It was a sad day for all Vancouver beer lovers when Dix Brewery closed down. I knew I’d be able to find another before hockey game spot for a burger and beer, but what about Dix Caskivals? Dix hosted both winter and summer cask beer festivals that were rather awesome. I thought a part of Vancouver beer culture might die, but it sounds like CAMRA Vancouver has stepped up to the plate with a new Summer Beer Festival to replace the beloved Caskival.
The first ever CAMRA Vancouver Summer Beer Festival is happening Saturday, August 14th at St. Augustine’s in Vancouver. I believe the event is geared towards CAMRA members, but the Evite I received indicates there are general tickets available. A ticket costs $25 and includes three tastes and a commemorative tasting glass, at past Caskivals extra tastes were available for $1. Past Caskivals also featured stellar beer lineups and I’m almost certain this festival will be no different. Here’s hoping this event becomes widely successful and remains for me to attend when I return to Vancouver.
I’ve been keeping a list of things to blog about, but I’ve been taking my sweet time and most of the things no longer warrant their own post. So here’s a collection of blurbs about things I meant to post about last month:
- Dix is closed. I wrote about how Dix was going to close, but now it actually is closed. I will miss Caskival and pre-sporting event eating and drinking. It still bothers me that I still can’t comprehend why MJG would do this to me.
- Big Ridge is reopening. Big Ridge moved across the street to a new location because of parking disputes with the YMCA (really YMCA?). My former local brewpub closed down last winter and is now opening in their new location with a revamped beer menu (an IPA replaces the Clover ale). I can’t wait to check it out when I get back.
- BC Beer Awards Awarded. The first annual BC Beer Awards were doled out during VCBW (a rousing success from what I’ve heard). The winners were selected via a blind tasting panel at the Alibi Room. I can’t say they are who I would have picked, but then I’m biased by things like seeing. Canadian Beer News has the list of winners here.
- Dead Frog Pepper Lime Lager. Dead Frog is from small town Langley, where I grew up, and so I’ve long been fond of them. My pride has been replaced with disappointment with Dead Frog’s launch of their bandwagon Pepper Lime Lager. I haven’t tasted it yet, but I can’t imagine it’s any good, although BC Beer gives it a decent review. It is my opinion that lime and beer should only be involved when dropping a fresh wedge of lime into a bad beer like Corona. All other marriages are abominations.
- Phillips is rad. Phillips is brewing CAMRA BC homebrew competition winner Gary Giesbrecht’s Oatmeal Stout and including it in their Showcase mix pack. How’s that for audience participation?
- Berlin. I’m going to Berlin tomorrow morning to meet Erik and drink German beer, woooo!
It’s true, we’ve been around for a year now. We started this blog because we both love beer, were a bit bored, and wanted to do something fun. We’ve definitely learned a lot and our blog has led to some interesting opportunities. Admittedly, we didn’t really know what we were getting into and weren’t very good in the beginning. I think we’ve improved a lot though and the reports confirm we’ve decreased our coefficient of suck 76%, while effectively doubling awesomeness. While that may be made up, I can say with certainty that we drank a lot of beer and had some really good times this year.
It turns out the we have made a bit of an impact on the blogosphere. Google tells us that we’ve had almost 11000 unique visitors and 27000 page views, with daily traffic steadily growing from next to nothing in the beginning to today’s respectable levels. Who knew anyone would care to read our ramblings? Most of our traffic comes from organic Google search results. It turns out that we are pretty good at SEO, enough that Erik and I continually find our own blog in search results (irritatingly so, since we are usually looking for actual information ex. Google ‘caskival’). We’ve also seen a lot of traffic from referring sites and less and less people accessing us directly. My interpretation of this shift is that our friends no longer feel obliged to read our blog, but we are getting more traffic from the intertubes at large. Stupid jerk friends. Just kidding, I need you people to drink beer with.
We wrote a 191 posts last year, which is more than one every two days. Some of them were good, some were not very good, some made people angry (sorry), some were fun to write (wooo!), and some got us free beer (double woooo!). Looking back, it was interesting to see what posts garnered the most attention, where Erik was particularly good at picking hot topics. Below are our top ten posts from last year, six from Erik and four from me.
Top 10 Posts of 2009
- Bud Light Lime is an abomination
- Ozarks Famous BBQ
- Beer and Meat
- The Beer Cellar: how to cellar beer and why
- Calorie Content of Beer?
- Stanley Park 1897 Amber
- Dan’s Homebrewing Supplies
- Turning Point Brewery – the inside scoop
- Real Trappist Beer
- Review: Hells Gate Pale Ale
I hope we have another good year so I can write another post like this next December. Thanks for reading!
There are some cool beer events happening in the lower mainland in the near future. I found out about them via the CAMRA Vancouver email list and the CAMRA Vancouver Facebook group. If you want to know the latest cool beer goings on, I suggest you join both the list and the group. However, I wouldn’t stop there; I’d consider becoming a full fledged CAMRA member. The $25 fee will quickly be recouped in savings and other perks, trust me, do it, join. Now for the events:
- Big Ridge in Surrey is hosting a Brewmaster’s Dinner on Tuesday the 28th at 7PM. The dinner costs $40 and features four delicious courses, each paired with a tasty big ridge brew. Learn more.
- It is once again time for the annual Dix Summer Caskival, where many brewers bring a cask or two of their creations for us to enjoy in one spot. The Caskival is August 8th from 12PM to 5PM and costs a mere $20. I have not attended a Dix Caskival yet, but plan to make this my first. Check out the beer lineup and other info here.