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.
Best BC Seasonal Beer – Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine! Why? Wow, this is good stuff. Complex, hoppy, bold, and delicious.
Who would you nominate?
One of my coworkers was in Victoria this past weekend with his girlfriend. I asked him if he might be stopping by any of Victoria’s great brewpubs. He didn’t think he would have time because he was supposed to be shopping (for lame stuff that is not beer). On Monday, however, he came to work with quite the haul from each of Spinnakers, Canoe, and Swans. Even better, some of them were for me! Thanks Gavin, you are my new favorite person. My wife is going to be pissed at being supplanted, but then she didn’t bring me back beer from Victoria. Courtesy of Gavin, my fridge now contains:
I also stopped by Brewery Creek at lunch today to pick up a few more bottles, not that I needed any. Sadly, I forgot to look for the Green Flash Hop Head Red that is being so famously forced out of our province! I hope there is still some left next week. Still, I did not leave empty handed, acquiring:
And two for The Cellar:
I’ve got a busy week of beer drinking ahead of me and I’m pretty excited about it.
two new additions to my cellar - Phillips Burley Barley Wine and Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine
Yesterday was beer day. Chris and I made a trip to Brewery Creek to stock up for the New Year and stopped for lunch at Yaletown Brewing. And of course we had to stop at the Gourmet Warehouse, even though it’s a bit out of the way. If you like to cook good food, go to the Gourmet Warehouse – it is nothing short of amazing.
This was my first trip to Brewery Creek. Chris was worried that he over hyped his initial Brewery Creek experience, but it was better than I could have possibly imagined. Their beer selection is fantastic with a good range of hard to find beer from local BC brewers. It was nice to see a beer store that tucks the 12 case of Budweiser and MGD into the back corner where it belongs. This is a store for real beer drinkers.
Needless to say, we filled the trunk up with beer and I added two new barley wines to my cellar, Phillips Burley Barley Wine and Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine. Prior to my growing obsession with barley wine, I thought cellaring beer was ridiculous, but I have seen the light. After tasting Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine (aged for 18 months) at Central City Brewing, I can’t go back to drinking young barley wine. Well, I actually can and probably will, but that is beside the point.
Carrying a full box of beer around is exhausting work – we needed food and drink in a bad way. We drove our hungry selves to Yale Town Brewing for lunch and were thoroughly impressed. We arrived and did what most thirsty beer drinkers do – ask for a sample of the seasonal ale. Who doesn’t love free beer? Yale Town’s current seasonal is Le Nez Rouge; a Belgian style ale with a bit of a twist. This beer is impressive to say the least. It is a huge beer with an ABV of 9.5%, but is so smooth you wouldn’t know it. Unlike many Belgian ale’s, the tartness from the yeast is not overpowering, allowing for the malt flavour to show its face resulting in a well balanced beer. Le Nez Rouge has a spicy aroma and flavour with a hint of banana similar to a hefeweizen. I highly recommend this beer, even if you aren’t a fan of Belgian style ales.
After downing the seasonal sample, we ordered food and a few more drinks. I was impressed with their Brown Ale, a nice roasted malt flavour with some nuttiness and vanilla, but found their IPA to be slightly under hopped. Check out beer advocate for a full review of Yaletown’s beer. We left with full bellies and smiling faces. Who wouldn’t be smiling knowing their car trunk is full of beer.