Dan’s Homebrewing Supplies located in Vancouver’s threatened Heatley Block is the soul of Vancouver’s growing craft beer movement. Yes that is correct, the very soul of craft beer in Vancouver is a homebrew shop. If craft beer was a body, the many fine brewers in BC would be the heart, retail shops, restaurants and pubs such as Brewery Creek, the Alibi Room and The Whip would act as the arms and legs, and the dedicated consumers represented by groups such as CAMRA Vancouver would be the mind. All parts play an integral role in a successful beer revival, and although all parts are equally important, Dan’s will always hold a special place in my heart.
My love for beer came from an interest in homebrewing – without Dan’s I may never have been exposed to the diverse selection of beer that the world has to offer. The entire Vancouver area is littered with many small u-brew and u-vint businesses that carry a limited selection of homebrew ingredients and supplies, but none of these compare to Dan’s Homebrewing Supplies. Dan’s is the only retail store in the entire Vancouver area where whole-leaf hops, hop pellets, a full selection of barley, wheat and rye malts, brewing supplies and brewers yeast can be found. This list does not include the friendly advice and recipes that Dan and his staff are more than happy to provide to their customers. Here is a video put together about Dan’s Homebrewing Supplies.
The most creative and experimental beer will always be homebrew. I have to admit that some of the cask beers that brewmasters graciously provide are delicious and very creative, but craft brewing is still a business and the beer they produce must be commercial enough to sell. Whereas homebrewers do not sell their beer and only have to please themselves and their usually appreciative friends – the only limitation homebrewers face is their own imagination. For a mere sixty dollars on supplies and twenty to thirty dollars for ingredients, and add in a small amount of patience and there it is, an incredibly unique and flavorful beer.
The North American craft beer renaissance that was started in Northern California over thirty years ago was largely influenced by hombrewers. Homebrew shops have always and will continue to play a vital role in the growth of craft beer. For anyone interested in homebrewing, I highly encourage a visit to Dan’s Homebrewing Supplies – I am sure Dan and his staff would be more than happy to help.