Erik and I attended the launch of Granville Island’s Brockton IPA at the GI Taproom last night. For us, because we’ve both written about Brockton IPA before (Erik did a group taste test and I posted some general impressions last week), the night was less about the beer itself and more about having a good time. But if you did want to know, we find Brockton IPA to be a decent beer, although somewhat lacking in balance and merely resembling a hoppy version of their pale ale. It isn’t killer IPA, but it will definitely draw more Vancouverites to craft beer, and for that we are thankful.
When we arrived at the busy Taproom, we were asked whether we were with the press or from the liquor board. We were press! I suppose I should be less excited about that, but I had never been referred to as press before. If press are commonly treated as well as we were last night, I wouldn’t mind being with the press more often. We were given three pints of IPA, an excellent spread of food provided by a nearby culinary school, and a complimentary cab ride home. Also, Almira of Jive Communications, who invited us, recognized Erik right away (not hard, he is a behemoth of a man and extremely good looking) and gave us a thorough welcome.
We were also lucky to meet Vern Lambourne, the brewer at Granville Island. Vern perfects Granville Island’s recipes before sending them up North to Kelowna for production. More importantly, Vern brews all of Granville Island’s seasonal beers on Granville Island. I especially enjoyed his Porter and eagerly await next week’s release of GI Bitter. Last month’s Ginger beer, although not to my tastes, was very popular and sold out fast. Vern let us into the brewery for a quick peek and a picture, and also invited us back for a tour another day. It is always awesome to meet brewers, not only because they make the delicious beverage we enjoy, but because they are always such nice, humble guys. Cheers Vern, thanks for showing us around.
We also ran into the honorable Rick Green, who is always a pleasure to chat with. Rick is the king of BC beer and always has the inside scoop. He introduced us to Crystal Henrickson of Yelp, who is their sole Vancouver employee. She is trying to build a Yelp Community in Vancouver and I hope she succeeds. Yelp is a great site when it is well populated with reviews. I’ve found it really helpful when visiting US cities, but Vancouver is still catching up on volume. Crystal convinced me to go beyond consuming other people’s reviews and make some of my own. I’ve now signed up and rated a few of my favorite places.
The launch of Brockton IPA was surely an experience, one which I enjoyed. If any other breweries, or even restaurants, would like to wine and dine us press at future launch parties, we’d be more than happy to oblige.
The crowded Taproom
Erik with a Brockton IPA
Me with a Brockton IPA
Vern in his brewery with his latest creation