I’ve just arrived in Brazil to take in the World Cup! As a soccer fan, this is one of those bucket list things I had to do. As a beer drinker, I did some advanced scouting to figure out what to expect down here. Turns out Brazil has a bit of a craft beer scene in the bigger cities like Rio and Sao Paulo; there’s even a Delirium Cafe related to the Brussels one in Rio. Also, a fair number of Germans migrated to Brazil over the years and the town of Blumenau has the second largest Oktoberfest in the world, after Munich.
So Brazilians do drink a fair amount of beer, and some quite good beer at that. However, they don’t drink at soccer/football games, because alcohol is banned at stadiums country wide. Not at the World Cup though, since Budweiser is a major FIFA sponsor. FIFA sent me a food and beverage guide for the stadiums ahead of time. Bud and Brahma will be available, so not great, but at least it’s relatively affordable by western stadium standings (R$2 ~= $1 CDN)? I do like that FIFA has added some local specialties to the menu, if not local beer.
Who cares though? I’m in Brazil for the mother effing World Cup!
Yesterday CTV featured local craft beer on their morning show, link here. This happens from time to time; local beer gets featured on TV, usually by somebody not quite in the know. What’s different this time? The beer they featured is all really good beer with serious beer nerd credibility! We’ve finally made it, craft beer is just regular beer in Vancouver now.
The beer they talked about:
- Steamworks Pilsner
- Four Winds Saison
- Driftwood Fat Tug IPA
- Central City Imperial Porter
That’s a lineup that I’d dive right into, and it was featured on regular mainstream TV. Happy Vancouver Craft Beer Week!
The fifth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week is coming up, this May 30th to June 9th 2014, and tickets go on sale Monday, April 28th at noon. While most events don’t sell out immediately, Hopapalooza at the Alibi Room surely will. I think it sold out in under half an hour last year, so you’d be better be ready. What’s the deal? Well, it’s just the best annual beer event in BC. It’s at a civilized hour, It’s not crowded since they only let a certain number of people in, there’s food, and you don’t have to bother with tokens. Oh yeah, and there’s 50+ amazing beers. It’s the best and I’m going to be there.
There will also be many other rad events that take place during the week. There’s usually an opening event and a big closing festival. The closing festival is a riotous good times that can be enjoyed by non beer nerds, so that’s a great one to take your “normal” friends to. Keep an eye on the website this weekend, as surely all the events will be announced. Also, judging by the logo, there’s another theme this year. I can’t tell what it is, maybe douchebag or gangster rap? I don’t care; I just want to go to Hopapalooza.
Alibi Room has reached their 500th tap list and that means it’s time to party! I expected 500 a lot sooner than now when they reached the 470s last Autumn, but then I kept seeing lists like 482b. My guess is that Nigel wants these celebrations to happen around this time of year or he was waiting on some crazy special beers to show up. If 500 is anything like 400, there will be special beers aplenty.
Alibi Room have been teasing us with beer announcements on Twitter. To sum up:
- 22+ casks
- Four Brassneck collaborations with P49, Four Winds, Occidental, and Gigantic
- Eight custom casks from Portland brewers
- A special Driftwood cask (my guess is Singularity, or some form of super Singularity)
Keeping with the tradition of adding a day each centenary, this years celebration will span five days. First day is this Sunday March 9th and they’re opening at 2pm. Expect a line, a big line! March 10-13, they open at 5pm as usual. First come, first serve, and no reservations, unless you’re a ridiculously regular regular. All beers will be 500 cents for 12oz and they are doing some good charity stuff too. I would have come anyway, but well done on the charity stuff.
It is a good day to be Canadian. We rose early this morning to watch our fellow countrymen systematically do what they do best, play hockey at an elite level. The weather was even onside – rare Vancouver snow fell to the ground in true Canadian fashion as our men took home the gold. Today is a day of Canadian stereotypes. We really do love hockey – a lot.
The game started at 4:00 AM and ended less than three hours before the sun had a chance to rise. Needless to say, my day has had two mornings – an early hockey morning followed by the ‘sun has been up for hours post-nap’ morning. With victory in hand, what are we as a nation supposed to do with ourselves? Watch the sports media say good things about our countries’ favourite game, make a sandwich, and drink beer. But to keep the victorious stereotype alive, make it an all Canadian super sandwich.
Bacon, the maple kind of course, and smoked salmon BLT club with an egg – a nod to Canada’s hockey gold double-morning. A sandwich and morning friendly beer – Central City Brewing ISA - is a good choice.
Today is our day. Cheers Canada!