewpub Gastown (BC), Commonwealth Pale Ale

English Bitters

Gold: Off The Rail Brewing Co. (BC), Off The Rail Belt Up ESB
Silver: Powell Brewery (BC), Old Jalopy Pale Ale
Bronze: MacLeans Ales Inc (Ontario), MacLean’s ESB

Sweet Stout or Cream Stout

Gold: Microbrasserie St-Pancrace (Quebec), Pointe-Noire
Silver: Wellington Brewery (Ontario), Chocolate Milk Stout
Bronze: Troubled Monk Brewery (Alberta), Milk Stout

Oatmeal Stout

Gold: FRANK Brewing Co. (Ontario), Simple Man
Silver: Bushwakker Brewing Company (Saskatchewan), Pickard’s Oatmeal Stout
Bronze: Hopfenstark Brewery (Quebec), Stout Black Francis

Dry Stout

Gold: Pump House Brewery Ltd. (New Brunswick), Muddy River Stout
Silver: Granite Brewery (Ontario), Keefe’s Irish Stout
Bronze: Microbrasserie Riverbend (Quebec), Stout

Imperial Stout

Gold: Black Bridge Brewery (Saskatchewan), Folklore Imperial Stout
Silver: Le Trèfle Noir Microbrasserie (Quebec), Chernoe Pivo
Bronze: Bomber Brewing (BC), Bomber Russian Imperial Stout

English Style India Pale Ale

Gold: Strathcona Beer Company (BC), Strathcona British IPA
Silver: Off The Rail Brewing Co. (BC), Off The Rail Crazy Train IPA
Bronze: Amsterdam Brewing Company (Ontario), Rocks and Shoals

North American Style Lager

Gold: Great Western Brewing Company (Saskatchewan), Brewhouse Pilsner
Silver: Great Western Brewing Company (Saskatchewan), Great Western Classic
Bronze: Cool Beer Brewing Company (Ontario), Cool Beer Lager

North American Style Premium Lager

Gold: HogsBack Brewing Co (Ontario), Vintage Lager
Silver: Red Truck Beer Company (BC), Red Truck Lager
Bronze: Moosehead Breweries Limited (New Brunswick), Moosehead Lager

North American Style Amber Lager

Gold: Trading Post Brewing (BC), Smuggler’s Trail Rye Amber Ale
Silver: Bad Tattoo Brewing Co. (BC), Los Muertos Cerveza Negra
Bronze: Old Flame Brewing Company (Ontario), Old Flame Red

North American Style Dark Lager

Gold: Old Flame Brewing Company (Ontario), Old Flame Brunette
Silver: Tree Brewing Co. (BC), Red Lager

Light (Calorie-Reduced) Lager

Gold: Corsaire Microbrasserie (Quebec), Anne Bonny Pils
Silver: Great Western Brewing Company (Saskatchewan), Great Western Light
Bronze: Moosehead Breweries Limited (New Brunswick), Moosehead Cracked Canoe

Cream Ale

Gold: Mt. Begbie Brewing Company (BC), Begbie Cream Ale
Silver: Anderson Craft Ales (Ontario), Cream Ale
Bronze: Cameron’s Brewing Company (Ontario), Cameron’s Cosmic Cream Ale

North American Style Amber/Red Ale

Gold: Bobcaygeon Brewing Company (Ontario), Dockside
Silver: Cowbell Brewing Co. (Ontario), Doc Perdue’s Bobcat
Bronze: Torque Brewing Inc. (Manitoba), Red Line IPA

North American Style Blonde or Golden Ale

Gold: Amsterdam Brewing Company (Ontario), Natural Blonde
Silver: Henderson Brewing Company (Ontario), Food Truck
Bronze: Troubled Monk Brewery (Alberta), Golden Gaetz Golden Ale

American-Style Black Ale

Gold: Steamworks Brewing Co. (BC), Steamworks Black Angel IPA
Silver: Bomber Brewing (BC), Absolute Horizon Cascadian Dark Ale
Bronze: Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks (BC), Raiden Black Rye IPA

North American Style Pale Ale

Gold: Rouge River Brewing Company (Ontario), Beneath the Planet of the APAs
Silver: Collective Arts Brewing (Ontario), Rhyme & Reason
Bronze: Cameron’s Brewing Company (Ontario), Cameron’s 12 Mile India Pale Lager

Wheat Beer – North American Style

Gold: Brewsters Brewing Company (Alberta), Wild West Wheat Ale
Silver: Big Rock Brewery (Alberta), Grasshopper Kristallweizen
Bronze: Publican House Brewery (Ontario), High Noon

American Style India Pale Ale

Gold: Powell Brewery (BC), Lazy D’Haze IPA
Silver: Bridge Brewing Company (BC), Side Cut IPA
Bronze: Lagabière (Quebec), Ta Meilleure

Session India Pale Ale

Gold: Collective Arts Brewing (Ontario), State of Mind
Silver: Microbrasserie Moulin 7 Inc. (Quebec), Ciel Ouvert
Bronze: PEI Brewing Company (PEI), Vic Park APA

American Style Imperial India Pale Ale

Gold: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. (Ontario), Immodest
Silver: Deep Cover Brewers and Distillers (BC), Dry Dock Double IPA
Bronze: Muskoka Brewery (Ontario), Muskoka Twice as Mad Tom

American Belgo-Style Ale

Gold: Elora Brewing Company (Ontario), Wandering Monk Belgian IPA
Silver: Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. (BC), Electric Unicorn White IPA
Bronze: Brasserie Dunham (Quebec), Saison du Pinacle

American-style Brett Beer

Gold: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. (Ontario), Uncommon Element
Silver: Tooth and Nail Brewing Company (Ontario), Streif
Bronze: Redline Brewhouse (Ontario), Series 1

American-style Sour Ale

Gold: Townsite Brewing (BC), Blackberry Sour
Silver: Four Winds Brewing Company Ltd (BC), Nectarous Dry Hopped Sour
Bronze: L’Espace Public (Quebec), Bière de Driveway

Special Honey/Maple Lager or Ale

Gold: Microbrasserie Siboire (Quebec), Imperial McMaple
Silver: Fernie Brewing Co. (BC), Sap Sucker Maple Porter
Bronze: Brasserie Artisanale La Korrigane (Quebec), Croquemitaine DC

Fruit Beer or Field Beer

Gold: Blood Brothers Brewing (Ontario), Fall of Thebes – Cherry
Silver: La Chouape (Quebec), Allis Saison Argousier
Bronze: Nickel Brook Brewing Co. (Ontario), Ceres

Gluten Free Beer

Gold: Brasseurs Sans Gluten (Quebec), Glutenberg India Pale Ale
Silver: Brasseurs Sans Gluten (Quebec), Glutenberg Rousse
Bronze: Brasseurs Sans Gluten (Quebec), Glutenberg Pale Ale Américaine

Session Ale

Gold: Ribstone Creek Brewery (Alberta), Ribstone Creek English Mild
Silver: Railway City Brewing Co (Ontario), Express ISL
Bronze: Blindman Brewing (Alberta), Blindman River Session Ale

Experimental Beer

Gold: Burdock (Ontario), BUMO
Silver: Brasserie Vrooden Brewery (Quebec), Doppelsticke Altbier
Bronze: Brasseurs Sans Gluten (Quebec), Glutenberg Rotundone Noire

Herb and Spice Beer

Gold: Whistler Brewing Co. (BC), Whistler Chestnut Ale
Silver: Brasserie Artisanale La Korrigane (Quebec), Amaruq
Bronze: Garden Brewers (Ontario), Saison Sixième: Collaboration with Block Three Brewing Co.

Smoked Beer

Gold: Coal Harbour Brewing Co. (BC), Smoke & Mirrors Imperial Smoked Ale
Silver: Microbrasserie du Lièvre (Quebec), La phénix
Bronze: Yellow Dog Brewing Company (BC), Shake A Paw Smoked Porter

Barley Wine-Style Ale – English-Style

Gold: Central City Brewers and Distillers (BC), Thor’s Hammer
Silver: les 3 Brasseurs (Quebec), Chaufferette
Bronze: Cameron’s Brewing Company (Ontario), Cameron’s Where The Buffalo Roam Barleywine

Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer – Dark Beer

Gold: Calabogie Brewing Company (Ontario), Grassy Bay Farmhouse Ale
Silver: Powell Brewery (BC), Ode to Wallflower
Bronze: Innocente Brewing Company (Ontario), Drunkard’s Cloak

Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer

Gold: North Brewing Company (Nova Scotia), Midnight- Glenora Barrel Aged Strong Dark Belgian
Silver: Great Lakes Brewery (Ontario), Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Solstice Stout
Bronze: PEI Brewing Company (PEI), Hell Street

Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer

Gold: Indie Ale House (Ontario), Spadina Monkey – CHERRY
Silver: À la Fût (Quebec), Co-Hop V – Rouge de Mékinac
Bronze: Calabogie Brewing Company (Ontario), Downstream #1

Flavoured Stout/Porter

Gold: Hastings Mill Brewing Company (BC), Griswold Winter Ale
Silver: Deadfrog Brewery (BC), Reina de Fuego
Bronze: The Cannery Brewing Co. (BC), Thornless Blackberry Porter

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