April Newsletter

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April Newsletter

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CAMRA BC – Victoria Branch View this email in your browser (mailchi.mp/0050139a1225/april-newsletter?e=77b03b1968)
CAMRA BC – Victoria Branch Join us in Support of Craft Beer
April 2017 Monthly Newsletter
** In this Issue: ————————————————————
CAMRA Victoria President Greg Garner Tours Maui Breweries March/April CAMRA Victoria Members Event reviews Vancouver Island Beer News Upcoming CAMRA Victoria Events – Members Events April/May Vancouver Island Beer Events – Everyone Welcome
If you would like to join our ranks, we’d love to have you. Individual memberships are only $25/year and joint/family memberships are $40/year. CAMRA Member Events: May 2017 – Info TBD, stay tuned to the Facebook page and email for more info as it becomes available.
June 11th – Eagles Club feat. Glen Moffard. See below article for more info.
Presidential trip to Maui, 2017
By: Greg Garner, CAMRA Victoria President
As with most vacation destinations nowadays, the tropical island of Maui is taking advantage of the surging levels of alcoholism amongst travelers (you might say they’re riding the wave??). That is to say local beer, cider, wine, spirits are becoming not only a worthwhile sight-seeing stop for many, but also an entire reason for choosing a particular destination to others. I would place Maui in the former category and not the latter, nonetheless we found some great spots I will recommend to you in the following. Too many good restaurants and other neat finds to list. If you’re planning your first trip to Maui I’d be happy to provide some more recommendations as I’ll focus on beer in this article.
Great tap list at “What Ales You” in South Kihei a short stumble from our accommodation.
Our first find came while I was googling nearby restaurants that were walkable from our South Kihei vacation rental. A beer bar 10 minutes away, you say? Why yes, I think that will do nicely. “What Ales You” is a small beer focussed pub with a nice outdoor space and some good local colour (sit at the bar and chat!). Some highlights on tap were the Eel River Brewing Raven’s Eye Stout on Nitro and Firestone’s Pivo Hoppy Pils amongst some other more common to find favourites from mainland USA.
Rock & Brews offered an extensive burger and draught list with a great indoor/outdoor layout
After surviving an amazing day on the infamous Road to Hana we explored the quaint surf town of Paia. We came across Rock & Brews which is one of a chain of restaurants owned in part by Gene Simmons of KISS. **Apparently Maui is a retired rock-star haven as Sammy Hagar, Willy Nelson, and Mick Fleetwood are also said to frequent the area. Rock n’ Brews had some great Californian favorites like Green Flash, Sierra Nevada and Stone Brewing but our favorite was the Maui Imperial Coconut Porter which, as luck would have it, was one of the current Maui Brewing seasonals being offered at the time.

Maui Brewing now has two locations; the original Brewpub as well as an impressively modern Brewery with a large and welcoming tasting room (pictured above).
Maui Brewing will be on most people’s list to see as due to their tasty brews and increasingly wide distribution outside of Hawaii. The ‘new’ brewery was located a short drive from our Kihei accommodation whereas the original brewpub is located about 45 minutes north in Napili. Driving up to the brewery feels like you’re visiting a tech giant in the Silicone Valley. The concrete and glass building is immense and the palm tree lined boulevard and nearby golf course are all immaculate. I’ve heard that Maui is partly owned by Stone Brewing which would help explain their spending power and mainland distribution. Once inside the belly of the beast we were immediately at ease on the spacious patio and once again enjoying the Imperial Coconut Porter amongst other delicious offerings. Another seasonal was the Double Overhead DIPA which was also delicious. There were over 30 different beers and ciders available at the brewery as well as some hard to come by seasonal bottles available for off-sales so I would budget your time and sobriety for more than a quick flight.
A highlight and total surprise was stumbling upon Kohola Brewery in Lahaina
We had spent the day walking around the gorgeous yet crowded town of Lahaina. During our walk back to the car a fellow walked past us carrying a growler. My craft beer senses were tingling and I started searching the interweb for any sign of “Lahaina Craft Beer”. PING! Kohola Brewing was just across the highway in a small industrial park and we were on our way. In comparison to Maui Brewing this place was quaint and peaceful. Kohola had only been open for about a year, had a taco truck out front and was somewhat hard to find, All in all it was a beer tourist’s jackpot! We saddled up to the bar admiring a very nice open space warehouse interior on our way. Glancing up at the ten different (and very diverse) beer styles offered on the chalkboard absolutely sealed the deal – this place is awesome. The Belgian triple, Farmhouse and Brown had our votes here but everything offered was delicious.
In addition to the handful of beer bars and breweries, Maui also boasts a winery, distillery, and a tiny little Kombucha bar. As this is CAMRA and not TASTE magazine I’ll only provide a few cliff notes on the above…
Maui Wine (or more accurately Ulupalakua Vineyards) is located on the lesser visited South West corner of the Maui. While the wine was not memorable, the drive, surrounding area and beautiful property the winery is located on make it well worth the hour or two it will take for the return journey.
Hali-imaile Distilling is also well worth a visit and located in the middle of the island and near the road up to the Haleakala Crater. You have to arrive during available touring hours so a phone call or email is recommended as these can book up with bus tours some days. The tour itself is brief but informative and before you can say ‘Aloha Friday!’ you’re in the tasting room trying samples of Vodka, Whiskey, and Rum. I was very impressed with the Vodka which is distilled using sugar from Maui grown Pineapples. *Another great reason to visit the distillery is a phenomenal restaurant located just across the street called “Hali’imaile General Store” (lunch is a bargain but dinner is $$$$).
The Kombucha bar was an adventure to get to as the main road to the small town of Haiku was closed and required some detouring. Haiku is barely an intersection of a town but provides a rural, off the beaten path experience compared to the larger resort towns. The small Kombucha shop offered health foods and some locally made desserts and we were able to fill up mason jars for a picnic lunch.
A quick word on Kona Brewing as it was also prevalent in most restaurants/bars. Due to their connection with InBev and the Craft Brew Alliance we skipped this brand despite the brewery being located on Hawaii’s nearby ‘Big Island’.
The incredible food, views, wildlife and waterfalls we experienced in Maui definitely stand out as the highlights from our trip. There is nonetheless a growing craft booze scene emerging from underneath the shadow of Maui Brewing worth exploring. A rental car will likely be an important part of your visit to Maui so please explore responsibly and/or utilize a designated diver, taxi, or UBER. Wrap-Up Reviews on the March & April CAMRA Victoria Members events Blind tasting event – IPA’s March 22, 2017 – Yates Street Taphouse
Image may contain: one or more people, screen, phone and indoor A panoramic shot of the CAMRA Victoria faithful at Yates Street Taphouse A big thank you to the over 35 attendees who came out to Yates Street taphouse for our March meeting. We had a great time doing a blind taste test of various IPA’s on tap, with breweries such as Lighthouse, Driftwood, and more being sipped and analysed. 1.5L towers were served to the masses, and after the dust had settled and the beer sampled, it was time to guess which ones were which.
The beers served, in no particular order were; – Fat Tug IPA (Driftwood) – Shipwreck IPA (Lighthouse) – 19 IPA (VIB) – Filthy Dirty IPA (P49) – New Growth Pale Ale (Driftwood)
Despite the crowded nature of the venue and the noise making it a little difficult to hear the proceedings, all in all it was a successful night. Also, a big thank you to CAMRA Victoria exec members Malcolm Crerar, Mark Rennie, Brian Stennes and Cayla Stiles-Clark for their assistance in making the event run smoothly, and also to Yates Street Taphouse for hosting us! Also, a shout out of congrats to Mark Rennie for get the closest guesses of the beer styles!
Blind tasting event – Stouts/Porters & other dark beers April 18th, 2017 – Christie’s Carriage House Pub No automatic alt text available. Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting and indoor Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting, table and indoor Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting and food No automatic alt text available. Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting, table and indoor Image may contain: 3 people, indoor Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoor Image may contain: 3 people, indoor Various shots of the CAMRA Victoria faithful enjoying the evening festivities We hosted another blind taste testing night at Christie’s Carriage House Pub with over 30 CAMRA Victoria faithful attending. This time around we ventured to the dark side, tasting a selection of darker beers such as stouts, porters and ales available on tap. A great turnout sampled 5 different beers, with a wide variety of styles which made it both difficult, but also challenging to determine what they were.
The beers poured were: – Chocolate Raspberry Porter (Big Rock) – Dark Matter (Hoyne) – Race Rocks (Lighthouse) – Killer Bee Honey Ale (Tin Whistle) – Back Hand of God Stout (Crannog)
After careful deliberation and dedicated sampling, the people’s choice for beer of the night was Crannog Ales Back Hand of God Stout, an exceptional stout which is only available at Christie’s. It was also great to see some new members show up to their first event, which really shows the value of your membership. Also, a big thank you to our esteemed president Greg Garner for hosting the event and serving, and to our membership director Cayla Stiles-Clark for assisting in the serving as well. And of course, thank you to Christie’s to letting us use their patio area for the event, which made the evening even better as we had the spot reserved for us and allowed us to mix and mingle amongst the group. And a big congrats to Doug Kostashuk for getting the correct guesses of the beers! Vancouver Island Beer News
New Brewery News – Breweries now open:
The last month has seen a flurry of activity in the craft brewery front here of Vancouver Island, with new ones opening for business and others announced as arriving in the coming months. As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, Love Shack Libations recently opened in Qualicum Beach. Well, they’ve not the only one to open recently Others now up and running include:
Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company in Parksville opened the weekend of April 8-9, helmed by brewmaster Dave Woodward (formerly of Axe & Barrel.) They are currently serving an IPA, Pale Ale, Blond Ale and a Hefeweizen. They have a really good looking tasting room where you can get a flight or 12oz sleeve of beer to try on location, and growler fills to go. Also their beer is available in bombers, but no word yet as to availability in Greater Victoria.
Image result for twin city brewing port alberni Twin City Brewing in Port Alberni opened near the end of March, which means there’s now a craft beer stop between the east island breweries in Nanaimo and Parksville/Qualicum Beach and the one in Tofino. They have a rotating tap list which usually includes; a Dry Porter, a Single Hop Blonde Ale, a West Coast IPA and a British Pale Ale, They also have an in-house kitchen serving up pizza, which means a match made in heaven. Currently their beer is only available at the brewery, but hopefully that will change down the road.
New Brewery News – Breweries just announced:
Not to be outdone, there’s also been a number of new brewery announcements as well. Recently we mentioned the upcoming Sooke Brewing Company and the Hudson District one being helmed by the folks at Yates Street Taphouse, but that’s not all. Also on their way include:
Île Sauvage Brewing Co. Planning to open this fall in the spot formerly occupied by the Rock Bay location of Pizzeria Prima Strada, this new brewery is the brainchild of Stephane Turcotte and two close friends. They plan to focus on Belgian-style wild ales and sours, and the name is French for ‘Wild Island., so they will be offering something different right off the bat compared to the other breweries in the area. Currently, Stephane is working at 4 Mile Brewery where he has been helping them re-shape and modernize their beer recipies, so I suspect we’ll see some good things from them later this year.
Dockside Brewery & Distillery: Planning to open in early 2018, this new business is an offshoot of Merridale Cidery and Distillery in Cobble Hill. Located in the Dockside Green location of Vic West, their aim is to include a 50 seat tasting bar and pizzeria indoors, and a 35 seat rooftop patio. The distillery plans to produce whiskey, gin and vodka and offer tours of the facility. While they will produce their first line of beers, the cider will continue to be produced at their original location and be available on tap at the new one.
Small Block Brewery: Gunning for a fall 2017 opening, this new brewery will be located in Duncan just a stones throw from Red Arrow. Not much else is known about them, however they do plan to produce British-style ales and seasonal offerings. They also appear to be launching a Single Track Series, which will focus on a single malt/single hop variety, (otherwise known as a SMaSH.)
Upcoming camra victoria events – member events:
May Members Event:
No info has been brought forward as of yet, but stay tuned to the Facebook page and email as soon as in becomes available. There has been talk of doing something like a ‘newbie’ night, one geared towards newer members that are still picking up the intricacies of craft beer.
June Members Event:
Join us at the Eagles Club on June 11th at 7pm for our monthly members meeting. We’ll be joined by author and historian Glen Mofford as he shares stories from his books about the early days of saloons and bars here in Victoria and elsewhere on the island. Also, we’re arranging to hopefully have on tap a keg of Lighthouse Brewery’s brand new ‘150 Heritage Ale,’ brewed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canada. We hope to see you there.
As with all of our events, they are ‘members only.’ However, you are welcome to bring a potential new member as a guest if you wish. And of course, please arrange for a safe ride to and from the events. Upcoming Vancouver Island Beer Events – Everyone Welcome
BC Cider Week – (April 28th-May 7th):
Various events around the province dedicated to craft cider, with attendees from all over BC, Washington and Oregon showcasing their products. Events taking place in the lower island include:
– Sea Cider Social as Part of BC Cider Week 2017! Running April 30th from 2pm-5pm at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, this festival will have cideries from all over the Pacific Northwest. Tickets are $20 and include 6 tasting tokens, with a $35 option that includes a shuttle from downtown. Additional tasting tokens are $2.
– Cinco de Mayo at Merridale Happening May 5th from 5pm-8pm, this event is a 3 course Mexican-themed dinner timing with the launch of their specialty summer cider, Jalisco Cidre. Reservations can be made through Merridale’s website.
Hopoxia – (June 10th):
This year’s event is expected to be the biggest yet, with an expected 45+ breweries from all over BC bringing a selection of hop-forward beers to entice the masses right in Phillips Brewery’s backyard. As per usual, don’t expect too many of the breweries mainstays to be served here, as this is always a chance for the brewmasters to experiment with different types of hops in any way possible.
Tickets for the event, as in past years, is still $20 and includes your tasting glass and first two tokens. Addtional tokens are available for $2. The event runs from 3pm-7pm
As an aside, your Communications Director Sean (the one writing this newsletter,) and Membership Director Cayla will be heading on an Alaskan Cruise this weekend. During our trip we’ll be visiting roughly 5-6 breweries in the different ports, including the renowned Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau. Depending on WiFi availability, the hope is to post some short Facebook Live videos at each location, in addition to pictures and maybe a brief write-up.
Stay tuned to the Facebook page for all the details, and check out the May newsletter when there’ll be a proper in-depth review of the breweries visited.
Until then, Cheers!
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