The CAMRA Vancouver Award winners were announced last week. I was pleased to see many of my nominations amongst the winners. I’m extremely proud of CAMRA Vancouver and its members for rewarding true attention to and passion for craft brewing. Unlike many beer awards, these were given out by beer enthusiasts, which makes them more legitimate in my mind. The winners:
For those of you who don’t know, Beer Wars is a movie about the struggles of craft brewers to stay competitive in a beer market dominated by giant corporations like AB InBev and Molson-Coors. The movie itself has gained substantial attention, praise, and scrutiny from beer enthusiasts North America wide. It hasn’t made its way to here yet, but CAMRA Vancouver has organized an upcoming screening for us. The screening was originally supposed to be last night, but unexplained complications resulted in the event being pushed back to Sunday, January 31st at 4PM. To make up for the delay, CAMRA has recruited some of our local brewers to be on hand to serve beer, those being Steamworks, Yaletown Brewing, Granville Island with their new limited release Chocolate Stout, and Red Truck with their Limited Release Porter. Since District 319 is a licensed and private venue, patrons will be able to have a few beers while watching the movie, something many of us haven’t legally ever been able to do. To get tickets, head to the CAMRA event page and purchase away.
I’ve also heard a rumor that there might be an epic beer announcement made at the screening. Considering that Greg Koch, CEO and co-founder of the legendary Stone Brewing Company, is said to be attending, I wonder what this rumored epic beer announcement could be? I’ve already guessed at it and have been sworn to secrecy, but I’m hoping our clever readers will be able to guess at my suspicions.
I read on the honourable Rick Green’s BC Beer Blog today a mention of a Vancouver Craft Beer Week being planned for May 10-16. This was the first I’d ever heard of such a thing (even Google didn’t know about it!) and was naturally intrigued. When I asked Rick what it was all about he indicated it would be in the vein of San Francisco Beer Week. From that I can only assume that CAMRA, in association with our local breweries, brewpubs and beer bars, will be planning a series of beer related events in Vancouver. Sounds good to me! I wonder if this is the first annual VCBW? I also wonder if those beyond us beer geeks and hangers on will take notice and take part? If the first VCBW is well staged, I imagine the masses will be clamoring to partake. What I am sure of is that this first VCBW is a step in the right direction and will surely be good times. I will post any details that make their way to me.
The CAMRA Vancouver AGM is coming up on January the 17th, which is where the CAMRA Vancouver awards will be announced. Beforehand, each CAMRA member is able to nominate three of their favorites in each category. Those garnering the most nominations are then voted on by members. The trouble I am having is coming up with three nominations in each category. In some categories I find myself wanting to only nominate what I consider to be the one clear winner. In others (best BC beer for example), I find there are just too many choices. I’ve settled on at least one nomination in each category, which I’ll share below:
Best Local Brewpub – Big Ridge! Why? Because the few brewpubs we have in the lower mainland are fairly similar (they are all pretty good) and Big Ridge is close to my house.
Best Local Beer Cafe, Pub, or Restaurant – Alibi Room! Why? Because they have the largest and most interesting beer selection around. It is also has a cozy atmosphere and delicious food.
Best Local Liquor Store – Brewery Creek! Why? The best beer selection and the most knowledgeable staff. Gerry and Chester are rad.
Best Local Beer Event – Dix Caskival! Why? The best selection of delicious, creative, and fresh craft cask beer under one roof.
Best BC Brewery – Driftwood! Why? Because they set out to brew interesting beer when they started not long ago and they haven’t wavered. Their beer is also delicious. This was a tough one, Central City and Phillips will likely be my other nominations.
Best BC Beer – Central City Red Racer Pale Ale! Why? Because it is a wonderful session beer that enthrals serious craft beer and macro drinkers alike. Another tough one to call, so many good beers in BC.
That’s right, 100th beer list, not beer, but beer list. I find that impressive and am planning on stopping by for the celebration, which is tomorrow, Thursday the 3rd of December at the Alibi Room. I’d heard rumors that an event of this sort might be taking place and the CAMRA newsletter confirms:
This Thursday will be the 100th rotation of the Alibi Room’s beer list. To mark the occasion owner Nigel Springthorpe will be replacing the regular lineup with a special selection featuring great current BC beers along with signature beers from many BC Brewers. Some kegs will be new, others may be kegs collected over the years and aged in the Alibi Room’s cellar. Highlights include a cask of Driftwood’s wet-hopped Sartori Harvest IPA, the last of Swan’s Legacy-Ale barleywine, and Steamworks’ Blitzen & Yaletown’s Le Nez Rouge Belgian-style tripels.
As if that wasn’t enough, The Alibi Room will be releasing the aged bottles they’ve collected and aged in their cellar.
I am pretty excited to give the fresh hopped Sartori Harvest IPA from Driftwood a try.I missed out on the bottled release when I was away in October, but the cask version promises to be even better. One friend of mine has gone on record as saying it is the best IPA he’s ever tasted and he’s a certified hophead. Should be good times, be sure to stop by if you can make it.