Thanks to Goose Island, we’re celebrating National IPA Day !!!
Thanks to Goose Island, we’re celebrating National IPA Day !!!
The locally and independently owned, Kettle River Brewing Co, is expanding! They’re looking for community involvement to help fundraise via a crowd-funding campaign on the popular site, Indiegogo.
Located in the North End of Kelowna BC, they do very small beer runs and have proudly brewed over 200 batches since opening in July of 2016. Being a small team (only 4, including the founders!) with a strong DIY-ethos, everything in the brewery has been built by them. In fact, most of the brewery, including everything from the equipment to the barn wood bar is second-hand or recycled parts.
The current, tiny 1bbl brewing system, handmade out of used tea tree oil tins and dairy parts, is not sufficient for the current growth rate and public demand. To keep up, they’ve ordered a new 5bbl brewing system (5x the beer!) but still need to pay for the rest of it, including all installation costs to get it operational. Additionally, to prepare for the Okanagan summer, they’ve started the process of getting a licensed patio out front, including upgrading their tasting lounge license to a lounge endorsement. The success of this would mean customers can enjoy more than one sample glass, outside in the sunshine!
To achieve these goals, the campaign is looking to fundraise up to $30,000 with $20,000 covering the remaining cost of buying and installing the new 5 bbl brewing system, and $10,000 to cover building upgrades, re-zoning for the licensed patio.
Beyond the typical brewery fundraiser perks, such as branded swag, bonus beer, a learn-to-brew day, they’ve included tickets to a Brewhouse Backers Banquet beer 4 course dinner; a “buy-a-brick” option where you can decorate one of the bricks in the wall of the brewery; a portrait painted by a local artist and hung in the brewery, and a custom KRBC kegerator, supplied with beer for a year. To find out more you can visit the fundraiser page: https://igg.me/at/krbc or call us at 250-862-5115.
To celebrate, Kettle River has partnered with Groove Garden Records to have a Mini-Record Store Pop-up Shop day, Sat. March 25th. We’ll be raffling off artwork, vinyl grab bags, special bottles like the bourbon choc. milk stout, brewery swag like fill vouchers, hats etc and will have some special draft on for samples.
The 7th Annual BC Beer Awards & Festival is set to return to Vancouver on Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 4 – 9pm at the Croatian Cultural Centre. The signature consumer tasting event of BC Craft Beer Month, this festival celebrates the very best in craft brewing from across the province. A one-day only event, it features both the BC Beer Awards ceremony hosted by CBC’s Stephen Quinn and a craft beer festival with over 65 breweries and cideries.
This year, awards will be presented for 30 categories, up from 20 last year. Awards include CBC People’s Choice Award, Richards Buell Sutton LLP Rookie of the Year Award and the Brewer’s Challenge. 2016 has been dubbed by the craft beer community to be the “Year of the Mild Beer” and we have challenged BC’s brewers to create something mild, 4% ABV or less and still full flavoured. The Growler is hosting a brewer’s collaboration booth. Also returning to the festival will be our community booths, and craft beer focused vendors. Once the awards ceremony is over, we’ll have live music provided by Paul Filek in the smaller, second room.
Early Bird tickets $32 (plus taxes and fees) – on sale Tuesday Aug 16th until Thursday Sept 15th.
Each ticket includes 4 drink tokens as well as a 4oz taster glass (yours to take home). Additional tokens are $1.25 each. There is an ATM on site.
Cloverdale is a community that in recent years has seen its growth shoot rapidly upwards along a timeline somewhat similar to that followed by the rise in popularity of craft beer across BC. Over the past few years local beer stores have seen their craft beer sections overtake more and more shelf space while new restaurants have opened with carfully curated craft beer menus.
On the weekend of May 28th + 29th Cloverdale will take the next step towards becoming a true craft beer town. At least for that weekend, The Grape & The Grain will help make Cloverdale a craft beer destination as the festival makes history as the first of its kind at the Bill Reid Millenium Aphitheatre in the heart of Cloverdale..
The festival will see many ‘firsts’ take shape over the weekend as Phoenix Productions bring some truly fresh ideas to the world of craft beer festivals. A major clue to the uniqueness of this festival is right there in the name, “The Grape & The Grain”. For the first time in BC this festival will see the coming together of craft brewers, distillers and vinters at one venue to showcase some of the high quality adult beverages that BC has to offer.
Cloverdale is no stranger to festivals with 80,000 people expected to descend on the fairground the weekend before for the Cloverdale Rodeo. The Grape and The Grain, however, is expected to be a more laid back event as they’ll be setting up for around 2500 visitors each day and implementing some unique technology to streamline the guest experience.
All attendees will be given RFID bracelets that can be activated and linked to their profile prior to heading to the festival. The electronic bracelet will grant them access through the gates and will come pre-loaded with $20 to spend once inside. If funds start to dwindle the bracelets can be linked to a credit card and topped up on site through a mobile device. This can be done by the user manually or automatically if they choose to set a minimum balance on their bracelet. Unused funds are automatically refunded back to the credit card within 10 business days.
All this should make for a pretty slick system avoiding the need for standing in line to rip ticket stubs or manually run a credit card for more tokens. It’s a win for the customer experience, but it’s expected to be a big win for festival organizers and vendors as well. The data collected by the RFID bracelets can be used to indicate what attendees wanted most and when they wanted it which will help improve the festival in the years that come and yes, organizers are planning to bring The Grape & The Grain back to Cloverdale for a 2nd year in 2017.
With technology taking care of the tickets and tokens that are normally associated with festivals, attendees are expected to enjoy the grounds at a more leisurely pace. The primary festival producer, Paulette Garneau with Phoenix Production explains, “With the bracelets there shouldn’t be line-ups, it should go pretty fast which in turn leads the distillers and brewers that are there time to talk about their products” and interact with their customers.
10 months ago when Paulette and Lori Potts (Co-Producer with Phoenix Productions) began planning The Grape & The Grain they envisioned a festival in which attendees would be able to try a little bit of everything at a single event; wine, beer, cider and craft spirits. The market seems ripe for an event like this with the local movement as strong as ever and the more recent rise of craft distilleries changing the way Bitish Columbians pour their beverages.
In explaining the decision to create a multi beverage style festival Paulette explains that, “their are so many new distilleries in BC and so many great products coming out of BC that even 10 years ago you wouldn’t have found whisky here and you wouldn’t have found amaretto or limoncello. There is so much being made here locally that we thought, let’s try to do a 1/3 spirits, 1/3 wine and 1/3 beer.”
Unfortunately for our craft beer loving readers this first year of the festival will be a little under representative on the beer side of things. Part of this may be attributed to the challenges faced by a first year festival, but, much of it is also due to the unfortunate timing of other craft beer events clashing on the scheduled weekend.
An under representation of beer shouldn’t be a deterrant to attending though as Deep Cove Brewers, Four Winds Brewing, British Columbia Genuine Draft and Rider Cider with be represented along with a number of BC wineries and craft distillers. This a great opportunity to try something new. Enjoy some wine, sip some spirits and support the breweries. I’m hoping to see more breweries able to attend in 2017 and I’m sure the RFID data gathered this year will show a demand!
You know there will be beer, wine, cider, coolers and a variety of spirits, but there will be more to do at the festival aside from sampling the drinks. Organizers are hoping that instead of attendees feeling the need to rush from table to table that they’ll take the time to enjoy the full venue.
Grab something to eat from one of the food trucks, hang out at a picnic table and enjoy the live music while you sip on your new favourite beverage (until you’re ready to find your next favourite). That’s the casual feel that I think this festival is going to achieve.
There will be 5 musical acts scheduled over the 2 days with DJ’s playing music in between acts. Check the musicians list to find out who’s performing
For directions, hours, rates and to buy tickets go to TheGrapeAndTheGrain.ca
CraftBeer.ca will have representatives at the festival, so, keep an eye out for our follow up article post festival.
Central City Brewing in Surrey, BC is hosting their annual Summer Cask Festival this Saturday (July 20th 2015) and at least 20 craft breweries will bringing casks to sample. There should be a good variety of craft beer and even a few ciders.
Aside from the beer, there will be food, prizes, friends and fun. Of course CraftBeer.ca will also be stopping by to check things out!
Some of the breweries who have confirmed attendance are listed below;
Tickets are still available for the event and are being sold through Eventbrite. Prices are posted at $30 per ticket + tax and a $2.79 handling fee. The cost of the ticket includes a tasting glass and 3 tokens to redeem for samples.
Here’s a quick link to the ticket sales page: Summer Cask Festival Tickets
Be sure to check back later for a recap from CraftBeer.ca’s time at the festival.
Share your Cask Festival experience with us through our Contact Page
That means today is the first day that you can get the beer version of .com, .ca. net, .org etc… Yes, you can now register a domain name like Drink.Beer, well, sort of… more on that later.
So, what’s the reason for a dot beer gTLD (generic top level domain) or ‘domain name extension’? In my opinion it’s really just to make money for the registry (Minds and Machines) and the registrars (like Godaddy), the companies selling the domain names.
But, I’m interested to see if any sectors of the beer industry will buy in to this.
Does the beer industry need a .beer extension? The argument for the release of hundreds of these new generic domain extensions is that all of the decent .com and in Canada’s case, .ca domains are taken.
Although there is some truth to that, it’s not a full view of the internet landscape.
Combine naming creativity, and personal or geographical prefixes on domains, now throw in the opportunity to buy domains on the aftermarket and the possibility of getting a good domain name starts to look pretty favourable. Still this overlooks the numerous alternative extensions that have been in existence for a decade, plus/minus a few years (ie: net, org, info, biz, tv, me, .co etc..). Alternatives already exist and have for years.
So, who is the target market for .beer domain names? I don’t think that the company behind .beer is banking on new businesses to choose a .beer, more likely they’re hoping for existing business to feel like they need to shell out more money to secure their .beer domain.
Some businesses in the beer industry may consider protecting their brand(s) by buying a .beer domain, but I’d suggest that it’s an unnecessary measure. The general public is familiar with .com and .ca, but, even an almost 14 year old extension like .info remains more or less unknown to the public at large.
Dot beer stands a very small chance of gaining any traction within the realm of the general public versus giants like .com and .ca and any traction that may take hold would be site specific. I don’t see outlying sites, that may choose to use a .beer domain impacting the overall online presence of other businesses within the beer industry.
There are some instances that I can see the possibility of .beer being beneficial. Well. maybe just 2 instances..
1) Great Brands – There are a limited, a very limited number of combinations that make up genuinely good sounding domain names that could turn into great brands. This may be especially true if you have the time to wait for younger generations to come of age. For now .com or .ca work just fine.
Branding around and marketing a .beer domain carries a pretty significant risk. It’s still up in the air how the public will react to these type of domains, but the risk of confusion runs pretty high.
2) Social Media – namely Twitter. Twitter limits the number of words per Tweet. There are plenty of URL shortening services out there, but, having your own dot beer shortener could be a good play. The problem here is that most (if not all) one and two letter .beer domains will not be available for registration due to policies on one level or another.
Speaking of not being available, this may be a good time to revisit the previously mentioned domain Drink.Beer.
Drink.Beer is on a ‘collision list‘ put in place by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). I’d bore you to death if I tried to explain what a collision list is, all you really need to know is that nobody is able to register a name on the collision list. If anybody really is interested enough to read more on that, here’s a link to some dry reading on the subject (I think… I couldn’t get through it either).
So, what about all of the other cool dot beer domains out there? Well, I really don’t think there are many, although, I thought about trying to get Craft.Beer to forward to this site. My buying decision was easily made for me when I found out that it too was on the previously mentioned collision list.
Here’s a useful link that will bring up a list of all the names on the collision list for the dot beer extension.
If you’re still looking at getting a .beer domain, be sure to consider pricing long term. With these new gTLD’s, the registries (manfacturer of sorts) try to determine the best possible domains that could be created in each extension. Then they put a premium annual pricing on those domains that may run well into 3 figures.
I don’t know for sure if there are .beer domains out there with premium registration pricing, but, a standard registration at Godaddy.com is currently priced at $31.99 per year.
For myself it has to be either .com or .ca (especially with Craft.Beer off the table), how about you? I’d love to hear readers opinions on the .beer extension.
Do you plan on getting one for your brewery, pub, restaurant, blog…. ???
Also be sure to check back for updates as this article is sure to expand over the next few days.
Whistler is a world class destination and I happen to be lucky enough to be able to get in my car, stop for a coffee along the way and be in Whistler Village 2 hours later.
Usually when I’m prepping for that drive, it’s cold outside, I’m bundled up in winter gear hoping for snow in the village while I’m trying to figure out how to make my snowboard fit in my mid-size car with two car seats.
Whistler is world renowned as a ski and snowboard mecca, but last week’s beer festival serves as a reminder that Whistler can be a blast year round.
This time as I loaded my car for the trip with just a couple small suitcases packed with shorts, t-shirts and a few cans of coconut water the sun was shining!
No messing with car seats this time either! With the kids at Grandma’s and the car seats out we could slide the seats back a few inches and enjoy the drive.
My wife Leanne and her camera equipment joined me for the weekend.
Good Morning Whistler!
Unfortunately, due to lack of childcare we had to miss the first two days of festival events. From the sounds of it we missed some great times including beer seminars led by Joe Wiebe and Ken Beattie as well as Friday night’s cask showdown highlighted by Deadfrog’s Jalapeno Buckwheat IPA that took the night’s title.
We weren’t about to miss the main event though! In fact we made sure we got there early to take advantage of the “Gate Crasher” tickets that give early access to the festival grounds starting at 12 noon instead of 1pm.
The festival was a lot quieter for the ‘Gate Crashing’ hour with only a couple hundred people milling about which made for non-existent lineups and the opportunity to take a few extra minutes to chat with the breweries and their reps. Once one o’clock rolled around the crowds steadily began to grow.
There was a great atmosphere as the crowd took in the sunshine, sampled new beers and danced along to the Bavarian band which gave the festival a slightly early Oktoberfest feel.
Like Whistler in general, it was an eclectic mix of 4000+ attendees including long time locals, daytrippers up from Vancouver, and international travelers. The one thing they had in common was an appreciation of craft beer which is a sure way to liven up any crowd. With the craft beer flowing, the vibe stayed positive throughout the main event and well into the evening.
(I imagine it would be hard not to stay positive with a beer in hand and a pretzel necklace around your neck! Getting in the spirit! – below)
Looking forward to next year…
With a little less than a year to go until the 2015 Whistler Village Beer Festival I’m already making plans to get the most out of the full four days next year.
First off I’m going to make sure I plan well in advance and free up my schedule. It’s clear that this festival is more than just the main event… seminars, cask showdowns, beer dinners and more.
Tip #1: Come WVBF 2015 when you’re ready to buy your tickets get adventurous and plan for some seminars, dinners and cask nights.
That brings us to Tip #2: Pace yourself at the main event. It starts early, ends at 5 and you have more events to get to after the big show.
Tip #3: Speaking of pacing yourself, take advantage of your in and out wrist band and grab a bite to eat mid event if you plan on staying for the duration.
There were a couple food trucks parked just outside the gates. I’d like to see the gates moved and include more of those food trucks within the actual festival grounds in future years, but, I don’t know the chances of that happening.
Tip #4: This one might come in handy year round. If you’re buying some beer for the fridge back at your hotel check out Nester’s Market.
The BC liquor store seemed to miss the memo that a craft beer festival was in town as they didn’t have any special displays set up and the beer selection was their standard (not without great craft beer, they just dropped the ball on stepping it up)
Nester’s on the other hand took full advantage of the situation. They had a makeshift store set up right near the entrance to the festival with a great selection of participating brewery’s beer. They even bought out the remaining stock of Stargazer Chamomile Wheat from Canuck Empire.
Tip #5: Don’t forget to pack the coconut water. That stuff is essential at any beer festival. One before bed and one when you wake up and your good to go even if you somehow forget to follow tip number 2.
So, why make Whistler Village Beer Festival part of your plans for 2015?
– Alright Whistler, we’ll see you in 2015! –
Whistler is buzzing with craft beer excitement as the start of this year’s Whistler Village Beer Festival (WVBF) draws closer. For 4 days starting on the 11th of September Whistler will play host to 50 different breweries and 4000+ craft beer drinking attendees.
The beer scene in Whistler has changed a lot in the past few years and the introduction of this beer festival, which kicked off last year, has likely helped it along.
CraftBeer.ca will have some staff attending the festival this year and to help quench our thirst for Whistler and beer I decided to ask some questions about the history of the festival.
So, I spoke to Liam Peyton.
Liam Peyton is the man behind the festival. Liam has lived in Whistler for the past six years and work wise got his start as a door host at the Longhorn Saloon.
The Longhorn is a place that many Whistler visitors can point to as their first introduction to the village. After finishing off the last run of the day, you ride (or ski) into the village and the Longhorn is right there to greet you, calling you in for a beer. I’m sure many readers can remember walking onto the longhorn patio after a day of spring skiing and grabbing a cold Budweiser or Corona out of the trough of ice.
Although great memories, the beer choice wasn’t exactly plentiful at the time.
In Liam’s time at the Longhorn he moved from door host, to bartender and on to bar manager. Most of the taps were dedicated to the big brewers like Molson and Labatt with the exception of Whistler’s local brewery (and now festival sponsor) Whistler Brewing Company who had taps around the village.
As Liam neared the end of his time working at the Longhorn consumer’s interest in craft beer was growing and Liam found himself wanting to get more involved with the brewing industry.
Meanwhile, Gibbons the company that owned the Longhorn Saloon where Liam worked were making some moves of their own in the craft beer industry. Gibbons was able to get in on an opportunity to invest in Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers and around the same time had meetings with Tourism Whistler about starting a craft beer festival in Whistler.
This was the opportunity that Liam was looking for. He became the territorial rep for Deep Cove beer in Whistler and Pemberton. He also was given the reigns to make Whistler’s first large scale beer festival a reality.
Liam’s goals in creating the festival aren’t as simple as just to bring good beer to the people. Of course craft beer is the main focus, but, he also wants to bring the people to Whistler and showcase all of the great venues that Whistler has to offer. In addition to highlighting great beer Liam says that he wants the festival to “make every business in this community benefit”.
That boost in business was evident at the very first festival last year. A five dollar food voucher included with festival tickets resulted in packed supporting venues. The popularity and success of the vouchers ended up playing a role in the only “bad press” (emphasis on the quotation marks) that the festival received.
Last year the festival had 4 supporting venues including the Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub. In that first year of the festival they were so swamped with patrons enjoying the pub and redeeming their food vouchers that the kitchen had to temporarily stop taking orders, so, that they could maintain food quality and service for the 200 customers already seated and waiting to eat!
The Dubh Linn Gate was the first venue in Whistler to really experiment with growing their craft beer taps and they have been a big supporter of the Whistler Village Beer Festival since the beginning, so, it’s great to see Dubb Linn Gate is back as a supporting venue this year, but in year two they have reinforcements. The number of supporting venues has more than doubled from four to ten* establishments.
The increase of venues for the festival mirrors what’s going on with Whistler’s craft beer scene in general. Craft beer’s rise in popularity isn’t showing any signs of slowing down and this year’s ‘Best in Fest’ awards should help keep that ball rolling.
Instead of the traditional beer festival medals the awards handed out at the ‘Best in Fest’ will be draught contracts in one of the local pubs, so, you’ll still be able to enjoy your favourite beer in a Whistler pub for the year that follows.
The festival is also keeping pace with the growth by adding a number of unique events and seminars over the four days to enhance the main event.
2014 Beer Seminars
As much as beer drinkers today enjoy just sitting back and enjoying a couple pints they have also shown a growing interest in gaining a greater knowledge of what goes into creating great craft beer.
WVBF is looking to meet that growing demand by introducing a new seminar series to this year’s festival.
If you can make it up for Thursday you can take advantage of sitting in on a seminar with Ken Beattie of EurekaBeerGuide.com, a Prud’homme certified beer educator with over 25 years of experience in the beer industry. This one is the first scheduled event of the festival starting at 4pm and also includes a tour of the Whistler brewery.
On Friday there are 2 seminars lined up with the first starting at 2 in the afternoon. Joe Wiebe, the “‘Thirsty Writer” and author of Craft Beer Revolution leads a history lesson taking a look at over 30 years of BC’s craft beer history.
After learning about BC’s brewing history you can roll into another seminar with Ken Beattie. This time the focus is on six different styles of beer and how they shaped the beer world that we are familiar with today.
These seminars are set to educate and entertain you all while drinking some beer.
If only all school was that much fun! As Liam Peyton put it, “you get to sit in the classroom and drink beer it’s probably the best way to do it!”.
After attending those seminars you’ll be set to strut your stuff at all of WVBF’s other events, beer dinners, cask showdowns and of course the main event of the festival on Saturday which starts at 1pm.
I’ll see you there!
If you don’t have your tickets yet, check out the events page at WVBF.ca
* Looking for a list of venues where you can redeem your $5 food voucher? You can choose from any of the 10 listed below;
I’m sure many craft beer drinkers have distant dreams of one day opening up their own craft brewery, but, that idea might seem too far fetched to make a reality, especially for those currently working in seemingly unrelated fields.
So, how about you? Could you make the jump? Would it be easier if you were already working in IT and software development? That doesn’t sound like it would make the jump any easier at all does it?
Well, that is exactly what Adam Crandall and Dan Helmer are doing!
This isn’t the first time that Dan Helmer has shaken up his career path. His first major pivot came near the end of completing his degree at the University of British Columbia in microbiology. The timing just wasn’t lining up as far as job prospects in microbiology related fields. Undeterred, Dan decided to pursue a second degree this time in computer science.
Dan’s career in IT took off when he was still a handful of credits short of completing that second degree, but, that proved not to be to his detriment as he had gained the skills necessary to move forward in the industry.
Dan gained experience working with numerous clients through his own IT consulting company including his alma mater UBC. It’s no doubt that he was gaining invaluable experience running his own consulting company, but, he wanted to gain the experience of working on larger IT consulting projects that he wasn’t able to get on his own.
His decision to apply for a job with a larger consulting firm would prove to be a rather defining decision in his career to come.
Dan and Adam (the other half of Moody Ales) first met sometime in early 2011 when Adam sat as one of the interviewers for a job that Dan had applied for at Habanero Consulting.
I’m sure you can guess where the story goes from here. Dan got the job and was now a software developer at Habanero.
Adam had already been working at Habanero for 3 years before he started working with Dan. Like Dan, prior to Habanero Adam worked for himself in IT consulting and software development, but, he points to the work he did during university that first made him realize that he wanted to be self employed.
In university he was a Student Works Painting franchisee for two years and then went on to work as a district manager for them for the next three years.
When talking about his experiences at Student Works Adam says, “It was hard work, I learned a lot and it was really rewarding in many ways” he continues, “This is where I realized I wanted to work for myself”
So, after university Adam started doing his own IT consulting and software development. He did try working for a bit as an employee at other companies during that time, but his previous feelings were confirmed as he found himself not enjoying that type of work situation.
Adam was looking at starting up a new software company when he and his wife found out that they were expecting their first son. He had to make the decision that the timing wasn’t right to be starting up a new company and in the interest of family went looking for a job. Through previous connections he ended up at Habanero where he would meet Dan 3 years later.
What About the Beer?
Now, so far there hasn’t been much talk about beer in this article, but, we’re about to jump ahead in the timeline to 2012 and the Oregon Brewer’s Festival in Portland.
Dan, Adam and a few other Habanero workmates headed down to Portland for the festival and this is where Dan and Adam really got to know each other.
Unlike Dan, Adam had a couple years of home brewing under his belt, but both of them were pretty into craft beer at this stage. As Adam says, “Dan has an amazing thirst for information and knowledge he spent the weekend asking as many questions as he could to anyone who would answer about all the styles and beers we were trying.”
After returning from Portland Dan started brewing with Adam and proved to have a knack for the craft. Referring to his new brewing partner Adam says, “he was quickly surpassing me in terms of producing quality, repeatable beer”. Adam credits Dan’s progression to his biology background and his meticulous attention to detail.
They started brewing together at a feverish pace with Dan sometimes brewing two to three times per week. When Dan wasn’t brewing himself he was teaching others how to brew, something that Adam thinks Dan may actually enjoy as much if not more than brewing for himself.
In 2013 the guys were back in Portland for the same Oregon Brewer’s Festival. This time the talk was a bit different. A lot of their conversation focused on how they could get into the craft beer industry themselves. They joked about starting a brewery, but that was put to the side as a pipe dream, they were mostly talking on a smaller scale. Just something to pay their expenses to craft beer festivals while they kept their day jobs.
Although many ideas were thrown around, when Adam arrived back home he was back to thinking bigger. He couldn’t get the idea of starting a brewery out of his head. He had been wanting to start a business for years, but other obligations always made the timing seem off.
Adam kept tossing scenarios around in his head and crunching numbers. He started thinking and said to himself “there really is no good time to quit my job and go out on my own, no better or worse time, so why not now?”
He thought about what might happen if it didn’t work out, but says that he came to peace with the idea that “if it didn’t work out, and I lost everything I’d worked for so far, I’d still have my wife and kids, it was only stuff”. He says that realization was powerful for him and really helped him make the decision to move ahead with his plans.
His next step was to run things by his wife who was immediately on-board!
Dan was the next person that he wanted to reach out to. On August 5th 2013 Dan stopped by Adam’s place for a beer. There was a bit of small talk as Adam worked up to telling Dan his plans. When he finally told Dan that he wanted to open a brewery, Dan laughed, ‘HaHa, me too!’. Adam explained that he was serious. He was opening a brewery.
Over the next six months Adam and Dan would work together researching, taking notes, planning. They went through four different financial plans based on different brewhouse sizes and locations among other things.
They decided early on that they wanted to open up a brewery near the community that they lived in. Coquitlam was considered, but, eventually ruled out as their zoning by-laws currently don’t allow for tasting rooms, but, Port Moody seemed to be a great fit.
With their brewery plans rolling ahead Adam and Dan had to let give notice to Habanero that they were moving on to a new stage in life. Notice was given to Habanero on January 7th 2014 . It wasn’t any easy decision for the two men to make. They had built some great relationships over the past few years at Habanero plus they still didn’t have any financial support from investors or a bank! They were however following their dream and I imagine that would have been an exciting time.
They took possession of their space on Murray Street in Port Moody early into June 2014. Construction began June 30th and has continued at a steady pace ever since.
Opening is planned for early Fall 2014, We look forward to following their progress on CraftBeer.ca
If you’d like to follow along with the breweries progress check out their blog at MoodyAles.com/blog.
James Smith is Moody Ales first full time employee. A graduate of Simon Fraser University where he studied English. He went on to attend UC Berkeley where he earned his Master’s in the History of Art. He quit his job in student services at SFU a few weeks ago to join the craft beer industry with Moody Ales. A bit about James’ interest in craft beer in his own words; “My culinary/beverage interests started in Ontario where I started getting into craft beer and whiskey. I fell in love with the great bar/cocktail scene in San Francisco and started experimenting with my own cocktails and making my own infusions and liqueurs, and of course drank a lot of the awesome craft beer from California. The first experience that really opened my eyes to the diversity and potential for complexity in craft beer came from a visit to Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa when I tried their line up of sours. I guess I’m in the beer industry now, but I still have diverse interests in cocktails, liqueurs, baking bread, tequila and mezcal, and so on. I’ve been homebrewing for about a year now. Fortunately Dan will be in charge of that at the brewery.”
James Smith is Moody Ales first full time employee. A graduate of Simon Fraser University where he studied English. He went on to attend UC Berkeley where he earned his Master’s in the History of Art. He quit his job in student services at SFU a few weeks ago to join the craft beer industry with Moody Ales.
A bit about James’ interest in craft beer in his own words;
“My culinary/beverage interests started in Ontario where I started getting into craft beer and whiskey. I fell in love with the great bar/cocktail scene in San Francisco and started experimenting with my own cocktails and making my own infusions and liqueurs, and of course drank a lot of the awesome craft beer from California. The first experience that really opened my eyes to the diversity and potential for complexity in craft beer came from a visit to Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa when I tried their line up of sours. I guess I’m in the beer industry now, but I still have diverse interests in cocktails, liqueurs, baking bread, tequila and mezcal, and so on. I’ve been homebrewing for about a year now. Fortunately Dan will be in charge of that at the brewery.”
Updates from Moody Ales:
– Moody Ales Brings the Crowler® to Canada (Dec. 2014)
Writing, directing, shooting, funding, producing… dozens of pieces have to come together just right to create an engaging documentary film. All of the pieces seemed to have lined up well for the mini-documentary Brew Love as it takes viewers on a 6 minute journey into BC’s craft beer industry.
Before we dig into the film itself, let’s backtrack and look into the pieces that had to come together in order to put the idea of Brew Love in motion.
The man behind the film is Jeremy Dyson.
I’m sure that Jeremy’s first beer wasn’t the bitter draught that he shared with his dad in England when he was 20. He does, however, point to that moment in time as the factor that first peaked his interest in different styles of beer.
Jeremy remember’s chatting with his father that day and his Dad (an English ex-pat) telling him about his University days drinking English Milds.
Not long after, Jeremy flew back to Canada to attend post-secondary himself at the University of British Columbia and it was then that he discovered his first Canadian craft beer. He found Shaftebury Cream Ale on tap and his eyes were opened to domestic alternatives outside of the macro-brews.
As the years went on Jeremy made a point of trying most of the locally brewed beers available at the time; Vancouver Island, Granville Island, Storm, Russell…
Jeremy says, “While the pace didn’t pick up in readily available local beer until about 2008, I found that by 2013 (the year I pitched Brew Love) I almost took the blossoming scene for granted.”
That’s a statement that many of us can relate to if you take the time to think about how quickly the craft beer industry has grown in recent years. It seems to have evolved so rapidly that we almost forget the days not so long ago that it couldn’t be expected to see craft beer on the shelves of any neighbourhood beer store.
While the craft beer situation as a whole was growing to a point of making “Brew Love” a viable project, Jeremy was growing his own skills in film making.
The Film Making Side of Things
Film wasn’t the focus of his official studies at UBC, instead he was picking up the skills and experience on the side. Jeremy served for 2 years as the treasurer for the UBC Film Society. He was also close friends with an ‘official’ film student and together they would go on to found a video production company while still students. Their main client was UBC themselves.
It was that production company that proved to be the entity that would produce the first feature film that Jeremy worked on. Check out Jeremy Dyson’s IMDB page if you’re interested in his past projects.
At this point, film and craft beer were yet to merge. Both were still developing… As the craft beer scene was gaining momentum in BC, Jeremy was building on his skills as a filmmaker.
We’ll jump ahead a bit now to where Jeremy first caught wind of the program that would eventually provide the funding for Brew Love.
Storyhive is a program put out by Telus that helps local talent create short films and documentaries. This particular program caught Jeremy’s eye for a couple reasons…
1} There was a component that asked how the proposed projects would be of interest to the people of BC
2) There was a social media/voting aspect that would influence how the funding would be distributed
Jeremy knew he wanted to be a part of that project, but, he didn’t have a subject yet.
Enter craft beer!
One night while out for a few pints with friends he found the answer on the table right in front of him. The light bulb went off and the idea of Brew Love had begun. In the days that followed Jeremy would poll people around the community to gauge their interest and the interest was clear. Nobody seemed to know where BC’s craft beer industry started and they were eager for more info.
The pitch was made to Storyhive which was a process in itself. The application process combined with the voting stage took several months before decisions were made. In the end Brew Love became one of six projects that were given the green light to start production.
Jeremy didn’t just jump into shooting, instead he took his time to get all his facts straight and build relationships within the craft beer industry. He built Twitter lists, joined CAMRA BC, attended the BC Beer Awards and made a habit of getting out and talking to people at tasting rooms and pubs.
Through his initial research Jeremy was impressed with what he saw, “I found it really amazing how open people were to sharing information”. He also noticed the unique ways that industry insiders connected with each other, Jeremy says, “there is a camaraderie instead of an adversarial approach to business”.
That camaraderie became quite apparent to Jeremy when he was doing research at Black Kettle Brewery near his home in North Vancouver. One of the guys he met there was doing some research himself. The man that Jeremy met was helping out for the day as he learned some tools of the trade in preparation for opening his own brewery the following year. Jeremy knew right away that he had found an element of the craft beer industry that had to be included in the documentary.
It’s Time to Shoot
When Jeremy was ready shooting began. Shooting the film took around 8 months by the calendar, but, there were breaks within that as work priorities took precedence.
While shooting took place the craft beer scene in BC was growing at a break-neck-pace. When Jeremy moved to North Vancouver in 2011 there weren’t any breweries in the city, but two new breweries opened during production of Brew Love. Those two breweries have now doubled to four North Van breweries.
As the craft beer market was rocketing off to new heights, Jeremy took his time with shooting the interviews for the film. He worked closely with his editor Alec Macneill-Richardson who is an accomplished Lifestyle TV editor.
In between series that Alec was working on he would find the time to cut for Brew Love. Together Alec and Jeremy would evaluate the material that they had every few months and consider what types of footage would enhance what they already had.
The craft beer community continued to help Jeremy along the way, whether it was meeting up with new brewers or getting in touch with BC craft beer pioneers. Jeremy thanks Howe Sound Brewing for getting him in touch with John Mitchell one of the founders of Horseshoe Bay Brewing that started it all back in 1982. John was able to supply some great historic pictures for the film (1:08) and that authenticity really adds to the documentary as a whole.
The premiere screening of Brew Love took place during “The Business of Craft Beer” show. Not to be out done the craft beer industry continued to grow with Main Street Brewing opening during (yes, during) the screening of Brew Love. Later in the night Jeremy headed up to Main Street Brewery to check it out first hand along with the couple behind Gladstone Brewing in Comox.
With the successful production of Brew Love I asked Jeremy what he might be working on next. He doesn’t offer any guarantees, but, he does have another film brewing in his mind. Craft spirits are growing in popularity with a number of BC breweries also having craft distilleries in production and Jeremy is eyeing up the possibility of a follow-up to Brew Love that takes a look at the craft spirits industry as it starts to gain traction in BC.
For now Jeremy is enjoying life in North Vancouver with his wife Kimberly, son Jack (5) and daughter Ava (1).
He has been promoting local Black Kettle and Green Leaf beer to all of his neighbours, but now another neighbour of his, Aaron Jonckheere is gearing up to open Strangefellows Brewing in Septmeber 2014. Jeremy plans on being at the brewery the first day it opens.
Jeremy can be reached via Twitter @jeremydyson. Follow him and pass on any recommendations you might have for great sessionable beers.