I just heard via an invite to the Four Beers and a Funeral Brewpub Crawl, a VCBW event, that Dix Brewery is closing down permanently. Can anyone confirm if this is true and why? As far as I can tell, Dix does booming good business so I doubt the reasons are financial (just try getting a table before a Canucks game).
If Dix is indeed closing down permanently in a few weeks time, this is sad news to say the least. Dix Cask Thursdays, Dix Caskival events, and pre-sporting event beer drinking will all be sorely missed. I spent a good part of the Olympics at Dix and I can’t imagine it not being there when I return to Vancouver. At least I’ll always have the memories of the good times.
Anyway, apparently the pub crawl will feature a march from Steamworks to Dix where a Dix Funeral will be held, then onto Yaletown and Dockside. Tickets are $65 and include beer and food. If Dix was special to you, now’s your chance to say goodbye with a rip roaring good party.
The 2009 edition of the Dix Winter Extreme Caskival took place this past Saturday and was a rousing success. There were twenty or so casks of delicious beer on hand, locally brewed and delivered fresh by our illustrious local brewers. I do believe I enjoyed a 4oz tasting glass of each, but I can’t be sure because my memory of the latter hours of the event are now a bit difficult to grasp. You see, most of the beers at Dix were higher in alcohol than your typical fair at an average of 8% ABV or so. Consumption of each available beer resulted in the impairment of my mental faculties. I apologize to those I may have bumped into or spilled beer on, my bad. Although I’m hardly to blame for these transgressions considering that Dix was absolutely packed with craft beer lovers. Future Caskivals may requires a larger venue, which is good news in my books.
Onto the beer, my favorite was the wildly creative Mole Poblano Ale from Storm. It was brewed with chipotle peppers, ancho peppers and chocolate! I would never have thought to combine mole and beer, nor would I expect the combination to taste good. However, Storm brewer James Walton managed to marry the two (both complicated and intensive concoctions in their own right) into a spicy, chocolaty winter brew. I’ll admit that I didn’t find the Mole Poblano Ale to be the best tasting beer, but it got my vote for being the most interesting. I was also very fond of the Taylor’s Crossing Christmas Cake, which did indeed taste like Christmas cake. This beer won the brewers choice award with R&B‘s Auld Nick taking home the people’s choice.
I took this one crappy iPhone picture well into the event when I realized I wanted to blog but wouldn’t have any pictures. Once again, I fail.
Here is a list of the other beers that were at the event:
- Central City: Imperial IPA
- Crab Alley: Dead Pine IPA
- Dead Frog: Oaked Winter Warmer
- DIX: Barleywine
- DIX: Imperial Stout
- DIX: IPA
- Driftwood: Blackstone Porter
- Granville Island: Jolly Abbot Belgian-Style Tripel
- Howe Sound: Father John’s Winter Ale
- Longwood: Doppelbock (9.5%, Aged 8 months)
- R&B: Auld Nick Winter Ale
- Russell: Spiced Winter Warmer
- Swans: Legacy Ale (a Barleywine. Aged on oak for the past year)
- Spinnakers: IPA (charged with sweet wort and dry-hopped with Magnum hops)
- Storm: Mole Poblano Ale (Chipotle and Ancho peppers with chocolate)
- Taylor’s Crossing: Festbier (a strong Vienna lager spiced with Juniper berries)
- Taylor’s Crossing: Christmas Cake (an amber ale flavoured with molasses, traditional brandied fruits, and Christmas spices)
- Whistler Brewhouse: Dave’s Damn Dangerously Drinkable Double IPA (8.5%, 70 IBUs, Dry-Hopped with Cascades)
- Yaletown: Le Nez Rouge (a Belgian-style tripel. Iain’s choice of yeast results in a spicy, clove-like character)
- Yaletown: Oud Bruin (Iain’s pièce de résistance. A Flemish sour brown fermented with 6 cultures in total. Aged on oak since January!)
For more info and likely some post game recap (including non crappy pictures), check out the event’s Facebook page. For those of you who didn’t attend, keep your eyes open for the next caskival (likely the summer version in August); this is the best beer festival Vancouver’s got.
Phillips used to produce a beer called Blue Truck, which was a tasty pale ale. It was a popular beer on Vancouver Island and growing in popularity on the mainland when the Mark James Group sued Phillips Brewing for trademark infringement. They thought that people would confuse Blue Truck with their Red Truck brand. Phillips, being a small brewery, relented and changed the name of their pale ale to Blue Buck. It was shortly after this time that Phillips began producing their cleverly named Accusation Ale, an Extra Special Bitter style ale. I received a hilarious email from Phillips today announcing a preview tasting of this year’s first batch of Accusation Ale:
I hope you can read the invitation because it is really quite clever. I would gladly attend the tasting if I was in Victoria, but alas, I will have to wait until it arrives at Brewery Creek. ESB is one of my favorite styles and I’m really looking forward to this one. I suppose I have the Mark James Group to thank for Accusation Ale, but I really think what they did was stupid. In my opinion, the craft beer scene in BC isn’t big enough for lawsuits. But MJG has felt the repercussions, incurring the angst of many Vancouver Island beer drinkers. If the individual MJG pubs like Dix, Yaletown, Whistler, Taylors Crossing, and Big Ridge weren’t some of the very fine few options for fresh beer hereabouts, I’d probably show them a little angst myself. I do believe the brewers at these establishments had nothing to do with the lawsuit, and so their beer remains morally pure:)