It’s almost Christmas, and beer lovers have been indulging in rich, dark beers while getting ready for the holidays. Up until last year, there was a bit of a void come December for Craft Beer events in the Capital Region, so RG Entertainment decided to remedy that with the Christmas Craft Beer Show.
Held at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the event had 45 breweries and cideries present serving over 80 different drink options, and for a first attempt, things went relatively well. There was music, food, and plenty of ugly Christmas sweaters, as well as music once again performed by local band SuperSauce.
This year promises to be even better. They’ve taken the feedback they’ve received from last year’s event and have made a number of changes to improve the event in as many ways as they can including having a coat check and making changes to some of the layout. In addition, there are now 49 breweries and cideries coming this year, with at least XX beers and ciders being poured, there are even more options to choose from.
While there are more vendors than last year, the lineup has changed significantly. Some of the breweries not returning this year include 4 Mile Brewing, Twin Sails, Wolf Brewing, Beau’s, Bridge Brewing, Coal Harbour Brewing, Dogwood Brewing, Whistler Brewing and Persephone Brewing. Change is good though, as some of the new entrants include both breweries from Sooke, Sooke Brewing and Sooke Oceanside Brewery, a few new options from the mainland including Doan’s, Central City, Cannery Brewing, Britannia Brewing, Faculty Brewing, Off the Rail, Townsite Brewing, and, a couple of big award winners, as Mt. Begbie, Brewery of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards, and Mount Arrowsmith, Brewery of the Year at the BC Beer Awards both have spots this year.
If you still haven’t purchased your tickets, which you should, prices have not changed for this year, so $40 ($46 including service charges and taxes) will get you into the event for one day, and upon entry you will receive the souvenir tasting glass (4 oz pours), a lanyard, and two beverage tokens to get you started. $70 ($79 with taxes and fees) will get you in for both days, in case you need to pace yourself or just need to try that many more of the different drink options available. Drink tokens are $1.50 each, and are valid for both days of the show.
As for the beers? I love to plan what I’m drinking long before I get to an event, and I’ve been lucky enough to get the nearly complete listing of the beers available, and will update any new information as it comes in, so take a look and figure out your must haves so you get it before it runs out.
Axe & Barrel (Langford)
Axe Stout: (4% ABV, 50 IBU) Traditional dry Irish stout
Fruity Mother Pucker: (4% ABV) “Delicious mix of summer berries. Strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry. Soured with a multi strain selection of lactobacillus. This summer sour is super dope.”
Langford Logger: (4.8% ABV, 10 IBU) “European style session-able lager. Cold fermented for two weeks, aged for a month. Crisp, clean easy drinking beer. Brewed with Canadian pilsner, European Munich, clean Vancouver Island water, Hallertau & Saaz and lager yeast.”
Bomber Brewing (Vancouver)
Bomber Lager: (5% ABV, 15 IBU) No Information Available
Snow White IPA: (6% ABV) No Information Available
Choqlette Porter: (5.5% ABV, 18 IBU) “Great taste is more than the beer in this bottle. It’s classy and quirky and vibrant and subtle. It’s chaos and balance, inately in sync. It’s not something you learn, it’s a second instinct. It’s old worldly charm with a modern day spin. Rich roasted malts with chocolate a l’ancienne. London and Paris at home in one drink. It’s just a few of our favourite things. 3 chocolate additions are done to build flavour and aroma, with French Aramis hops giving it a mild floral aroma beneath the roastiness and chocolate. Light-medium body with medium high carbonation. Colour is dark brown with hints of red and purple.”
Britannia Brewing (Richmond)
Ashore Rye Porter: (5.1% ABV, 32 IBU) “A twist on the traditional brown style Porter, a portion of malted Rye is added which gives a spicy finish, chocolate flavors with hints of nuts and lightly roasted coffee make this a sessionable dark ale. We use only the finest British and local malts, which create a distinct sweetness as this Ale warms in the glass.”
Sirens Chai Saison: (5.7% ABV, 22 IBU) “The Sirens call to lure you into this refreshing and effervescent farmhouse ale. Kettling a local chai tea blend consisting of rooibos, orange, star anise, clove and pepper adding a unique spice aroma that complements the Belgian yeast.”
Forty Fathoms Imperial Porter: (7.7% ABV) “This limited release is a blend of dark specialty grains complimented by spices of ginger, vanilla, cardamom and cinnamon. Warming alcohol with tones of chocolate, toffee, dried fruit and hints of spiced rum.”
Cannery Brewing (Penticton)
The Muse & The Golden Promise: (6.5% ABV, 35 IBU) “Her serene blend of Golden Promise malts, California ale yeast, and Simcoe hops flow seamlessly together weaving a path of strength and vitality. The Muse is the heart, the spark, that enchants your mind in such a way you can’t think of anything else but her.”
Heist Maple Stout: (5.5% ABV, 40 IBU) : “Canadian Maple Syrup is sought after around the globe. This highly coveted commodity came into the spotlight when $18 million worth was stolen in the great Maple Syrup Heist. The addition of this liquid gold gives this Stout a truly Canadian twist.”
Naramata Nut Brown Ale: (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) “This velvety soft ale has a stubbornly loyal following. Rich dark malts are layered in a seamless manner. Fine tuning with a blend of bittering, aroma, and flavour hops produce an amazingly smooth finish and a lingering taste. This is a full bodied ale with a rich and gentle flavour.”
Category 12 Brewing (Central Saanich)
Excitation Cacao Nib Espresso Stout: (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU) “Going around in circles along the same well-worn path? Break away from the mundane and elevate yourself to the next level of flavour with our rich, bold stout. Enhanced with cold pressed, organic espresso and raw cacao nibs, this beer may just incite bonding in ways only previously imagined.”
Waveform Witbier: (5.3% ABV, 19 IBU) “This is Witbier gone rogue. Refreshing grapefruit citrus character leads into a soft wheat body, finishing with subtle hints of spicy cardamom.”
Disruption Black IPA: (6.7% ABV, 77 IBU) “Get ready to challenge what you think about dark beer. This black IPA is a calculated anomaly. It looks big and scary like a stout, but it drinks like an IPA. Close your eyes, you’ll never guess how far into the dark you’re sinking. With its fresh hop aroma and roasted malt flavour, Disruption is a whole new beast.”
Central City (Surrey)
Red Racer Low Rider Sugar Plum: (3% ABV, 15 IBU) “The Low Rider is a lightly sweet and lightly tart take on a low alcohol refresher. With visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads, plums, vanilla and lactose make up the unique flavour combination in this adventurous brew.”
Red Racer Pils: (5% ABV, 25 IBU) “Red Racer Pils is brewed in the classic Bavarian tradition, using only the finest two-row barley and hops from the Hallertau region of Germany. This light and golden Pilsner has a distinct hop aroma and flavour with a dry, crisp finish.”
Red Racer Smores Stout: (6% ABV, 45 IBU) “Like a delicious smore, this craft beer creation is infused with marshmallow flavour, chocolate, fall spice flavour, and has a smooth, creamy centre.”
Doan’s Craft Brewing (Vancouver)
Kolsch: (5% ABV, 20 IBU) “A traditional German Ale from the city of Köln, this style provides the best of both worlds. It has the light body and easy drinking characteristics of a lager but backs it up with the malt complexity of an ale. Inspired by our brother Jon and our love for sessionable beer.”
Crystal Weiss: (5% ABV, 20 IBU) A clean, crisp and clear wheat beer!
Rye IPA: (6% ABV, 60 IBU) “Containing large quantities of one of our favourite ingredients, this IPA is pleased to showcase RYE! With its delicious spice and contribution to mouth feel, we feel Rye enhances all of our favourite characteristics of a North West IPA.”
Rye Stout: (6.2% ABV, 53 IBU) “As a Pacific Northwest Rye Stout, you can get an idea of what we brewed here. It’s dark, its roasty and has a hint of chocolate followed by hop bitterness and the spiciness of rye! It puts a smile on our face at Doan’s, so please enjoy!”
Driftwood Brewery (Victoria)
Blackstone Porter: (6% ABV) “A drinkable platform to explore dark malt! The Blackstone Porter has ample body to support the flavours of chocolate and coffee derived from dark specialty malts. A surprisingly-quaffable session Porter, and the perfect companion to good conversation when the rain is lashing at the windows. Blackstone Porter is available seasonally during the colder months.”
Peated Belgian: (6.5% ABV) “Our Brew Team has incorporated peat kilned malts to punctuate the interplay of specialty malts and our Belgian house yeast character.”
Singularity Russian Imperial Stout: (11.9% ABV) (Friday) “From which no light escapes, yet yielding such pleasures of bourbon, licorice, espresso and mind blowing malt!”
Old Cellar Dwellar Cask: (11.6% ABV) (Saturday) “Managing our OCD is a massive challenge for the Driftwood brew team! Come raise a glass to honour their disorder!”
Faculty Brewing (Vancouver)
241 Minzeweizen: (5.2% ABV, 9 IBU) “This hazy wheat beer is brewed with peppermint tea, giving it a refreshing taste and a smooth finish.”
710 Oaked Stout: (5% ABV, 20 IBU) “A dry stout with a creamy oatmeal head. The roasted barley offers notes of coffee, while the american oak provides aromas of vanilla and wood.”
Fernie Brewing Co (Fernie)
Black Mammoth Winter Ale: (8% ABV, 25 IBU) “To mark our 10th Anniversary in January 2013, we celebrated with a new limited release darkly delicious winter brew. Our most decadent brew – a rich, strong winter black ale. A healthy addition of chocolate malt, plus infusions of dark organic cocoa and Seville orange peel provide unique flavour. Extra aging on oak adds smoothness and complexity. It since returns as an annual Limited Release Winter Ale.”
Snowblind Belgian Style IPA: (7.9% ABV, 78 IBU) “Snowblind is a traditional Belgian-Style IPA brew, with some of the newest hop varietals from Australia and New Zealand. Another truly original brew experience, returning again, as a perfect wintry Belgian-Style brew.”
Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks (Richmond)
Kiwami Plum Sour: (6% ABV, 8 IBU) “A delicately tart wheat sour brewed with fresh plums.”
Destiny IPA: (6% ABV, 62 IBU) “A light, easy going malt profile with delicate hop aromas of mandarin oranges, grapefruit and passionfruit that launch your tastebuds into the cosmos.”
Pixel Pils: (5.1% ABV, 30 IBU) “A crisp Czech-style pilsner with a pleasant hop bite that is refreshing with every sip!”
Granville Island Brewing (Vancouver)
Lions Winter Ale: (5.5% ABV, 22 IBU) “Winter is coming—and you’re going to like it. With complex layers of vanilla, cocoa, and caramel, our Lions Winter Ale gives you plenty to get warm and cozy with. This brew is nicely balanced so the sweeter flavours don’t overwhelm. You could call it the ultimate winter comfort brew, perfect with cream-based soups and other winter comfort foods.”
Small Batch Mocha Porter: (6% ABV, 25 IBU) “JJ Bean coffee meets rich cocoa nibs in our tasty Mocha Porter. Accompanied by subtle caramel notes, this cozy fireside brew serves up a slightly roasted bitter finish.”
Cypress Honey Lager: (4.7% ABV, 15 IBU) “A soft malt flavour. A dash of locally-sourced honey. This mild, well-balanced brew hits the sweet spot, without being too sweet. Try it whenever you’re visiting the lighter side of the menu.”
Hoyne Brewing Company (Victoria)
Gratitude: (9% ABV) “This lovely lady is luscious and full bodied, and like a Flamenco dancer, she is also a bit spicy. So be on guard: at 9% she can sneak up and overpower you!”
Dark Matter: (5.3% ABV) “Deep inside the Hadron Collider physicists hurtle sub-atomic particles with lightning speed on a collision course with each other. They do so in the pursuit of pure science, in the hope of one day being able to unlock the mystery of the elusive unseen fabric upon which our universe is embroidered: Dark Matter.”
Helios Dortmunder Golden Lager: (6% ABV) “A hearty brew for a hardy people!” In the tradition of the robust beers of the Ruhr district, this export golden lager is malt forward and moderately hopped.
Lighthouse Brewing Company (Esquimalt)
Seaport Vanilla Stout: (5.5% ABV) “The addition of pure Madagascan vanilla beans perfectly complements the rich roasted malt notes of chocolate and coffee in our easy-drinking stout. Well-balanced, with a hint of sweetness.”
Nightwatch Coffee Lager: (5.1% ABV) Light drinking, but full of pep! Cold brew concentrate adds a great aroma and the flavour is delightful.
Citrus Shore Session Ale: (4.6% ABV) “Light bodied, full flavoured with delicious citrus notes make this a highly sociable ale.”
Longwood Brewery (Nanaimo)
Island Time Lager: (5% ABV, 18 IBU) “All ingredients for this beer have been sourced on Vancouver Island. Locally grown and craft malted barley, along with fresh whole hops from our local suppliers have created this clean and crisp session beer. Sit back, relax and reset your clock with Island Time Lager, an “Obsessively Local Brew”.”
Winter’s Own Weizenbock: (6.5% ABV, 18 IBU) “Winters Own will blanket your taste buds like a fresh winter snowfall. Malty, spicy, fruity and refreshing. German style wheat bock made with 50% wheat. This bete blanche will keep you insulated from the chill of old man winter.”
Russian Imperial Stout: (Cask): Last year, this was an absinthe-infused version of Stoutnik, that might have been best in show. This year, a little more restraint, but what still sounds like a fantastic dry-hopped cask with locally harvested hops.
Moody Ales (Port Moody)
Vienna Amber Lager: (5.5% ABV, 19 IBU) “Robyn, who created our Vienna lager recipe, likes to pair this beer with bratwurst. Sho, another Moody Ales brewer, prefers it with carnitas. Makes sense—this style, originally developed in Vienna in the 1840s, lost popularity in Europe over the nineteenth century but thrived in Mexico with Austrian emigrant brewers. So, as you enjoy our malt-forward yet clean amber lager, remember that from Austria to Mexico to Canada, pork and beer unite us all.”
Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout: (5.6% ABV, 23 IBU) “Some say the only ingredients in a beer should be barley, hops, yeast and water. We say, the more the merrier. The Lusty Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is brewed with chocolate malt and cocoa powder, then conditioned on cocoa nibs for an intense milk chocolate flavour. Oats contribute a baked oatmeal cookie aroma. A perfect treat right before bed.”
The Moon Under Water Brewpub (Victoria)
Oranje Maan: (8.2% ABV) Imperial Mandarin Wit, tastes like the beer equivalent to a mimosa.
Candy Cane Dunkel: (5.5% ABV, 15 IBU) No Information Available
Darkside of the Moon: (4.2% ABV, 15 IBU) “The counterbalance to our Lightside of the Moon has arrived in the form of a rich, chocolatey, oatmeal session stout. Highly sessionable for those dark and dreary winter nights when all you want to do is curl up and pretend you’re travelling the galaxy battling space dinosaurs.”
Mount Arrowsmith (Parksville)
Salish Sea Pale Ale: (5% ABV, 35 IBU) “West Coast Pale Ale brewed with a combination of quality Canadian pale & British Crystal malts, Caramalt & a touch of malted wheat. Additions of flavourful West Coast, Mosaic & Chinook hops complete this beer with a citrus fruit characteristic.”
Jagged Face IPA: “Canadian pale & Munich malt complement select tropical hops including Centennial, Citra & Amarillo to create our flavourful version of a well balanced, but powerful IPA.“
Tis’ the Season Peanut Butter Porter Cask: (5.5% ABV, 20 IBU) “A Christmas Craft Beer Exclusive! Warning – May Contain Nuts!”
Mt. Begbie (Revelstoke)
High Country Kolsch: (4.5% ABV, 10 IBU) “High Country Kölsch is a pale, mildly hopped beer which originated in Köln, Germany. It is brewed with authentic Kölschbier yeast. It is the yeast combined with a portion of wheat malt that gives this beer it’s unique, delicate characteristic flavour. It is an excellent choice on a hot summer day!”
Selkirk Oatmeal Stout: (4.% ABV, 20 IBU) “Heritage series old school med/full bodied smooth oatmeal stout with rich flavours of dark chocolate and roasted coffee.”
Stoked Winter Ale: (6% ABV, 20 IBU) “Easy drinking winter ale. Rich malts and subtle spice; cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and cocoa.”
Off The Rail (Vancouver)
Kerry’d Away Dark IPA: (5.6% ABV) No Information Available
Raybuck Irish Ale: (5.4% ABV, 40 IBU) “The Raybuck Red is a malt-forward Irish style red ale with a rich, roasted malt body. Look for notes of biscuit, chocolate and a mild bitterness from the Fuggles and Willamette hops.”
Czechmate Pilsner: (5.2% ABV, 22 IBU) “This true-to-style Czech Pilsner starts off tasting clean and light but finishes with a sharp crispness from the noble Saaz hop.”
Raj Mahal: (5% ABV, 38 IBU) “What originally started as a small batch tribute to our neighbour, Raj, is now a mainline beer by popular demand. Deliciously soft and refreshing, this sessionable ale features kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass balanced by a pale malt body.”
Parallel 49 Brewing Company (Vancouver)
Trash Panda: (5.5% ABV) “A North East style hazy IPA. Huge amounts of dry hopping give this beer complex notes of melon, tropical fruit, and pear.”
Ruby Tears: (6% ABV, 40 IBU) “A ruby red coloured ale with a rich caramel malt flavour and a burst of West Coast hops. Using only late hop additions and dry-hopping, the bitterness is restrained while the hop flavour and aroma are pronounced.”
Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. (Victoria)
Scarfface: (4.3% ABV) “Say hello to our little friend! Scarfface is snow-packed with enough cranberry and citrus to make a bad guy feel good.”
Dr. Funk Dunkel: (5% ABV) “Dr. Funk is dark roasted and goes down easy. Lager yeast gives this beer platform shoes and lays a fat bassline that everyone can groove to – ya dig?”
Red Arrow Brewing (Duncan)
Chocolate Milk Stout: (6.5% ABV) No Information Available
Midnite Umber Ale: (5.1% ABV, 33 IBU) “Award winning Midnite Umber Ale pours ruby brown and has notes of candied apricot, toffee and brown sugar balanced by a solid hand of southern hemisphere hops. The best of tease and temptation.”
Old Style Lager: (5% ABV, 20 IBU) Brewed with the finest ingredients we can get our hands on. This Lager is aged for an extended time in horizontal tanks to ensure the smoothest taste and utmost clarity. Brewed to highlight the subtle nuances of a quality craft lager, reflecting our west coast take on a true classic. All signs point towards a delicious taste experience.
Red Truck Brewing (Vancouver)
Blackberry Bourbon Ale: (5.3% ABV, 25 IBU) “This limited release ale brings together the sweet-tart flavour of Blackberry and the mellow woody finish of Kentucky bourbon. An extremely refreshing and well balanced seasonal beer. Brewed with locally sourced Fraser Valley blackberries, Kentucky bourbon and Pekko hops. Immediately bursting with blackberry but then the subtle bourbon woodiness finishes off this beer.”
Dark Lager: (4.9% ABV, 23 IBU) “Our Midnight Run Dark Lager was first made introduced as a limited edition beer in a 650ml bottle back in 2015. After all of raving reviews from consumers, and with the seasons changing, we just had to bring it back for everyone to take for a test drive.”
Red Pilsner: (5% ABV, 25 IBU) “We built this brew by hand with Czech pilsner yeast and a unique combination of black malts, malted wheat, and 100% simcoe hops. The addition of the roasted malts give it a distinctive reddish hue, while the slow process and cold storage temperatures closely resemble the winters this style of beer was originally brewed during.”
Riot Brewing Co. (Chemainus)
Lipslide Lager: (4.8% ABV, 18 IBU) “The LipSlide Lager stays true to the German style “Helles”, with its distinct malt base and dry finish. This beer marks the realization of a 6-year dream. So whether you have achieved your goal, stuck that landing, or just feel like licking your lips, this smooth and refreshing lager is one for any occasion.”
Junk Punch IPA: (6% ABV, 70 IBU) “It’s not always the punch you remember but sometimes it’s the legacy of the hit. Junk Punch IPA is a tribute to those who have fallen victim to this heinous act, it offers a range of bold hop character, while remaining malt-balanced for a beer that is a welcome shock to the senses. This one is for you Big Nose.”
Vortex Robust Porter: (6% ABV, 29 IBU) “The Vortex Porter: dark roasted malts, balanced sweetness, chocolate and coffee notes. That was a short description. There is nothing short-lived about stopping into a brewery for a beer; it’s a vortex where minutes become hours and empty glasses build up into towers.”
Russell Brewing Company (Surrey)
Punch Bowl Northwest IPA: (6.5% ABV, 60 IBU) “Subtle NW honey malt characters are combined with Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops to create tropical, fruity flavours such as stone fruit, berries and melon. India Pale Ale was a beer created to make the trip from England to India, Punch was a fruit drink introduced to England from India. So as tribute to full flavoured beer and to party drinks that can be spiked, may we present the Punch Bowl!”
Black Lager: (5% ABV) “Oh man, this is the ocean of beers. Big, Dark and Endless. Once called Schwarzbier, we Canadians prefer Black Lager. Midnight Wheat with Pilsen and Dark Munich Malts make it genuine. Our fearless brewer dove into the abyss and arose from the depths with this great beer.”
Lemon Raz Radler Cask: No Information Available
Chocolate Porter Cask: No Information Available
Salt Spring Island Ales (Salt Spring Island)
Fireside Ale: (7% ABV, 54 IBU) Made in the traditional English ‘Winter Warmer’ style, this ruby-coloured ale has a complex fruity nose and flavours of cooked fruit, toffee and malt. A low hop bitterness and slightly dry, acidic finish provides contrast to the light sweetness, which leaves you wanting more.
Heather Ale Cask with Lavender: “An ancient brew dating back over 4000 years, Heather Ale is most often attributed to the Picts of ancient Scotland, who are said to have drunk Heather Ale for courage before going into battle. Infused with local heather flowers and a sparing amount of hops, our Heather Ale has a mild floral & honey aroma, a slight mead or cider-like character & very light hop notes to produce a crisp finish. A light beer, best paired with fresh & delicate foods such as scallops, prawns, ceviche, goats cheese or fresh fruit. This is the ideal beer for those who prefer a lighter, more delicate brew with very little bitterness.”
Creme Brulee Vanilla Stout: (8% ABV, 54 IBU) Rich flavours of organic ground vanilla combine with roasted barley tones hinting at chocolate and coffee in this flavour packed milk stout. Creamy mouthfeel and a huge aroma complete the sensory experience. Tastes like dessert and packs a punch – a great sipper for a cold winter evening.
Canoe Chase IPA: (6.8% ABV, 53 IBU) Inspired by the true story of audacious 19th Century bandits who outran local authorities by racing upstream on the Fraser River. Bright. Juicy. Smooth. Refreshing. This beer is everything you expect from a traditional West Coast IPA but finishes surprisingly clean; tastes like more
Flasker’s Ale: (3.8% ABV, 24 IBU) Flaskers were the characters who supported the lifestyle of early BC gold miners by smuggling (among other things) traditional ales to the goldfields. Toasty. Fruity. Smooth. Clean. British Bitters are the original session ales. Flaskers Ale is proud to be a flavorful and balanced version of this style. Drinkers of Flaskers Ale will also appreciate the clean and refreshing finish in an amber colored ale of this style.
Sooke Brewing Company (Sooke)
Belgian Blonde: (6% ABV, 50 IBU) “Pilsner malt lends the light colour and subtle grainy malt character. The Belgian yeast blends with ample amounts of European hops for a floral and herbal flavour and aroma. The dryness and moderately firm make it refreshing and drinkable.”
Oatmeal Stout: (4% ABV, 15 IBU) “A dark style beer made so by the use of unmalted roasted barley. Despite the low alcohol content has a full mouthfeel from the use of oats and crystal malts. It displays complex flavours of baker’s chocolate, dark fruits, raisins and cocoa from the use of specialty malts. Finishes rich and full with a low level of bitterness.”
IPA: (7% ABV, 70 IBU) “The character of stone-fruits, berries, tropical fruits and pine are all evident from the liberal use of North America hops. Firm and lasting bitterness on the finish satisfies, hides the alcohol and increases the beer’s drinkability.”
Sooke Oceanside Brewery (Sooke)
Dry-Hopped ESB Cask (Saturday only): A traditional style extra special bitter, don’t let the name fool you. Made with a mix of premium UK and North American malts, this old world ale has a rich full body with notes of fruit and nuts. The rich full malty mouth feel is backed up with fuggles and golding hops to lend an earthy balance.
Stiff Jab Pale Ale: (5.4% ABV, 30 IBU) “I have seen a boxer with a broken power hand fight an honest fight with nothing but a stiff jab, and his hand was raised in victory after three rounds. That man is a true fighter and this beer is in his honour. Like a jab, there is nothing flashy about a pale ale, but when done right, It’ll teach you how things should be done.”
Atomic Gluten Bomb – Winter Wheat Ale: (5.5% ABV) “A dark winter wheat beer. Bitter orange peel and a hint of chocolate malt.”
Spinnakers Brewpub (Victoria)
Cascadia Dark Ale: (6.5% ABV, 55 IBU) “A style representative of the North West region, our CDA is hopped with distinctively West Coast hop varietals. This resinous, citrus, hop forward dark is great on its own or served with smoked meats or BBQ!”
Fan Tan Abbey: (4.75% ABV, 15 IBU) “Our Fan Tan Abbey was inspired by the aromatic notes of Chinese Five Spice wafting in the air of Victoria’s historic Fan Tan Alley, part of Canada’s oldest China Town. The delicate spicing is balanced with the aromatic notes from a Belgian Abbey yeast and a copper coloured, medium body in this East meets West fusion ale.”
Chocoholic Stout Casks:
Friday – “Del Choco-Loco” a Latin twist on Chocoholic with cinnamon sticks, Vanilla, and hint of Habanero pepper.
Saturday – “Terry’s Chocolate Orange” Choco with sweet and bitter orange peel and blood orange syrup.
Stanley Park Brewing (Vancouver)
Salted Watermelon Sour: (3.5% ABV, 5 IBU) “Gose-style kettle sour with barley, wheat, coriander, sea salt, Citra hops, and fresh watermelon.”
Cranberry Tripel: (5% ABV, 20 IBU) No Information Available
Black IPA: (7% ABV, 65 IBU) “Embrace the darker days as the seasons change with our exceptionally smooth and hoppy Midnight Black IPA. Bursting with aromas of freshly fallen pine needles and ripe berries from Simcoe hops, it’s like we took the forest of Stanley Park and bottled it…”
Steamworks Beer (Vancouver)
Flagship IPA: (6.7% ABV, 65 IBU) “At last this steam-powered flagship has sailed into port. This Northeast style IPA is generously hopped with Mosaic, Galaxy & Citra and pours cloudy with an intense juicy, tropical fruit aroma that gives way to a balanced bitterness. Steamworks Flagship IPA is a confident and powerful brew perfect for discerning hop-heads and casual drinkers alike.”
Winter Lager: (5.4% ABV, 30 IBU) “This comforting brew pours a deep copper and combines a rich toasted malt flavour with a restrained hop bitterness to create a well balanced, versatile beer. Our winter lager is a highly drinkable, yet complex beer with a rich aftertaste that will leave you yearning for another. An elegant lager perfect for longer nights.”
Scarlet – Barrel Aged: (9.5% ABV) “This robust Rye Barley Wine was carefully aged for months in Woodford Reserve rye barrels resulting in a vibrant red brew we fittingly named; Scarlet. With rich flavours and a warming finish, it’s perfect for rainy days.”
Steel & Oak (New Westminster)
Roselle Wheat Ale: (5.5% ABV, 22 IBU) “Hibiscus and rose hips combine with Belgian yeast to create a crisp and refreshing wheat ale packed with floral notes, banana, raspberry and a touch of spice. Roselle Wheat Ale is the newest edition to our Flagship lineup.”
Smoked Honey Doppelbock: (7.9% ABV, 20 IBU) “Honey and Beechwood Smoked Malt add further depth to this already complex strong German style lager. The Steel & Oak Smoked Honey Doppelbock is best enjoyed while seated in a leather chair with your feet up on a rich mahogany coffee table.”
Strange Fellows Brewing (Vancouver)
Talisman West Coast Pale Ale: (4% ABV, 29 IBU) “The Siren of the Seas is a fickle creature: benevolent or spiteful, she can bestow a safe passage & a bountiful catch, or provoke storms & shipwrecks. Sailors have long cast gifts of flowers, food or trinkets into the sea in exchange for good fortune. Talisman – our delicately dry-hopped & golden-hued ale with its tropical & citrusy aroma – may be just the thing to encourage the Siren’s blessing.”
Nocturnum Dark IPA: (6.5% ABV, 65 IBU) “With his insatiable appetite, the Wolf is guilty of devouring livestock & little old ladies, & is even thought to be able to swallow the sun. People of the old country observe strange rituals to appease his hunger, & never leave the house after dark for fear of being eaten. Maybe we’re not all superstitious, but it wouldn’t hurt to stay indoors with friends & share a glass of Nocturnum – our robust & balanced dark hoppy ale – brewed to keep evil at bay.”
Boris Russian Imperial Stout: (9% ABV, 80 IBU) “Aged 1 year in bourbon barrels, A collaboration with Brasserie Trois Dames in Nov 2014, this was one of our very first brews and has aged in bourbon barrels ever since, developing a deep, dark, rich smoothness and leathery aroma. First brewed for the Russian Czar Peter the Great this beer style is as rich in history as it is in character. A huge roast barley and dark chocolate flavour give this 9% stout and assertive backbone. Suggestions of dark and dried fruits add complexity and peat smoked barley lends a scotch like nose.”
Strathcona Beer Company (Vancouver)
Brrr! Winter Radler: (4% ABV, 20 IBU) A colder take on the classic summer beer, this radler combines cranberry and mandarin for a seasonally fitting beer that will make you want summer to come back soon.
British IPA: (6% ABV, 60 IBU) “This is first and foremost a classic, English IPA. This style is recognized for a flavouring more balanced between hops and malt as opposed to the more hop-forward IPAs of the Pacific Northwest. This is also reflected by the low hop aroma. The light hop flavouring comes from the traditional English hops Fuggles and UK Goldings. This light gold coloured beer has a moderate citrus flavour, low fruitiness and a dry finish.”
Swans Brewery (Victoria)
Sweet Brown Wheat Ale: (5.6% ABV, 18 IBU) “A brown ale recipe with 30% wheat which makes it a …. I don’t really know. It’s a hybrid. Like cyclocross.”
Thomas Uphill Amber Ale: (5% ABV, 28 IBU) “A beer brewed in Tribute to Thomas Uphill. The longest serving MLA in BC history and a man who stood for what was right. “Beer is as important as milk is to the baby. Hands off the worker’s Beer!” “
Helles Lager: (4.6% ABV, 17 IBU) “Classic German hops of Hersbrucker and Hallertau Mittelfruh. Lagered properly for a minimum of a month at cellar temperature.”
The Parkside Brewery (Port Moody)
Graffiti IPA: (6.9% ABV, 60 IBU) “Brimming with pithy grapefruit, light pine, and floral hop notes, and a bold yet balanced bitterness which lingers on one’s palate.”
Attack of the Cherry Stout: (8.3% ABV, 60 IBU) “This imperial stout is opaque black & full-bodied with flavours of sweet coffee and dark chocolate, and finished with a blend of sweet, dark & red sour cherries to create a luscious seasonal favourite.”
Dusk Pale Ale: (5.3% ABV, 30 IBU) “Dusk pale ale is a hop forward ale with an emphasis on hop flavour rather than bitterness. Subtle malt flavours combine with the hop aromatics to create a satisfying pale ale for any occasion.”
Townsite Brewing (Powell River)
Biere D’Hiver Belgian Dubbel: (7.5% ABV, 29 IBU) “Subtly spiced with coriander, star anise & Cédric’s hand-made Candi Sugar, this mother of a brown ale tastes of plums, currants and caramel. At 7.5% ABV, it is the perfect accompaniment to a night by the fire with a good book.”
Perfect Storm Oatmeal Stout: (5.5% ABV, 30 IBU) “A rich, round, roasty oatmeal stout using flaked oats and roasted barley to add to our house roast malts (Chocolate and Crystal) and hopped with Columbus, Cascade and Golding.”
Twa Dogs (Saanich)
Drouthy Neibor IPA: (7% ABV, 60 IBU) “Brewed with only BC grown barley malt, Thirsty Neibor encourages you to be part of the community. We use a magic blend of 4 hop varieties crafting a boisterous tale of citrus, tropical & stone fruit flavours. Do the right thing and be a good neighbour.”
Holy Willie’s Porter: (6.5% ABV, 25 IBU) “Holy Willie’s Robust Porter is a truly stout ale. Featuring BC & British specialty barley and malted & flaked oats, its bitterness is masked behind roasted chocolate flavours. Bold yet creamy, acrid yet malty. Robust indeed.”
Keekin’ Glass Pilsner: (5% ABV, 25 IBU) “The ‘mirror’ pilsner is unfiltered for the fullest body and flavour, so don’t expect this bold and candid pilsner to be a pale reflection the summer sun’s rays. Instead, The Keekin’ Glass is deep, beaming with character and refreshing liveliness. Using the finest Pacifica and Motueka hops, with the best malts and keenest brewers eye, this pilsner doesn’t conform. No bones, no gimmicks, no compromises.”
Vancouver Island Brewery (Victoria)
Dominion Dark Lager: (4.8% ABV, 19 IBU) “Medium bready malt with a touch of chocolate and roast. Low herbal undertone. The medium hop bitterness results in a slightly malt forward balance. The finish is clean with a hint of roast.”
Victoria Lager: (4.8% ABV, 22 IBU) “Based on a Northern German Dortmunder Export, this is a full-bodied golden lager with a complex yet balanced malt profile. There are slightly more hops than needed to balance the malt sweetness. By using an extended lagering period, this beer has an assertively pleasant character.”
Hermannator Ice Bock: (9.5% ABV, 25 IBU) “Our original Brewmaster Hermann Hoerterer designed Hermannator as a seasonal gift to friends & family in 1987. It soon became our flagship brew, the most anticipated beer of the year. This beer takes over three months to mature, spending significant time at subzero temperatures to create a rich malt body, with notes of chocolate, coffee & brandied plums. It is the perfect beer to enjoy over the holiday season.”
West Coast Craft
Tree Brewing Vertical Winter Ale (Kelowna): (5% ABV, 20 IBU) “Caramel and nut flavours, combined with a smooth malt profile leading to a vanilla finish”
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA (Chico, California): (7.2% ABV, 65 IBU) “Sierra Nevada and hops go hand in hand. What began as a crazy idea scribbled in a pub eventually became our newest year-round hop bomb, Torpedo Extra IPA. The first beer to feature our “Hop Torpedo”—a revolutionary dry-hopping device that controls how much hop aroma is imparted into beer without adding additional bitterness. Torpedo Extra IPA is an aggressive yet balanced beer with massive hop aromas of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit.”
Deschutes Black Butte Porter (Bend, Oregon): (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU) “Notes of rich chocolate and coffee, a luscious creaminess and a roasted finish.”
White Sails Brewing (Nanaimo)
Gallows Point Chocolate Porter: (5% ABV, 30 IBU) “This delicious dark brown ale has a prominent malty profile, loaded with chocolate and caramel notes. There is restrained roastiness, balanced with a light handed hopping, allowing the malt flavours to shine through.”
Snake Island CDA: (6.5% ABV, 80 IBU) “Medium bodied. Full flavoured with hints of chocolate and coffee. A healthy dose of Pacific NW hops to balance the dark malt
character. Dark colour profile that drinks like an IPA….delicious!”
Casks: All they’ve said is 2 casks, and they’re being secretive.
Yellow Dog Brewing (Port Moody)
Chase My Tail Pale Ale: (5.2% ABV, 50 IBU) No Information Available
High 5 Hazy IPA: (7% ABV, 50 IBU) “The beer while slightly hazy in look provides flavours of mango and grapefruit while providing balance with a piney resinous finish. Bright, fresh and vibrant our newest hop potion will have you racing to the end of the glass.”
Chew Toy Coconut Porter: (5% ABV, 33 IBU) No Information Available
Broken Ladder Apples: (5.2% ABV) Our original craft cider, blended from 6 BC Tree Fruits apple varieties.
Broken Ladder Apples & Hops: (6% ABV) Is our dry hopped cider, a tip of the hat to our craft brewing friends.
Brickworks Cider (Toronto)
Brickworks 1904: (5% ABV) “Batch 1904 is a UK style dry, tart cider, with a refreshing full apple finish. We only use one ingredient: 100% Ontario handpicked heritage apples; the best Niagara and Georgian Bay have to offer.”
Merridale Ciderworks (Cobble Hill)
Yule Fuel: (9% ABV) “Our mulled apple cider tastes just like Christmas! Deep spice notes of vanilla, peach, cinnamon, and nutmeg make this a perfect drink to enjoy hot or cold with turkey dinner or by the light of a crackling fire. This limited release was created in partnership with the Zone 91.3 and partial proceeds support the TLC Fund for Kids.”
Mo’Moro: (6% ABV) “An effervescent cider, dry hopped with Mosaic hops and refreshed with Moro Blood Orange Juice. Crafted from a blend of English cider apples, it’s the perfect balance between sharps, bitters, and hoppy fruitiness.”
House: (6% ABV) “A refreshing effervescent cider in true English pub style. Crafted from a blend of English cider apples, it’s the perfect balance between sharps, bitters, and fruitiness. A favorite at local pubs and restaurants.”
Seacider Farm and Ciderhouse (Saanichton)
Bramble Bubbly: (9.9% ABV) “The mighty blackberry is a tenacious invader of Vancouver Island orchards, but a touch of its sun-soaked sweetness added to apple cider makes for a sinfully delicious blushing semi dry sparkling cider. Raise a glass of Sea Cider’s Bramble Bubbly, and celebrate Vancouver Island fruit at its best!”
Rumrunner: (12.5% ABV) “Crafted with home-grown heritage apples, Rumrunner’s apples are hand-pressed using our traditional rack and cloth press, slowly fermented with Champagne yeast, then aged in rum-soaked bourbon barrels for a minimum of six months. Aromas of brown sugar and rum show the complexity of this semi-dry sparkling cider.”
Kings and Spies: (8% ABV) Victorian by provenance, Kings & Spies is a cider fit for royalty or rogues. Crafted from King apples, Northern Spies and other apples of mysterious lineage, this off-dry cider is crowd-sourced and community-minded to the core. A portion of proceeds supports Growing Chefs, a program which educates BC families about growing and preparing healthy food.
Tod Creek Craft Cider (Saanich)
Bamfield-Bound: (6% ABV) “An off-dry craft cider with a hint of maple syrup to take the dry edge off.”
Mala-hop: (6% ABV) “This is our triple-hopped craft cider. Like hops? You’ll love our cider that is made with organic hops from a small farm in Lillooet.”
Sidre Salvaje: (6% ABV) “Our Spanish-style cider, with an acetic flavour profile from the wild fermentation and inoculation from the acetobaceure, for a really flavourful, dry, still cider.”
I want to take this last moment to thank all the contacts at all the vendors that took time out of their days to get back to me, and to wish everyone a fantastic time at the event this weekend. Events like this don’t run themselves, so appreciate everyone who puts even the slightest effort into making these things happen.
Finally, feel free to share this as much as you want (with proper credit of course), to give everyone a chance to seek out new beers they would like to try or old favourites they’ve had hundreds of times, and once again, Cheers!