Barley Mowat 

Archive for January, 2011

And now a list of breweries

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Please note a new link on the right there, and that’s my comprehensive list of breweries/brewpubs in BC. Or, at least, my best guess at such a list. It turns out this sort of info is surprisingly hard to track down.

I’ve created a new “Brewpub Producer” category to distinguish folks like Howe Sound from the smaller pubs that don’t distribute past their doors, but now that Central City has moved towards a full-blown off-site brewery I wonder if a third Brewpub category might be required.

And yes, I have separated Granville Island into two breweries because, let’s face it, the operation in Kelowna has very very little to do with the tap house in Vancouver.

As always, comments/questions/rants are welcome.

Written by chuck

January 12th, 2011 at 10:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Cove

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This Saturday I found myself hungry and in Kits. Rather than make use of my precious last-remaining Groupon for Darby’s (which I’m saving for summer and their sweet roofdeck), I elected to head over to The Cove (nĂ© Jerimiah’s) and see how a renaming has affected Kitsilano’s own slice of the valley. Yes, I said slice of the valley. Jerry’s was one of the few places in town where you could have Keno with your Kokanee, and they even had a pulltab machine stuffed away in the back–a feature that was rare to find outside of the DTES. The bar was usually packed with the sort of old-school Kits locals that honestly looked like they would have driven there in their F-350s if they didn’t live around the corner in a house Dad paid off in the 50s.

So, what’s changed? The seating has been freshly redone and, um, that’s about it. There are TVs everywhere, which would be a boon during a hockey game but are an annoying distraction otherwise (yes, I am a hockey bigot). The food is markedly better than before, but limited to the sort of up-scale pub grub expected these days.

The taps are greatly improved, though, now including Driftwood Farmhand, Central City IPA and Cannery’s Naramata Nut Brown (although they either don’t want to tell us it’s from Cannery Brewing or they don’t know it is). Phillips Blue Buck rounds out the craft beer, but frankly I’m not a huge fan of that beer. Lastly, the macro drinkers have shifted from Kokanee to Canadian, but honestly I’m not sure that anyone noticed.

The pre-Cove regulars are all still there, noisily watching football on the new screens and stopping by the SportsAction/Keno/PullTab station every few minutes to further fund our health care system (thanks, guys!). Somewhat shocking to regular readers, I found the laid back atmosphere refreshingly familiar (I did grow up in small town BC, afterall). If they would just shut off the damned TVs I’d even go back outside of a Canucks’ game.

All in all, it’s a decent effort to reinvent a bar without losing too much of the existing character, and everyone should stop by if only to let them know adding good local beer to the menu has some benefits. Now all they need is a CAMRA discount…

Written by chuck

January 10th, 2011 at 10:58 am

Posted in Bars

CAMRA

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It’s the time of year to once again renew your CAMRA memberships. What’s that? You aren’t a member? For shame!

CAMRA is your local good beer advocacy group. It stands for The CAMpaign for Real Ale, and yes, I think they were drinking when they made that up too. However, a silly name and a logo pretty obviously drawn by an inebriate does not invalidate their awesomeness in any way, nor your responsibility to join.


We get it. It’s a mug. But c’mon guys, couldn’t this be done before your third pint?

Logo and acronym issues aside, CAMRA serves an invaluable service to the local community. They provide a means for local bars to get in touch with the Bearded Beer Brigade, which in turn encourages pubs to actual give a shit about what comes out of their taps. Because of CAMRA interest and support, Cask Nights are exploding in popularity all over the city, places like The Alibi Room and St Augustine’s exist, and breweries have a much better case to make when arguing for a tap slot next to Molson.

The street goes both ways, too. A CAMRA card gets you stiff discounts on all CAMRA-sponsored events. This ranges from $5-$10 for events like cask festivals, brewery trips/tours, and the infinitely cool Vancouver Craft Beer Week. In addition to all this, you get discounts at local beer geek-friendly restaurants on food & drink and, I shit you not, up to 10% off at places like Firefly, Brewery Creek and Viti.

Individual memberships are just $25, and are honestly a bargain at twice the price. In the past 12 months, my $25 investment has saved me in the area of $200-$300 or even more. Heck, when I bought my bucket of Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller, the discount on just that one purchase covered my CAMRA card.

But don’t do it for the discount alone. The size of the membership roll at CAMRA is an important argument for expanding craft beer availability, so sign up and do your part.

Written by chuck

January 6th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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